When I think of summer, the beach is usually the first thing that comes to mind. Ever since I was a child, the beach was my favorite place to go – where else can you lay out in the sand and listen to the waves crashing?
As much as I love the beach though, it’s important to be careful with my hair. The sand that gets everywhere, the heat from direct sunlight, and harsh salt water are all part of a recipe for a natural hair disaster. However, being prepared in advance can make the process more fun and worry free. Here are four tips for beach ready natural hair.
Apply products with silicones
Normally I stay away from products that contain -cones (ex. dimethicone) because while they make our natural hair softer, they also leave product buildup that can only be removed by a strong cleanser.
In the summer, these ingredients can be good when going to the beach because our hair won’t be stripped by chlorine or salt water. Instead, the product acts like a barrier on our strands.
Use heat protectant
This is probably one of the best things for my hair in the summer I wish I’d thought of first. Direct sunlight is very hot and drying.
We normally use sunscreen on our bodies when going out, but what about our curls? Oils like coconut oil provide a natural SPF and heat protection. For a little extra protection, spray or apply a light heat protectant when styling.
This has been my go to method for protecting my hair on the beach for years and it’s so simple. With natural hair braided, twisted, or even put into a bun, there’s no need to worry about unnecessary tangling. Just note that different protective styles need different kinds of maintenance.
ALWAYS wash afterwards
No matter what you do, ALWAYS wash your hair after going to the beach or pool. The combination of product, sweat, sand, and salt/ chemically treated water needs to be removed as soon as possible.
Use a clarifying shampoo (or black soap – my personal favorite), to thoroughly clean your hair and restore it back to normal. Follow up with deep conditioning and the LOC method.
The beach can be fun for us naturals too! Simply planning ahead can stop us from having to worry about our hair and worry about what’s important – enjoying ourselves!