|You better not wet my hair!|
Nat King Cole crooned it best in his song, “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer,” a time when people look forward to doing everything or nothing, all in the name of fun and relaxation. For many, it is a time to travel. It is also a good time to finally finish that book you have been reading, catch up on old movies, visit family, work on other projects or sit on the porch with a tall glass of lemonade or sweet tea as you curse winter. Summer usually find us throwing caution to the wind, going for some spice in our life or simply chillin’. I always say, people who take after the legendary hip hop artists, MC Lyte, Milk Dee and Giz like to chill!
Yes, summertime is good and the living is easy, but not if you have to continuously stress about your hair. When people who are hair obsessed realize summer is fast approaching, they begin to make all kinds of commitments and plans on how this summer will be different. They come up with new rituals for their summer hair care routine. Of course, they want to have all the summer fun they can squeeze in, but fritting and fretting about their hair always seems to be a heavy cost they have to pay. Between the heat and the thought of having to go near water, people (especially women) are consumed with outright fear. For them, the very thought of having their hair in the summer heat or even in water will have them turning into Gizmo from the 1984 fantasy horror movie, Gremlins.
What is it about the summer heat and the water that scares these "Gizmo Scared Haired" people? Well, whether you recall the movie Gremlins or not, here is a little trivia. In the movie, the Gremlins were all very nice and sweet. But, there are three key things you can never do to a Gremlin. One: They cannot be in sunlight or hot lights. Two: Water for Gremlins is absolutely, positively out of the question and Three: Gremlins can have no food after midnight. Hmm, sound, familiar? Minus the no feeding after midnight part, the "Gizmo Scared Haired" people have numbers one and two in common with the Gremlins. Two out of three is not bad. So…I affectionately name people who are afraid of the sun and water during the dog days of summer after the main Gremlin character: Gizmo.
Listen up my "Gizmo Scared Haired" people! There is no need to fear the heat of the sun, or any light for that matter, when it comes to your hair. The sun is actually extremely good for hair. YES, I said that! Of course, basking in the sun does come with precautions.
Now, what are a few ways you can turn your hair into "sun friendly hair?” Easy. The first thing is to know your hair. Then, know you, know your time, know your budget and know what makes you feel confident.
For many, the sun poses a threat because the heat that emanates from the sun can wreak havoc on
hair, its color, style, texture and scalp. The easy resolve to contend with sun on your hair is to:
▪ Use a small amount of sunscreen on your hair and scalp.
▪ Wear a hat to protect your scalp and hair color.
▪ When wearing your wash-n-wear style, ditch the diffuser and allow the sun to dry your
curls, kinks, waves or Afro naturally. When prepped right, your hair will glisten.
▪ For wash-n-wear hair styles, use an ample amount of your favorite styling agent to help form texture and hold the style.
▪ Leave-In Conditioners infused with proteins made of keratin, soy, wheat or quinoa ensures your hair texture will remain intact.
▪ Be sure to use the right comb. The wider the teeth on the comb, the more microscopic tears you will have in the individual strands of your hair, thus making your hair more susceptible to sun damage.
Next up for the "Gizmo Hair Scared" people is water. The first thing I want to do is assure you that you will not turn into Gizmo or a Gremlin if you get your hair wet. I also want to say for those of you who travel abroad to exotic waters, oceans, seas, lakes, private beaches and what not…please get your hair wet. You should not deny the dominant connection of your hair, scalp, body and spirit to its home—Mother Earth/Nature.
Here are the reasons why:
▪ Water from the ocean/sea is very purifying for hair and skin.
▪ Water from the ocean/sea detoxes hair and skin.
▪ Water from the ocean/sea is rich in vitamins and minerals.
▪ Regular shampoo easily washes away the salt and residue from hair.
▪ A vinegar and water mix neutralizes mineral (salt) deposits left behind in minutes.
▪ Dipping your hair into the water feels amazing.
If you are concerned about the manageability of your hair upon getting it wet, here a few things you can do to reduce the likelihood of tangled "Gizmo Scary Hair."
▪ Braid your hair to keep it from matting.
▪ Wet your hair with tap water FIRST before getting into any body of water. Hair can only
absorb one chemical at a time. Since tap water also has minerals, it will deposit those minerals into the hair thus reducing the likelihood of absorbing even more minerals from the ocean/sea water.
▪ Using a leave in conditioner with the right comb ensures "ouch-free" combing for Gizmo people.
|Milk to the left and Giz to the right|
As you can see, the summer madness in hair care is fueled by lack of preparation and anxiety. Don't let the summer drive you mad about your hair. Like the Gremlins, all you have to do is take a few precautions before getting into the sunlight and water. If you proceed with caution, there is nothing to fear. Be wise when it comes to your hair. Be prepared. Have your hair necessities with you wherever you go. Remember: No one has hair like you. Your hair is like your fingerprint: no one else can match it. When you accept your hair’s unique fabric and do what the fabric calls for, you will be happy like the other Giz....chillin' and top billin'!