Protecting Your Curls From The Harsh Summer Elements

June 21, 2014 | LOVE EMBRACE INSPIRE | By Tiffany Nicole

Today is the first day of summer and the need to splash in the water has become indefinite. There are however precautions that naturals should take when dipping in salt water on the beach, and especially chlorine in the swimming pool. Chlorine according to Wikipedia is "a  powerful oxidant and is used in bleaching and disinfectants. As a common disinfectant, chlorine compounds are used in swimming pools to keep them clean and sanitary." So how can it negatively affect natural hair?  Chlorine/salt can cause dryness, breakage and even discolor hair - especially black, chemically treated or relaxed hair. Chlorine/salt can strip the hair of it's moisture and cause hair strands to split causing severe hair damage if not properly prepped. 

So, here are some ways black women whether relaxed or natural can enjoy the pool worry free, while protecting our tresses from the harmful elements of  the sun, salt water and chlorine.

Before the beach or pool....

1.  First things first, wet your hair with tap water before entering the pool
Black hair tends to be naturally porous and tends to absorb a lot of moisture. So saturating your hair with fresh water will leave little room for your hair to absorb chlorinated water.

2. Apply coconut or olive oil to strands...
Coconut oil and olive oil are very moisturizing and penetrates the hair strands to prevent salt and chlorine damage. I have also heard that whether on the beach or in the swimming pool, you can apply a natural hair blocker of UV rays such as Sesame Oil or Neem Oil instead.
   *** Also using a serum would achieve the same result.

3. Apply a light-weight conditioner that contains dimethicone...
Dimethicone creates a temporary barrier by coating your strands and helping to protect your hair from salt and chlorine damage. Tie your hair up in a high bun, twists, braids or use a swim cap. 
   *** Many have said that cones are not good for the hair, but that is only true when it's excessive and built up. Be sure to do step 4..

After the beach or pool.....

4. Thoroughly cleanse hair after pool fun...
Be sure to cleanse hair using a clarifying shampoo. This is important to do immediately after leaving the pool because it is the only way to remove dirt and build up. It is not good to let chlorine dry in the hair, so it's best to immediately shampoo.
    *** Naturals know that washing our hair constantly with clarifying shampoos that are not all natural can actually strip our hair of it's natural oils, leaving the hair very dry an brittle. This is why I only wash my hair with shampoo once a month to remove all of the product build up. So its important to follow up with step 5.

5. Thoroughly deep condition after shampooing....
Deep condition after you have used a clarifying shampoo, this restores the moisture that the shampoo has stripped away. I would highly recommend  using conditioners that are all natural, my personal favorite is Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque or Shea Moisture's Purification Masque.

Hope this was some helpful information for you during this summer season. Happy Swimming!!!!



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