The importance of proper women hair care is more than rocking a pretty style. It means taking the best care of your hair whether it’s relaxed, natural, short, long, or any variation in-between. As summer begins to fade, the intense heat and penetrating sun may have caused damage to your hair. Chlorine, ocean water, a multitude of hair products and neglect all must come to an end. As we wait for fall we need to get our hair ready for the change.
Just as you prep your hair before styling, there is a prepping of hair before fall takes hold and the temperatures begin to dip. I’m talking about doing a few end-of-summer-hair-care-tips that I’ve been using for years and find it quite useful as the weather changes. This is just a few steps to take to repair what summer may have done and get those tresses in shape for fall and winter.
Enlist the help of the Pre Poo
Pre-poo: a treatment done BEFORE shampooing your hair to help against hair stripping by shampoos and to aid in detangling.
The pre poo is the first step in proper hair moisturization. A pre poo also helps with detangling so the sessions are shorter and more productive. The best pre-poos are are usually natural ingredients like oils, creams and some fruits that are beneficial to hair health, such as avocado. Pre-pooing is very helpful if you constantly have to battle with your hair while detangling it due to a dry or brittle texture.
I know many love step by step instruction so here’s a really simple and quick how to on the pre-poo.
- Using your favorite hair oil, conditioner and any other calming natural ingredient you use in your hair, make your own blend of pre-poo that would work best for you. A simple mix that works well is coconut oil plus your conditioner.
- Divide your hair into four sections an evenly apply your pre-poo through these sections.
- Cover your hair using a plastic cap and let it sit for 10- 30 minutes, depending on how much time you have.
- Rinse your hair and go ahead with your regular washing routine.
Wash hair with a Clarifying Shampoo
A clarifying shampoo is a ultra-cleansing shampoo that remove all traces of dirt, product build-up and needed for removing hard water deposits and chlorine. They are relatively new to many black women but so are a lot of products that we didn’t even realize we needed just like heat protectant. Clarifying shampoos are just deep cleaning shampoos that work extra hard to rid hair of all the bad stuff.
Well, for one, they rid hair of all the extra gunk, dirt, pollutants, metals and chlorine that comes in contact with our hair. They may not be needed for every wash but when hair needs that extra cleaning, it’s time to pull out the big guns. Shampoos can be harsh to our natural and delicate strands because they often remove all the oils and moisture they need.
Deep condition with heat
While we all should be deep conditioning (DC) on every single washday (I see some of you lowering your eyes), as we embark on cooler and drier temps, we need to up our DC game. Adding heat to your DC increases the effectiveness of the nourishing and moisturizing ingredients in your DC. Heat also help open the cuticle allowing the DC to penetrate the hair shaft and impart all the nutrients an goodness our strands need to stay stronger and healthier.
Apply your deep conditioner after shampooing the hair, concentrating on the ends (the oldest parts of the hair). Leave the conditioner in your hair for about 30 minutes, and the best way to add heat is by using a thermal cap like the Hot Head Thermal Cap or sit under a soft bonnet hair dryer like the Laila Ali Soft Bonnet Ionic Hair Dryer. Both will get the job done and allow you to move around while you DC.
Try a great hair mask
Just as you make sure to use a mask to rejuvenate your face, a mask for your hair is wonderful to prep it for fall. You can create your own hair mask or buy one over the counter and I have to say both methods are very effective. Hair masques are typically formulated to be much thicker than traditional deep conditioners. A heavy dosage of conditioning ingredients such as butters, oils, quats (quaternium-; detangling agents) and silicones are combined to create a masque with ultra-hydrating and reparative properties. These products can be used interchangeably with deep conditioners, but they shouldn’t be used as frequently.
That’s a good thing because they can be more expensive but according to Rita Hazan, celebrity hair colorist and owner of Rita Hazan Salon in New York. “It costs more to use good ingredients, so the difference between luxury and mass market products will be the amount of ingredients within the formula.” That basically means spend more for a good mask but use less often and the cost will be completely worth it.
Here are a few over the counter hair masks that are inexpensive but super effective:
If you prefer to go the DIY route you will LOVE this video by BiancaReneeToday. She shares how to create a hair mask using natural ingredients to help with dry natural hair and hair growth. Her recipe contains avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, egg, honey and banana!
Not all of these steps need to be completed in one day but you can check out my End Of Summer Wash Natural Hair Routine over at Seriously Natural that I recommend as well. I also have an amazing Bentonite Clay, Seasonal Hair Detox that I used for spring that you can use to get hair ready for fall and winter. These end of season wash routines help hair if you’ve been sort of neglectful the previous season but let’s not make a habit of trying to catch up on good hair care! Making an end of season treatment for your hair should be to get hair ready for the new weather and NOT about trying to fix past transgressions.
As we get ready for the holiday season, get your hair in shape the right way. I’ll be doing the Bentonite clay seasonal detox in a few weeks and will make sure to share some pics of the routine. Let’s all bring in fall with excellent hair care practices Newbies!