Tips to Save Your Hair from the Scorching Hot Sunlight
The day is gone when you would put up with harsh chemicals like relaxers for silky straight hair. As people grow more inclined toward organic and natural lifestyle, many of the industry-leading beauty products are now those designed to provide effective care for the natural hair of African American women. More and more women are making an effort to keep their natural hair healthy, and consequently curl strengthening products have enjoyed a drastic increase of popularity for the past couple months. Similarly, protecting hair from sunlight is another issue to which a lot of people pay attention. The sunlight during summer and accompanying heat can dry up your hair by evaporating moisture content quickly. Dehydration due to drinking not enough water or not covering you hair with something like silk scarves can only exacerbate the problem.
1. Oil? Never! Water is the best moisturizer.
No chemical can beat the most natural ingredient in providing moisture content to your body and hair. We are talking about the water. Many people have a misconception that oils can effectively moisturize hair, but that is never the case. Aloe vera, honey, and glycerin are great moisturizers only because they can retain water and thus help preventing dehydration. As such, when you purchase a moisturizer, you want to check the water content in the product label. Before you apply oils or serums on hair, you want to first hydrate it naturally with the water, and then those oils can seal the moisture inside the hair.
2. Carry a travel-sized bottle.
If you ought to expose yourself under the sunlight, you must remember the followings to keep your hair moisturized all day long. Take a travel-sized spray bottle with a mixture of water, leave-in conditioner, and a couple drops of your preferred oil, and spray onto your hair at a regular interval throughout the day. Before you go to bed, you can massage your hair with a mixture of distilled water and lavender to refresh your mood as well as provide moisture to the hair. For those who concerned with UV light damages, you may add two and a half teaspoon of sunscreen and spray it onto your hair before going out. Any sunscreen products in the market would work, but a natural sunscreen product is a great alternative. Some well-known examples of natural UV-blocking ingredients include shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and red raspberry seed oil. Especially, the red raspberry seed oil has been clinically proven to provide a wide spectrum of UV screening effects.
3. A must-have item for swimming revealed
Summer cannot be whole without water activities. When you spend time by a pool, your hair as well as scalp can get serious sunburn from the strong UV lights without you realizing it. Both using UV protection products with sufficiently high SPF and wearing a swim cap are strongly recommended. Applying a hair oil before you go swimming is a great prep because it can reduce the exposure to the chlorine or salts that can dry up your hair. UV radiation from the sunlight can break the molecular links composing a hair, damaging the hair cuticle. In turn, the hair becomes dry and fragile. Various mineral contents in the sea water can further the damages to the dehydration-prone naturally curly hair of African American women. Therefore, you must thoroughly shampoo your hair after swimming.
4. Deep conditioning & oil rinse is the right answer.
Deep conditioning is the best method of providing moisture and nutrients to the hair during all summer. At least twice a week, you should deep-condition your hair and more frequently if your hair dries up easily. Oil rinse is highly recommended for African American women who have extremely dry hair. It can be done by (1) thoroughly shampoo your hair and scalp, (2) apply deeply penetrating oils such as coconut, olive, or avocado oil onto your hair, and (3) leave the oil for about 3-5 minutes and rinse with cold water. These three oils have a greater affinity to water molecules than other oils, so it helps the hair absorb more water.
5. Absolutely do Co-Wash to provide moisture
Co-wash basically means washing hair with conditioner (or a cleansing conditioner) in order to achieve healthier hair. Most shampoos contain detergents and essentially dehydrating agents that extract moisture from hair, so to maintain a healthy curl, you need to wash hair without shampoo but only with conditioner. Shampoos mainly consist of anionic surfactants to create rich foams, but their excessive cleansing power can dry up hair and accelerate the damages to hair that has started during coloring or perm. On the other hand, conditioners contain cationic surfactants and fatty alcohol (a good alcohol for your hair), and it does not offer powerful cleansing but rather coats the hair and reduces damages. Consequently, in summer days when your hair can get dry easily, you may opt for co-washing for a couple days between shampooing to keep your hair hydrated.