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:
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.