We’ve all been there, yes? You’re on a lovely beach, ready to dip your perfectly polished pedicure into the salty clear blue seas, and then you realize you are not Bo Derek in 10. Your hair is not naturally straight and it’s not immune to the curling power of water. You have natural kinky hair that will fight to cling together in tight coils if the slightest ounce of water touches your tresses. However, the good news is there are ways to prep your hair to prevent sun, chlorine and salt damage, so you can maintain your beautiful natural glow all summer long.
1. Prep For Swimming
Before you begin to practice your Olympic style diving skills, spritz your coily hair with water and coat it with a conditioning oil, like coconut oil. Remember, oil and water don’t mix, so if you coat your strands with oil, it will be harder for the chlorine and salt from the water to absorb into your hair.
It’s important to cleanse your hair after you swim. Don’t get lazy and skip this step. Even if the chlorine and salt didn’t penetrate your hair, it’s still laying on top of it and it won’t be cute if your hair smells like chlorine. Skip shampoo and co-wash your hair with a generous amount of conditioner. Add your styling product and style.
2. Prep For Wash-N-Gos
The summer is the best time to practice your wash-n-go routine, especially on vacation. Doing a routine twist-out or braid-out can take up to 2 hours. It can be time consuming if you’re co-washing your hair after every swim. Instead, opt for more wash-n-go styles. Air drying will cut down on your style time, which will free up time for more important experiences like al fresco dinners with your crew.
3. Prep For Protective Styles
If a wash-n-go just isn’t your thing, opt for a summer protective style. Any style that protects your ends from any form of damage is best. There are a myriad of styles to try from braids, buns, twists, updos, cornrows, etc. Just make sure that your protective style isn’t pulling your hair at the root. That means, be assertive with the African braider who insists on braiding your hair so tight, it hurts to look at you. There is no sense protecting your ends while damaging your edges. Also, don’t forget to moisture your scalp and hair as well. It’s easy to forget to moisture regularly when your hair is in a low-maintenance style.
You can get double-duty protection by adding a hat or a scarf. It not only helps you further protect your hair, but also, gives an extra dose of chic to your OOTD.
4. Prep For Frizz
The summer doesn’t only bring you dewy skin and longer nights, it also brings frizz. Lots and lots of frizz. Prep to have a frizz-free summer by staying away from humectants, which draws moisture from the air to your coils. Honey is a humectant I frequently use when I’m deep-conditioning. However, during the summer months, I replace it with oils. Try hot oil treatments to reduce the frizz while infusing supple moisture.
Do you have any vacation prep tips?