Although summer wasn’t quite what we’d planned, cancelled holiday anyone? We were blessed with a smattering of sun-soaked days which saw many of us escaping lockdown confines to lie out in local parks, beaches and back gardens. Glorious as it was, the sun has a tendency to cause havoc with hair, especially if you’re blessed with a crop of curls. We caught up with Renee Gadar, Global Artistic Director at professional haircare brand Aveda, for tips on how to treat textured tresses post summer.
Why Does Textured Hair Need Extra TLC?
By textured, we mean hair that is not straight. So, it could be anything from loose waves to corkscrew curls, coils, Z-shaped kinks and afro hair. From the outside curls may appear thick and robust, but they are actually very delicate and need to be handled with care. “Textured hair is usually finer as there is less of a protective cuticle layer on the outside,” explains Renee. This makes it more susceptible to UV rays, heat and chemical damage, as it is more penetrable. Textured hair is also likely to be dry; this is because natural oils from the scalp have to navigate the twists and turns of the hair shaft and often don’t make it all the way to the end.
Renee’s Repair Routine
Step 1: Shampoo
“When we’ve been out and about exposing our hair to a lot of sun, and consequently sweat, we tend to over shampoo our hair,” explains Renee. While a thorough lather, rinse, repeat shower session may feel good for the soul it’s not actually all that good for our hair. Over time, shampooing can in fact strip away hair’s natural oils, making it weaker and more susceptible to breakage. To help curls retain their much-needed moisture, resist the urge to shampoo daily.
Instead, leave to alternate days and apply dry shampoo to roots on the days in between. We love Ouai x Byredo Super Dry Shampoo Mojave Ghost – a hair perfume and dry shampoo hybrid that absorbs excess oil and lifts hair off the scalp for covetable curl bounce and volume.
On the days that you do wash your hair, invest in a reparative cleansing system that helps to strengthen and build hair as opposed to stripping it back. Renee explains how Aveda’s new Botanical Repair Strengthening Shampoo works by adding bonds to the hair. “Not only does it strengthen but it also repairs and actually ‘adds’ bonds to the hair,” says Renee. This is due to a plant-derived bond multiplying molecule that goes below the surface of the hair to multiply bonds, strengthening and reinforcing hair integrity at the core.
Step 2: Condition
“When it comes to conditioning curls, it’s really important to find a formula that suits your hair type and texture,” says Renee. Look for something that is lightweight so as not to weigh curls down but also packed with rich natural oils, such as coconut, avocado, almond, marula and camellia, that thirsty curly and afro hair need.
“Oil treatments are good, but make sure they contain natural oils,” recommends Renee, “if you’re wearing a protective style, make sure you regularly oil your scalp and never try and hide your hair for too long. If your hair is out, you can do this by applying it with your fingers and massaging it into the scalp. If your hair is mostly covered with a wig or weave, which can restrict access to the scalp, you can use a baster syringe to apply oil underneath the weave or braids.”
If your hair texture is more wavy, Renee advises using a leave-in conditioner and placing hair in a shower cap while the product is in. “The heat from your scalp will help lift the cuticle up so more nutrients can penetrate.” She explains. Conditioning curls like this will also help with detangling. Aveda’s new Botanical Repair Strengthening Conditioner comprises a nourishing macro green blend of avocado, green tea and sacha inchi, which help to detangle any knots and smooth the hair cuticle to prevent breakage during the washing and drying process.
Wide tooth combs and fingers are the best way to gently separate curls post wash and help reduce tearing or damaging the hair. Take care to gently pat as opposed to rub dry with a low friction hair towel from Aquis. These post wash steps will help to maintain the condition of your curls.
Step 3: Style
If you usually blow-dry or straighten your curls, Renee suggests giving hair a break from heat damage. During the summer months when hair will dry quickly anyway, have a go at air-dry styling. Again, look for lightweight styling products that won’t weigh hair down. Try IGK Rich Kid Coconut Air-Dry Styler– an oil gel formula that’s ideal for fine, textured hair. For best results, apply to the mid-lengths and ends of damp hair and twist into a bun before releasing for soft, frizz-free waves.
Don’t ignore split ends. Now that we’re able to visit hair salons again Renee advises that you get your hair trimmed every six-to-eight weeks. “While some products can help to seal split ends, if the hair is split it will just continue to split up the hair shaft, so prevention is key to maintain healthy hair.”
Step 4: Treat
Renee recommends upping your hair hydration by incorporating a treatment mask into your monthly haircare routine. This additional step can work wonders to rebuild curl strength and structure that has been affected by UV rays and heat damage. We love Briogeo’s Don’t Despair Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask. The blend of rosehip and argan oils, collagen and algae extract work to restore hair’s hydration levels and natural vitality. Why not pop on while you’re in the bath or pottering about the house for half an hour.