Majoring in Curls
Email your questions to Aimee.

About a week ago, I glanced at my calendar and saw a big black circle around the 16th of August. Looming up at me were the words, “Back to School!”

I had planned to make the long drive back to New York that day, and I couldn’t believe that the summer had gone by so fast and I’d have to start prepping myself for a new and final school year. But then I remembered all the fun that comes in seeing friends again, getting school supplies (fresh notebooks!) and decorating new rooms.

But there’s also the downside of starting a new school year. When it comes to keggers, dorm parties, and Greek gatherings, it’s a guarantee that alcohol will be involved. I’m not going to be naïve and tell you that absolutely no one under the age of 21 ever drinks in college. I’m not trying to be preachy, but I like people to be safe when drinking. So if you like to go out and have a couple of drinks every weekend, good for you! But if you like to start drinking to excessively every Saturday night, that could be a problem -- not only for your wallet, but for your body, skin -- and hair!

Now as curly girls, we all know (or should know) that certain alcohols in hair products can create frizz and unmanageability. Just as an overload of alcohol on the outside of the hair can be negative, so can excess on the inside. For one thing, alcoholic beverages dehydrate you, which is the major cause of hangover headaches. Have you ever heard that a big glass of water is the best remedy for a hangover?

Hair is affected by this as well because a continuous lack of fluids will make it dry and brittle, which creates split ends and easy breakage. It has also been proven that excess drinking depletes the levels of iron and zinc in our bodies. They are both key ingredients in strong hair, When you have a deficiency, the hair tends to fall out in larger quantities. People with curly hair seem to lose hair more rapidly than those with straight hair so it’s nothing to be concerned about. But if you notice more-than-usual amounts of hair in the shower drain, you might want to contact a doctor.

On the other hand, there are tons of hair-treatment recipes that include alcoholic beverages.

Beer is said to strengthen and add shine to dull hair. Most treatments recommend simply rinsing the hair with a can of flat beer, and then shampooing and conditioning as usual.

You can also combine the beer with various tonics and herbal teas to mix and match treatments. A little spritz bottle filled with lukewarm beer won’t take the place of gel, but it’ll give the hair a little oomph.

Champagne is said to give the hair some extra definition and bring out natural blonde highlights. Just combine equal parts hot water with old champagne and rinse through hair.

Who would have thought that ingredients like these can work such wonders for your hair?

Experiment with rinses and cocktails. But when it comes to drinking them, do so responsibly. Know your limits and always find a designated driver. Happy fall semester!