The past couple of weeks have brought some bueatiful sunny weather here in Vancouver, and I can’t get enough! This also means that I’ve switched up my hair care routine.
In winter, I like to use a lot of oils and deep conditioning masks in my hair. I’m not going to ditch them altogether, but over summer when the temperatures are hot and my scalp is sweating more I tend to prefer lighter conditioners. Also, now that my hair is mostly virgin, it needs less protein-rich treatments. In fact, I find that using too many products that contain protein can actually are my hair brittle and frizzy rather than adding life to it. A lot of people with naturally curly hair find that their hair is protein sensitive too; the only way to really know is through trial and error. Check the ingredients in the hair products you’re using. Protein can show up as hydrolyzed silk, hydrolyzed collagen, wheat protein, soy protein, keratin and by other names. If a lot of your hair care products contain protein, and your hair is brittle, dry or prone to breakage, the solution may be to cut down on the protein and add more moisture. Anyways, read on to learn more about my current hair care regimen to see if some of the following tips may work for you!
I find that since my hair gets greasier over summer, it needs to be washed a bit more often. While washing everyday can strip your hair of natural moisture, washing every other day probably won’t do any harm if you’re using the right products for your hair. If my hair is greasy from sweating, I prefer simply washing it over using dry shampoos and powders, which can contain chemicals and ingredients that irritate your scalp. When looking for a shampoo, I go for sulfate and paraben- free kinds, and organic whenever possible.
Shampoos and conditioners
I’ve used Dessert Essence shampoos and conditioners for years. They’re great for summer because they moisturize without adding extra weight. They also smell amazing! Avalon Organics is also a great line, but I’ve taken a break from them as a lot of their conditioners contain protein, which I’m trying to stay away from at the moment. Everyday Shea is an awesome and all natural line of shampoos, conditioners and body washes, and is very reasonably priced. Just check out your local health food store; they will likely carry lots of great products that are cheaper and healthier than what you’ll find in a salon.
Even though my hair isn’t chemically treated, and I rarely use heat tools, I find I still need to deep condition or else my hair is gonna dry out. When I use deep conditioning masks in the summer, I usually just use them on the ends and use regular conditioner on the top half of my hair (when my hairs super dry in winter I use it all over). I recently tried Macadamia Deep Repair hair masque, which I picked up from my local Sally’s. It’s an intensely moisturizing, protein free deep conditioner that has really good slip. If your hair is chemically treated or you find it needs that extra protein, John Masters honey and hibiscus reconstructer is a good choice; it contains natural oils and hyaluronic acid, which will help your hair retain moisture. If your hair is super dry, you can always make your own hair mask using oils such as olive and coconut, and/or shea butter, and leave it on for a few hours prior to shampooing.
When the weather is warm, letting your hair air dry feels awesome, and will save it from unnecessary damage. Soft, tousled hair looks great in summer anyway!
Your hair is most sensitive when wet, so take care when detangling. I picked up this great double- toothed comb at Sally Beauty. It detangles a lot better than a regular wide toothed comb, without pulling or snagging wet hair like a brush might. A spray-on detangler can work wonders to ( see leave-in treatments below).
In summer, too much sun exposure and chlorine from swimming pools or salt from the ocean (if you’re lucky enough to live near the ocean and go swimming) can take a toll on hair. While there are products that claim that they contain sun protection, I would really question these claims. Wearing a cute hat or a silk scarf to protect your hair is probably your best bet (and don’t forget sun protection for your skin and eyes too!).
Using a clarifying shampoo to get chlorine and other impurities out of your hair following swimming is an important step before moisturizing with your favourite hair mask. Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying shampoo is a good old standby in my shower.
Leave in treatments
I’m wearing my hair natural most days, so all I personally need in a leave in is something to give my curls a bit of definition, help detangle and refresh second-day hair. Right now I’m using ORGNX Moroccan oil argan complex by Lacoup. It’s protein free and has lots of natural oils, but isn’t too heavy.
Also, I have this face oil that I picked up from Jolene’s Handmade Soaps in New Westminster, BC, which I use on both my face (at night) and hair. If you don’t live in the area, I’m sure you could find these oils in a health food store and make your own blend. I wet my hands to dilute it a bit and then rub a few drops between my palms. I then scrunch it into my hair. I’m careful not to rake my fingers through, which pulls on the curls and causes frizz. The oil is nice and light and doesn’t leave my hair greasy at all. A spray on detangler like this one from Aveda is also great to refresh and renew second day hair. When looking for leave-in treatments, go for ones that have nourishing oils high up on their ingredient list, and steer away from ones that contain a lot of silicones, which can build up and won’t do much to help your hair in the long run.
So basically, if there’s anything you take away this blog, I’d say that it should be that it takes some trial and error to figure out what products work for your hair. Your hair’s needs will vary from season to season, and will change depending on any chemical treatments you do. Don’t be afraid to read labels and research the ingredients in products you’re using- some products will make bold claims, but knowing exactly what is in stuff can help you separate fact from fiction. Good luck and happy summer 🌞!