Summer hair

We’re in my favorite season-summer! Which means long days, barbeques and the beach to name a few things that can be fun this time of year. This time of year can be a double edged sword for naturals, though. On the one hand, with the increased humidity in many places, it means that the air is rich with the moisture that our hair desperately needs. On the other hand, all that moisture may cause our hair to swell, meaning that controlled, defined hair like this (which was the result of a flat twist out I did over a month ago) :

could turn into BAA (Big Ass Afro) like this within minutes of stepping out the door:

Regarding the woman in the above picture, she’s Aevin Dugas. Last year, she made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the biggest fro. It measures more than 4 feet and is bigger than a disco ball. I only wish my hair can get as huge as this.

Some naturals don’t care about their hair starting out one way and then changing into something else, but if you’re the type to spend considerable time styling your twist/braid/bantu knot out and you get upset about the elements turning your hair into a style you didn’t intend, here are a few things to consider:

1. Simply don’t try to fight nature: Sometimes prepping for twist-outs and roller sets will only end in futility. Once the humidity gets ahold of your hair, those styles can become fro-outs real quick. If you do not intend to rock one of these styles only to end up with another, you can opt for a wash-n-go or other styles that won’t fight with your texture.

2. You can try protective styling to keep your hair off of your face and neck. I gave up on protective styling awhile ago as my hair isn’t thick or dense enough for certain styles to look good and my edges are too fragile for others, but a lot of naturals swear by it as the key to length retention.

3. You can try hats. Curly and kinky hair can be unpredictable, especially in humid conditions and hats are a great accessory. They have the added benefit of keeping your hair protected from the elements (wind, sea, sun, etc.). I’m not a big hat person myself, though I do have a big collection of baseball caps.

4.Forget heat styling. All the time and effort it would take to get your hair straight will only be undone once you step out the door. Your hair could resemble Ms. Dugas’s within 5 minutes. Not that it would be a horrible thing as she has great hair, but if you don’t intend for your hair to turn into a fro, save yourself the hassle and keep your hair curly.

5. Don’t use products containing humectants in high humidity, especially if they are listed within the first five ingredients, which means they are in high quantities. Humectacts attract the moisture in the air and draw them into your hair, causing it to swell. The most common humectants are glycerin and propylene glycol, but there are a few others.

I do have a caveat to all these tips though: If your hair is fine and thin like mine, there are times when you may actually welcome the frizz and the swelling as your hair will appear fuller. For those times when you don’t mind hair that’s undefined or uncontrolled, feel free to disregard the whole post. 😀

Happy summer, everyone!




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