The best things make you sweaty.
So hot weather is finally here, and your curly hair doesn’t exactly know how to feel about it. Either you’re working out more or simply spending more time outside, but chances are your curls are suddenly frizzing, your definition is fading and your fave twist/braid out just isn’t quite making the cut anymore.
So understandably, you decide to put yourself in a nice protective style for the next few days or three months. We’re not judging. You just want your hair to look presentable with minimal effort, but there’s only one little problem. Your hairstyles still aren’t lasting.
Your hair is still getting damp and your hair is frizzing like crazy. Sweat doesn’t have to be your enemy though. You can still get your exercise on and enjoy the beautiful weather despite all the water vapor in the air. There are just a few vital maintenance steps you have to take in preserving any style you put in; from cornrows to braids to twists to crochets.
1. Tying your hair down
This has got to be one of the oldest rules in the natural hair book. A scarf is your best friend. You shouldn’t ever go to bed without some kind of wrap on your head, especially if you are trying to preserve your hairstyle. Silk scarfs are definitely the best since they’re the most gentle and cause the least frizz on your hair. That being said though, if you don’t have a silk scarf, then wear whatever scarf you have, and if you don’t own a scarf, then wrap a t-shirt around your hair. Yes, a t-shirt, because at the end of the day, leaving your hair unprotected every single night will ruin your hairstyle twice as fast.
Do not underestimate the power of keeping your hair strands smooth and pressed down for a full 8-hour period. (Or however long you sleep cause we know you’re not faithfully getting 8 hours a night!) This doesn’t just apply to nighttime though. It applies to most physical activities.
If you can figure out a way to wrap your scarf in a cute way, or hide it under a cap, then by all means wear one when you’re exercising or outside for long durations. Scarves can be super stylish additions to an outfit if you know how to tie them right. Trust us though, if you’re sweating multiple times a week, your hair will be the first to show it. Fortunately most people don’t expect you to arrive to the gym looking fire.
Moral of the story? Basically wear a scarf whenever you can cause that we’ll be the ultimate key to preventing frizz and maintaining your style.
2. Don’t use too much hair product
Yes, most curly hair manes drink up product like they’re thirsting in a desert during Winter weather, but either the water vapor from the air, or the water vapor from your sweat will be enough to keep it hydrated for a couple of days between each product application. Applying oil or grease every day, or even every other day, will lead to premature buildup and leave your hair feeling grimy, dirty, and bordering on smelly. For styles you plan to leave in for a while, I suggest mainly sticking with “light” products that don’t just sit on your hair or scalp.
Also just the process of applying hair product daily can be enough to mess up the style. A lot of the time, naturalistas will rub their finger through the scalp areas of their style. They end up shifting the hair around and pulling strands a loose. So be extremely mindful of that and try using squeeze bottle applicator as well. This way you can reach the roots of your hair without even touching them.
3. Using Hair Mousse
Mousse would be one of the “light” products we mentioned in the previous tip. It doesn’t hold on to your hair very tightly, as opposed to gel, and when partnered with a scarf at night, can be the savior when your hair begins to frizz. Mousse settles your hair and allows you to restructure it and the scarf allows you to hold the position all night.
Mousse doesn’t lead to build up and it gives your hair the light hold it needs. Keep in mind that it also hydrates, seals, and gives your hair a nice shine. Gel tends to flake up or sit on the hair so mousse is a perfect alternative.
4. Keeping a rag on hand
Rag, napkin, towel, it’s all one in the same. Just carry something to quickly dry your head off with. If you’re anything like the average person, then you likely experience the majority of your sweat on your forehead and facial area. That means your glands are releasing vapor right on to your hairline and fuzzing up the edges of your style real quick.
By keeping a small washcloth or handkerchief in your bag, you can easily wipe down your forehead and the back of your neck. How the hairline of a style looks can literally make or break it. Plus if it starts to lightly rain, then you’ll have something to quickly cover your hair with, assuming you don’t have an umbrella of course.
That being said, if you know that you live in a rainy climate or that rain is in the forecast for the day, then make sure to travel with an umbrella. Summer is known for it’s storms so you might as well keep a spare umbrella in your car at all times.
5. REFRAINing from scratching
We know you’ve probably heard or at least seen this one. The infamous “pat” curly-haired gals have to do to satisfy an itch without scratching their scalp. It’s for good reason. Scratching attacks the roots of a style and can mess up neat parts or a tight hold. You can also unintentionally rip out strands.
I know from experience that product buildup or a style you’ve had in for multiple weeks can really start to make your scalp itchy, so take measures to maintain your scalp’s health and breath-ability. Your style can last so much longer if you refrain from digging around in it. The less tampering, the better.
6. Laying your edges
Sometimes the last thing you feel like doing is crafting your baby hairs to perfection in the morning. We don’t blame you. But if there is one thing that can make a style look new and attract compliments, it’s styling your edges. If you have a true protective style, then the only part of your hair that’s “loose” would be your edges so that makes them the perfect candidates for you to maintain control over your style’s appearance.
Fuzzy, unkempt baby hairs can age a style far before it’s expiration date. The style can look old real quick. So I encourage you to figure out what holding product works decently on your hair without flaking. Once again, a scarf can help give the extra hold you need. There are tons of gels and jams that you can try out, a toothbrush normally does the trick.
You can even buy a “fancy” edge brush if you like or use a handy dandy comb. Defined baby hairs can make any style suitable for formal occasions or gatherings where you’d like to look nice. Just make sure not to overdo it, since you don’t want gel buildup or overly stiff edges.
7. Maintaining your “kitchen”
While it’s good for you to keep your physical kitchen tidy as well. we’re referring to your hair kitchen. Otherwise known as the very back of your hair. This portion of your hair is typically shorter and therefore comes out of a style the quickest. Sometimes you or the stylist can’t even get a firm enough grip to include it in the style. So most of the time, there are at least a few strands loose at the back of your neck. You gotta show them some love or else they’ll frizz and jack up the style’s neat appearance.
Maintaining the back of a style is just as important as the front. LIttle beads of loose hair are more noticeable than some may realize. So brushing or gelling down this section of your hair can have a profound impact on the maintenance of the style.
Keep in mind that since sweat generally pools at the back of neck, your kitchen is the main victim of getting damp and coiling up . If you really want to easily preserve your style, then may just want to get regular trims to shape up your neckline. Trims every two months may be all you need.
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