- Always wear a sunscreen for your hair & skin.
- Always saturate the hair before swimming.
- Headscarfs & Hats are a must, they protect the hair from the aggressions of the environment and look super cute.
- Do not be afraid of silicones, they do help protect your hair just make sure to remove them well after the holiday is over.
- Cowash if you intend to use the pool or swim at the beach for several days in a row.
- Keep at hand a spray bottle with either water only or water mixed with your fave conditioner.
- Take a travel kit with a few curl essentials either repack in small travel bottles your holy grails or buy one with a full set of products. I will try to review my favorite travel kit on a future blog post.
There are many ways to saturate the hair before swimming
1. Water only: this is particularly useful when using public pools where conditioner might not be allowed and/or as a courtesy to fellow swimmers.
2. Apply deep conditioner before swimming or any kind of conditioner for that matter just let it get absorbed into the hair and coat it very well. I like Aussie hair 3 minute reconstructor because it's a good one for on the go.
3. Seal with oil before swimming so that way you reduce the amount of external agents that can enter the hair shaft, you can saturate with water 1st and then seal or just seal with oil if you like (I don't do this as I use products with silicones that have a similar function but I think it is not a bad idea)
After Sun Hair Care
Apply a good conditioner right after swimming even if you don't wash or cowash your hair right after your swim, this step will prevent your hair from drying out more until the time that you do so and at the beach it would give you a very nice "summery look" and maintaining hydration while you enjoy the sunny days by the pool or at the beach.
Once back home
Clarify with a deep cleansing shampoo I like kinky curly come clean and if this step is not enough you can also use clay masks such as bentonite clay to remove any traces of product and keep your scalp clean and free from build up.
Deep condition as soon as you get back home, and more frequently 2 times a week would be ideal, your curls will thank you for that.
Consider down a protein treatment if your curls are still feeling off balance after cleansing deeply & frequent deep conditioning.
It seems like a lot to do but you can pick & choose how to protect your hair, this is just a collection of things I have found useful and I hope they can help you too.
About the wash:
Prepoo/Detangle with a conditioner with good slip, I used L'oreal Botanicals Fresh Care Camelina.
Massage scalp with a shampoo brush.
Alfa Parf Volumizing shampoo, focusing on the roots and avoiding piling up the hair on top of the head.
Alfa Parf Volumizing conditioner for about 3 minutes
Then applied more conditioner while still in the shower using the squish and condish method, in which you take soaking wet hair and scrunch in conditioner without rinsing out so it works like a leave in conditioner, you should hear a squish-squish squishy sound. The idea behind this is that the water provides the hydration pulling the conditioner along with it into the hair fibres.
About Styling wet in the shower:
Without removing the excess water I applied all my styling products with my head flipped upside down.
First a primer like condition & sculpt from Jane Carter Solution which helps to set your curls but without weighing them down which is important when going for really big hair.
Then applied a small amount of Jane Carter solution curl defining cream specially in the lower layers and scrunched very well with my hands.
This seems a bit complicated but honestly it was quite fast, the whole process took no more than 15 minutes.
About the Drying:
I carefully scrunched some more with a soft tshirt, this removes excess product and water, you can also use a microfiber towel; just make sure it is a soft fabric as this step can encourage too much frizz, this big hair routine takes advantage of frizz but it also needs some curl definition to work at least for me.
After tshirt scrunching I set my curls using a hair dryer with a Remington diffuser attachment in low heat alternating with cool temperature to set some of the curls, then progressed to with long fingers using medium heat alternating with cool and finally removed the attachment and used only medium heat.
At about 60% dry I sprayed Shea Moisture yucca & baobab Volumizing Moisture Mist for fine thin hair focusing on the roots, I find that if I use a Volumizing mist, I can really give that extra hold to my hair strands so they go up and stay up.
I continued drying the roots using my deva fuser attachment low speed/low heat until 90% dry and then finished off by removing all diffusers and drying at medium heat/low speed and finishing with a cool blast all over.
About the Volume:
Once the hair is 100% dry you can use a hair pik to increase the volume of the top layer, you can encourage frizz if you do it vigorously (this is how I do it) or preserve the curls if you go more delicately, just make sure it is 100% dry or you wont be able to control the desired texture. I also used my fingers to fluff some more. I used a pea size amount of nourish & shine to not frizz to much while fluffing.
I have high density, fine-medium thickness, low porosity hair and it is quite frizz prone so this routine also allows to take advantage of the frizz for a lot of volume while still retaining some curl definition.
FYI: I have a layered cut with short layers on top to be able to create a voluminous final result and long layers in the back.
….And that's it big hair for short-medium length hair in less than an hour!
If you have any questions or comments please let me know, I'd like to hear from you. I preferred to take a video so you could see the texture but for more pictures & routines feel free to visit my IG: The Hair Lab