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ASK Mocha Mom: Summer Hair



I received a question on the fanpage too long to answer in that tiny box we get. I've decided to start an ASK Mocha Mom feature to this blog. I'll still answer your questions in the comments, but if I don't have a blog post I can refer you to, or my answer is too involved I'll answer you like this so we can all benefit from the discussion. Here's Pam's question:

CMD, how does the texture of hair change with the change of seasons? We are going into warmer months and I was wondering what does that mean in relationship to my daughter's hair?

Good question Pam!

Her texture won't change but her hair will certainly behave differently if the climate where you live changes in the summer. The primary factors are heat and moisture. Hair is dead, but you'd think it's alive because of the way it reacts to water. I'm sure you've noticed that when you wet your daughter's hair, it probably stretches out a little because of the weight of the water, but tends to contract, curl, or shrink up as it dries. This type of action also happens when tightly coiled hair encounters moisture in the environment. If you live in a place where your summers are humid, prepare for you're daughter's strands to
come alive.

Her strands won't suddenly become living organisms, but you'll notice lots more fuzz and frizz as they rise and move towards the moisture in the air. I see Fuzz as the motion of textured hair to move and bend according to it's natural shape in response to moisture.

If your summers are hot but dry, you may notice more dryness in your daughter's hair. Moisture may be sucked from your daughter's strands. We're told to wear sun screen to protect our skin, but exposing our dry hair to the hot rays of the sun can actually be extremely damaging and drying to our strands.

Here are my summer tips:

1.
Embrace the fuzz and freedom! Wet sets including twist-outs and braidouts are great but you may notice a quicker loss of the curl definition you have worked so hard to achieve. Unless you are using an effective holding product, the moisture in the air may make your daughter's strands move away from the shape you've tried to freeze it in. I save myself the trouble by choosing styles that work well with fuzz. My favorite summer style are afro puffs! I think of it as maximizing the poof. I fluff them out with my fingers and since I'm not altering the natural curl pattern of my daughters' strands they looks mostly the same no matter how much moisture they encounter. This is a great time to experiment with your daughter's natural texture. I prefer manipulating their puffs with my fingers to using a pick. If you try using a pick, be sure to apply it to damp hair and finger detangle first. Pick gently from the ends up, just as you would with a comb/brush.

2.
If you want define your daughter's strands with a wet set, accept that it may not last as long as it would in other seasons. Set the hair wet, being sure to lock moisture to the strands with a good oil/butter. Set your style with a good holding product or coat the strands with something that will block moisture from the air temporarily. I find that my shea butter mix works well for this. Be advised that shea butter can make loose hair look a little dull. Castor oil is another good choice. Whatever you choose, use it sparingly to avoid the look of greasy weighed down hair. If anyone wants to chime in about their favorite holding product I'd appreciate it. I typically put the style in without worrying too much about how long the set will last. As it morphs into a more natural afro look I just go with it.

3.
If your climate is hot and dry, imagine that your daughter's hair is perpetually experiencing the stress of having the moisture pulled from her strands. You will have to work to put it back in. Style her hair damp and seal the moisture in with a good oil/butter. If her strands feel dry, you may want to spritz it frequently with an oil and water mix. I'm sure you can find a recipe on YouTube or search nappturality.com (nappy hair forum). I'm personally not much of a spritzer. My daughters get their daily spritzing experience when they bathe. We don't cover our heads with scarves and shower caps. Their styles fuzz up more quickly but I no longer struggle with dry and brittle hair.

4.
Whatever you do with your daughter's hair, make sure she doesn't let her hair stop her from enjoying fun summer activities. If you welcome the fuzz, the shrinkage, the big-ness or tightness of nappy hair, you won't be ruining any of your hard work with water. In fact, water will bring it all to life.

Comments

  1. I love your quote about welcoming the fuzz, shrinkage, and big-ness and water bringing hair to life. Such great advice and one which I will be taking.

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  2. Do you have any recommendations for hair and going to the beach (sand, saltwater, sun, chlorine at the hotel pool)?

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  3. That was such a practical post. Thanks. I've found My Honey Child Type 4 hair creme/butter works well for twist outs here in the humid tropics. It would probably be to heavy for me in a drier climate. Also a little goes a long way when using it on each section as you twist.

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  4. Thanks for posting. I love #4--not letting it stop you from enjoying summer. So much good information as always. That's why I LOVE CMD!

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  5. Thanks carpenters!

    @revjenn Thanks for your question. I DO have a couple of posts about the pool because we swim a lot! Just follow my label (to the left of this page) called "nappy hair and the pool"

    @Dr.D Thanks for the products rec.!

    @Pam You're welcome! I thought it was a great question.

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  6. Jasmine

    Hey,I love your blog.. i can across it last night and i filled in luv with it. I have a 2 yr son and 7 month girl and the info you displayed is very helpful. I had some questions:: Where did you get your castor oil, jojoa oil??? And what brand??? I dont have a trader joe's where i stay so what a gub castle soap??? Can i put the cond you recommend in my 7mo old hair???

    p.s. Im sorry i had to put annoymous i dont have any of these account, but i might make me a blog..

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome Jasmine! I got my castor and jojoba oil from a local health food store but I also get a smaller bottle of castor oil from Walmart--brown bottle. You'll find it with the laxatives. What's on the label matters more than brand. Make sure you are getting castor oil and nothing else. I also buy Jojoba at Trader Joe's--but if you have a Whole Foods near you--same story maybe a little more expensive. Also try a health food store near you. It's not so much your daughter's age I'd be worried about when choosing products so much as how her hair responds. I avoid harsh chemicals but I've noticed hair needs vary from head to head. You'll have to experiment and see what happens.

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  8. Thanks Mocha Mom for responding back... I currently use ra black soap as a shampoo and shea butter with evoo... I just dont want to use snything harsh that will break her hair... SHe has good hair, but she has the bold spot in the back aswell. when did you start useing the castile soap snd those cond??


    jasmine

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  9. Trader Joe's Castille soap is discontinued. I've never tried the other (Bronner's) brand. Some people love it, some people say it's not PH balanced for hair. I use Trader Joe's Refresh shampoo and Trader Joe's Nourish Spa on the girls. I clarify with suave naturals clarifying shampoo. There's no age limit on the products I use. I used all of the above from the beginning by adding about a quarter size amount of shampoo to 6 oz of water in a spray bottle. Check out my post on shampoo--if you know what to avoid you can walk into any store and find what you need. You can find it by following the label for shampoo on the left side of this page.

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  10. thank you so much for your time


    jasmine

    ReplyDelete
  11. Gosh this is an awesome blog. Thanks for putting so much time and effort into writing all this.
    I love how you care for your daughter's hair so lovingly. Such a great way to bond.
    And thanks for all the tips. I learned something new today.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Natacha, my name is Harmony. I tried to find the "Ask Mocha Mom" section of your blog but I could not find it. So, that's why I'm just commenting on this post.

    I check your blog often and you are SUCH a help to me with my daughter's hair. My little Megan is 21 months old right now and I need some help. When she is this young she has enough hair on the back of her head that it looks bad if I put puffs on the rest of her head, but not the back. But, I struggle because if I put in the puffs on the back, then I know she will not be confortable when she sleeps. Also I get worried that the puffs are too tight. I have read about the bumps on the head being an indicator that they are pulled too tight, but when I look at her head it's not that there are bumps, but the skin actually looks tight. Obviously she cannot communicate if it hurts, and I guess I just want to be on the safe side. I have seen lots of mothers pull the hair very tight and they claim that it is perfectly fine as long as there are no bumps. What do you think?

    My other question is: do you worry about putting puffs on the back of your daughters' heads in the fear that they will be unfomfortable when they sleep? Do you just wait until they don't take naps any more to do this? Or should I not worry about it if she uses a pillow?


    I hope this made sense. Thank you for all the time you spend to educate the rest of us. You are such a blessing and I have to say that your family is absolutely gorgeous!!!

    ReplyDelete

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