summer 1

Image Source: @naturallycurly

There’s not nearly enough time to get into all of the things that makes summertime so awesome. Warm weather. Vacations. Beautiful sunsets. Countless scoops of ice cream and glasses of sweet tea. That’s just for starters.

Not to say that the summer season doesn’t come with its own set of challenges too. Take your hair, for example. Hours out in the sun, salt and chlorine water, dry or humid hair—all of these things can take a real toll on your locks; in some ways, especially if yours happens to have a natural curly texture to it.

That doesn’t mean that you should spend all summer underneath a big brim hat. It simply means that there are proactive steps that you should take in order to get your tresses prepped for what the summer season has to offer.

You ready?

Get a fresh trim. You’ve probably heard that if you want to keep your hair nice and healthy, you should trim your hair every 4-6 weeks. Eh. The actual truth is if you want to maintain the length that you currently have, that time window is best. As far as trimming your hair for the sake of its health, every 8-10 week is pretty good. But if you’ve noticed that you’ve got straggly ends, your curls are tangling up or frizzy or your hair doesn’t have a lot of definition—all of these are clear signs that you should start off the summer season with a good trim (if not a full-on haircut).

Use a frizz-fighting shampoo. With summertime comes frizzy hair, mostly due to the high amount of humidity that’s in the air. One thing that you can do to keep the frizziness at bay is to apply a little serum to your locks after styling your look. Another thing that can (significantly) help is to shampoo your hair with a frizz-fighting shampoo; preferably one that is sulfate-free and contains keratin and collagen in it.

Create a leave-in conditioner. The sun and saltwater from the ocean (because you are gonna go to the beach, right?) is enough to cause all kinds of breakage to your curls by Labor Day. Prevent this from becoming an issue by applying a leave-in conditioner to your hair (yes, even if you’ve deep-conditioned it on your wash day). You can purchase some at your local beauty supply store or you can make some at home. One of my favorite recipes consists of combining three tablespoons of jojoba oil, three tablespoons of sweet almond oil, two tablespoons of rosewater, 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and 15 drops of rosemary oil. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray your hair with it every day before heading out.

DIY a sunscreen for your hair too. Just like your skin needs to be protected from UV rays, so does your hair. If you apply its own kind of sunscreen to it, it’ll keep elasticity in your curls. It will also prevent them from drying out and, if your hair is color-treated, it will keep the color in longer too. A DIY sunscreen (in spray form) is really easy to make. Just fill up an 8 oz. spray bottle up 6 oz. with distilled water. Then add a tablespoon of non-nano zinc oxide and a tablespoon of argan oil and—voila! You’ve got your very own hair sunscreen.

Image Source: @themariaantoinnette

Reduce the heat (even more). Your hair is gonna be getting all of the heat that it needs (and then some) thanks to the summer heat. That said, not only are air-dried curls naturally sexy, they will keep your hair from over-drying and breaking off too. If for some reason, you can’t imagine not using a hair dryer or flat iron, summer is a perfect time of the year to rock a protective style. That’s another way to keep the heat off of your locks.

Drink infused water. Your hair not only needs moisture coming from the outside but the inside too. If you’re not a huge fan of plain water, give your taste buds a kick by drinking some DIY infused water instead. Not only will your body (and hair) get the H2O that it needs, the fruits, veggies and/or herbs that are added to the water will provide you with extra nutrients too. Click here for some delicious recipes.

Keep some “coverage” in your bag. Remember my mentioning big rimmed hats at the top of this? I’m all for you having a couple of ‘em in your accessories collection. But when it comes to coming up with other ways to protect your hair from the heat, scarves are super cute (based on the kind and what outfit you’re wearing with yours, they can even be sexy) and they’re a lot easier to carry around. In fact, I recently watched Naptural 85 premiere a video featuring five different ways to tie a scarf around your head. It’s just one more way to get—and keep—your curls summer fresh and ready. Pardon the pun but…very cool.

Have any additional tips to share with your fellow curly girls? Let us know in the comments below!