Yesterday was March 20th, the official 1st day of Spring. Birds are chirping, temperatures are rising, and the sun is shining later into the day. You know what that means right? Time to Spring Clean up your haircare routine or regimen. Here are some key areas that you may need to tweak to transition your hair into the warmer months:
During the Winter months, you may find yourself doing marathon pre-poo sessions (overnight, 2 or 3 days) to maximize penetration and moisture retention when cold weather and wind are at their harshest. When the temperatures start warming up, some changes in your pre-pooing process may be necessary. You can shorten your pre-poo time to perhaps an hour or two before cleansing, because you won’t need as much moisture absorption. You may also “thin out” your pre-poo solution by switching from oil to a water-based conditioner, or oil/conditioner mix.
With Spring and Summer come hotter temperatures, and less clothing. You’ll probably find yourself sweating more in the sun, at the gym (#getitrightandtight hello!)…and on your scalp. Knock out sweat, sebum, and dirt buildup by cleansing your hair more frequently. To avoid having to stock up on more product, a mid-week rinse with water, diluted conditioner, or even an apple cider vinegar rinse is sufficient to gently remove scalp buildup. Just be sure to use your fingertips (check for jagged nails!) to massage the scalp and clarify.
3. Deep Conditioning
In the same vein as pre-pooing, you may find that marathon deep conditioning sessions aren’t as vital to your routine in the warmer months. If you deep condition overnight or for hours on end, your hair can still reap the benefits of a DC within a trimmed time of 20-30 minutes. In fact, most deep conditioners are formulated to perform at maximum capacity within this time frame. Also, if you deep condition weekly, you may find that you can ease up to every two weeks, or even monthly.
4. Styling & Leave-In
During Fall and Winter, butters and heavy oils like castor are the name of the game to help seal in moisture. Spring and Summer are the perfect time of the year to experiment with lighter products and “out” styling. Feel free to let your hair down in the absence of heavy coats, sweaters, and scarves that can easily snatch and tangle your tresses. When choosing leave-in and styling aids, water based moisturizers are great to create light, fluffy styles. If you are still partial to your creams and butters, feel free to mix in water or aloe vera juice to create a light, but still moisturizing leave-in or sealing product. Since there tends to be more humidity in the air, products withglycerin or other humectants are great during this time of year as a leave-in. Minimize frizz by incorporating a jelly or gel into your twist or braid-outs and wash n’ go’s.
Personally, I do not recommend heat styling during the warmer months. Because of the higher temperatures and increased humidity, it becomes more difficult to achieve straighter styles and hair is more likely to frizz/poof. In turn, you may up the temperature gauge or find yourself making more passes with the flat iron to achieve straighter hair. You may also turn to more frequent heat use (re-straightening every couple of days) to maintain a look — all which can lead to heat damage.
Remember to stay hydrated. Fresh squeezed lemonades, cocktails, beers, and iced teas are yummy to consume when the mercury begins to rise, but can be pretty dehydrating. Healthy, hydrated hair starts from the inside out, so try to increase the amount of water you drink as opposed to other beverages. Or, have one cup of water for every “other” type of beverage you consume. If you need flavor, add a few slices of lemon, oranges, or cucumber, or a sprig of mint.
Lastly, Spring and Summer are all about beach and swimming pool fun. Part of the awesomeness of having natural or transitioning hair is the fact that we can swim and have fun in the water without worrying about our hair (too much). If you’re going to be on your aquatic swag tough this Spring or Summer, be sure to invest in a chelating shampoo and/or conditioner. There are plenty of swimmer’s shampoos out there, like Ion, Ultraswim, or L’anza. Or, you can just look for products with a chelating ingredient like EDTA, that specializes in binding to and removing chlorine from the hair. Also, be sure to saturate your hair with water at least 15 minutes before jumping in the pool. This will help diminish the uptake of chlorinated water into your hair.
Spring forward, sunshines!