Life’s A Beach

Shilpa Bhim
Gritty Pretty

Summer is great for the soul, but not so great for curly and textured hair. Protective hairstyles are here to save the day, so you can live your best carefree summer life.

Summer calls for weekend barbecues, long days at the beach and rocking our natural hair. Easy, breezy and carefree!

Except summer isn’t really the best time for your hair. Sure, we all drop the heat styling tools because who has time for that during an Aussie summer?! But the heat, humidity and harsh UV rays wreak havoc on our hair, especially for anyone with curly and textured hair.

So can you keep your strands in check during summer? With protective hairstyles of course. Gritty Pretty spoke with Milly Ofori, Senior Stylist at Zemura Salon to learn all about protective hairstyles for textured hair, and how to maintain them in the summer.

Protect Your Strands From The Summer Heat And Air

“Protective hairstyles are designed to protect our hair from environmental and climate damage,” explains Ofori. Environmental factors include humidity, which is the amount of water vapour in the air. The more water in the air, the higher the humidity is. Our hair absorbs the moisture in the air and reacts to it. For example, humidity can make your hair wavier, curlier, flat or frizzy. You never know what you’ll get!

Curly and textured hair tends to absorb the moisture in the air more, but it also loses it just as quickly. This causes damage and breakage. Meanwhile, the sun’s UV rays can really dry out your scalp and damage your hair. This includes drying your hair out, reducing its strength and making it more brittle.  

Our hair is really out there fighting the elements! Fortunately, protective hairstyles are here to keep curly and textured hair nourished and moisturised, preventing damage and breakage.

Cornrows And Box Braids For The Win!

Ofori shares that protective hairstyles for textured hair include cornrows and all types of braids (box braids, single braids, knotless braids), twists and wigs.  

“Cornrows and box braids are my absolute favourite for the summertime because they are lightweight, easy to maintain, and also very easy to take and redo.” Lightweight and easy to maintain is definitely a win in the summertime!

Keep Your Strands Extra Nourished

We know that protective hairstyles help keep textured hair protected from environmental and climate damage. But there’s still some extra steps you’ll want to take to make sure your hair stays nourished and happy all summer long.

Ofori recommends washing and air drying your hair really well before styling it. She also suggests using a lightweight oil to maintain your scalp since it’s still exposed to the elements and highlights the importance of treatments. “Doing treatments before and after your protective hairstyle is very important to make sure your hair has the best possible care it can get during that period.”

Don't Be Afraid To Take A Break

Most protective hairstyles can be kept in for around 4 to 6 weeks. The longer you keep a protective hairstyle in, the more build-up you’ll have.

While it can be tempting to go from one protective hairstyle to the next, Ofori’s advice is to take a break.

“Give yourself a break between protective hairstyles. Use that time to do a cut and treatments to maintain your hair and the health of it.”