by Melissa Taylor
This weather will put your hair through it. Depending on where you live you'll encounter heat, humidity, rain or all all three. (Thanks, global warming.) So naturals, in particular, must pay close attention to what happens to our follicles.
It's already a struggle for our strands to stay hydrated. so take extra care. My hair was a mess last summer. I couldn't get it right. I tried moisture seal routines and protein treatments. I watched every YouTube video in the hopes that they would guide me to the silky strand promised land. Nothing worked.
Here's how I got my luscious fro back to it's original glory.
1. I stopped using moisturizers.
Hear me out here! There ain't nothin worse than a dry 'fro. Our hair needs moisture, but most of these creams/puddings/etc. we're used to using are filled with ingredients that can dry out your hair. I shampoo (as little as possible) and condition or co-wash as I've always done. But now I only use water to refresh my hair in the summer months. A good old-fashioned spray bottle will do the trick.
2. I started using silicone.
Some folks swear by natural oils like coconut oil, but they just didn't work for me. Many naturals do whatever it takes to steer clear of the dreaded "cones," but CHI Silk Infusion worked wonders on my hair. After I spray my hair with water, I seal with it.
I co-wash twice a week and apply Biolage by Matrix Conditioning Balm throughout the week. It's a pricey product, but it is AMAZING. It's thick enough to thoroughly saturate my coils.
4. I take vitamins.
Look, you should be eating a balanced diet to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs, but most of us don't do that. Supplementing my diet with a great multivitamin has done wonders for my hair. I'm not talking about those expensive special hair vitamins that the YouTube gurus love. I take an inexpensive gummy vitamin, and keep it moving. What we put in our bodies has to come out. I've learned to accept it.
5. I protective style.
I'm proud of my thick afro, and I've always been hesitant to conceal it with wigs or cover it with weaves or braids. But my hair just cannot take all of the stress I put it through in the warmer months. From jumping in and out of pools to tumbling in the backyard with my babies, the sweat and manipulation leads to dryness and breakage. So I've opted for twists as my go-to. They give my hair a break, and I choose a size that's easy to install and take down.
These methods have saved my hair. I seriously considered rocking a caesar last summer, but I didn't give up. Through trial and error, I found what works for me.
Melissa is a mom, a wife, and a lawyer trying to live and love as if each day is her last.