Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer is Here! Take Good Care of Your Curly Locks

It’s summer and curly girls want shiny, healthy, bouncy curls! In Minnesota we have sun, heat and humidity—all affect your hair. Sun and heat dry your hair and humidity causes frizz.

Most curly hair is naturally dry and craves moisture. When it is humid, the hair soaks up the moisture and the cuticle expands causing frizz. In addition to curly hair’s natural tendency to be dry, many of us chemically treat our curly locks to brighten them with highlights, cover gray or change color. This dries out hair even more.

We’d love to recommend one solution for all, but what you should do for your curly head of hair is as unique as your hair. No one person has the same exact type of hair. And though you may think your hair can’t get enough conditioning, that isn’t necessarily true. There’s a fine line to walk to maintain healthy hair, especially during the summer.

Basics to Remember
• Don’t fight your curl. Straightening your curls is more drying. So embrace your curl.
• A good curly cut and the right products are essential. Talk to your hairdresser about what type of curly hair you’ve got and how it will react to summer’s heat and humidity.
• Be gentle with your hair. Use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush and pull your long locks back into a loose ponytail or bun.
• Avoid the blow dryer! Let your hair air dry. With the warmer temperatures, this should be easier to do in the summer.

The Right Products
Find the right product or products to control the frizz. Easier said than done, right?

Shampoo will dry your hair. Using a cleanser that doesn’t suds up is better for your hair. And it is important to focus on the scalp, where the dirt and sweat is concentrated. Use a good, quality conditioner specific for your hair type. Women with thick, course curls can benefit from leave-in conditioner to help tame the hair. Women with finer hair will want to go light on the conditioner. The right conditioner is very important. Even the wrong conditioner can result in dry, brittle hair. Ask your hairdresser what’s right for your hair type.

For those who need help holding their curl, try curling gels and mousses. Again, choosing the right product depends on your hair type. Some gels and sprays are sticky and leave your hair feeling crunchy. For thicker hair, use a gel at the strongest level; for thinner, finer hair, use a curl defining mousse.

No matter what product you use, it’s very important to thoroughly rinse your hair. The hardest area of the head to rinse is the back and that’s where product build-up tends to occur. Cool water helps to close off hair follicles, which reduces the amount of frizz you’ll get.