Summer is here, meaning it’s time to make a few changes to your little one’s daily and weekly hair care routine. If you live in a fairly moderate climate you may not need to change much but if your curly kid will be swimming or playing outside in hot, humid, or direct sunlight these tips will help to keep their natural hair healthy and moisturized.
Find A Cute Hat Or Two
Hats don’t work with every hairstyle, but if your little one will be playing outside in the direct sunlight for more than an hour—invest in a cute hat or two. If not a hat, maybe an African head wrap. This will protect their curls from the drying direct sunlight. As an added bonus it will provide a bit of shade for their face, but don’t forget the sunscreen.
At the very least, keep your kid’s excited about their natural hair with a few new bright and summery hair accessories.
Apply Coconut Oil Before Fun In The Sun
If you don’t have a hat on hand, they won’t keep their hat on, or a hat doesn’t work with their hairstyle—apply a protective coat of unrefined coconut oil. Coconut oil only provides mild SPF protection, but the oil will coat their hair protecting it from dry heat and direct sunlight. If your child’s hairstyle has a part, apply a thin layer of sunscreen to avoid scalp burn. If their scalp or skin burns while out having summer fun apply aloe vera.
Use A Daily Leave-In Conditioner
Leave-in conditioner is perfect for little ones who won’t sit long enough for you to condition their hair after shampooing. They are also perfect for adding a bit more moisture to natural hair in dry environments. This includes cold and dry weather, dry heat, and even the dry air of air conditioning. You can use your leave-in conditioner daily as part of the LOC method or apply it after playing in direct sunlight.
Carry A DIY Spray Conditioner With You
Summer is about being spontaneous so you may not plan to be out in the sun. This is why it is always good to carry a DIY conditioning spray with you, and maybe a travel-sized bottle of coconut oil. This could be part of the seasonal kit that you keep in the glove compartment or trunk. In the summer your kit should contain a wide-tooth comb, the DIY leave-in below, a few headbands or hair elastics, sunscreen, and year-round essentials like hand sanitizer, wipes, and a mini first aid kit.
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 3 tablespoons curly kids conditioner
Add to a spray bottle and shake. Feel free to add a bit more conditioner, but not too much or it won’t spray. Apply after fun in the sun to remoisturize their hair. You can also spray it in after they go swimming for a quick detangle before you head home to wash.
Embrace The Humidity
When it comes to daily hairstyling, don’t fight the inevitable frizz that occurs in humidity—embrace it! Use a curly hair product to smooth and hold but teach your child to celebrate their natural hair by rocking a full-on afro or afro puffs. If you occasionally flat iron their hair, rethink straight styles during the summer months. Between the heat and their increased outdoor activities, straight styles won’t last as long.
Mix Up Their Hairstyles
Pulled back hairstyles are easier in the summer as it’s cooler than wearing their hair down and their hair won’t get in the way as they play. Just be mindful that you don’t style their hair in the same pulled back style every day, or the sun will always hit in the same spots—increasing the odds of damage and breakage. So, mix up their ponytail placement, create a series of pigtails, use a wide headband, and as apply coconut oil to protect their hair when out in the sun.
Swimming Without Drying Their Hair
Swimming is one of the joys of summer, but chlorine and saltwater can dry and damage their natural curls. While freshwater isn’t as damaging, you’ll still need to shampoo their hair after they swim to remove particles. Not to worry because with a proactive approach your kids can hop in the water without damaging their curls. Just follow the tips below.
- Find a super cute swim cap with a fun cartoon character or even shark fins.
- If you can, wet their hair before they jump in the water. This will minimize the amount of chlorine and saltwater absorbed by their hair.
- Coat their hair in coconut oil to protect it from the chlorine or salt.
- Braid their hair or place it in a protective style to minimize tangling.
- When they hop out of the water, dry their hair with a microfiber beach towel to minimize breakage.
- If you aren’t heading straight home after they swim, spray in a leave-in conditioner to moisturize and detangle with a wide-tooth comb.
- Shampoo when they get home to wash out the chlorine, salt, or freshwater particles. Even if you have already shampooed their hair this week, it’s a must after swimming.
Revised Shampoo Schedule
Shampooing too frequently can dry and damage natural hair. While every 7 to 10 days is standard, you will need to revise your child’s shampoo schedule during the summer months. As mentioned earlier, you will need to shampoo after they swim, unless they wore a swim cap and their hair stayed dry. You will also need to shampoo their hair when their scalp is oily or sweaty. Kids play outdoors a bit more in the summer, so you will need to shampoo if they have sand or any other debris in their hair. To minimize damage, especially if you are shampooing before their scheduled time, co-wash—by using their conditioner to cleanse instead of their shampoo.
Fro Babies covers all your hair care needs with a full line of curly kids hair care products for kids as young as 12 months old!