The Definitive Guide to Curly Hair During Summer—From Three Top Industry Pros

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Depending on the forecast, summer can be the best—or worst—of times for curly hair. And there’s always one question: Is the humidity friend or foe? On the one hand, it can galvanize your curl pattern and take volume to new heights. On the other, it can compromise definition by causing coils to unfurl. And then there’s the exposure to harmful UV rays and drying chlorine or salt water, which can put hair health at risk. From protecting spirals amid the elements to game-changing styling techniques, here three hair pros create the blueprint for glossy, full-bodied ringlets all summer long.

Protect Against the Elements

Just as it’s harmful to your skin, prolonged exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can damage the cuticle, the outermost layer of the hair, which makes holding a curl more difficult. “In the summer, your activities change and if you’re exposed to more sun, you have to protect your hair accordingly,” says natural hair expert Stacey Ciceron, who was tapped by Oribe to expand its Moisture & Control range to include products for tighter curl textures. Ciceron also calls attention to chlorine, a sanitizing agent added to swimming pools that can strip the hair of its natural protective oils, as well as salt water, which can dehydrate the hair. Limiting exposure is ideal, but when you are relaxing by the pool or spending a long day at the beach, cover hair with a hat or head scarf, and use products with thermal and UV protectants, says Ciceron. She also suggests giving curls a break by styling them into protective styles (“what we call ‘vacation hair’ in the natural community,” says Ciceron), such as braids, twists, wigs, or weaves.

(infused with hydrating almond and coconut oils), are essential to “put moisture back in the hair,” explains Ciceron. In addition to masking, using a supercharged leave-in conditioner will not only keep hair healthy, but also help curls withstand any dampness in the air. “When hair gets frizzy, it reacts by looking for moisture in the air,” she explains. “To combat humidity, add more moisture and seal it in with [a nourishing] gel, butter, or mousse.”

has even more appeal during the summer, when you’re likely to wash your hair more often. “It’s wonderful for gently cleansing and locking in moisture between regular shampoos,” says François.

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