How to Keep Natural Hair Moisturized in Dry Heat

Natural Hair + Dry Air = Disaster. Or does it?

Article also available on Black Girl with Long Hair!

June is almost over, and July is well on it's way! For many ladies, this means humidity, and fighting a losing battle against a seemingly endless supply of moisture in the air. Wash and go's shrink, twist-outs turn to puffs, and you can forget about straight hair.

I really do sympathize with you ladies that must contend daily with the dewy air. But I live in LA, and I can seriously only identify two days since the beginning of my transition in 2012 where humidity was a problem. That doesn't mean things are all easy peasy for me, and that I'm just over here walking on sunshine. There are elements that ladies like myself are dealing with too -- like incredibly dry air.

Chronically dry air = chronically dry hair. Check out these 4 tips for retaining moisture and keeping hair soft in the dry summer heat:

1. No half stepping!
Just like most ladies have to work extra hard to retain moisture in the winter, ladies in dry climates have to put forth the same effort during the summer. Make sure you pre-poo regularly, with a penetrating and moisturizing oil, conditioner, or combination thereof. My personal picks are coconut oil, and this combo. Also, be vigilant about deep conditioning -- every single time you wash your hair. Even if it's only for 12 minutes in the shower while you get ready for the day. For a powerful deep conditioning session that won't take all day, try Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea Hair Mask, Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask, and Hydratherma Naturals Amino Plus Protein Deep Conditioner.

2. Seal underneath stylers.

A simple swap in layering of products has been a game changer for me. Previously (for my wash and go styling), I would layer my leave-in conditioner first, my moisturizer/hair lotion second, then my styling product third. Then, I would seal it all in with an oil or butter blend. Now that I've moved where the oil or butter goes in (I caught this tip in a frizz-fighting video from LipsticknCurls), my moisture retention is through the roof! My hair feels so much softer, and I find myself refreshing and re-hydrating less.

2. Trade in gels for creams.

Although there are plenty of amazing gels and jellies that work wonders on natural hair and don't typically cause dryness, I have noticed that in air that lacks moisture (think Vegas) they can make the hair feel dry, rough and brittle. Although cream stylers may not give you 7 or 10 day hair, they tend to mitigate the tumbleweed feeling that dry air causes. Set the Eco Styler aside, and give TIGI Catwalk Curls Rock Amplifier, tgin Twist and Define Cream, Miss Jessie's Pillow Soft Curls, or even Mystic Divine Creations Curl Creme.

4. Keep a travel-sized booster spray.

Admittedly, I've never been a huge fan of refresher sprays. As far as I was concerned, all I needed was a good run through with my Q-Redew, and a few scrunches with oil or a moisturizer. But as temperatures creep up and the sun is out for longer, I am learning that having a good refresher handy is everything in battling against dry air and dry hair! My personal picks in this department aren't labeled as refreshers at all, they are actually two leave-in liquids that are awesomely priced and multi-purposed. Both are long time staples from me, that I have carried with me from my transitioning days. The first is my trusty ApHogee Keratin and Green Tea Restructurizer Spray, and the other is Infusium 23 Pro-Vitamin B5 (aka Repair and Renew) Leave-In Treatment. Both are great as leave-in sprays, have proteins and amino acids for repair and strengthening the hair, and provide UV protection. Just grab a Target travel spray bottle, pour a little in, and carry it in your purse, work, or gym bag! Tip: If you're a Sally Beauty Club Card Member, head there NOW! The Infusium is on sale for $2.19 ($5 off) for 33.8oz through the end of June! Stock up -- I know I did!

How do you keep your hair moisturized when the air is bone dry?