4 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Natural Hair in Hot Summer Weather

Yes, you need UV protection for your hair, too.

Tips to Maintain Your Natural Hair This Summer
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Whether you're fortunate enough to live somewhere that's warm year-round, or temperatures are just starting to rise where you are, listen up: Your skin and your natural hair need extra attention during the warmer months.

While the sun doesn't magically go away in the winter, the UV index is higher during the summertime. That, along with the fact that the air itself is hotter and more humid during this time of year, you'll need to be extra vigilant when it comes to keeping your delicate strands moisturized and protected.

And since many of us have been locked inside since quarantine started in March 2020, it's safe to assume that most folks will be outside and spending more time in the sun that ever. That's why we tapped both Brendnetta Ashley, artist educator at The Salon by InStyle Inside JCPenney, along with celebrity hairstylist, author, and creator of the Texture Style Awards Monaé Everett to get some insight on natural haircare during the summer months.

So get your notepad ready, we're giving you all of their expert tips, ahead.

What Do I Need to Be Most Mindful Of When It Comes To Haircare This Summer?

Both Ashley and Everett agree on this one: the girls need to be focused on combatting dryness. "With warmer weather it is harder for your hair to maintain moisture," says Ashley.

One way to do it? Using products to lock in hydration while your hair is wet or damp. But if you're reaching for an oil, just be careful of which one you're applying to your hair.

"Heavy oils like castor oil can sit on the hair and get greasy instead of penetrating the hair shaft and moisturizing the hair," explains Everett. "The hot summer sun mixed with heavy oils can add to dry, yet greasy, looking hair."

Instead, she suggests going for something lighter, like argan or jojoba oil.

What Are Some Products or Treatments That Can Keep My Hair Its Healthiest During Summer?

Good news: There are a ton of great options.

"I am a huge fan of the Ouidad Curl Immersion Triple Treat Deep Conditioner," Everett shares. "It's very moisturizing and helps seal the ends. I also love the Ouidad Mongongo Oil Multi Use Curl Treatment, because it is a light oil I can use for shine without weighing down the hair, it's a UV protectant as well which is so important in the summer. And it helps control frizz."

Ashley likes Design Essentials Platinum Ultra Moisturizing Hair Mask, which she says is great for maintaining hydration. She also recommends the Mizani Coconut Souffle Light Moisturizing Hairdressing Cream for styling.

"You can braid with this or use for your twist-out styles," she adds.

VIDEO: 4 Natural Hair Growth Tips From Childhood That You Should Be Using Now

Should I Be Getting Trims This Summer?

Yes, but not just during the summer — you should be doing this year-round.

"While so many naturals are trying to grow their hair longer it's important to trim your hair," explains Everett. "If you want to maintain the length you have, trim every six to eight weeks. If you want to grow your hair longer, then go no more than eight to 10 weeks between trims."

In other words, let those raggedy ends go, girl. It's worth it — promise.

Anything Else I Need to Keep In Mind?

Glad you asked, because yes. Remember that hair health isn't just about using the right products, it's also about nourishing your hair from the inside out.

"Nothing moisturizes the skin and hair like drinking water," Everett reminds us. And when it's hot outside? You already know you need to be extra-vigilant about your hydration.

Try to get in around half a gallon a day. Our wellness editor says this one water bottle makes that super easy for her to achieve.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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