The beauty in this COVID-19 season is that you have more ability now than ever to control the narrative that others have of you. What kind of story do you want your hair to tell?
1. How do you spell summer? S-u-n d-a-m-a-g-e? H-u-m-i-d-i-t-y? Oh, I know! U-p-d-a-t-e y-o-u-r r-o-u-t-i-n-e.
We love the sun, but is it lovin’ back on us? Of course, a balanced mixture of sunlight, melanin, and curls spells out our perfect summer for us, however, we need to remain attuned to the elements around us. In the winter, we brace ourselves for cold weather and dry climate. That means that we are versatile curly humans with an arsenal of products. What does your summer collection say about you when you’re not around?
Does it say that moisture is in your hair? Or is humidity in the air? Does it whisper sweet-nothings of sweat and product build-up from the rise in temperatures coating your curls?
If your products are shading you, here are three things to have in your arsenal for build-up: apple cider vinegar to define your curls, peppermint oil to promote hair growth and a shampoo with sulfates instead of a co-wash. Hear me out! It’s important to use a sulfate shampoo once a month or every two months to fully cleanse your scalp and let the product build-up wash down the drain. Just don’t lather with it too often. Only use it when you notice build-up on your scalp. If there isn’t any unwanted product residue, reference your regularly scheduled co-washes.
Now is the time to try new products if you find yours are especially drying or are being bullied by humidity. Some hair types love humidity, but we know better, not all coils spring the same.
2. Summer Hair Playlist: The Acne EP
It’s summer, which means your hair is out, your shoulders are hills outlining the sunsets, your clothes have probably gotten more cropped and are showing a lot of skin.
With all of this exposure, you should try new products if you find them running down your face, shoulders or back and causing you to break out. Look at your labels and investigate what your hair products contain. Ingredients like petroleum, shea butter, jojoba oil and other oils can sometimes be the breakout culprits. Think about adding non-comedogenic hair products to your summer hair playlist.
3. Sacred Vacation Hair
I know you. You love your hair, but you are tired and cannot be bothered with it. You want to spend your summer mornings exercising, eating fresh fruit, running errands, ANYTHING BUT doing your hair. I get it, refreshing your curls is exhausting. You want to wake up, snatch your scarf off and go. And you deserve to. Although you haven’t been to any beaches, poolside parties or islands lately, don’t be shy about pulling out your vacation hair tricks!
“But, it’s COVID and my salon is closed!” or “My braider isn’t taking clients!” Either of these scenarios could be the case, but in shaping your hair narrative, try doing it yourself if you have the time and resources (aka YouTube).
Mix it up with box braids, passion twists or faux locs, or hey, real locs if you never want to hear the word detangle again.
4. Be a Quarantine Queen
If you aren’t ready to tuck your hair away, spice up your routine and make it feel more like a luxury than a chore.
Add more steps to your routine. Make the Aztec Clay Mask or D.I.Y avocado conditioner you found recipes for. Deep-condition and massage your scalp. You have the time, don’t cut corners. Give sitting under a heated dryer or using a heated cap a try.
Do yoga while you’re deep conditioning. Have fun with your fro!
5. EXPERIMENT- GO, GO, GO!
One of the best things about quarantine is that you can try something new and if it comes out terribly, who cares? This is your hair story. Trim off that heat damage, go for that short or shaved cut, even dye your hair if you want to.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE level up your deep conditioning methods if you dye it, your hair will beg for the moisture.
Each of these extremes may take some getting used to, but if you need to build the confidence to wear them, what better time than when you are social distancing and being at home in your own company? After you get used to yourself in your new do, if you decide you don’t like it, you have ample opportunity for your curls to bounce back.
If you don’t want to cut or color, this is the sign you’ve been looking for to permit you to get those new products that you want to try. You’re welcome.
6. What do we want? Inches! When do we want them? Now!
If you don’t want to let it go, let it grow and make a post-quarantine appearance with longer tresses and thicker strands of hair. Start by taking biotin supplements, using avocado and castor oils, improving your diet and drinking huge amounts of water to be kind to your curls. What goes into your body affects the hair that comes out of the top of it.
In addition to promoting hair growth from the inside, what should you keep in mind about your hair on the outside? It grows. Despite you not doing anything to it, it grows. So leave it alone and let it do its thing. Braid your hair, flat twist it, anything you can do to keep it gently put away, do that.
Don’t forget the ends! Properly moisturize your hair and make sure to tuck them into that protective style.
7. “I am not my hair. I am not your expectations.”- India Arie
This is a time for self-reflection. What will your hair look like when the world opens back up?
Do you have hair goals? Will what you’re doing now help you to attain those goals? Try starting a hair diary to track your progress, oil mixtures, conditioner recipes and curl aspirations. Dedicate a section of that journal to daring cuts and colors—even if you never try them, you are in control.
Don’t let others set expectations for you because this is your hair story. Decide what you want to tell.