Just When I Thought I Had My Hair Figured Out...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The weather changes and changes the game. In December of last year, I did my big chop when winter was already in the air. So not only did I have to figure out how to style my newly natural hair, but I also had to figure out how to work with it in the very cold temperatures I live in. Through trial, error and lots of youtube - I learned all about the importance of keeping my hair moisturized at all times - so I got into the routine of conditioning my hair....ALOT.  I learned to avoid using products with glycerin in the lower dew points common during winter so that I would not end up with super-dry, brillo pad, helmet head (I minimized the use of other humectants too in the lower dews, but mainly glycerin). I figured out how to do my wash-and-gos in the evenings so that I didn't have to step out into the cold with wet hair in the mornings. And after trying various products, I even discovered what my favorite go-to wash and go combination of products were.  Basically, I thought I had my hair and my hair regimen all figured out.

As the temps started to warm up, I got so excited about the prospect of not having to be so picky with products with humectants in the ingredients list, as well as finally being able to leave my house with my hair still wet because I would have the luxury of allowing it to air dry. I expected to have to change up my routine a little when the weather got warmer. But what I didn't expect was for my hair to have a mini-identity crisis in the process. And by identity crisis I mean that some of the products that my hair loved when the temps were colder and the dew points were lower didn't seem to be having the same effect on my hair now that the temps were warmer. At one point, I used to be able to reach for a product to use and predict EXACTLY how it would work/react in my hair. But during my little weather-change hair identity crisis.....not so much. I couldn't quite get a handle on the ideal moisture/protein balance for my hair either. And instead of moderate/ideal humidity and dew points like I was hoping for (i.e., dew points that fall anywhere between 30 - 55 degrees), the humidity and dew points where I live were all over the place - but mostly on the higher end of the humidity scale (think high 60s and 70s). Some days my hair was either coming out waaaaay too poofy or way too frizzy, and I wasn't getting the same level of curl definition that I had somehow mastered in the winter. And getting the chance to use products with glycerin or other humectants? Forget about it!

While I still haven't quite figured out how to incorporate products containing glycerin into my regimen (which is super annoying to me because glycerin can be very moisturizing in moderate dews and SOOOO many hair products have glycerin high on their ingredients list....uuugh), I feel like I'm finally starting to get my hair out of identity crisis mode. Not much has changed in my weekly routine - I still wash and deep condition my hair at least once a week, and I still steam my hair when I feel like it needs it. But so far, what has changed significantly are my choice of leave-in conditioners and my current wash-and-go product combination. I also just came across this really helpful article on CurlyNikki's blog about summer curls and understanding dew points, because I am still struggling to master the art (or is it the science) of reaching for the right products for my hair no matter where I am on this dew point/humidity roller coaster.

The moral of the story: No matter what, listen to your hair!

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