Why do you need summer-specific black hair care tips? The warmer weather, increased humidity, sun-exposure and outdoor activities can take your hair from soft and shiny to brittle and dry. New York City stylist Patrick Wellington spoke to us about the do’s, don’ts, biggest misconceptions and most useful tools women and men should keep in mind to keep their hair looking great all summer long. Wellington, who was born in Jamaica and trained at the industry-recognized John Atchison Hair Salon, has been in the industry for years. Now he owns his own successful salon in Manhattan, the Wellington Hair Spa, where he specializes in black hair. The stylist’s work has also been featured in Essence magazine, so he understands exactly what makes our hair happy. From natural products to the best black hair care regime practices, Wellington gave theGrio his top 12 summer-friendly black hair care tips.
Listen up! We can all use his advice over the next few months. Here are a few simple rules to keep your tresses glowing all season-long.
1. Sunscreens for the hair can protect and nourish.
Hats are the old school way to protect hair from the harsh summer sun. But what’s the latest trend in hot weather hair care? “Hats are always good to protect from the sun. But there are some great products that have chemicals like SPF to protect your hair from the sun’s rays,” Wellington told theGrio. “I like Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny serum and Mizani’s Thermasmooth Smooth Guard Smoothing serum. For women with natural hair, I like Jane Carter’s Nourishing Shine as well. But don’t use daily; I would say use it every three days for sun protection.”
2. Transitioning to natural hair doesn’t have to be a shocker.
“Depending upon the length of the hair, a lot of women do not want to cut all the hair off at once,” Wellington said about using the summer months to transition to natural hair. “So I make a few suggestions. You can blow dry it. You can press the roots. Also, workout out the heaviest when you’re going to come and get your hair done, because you don’t want to work out on Monday morning, knowing that you have to go to work and then the rest of the week you’re struggling with the different textures.” This can certainly help those of us considering doing the “Big Chop” over the summer.
3. Pressing is about trial and error.
“Depending on the texture, it’s a trial and error process,” Wellington explained about opting for this summer style. “Try blowing it out, press it and then wet it to see how it is. Sometimes the press and curl does the same thing [as chemicals] in certain sections. You have to test it to see how your hair responds.” If it works for you, pressing can be an optimal summer coiffure for more formal events.
4. There are great products to keep beards moisturized and full.
“I like this product by Jane Carter called Nourishing Shine that I mentioned before for all sorts of uses. It really, really adds moisture to hair and can be used for beards,” the seasoned stylist told theGrio. “It’s all from nuts, not from petroleum or anything like that. It’s really good for the skin as well. It’s a like a lotion. [Men can] massage it into the beard, because it’s also good for the skin as well.”
5. Understanding oils versus serums.
“I like the serums, because they’re not too oily and you can use them more frequently. Oil is best when you’re hair is totally natural,” he added. “But if you use too much oil when the hair is chemically treated, it will weigh down the hair and get dirty faster. So serums are best for perms.” Serums provide a thin protective layer for hair and are synthetic, while oils are usually naturally derived and much heavier. Experiment to learn which is best for your hair, trying the oils and serums recommended by Wellington.