A change of Season may mean a difference in our hair routine for many of us. Depending on what climate your hair is facing will determine how your routine or products will change. Keeping your curls on point (and not pointing in all directions throughout the summer months, think Monica from Friends!) is a priority, right?!
Those still learning what a new season may mean for them and their hair start with the basics….ensure your hair has the right amount of moisture.
I know I know, this is nothing new! We are constantly ensuring that moisture and protein are balanced. However, during the summer months, an emphasis is needed on ensuring the hair either retains the right amount of moisture or allows the right amount of moisture in.
So what do you need to be aware of that can help determine what your hair needs:
Types of Weather:
Dry Heat/ Low Dew points – If the air is dry, it will have a drying effect on your hair. The hair will need products with moisturising elements or ingredients that will draw in and allow moisture to enter the hair from the surrounding air.
Wet/humid heat/High dew points – Air full of moisture will be absorbed by the hair cuticle if allowed. Allowing this extra moisture into the hair shaft will expand and lose its definition, becoming frizzy. Your hair will need products that stop this excess moisture from entering the hair.
High porosity – this hair type is more likely to suffer the worst in wet/humid heat due to the cuticle being exposed easily and allowing excess moisture to be drawn in. Laying down products that will help seal the cuticle during washing and styling will help keep unwanted moisture out.
Low porosity – with cuticles tightly bound and a fight to get moisture in, this hair type can become even drier in dry heat if it's not appropriately moisturised during washing and styling.
Humectants & Anti Humectants - What are they?
Humectant ingredients add moisture to the hair by pulling moisture from the surrounding air. In high humidity conditions, humectants may attract too much water from the surrounding environment into the hair, making it swell or 'puff' out, which means the curl or wave loses its definition and becomes frizzy. Some ingredients (but not all) to look out for:
Glycerin, Propylene glycol, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Hyaluronic acid, Sorbitol, Glucose, Fructose
Anti-Humectant ingredients help block unwanted moisture from the surrounding air entering the hair. Some ingredients (but not all) to look out for:
Shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil.
So how should we use products with both humectants to ensure we have beautifully defined curls all summer?
Layer your ingredients! Laying down products in relation to their core ingredients and what they're set out ultimately to achieve will give you the best results. Prepping and styling the hair should be approached the same way we think about our skincare or makeup; the order in which you apply products will determine the final look and longevity. Using your face cream before a serum or primer on top of your foundation will not give you great results! The same applies when thinking about what we're putting on our hair.
Here are my top tips for moisturized, humidity-resistance-defined curls:
Build a good foundation with hydration - Start by laying down a good moisture base to ensure your curls/waves are hydrated. This can be done with a leave-in, cream or *both, if you feel your hair needs it. If your hair is dry or protein sensitive, use products containing no protein or glycerin – A small amount of Deep Conditioning Treatment works great as a leave in to create the perfect base – and if you want to use protein at this point, use products with light-containing proteins such as silk amino acids.
Tip - Try adding a few drops of Deep Conditioning Treatment to a water bottle instead of applying this straight to the hair; this way, you get the benefits of a leave-in but can still use cream as your first styler without it being too heavy!
Enhance - We want to ensure we have defined curls, coils and waves that are set to withstand the heat, so now we need to add a product that contains both protein (or a protein substitute like Aloe Barbadensis) & glycerin to help structure and hold. A small amount of Rockin' Ringlets Styling Potion will help control frizz while making your curls pop!
Define- Whether this a cream or gel, ideally, go for one that contains no protein or glycerin like our light, creamy styling product Confident Coils Styling Solution. This layer of styler will define by promoting curl clumping for tighter curl definition and hold. Confident Coils will also protect against humidity so your curls will be ready for all climates. *If you are satisfied with the curl you achieve from enhancing or are exposed to dry heat, you can skip this step!
Seal- To ensure the moisture and definition we have laid down, stay put and to stop any more unnecessary moisture from entering apply a small amount of a gel that contains no glycerin like Spiralicious Styling Gel or as a great alternative apply a light mist of Aquavescent Hair Spray over the entire hair before drying to lock in your stylers and provide extra humidity protection! If you used a gel to start, use the same one to finish.
*If your hair is exposed to dry heat, you can skip this last step too to allow the hair to draw in what moisture it needs
Lock it in - Finish with oil. Oils don't hydrate; they seal in moisture and whatever is already on the hair. Applying a small amount of lightweight oil will form a barrier and help stop the hair cuticle from expanding, causing unwanted frizz. Oil Blend is the perfect light weight oil to seal in hydration and help tame frizz while providing protection from environmental damage.
Let's sum it up.
You will probably be tweaking your routine as the weather changes (especially if you live here in the UK!), switch up your products when needed and be mindful in which order you apply ingredients.
Enjoy your Summer with beautifully balanced moisturised curls!