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FEATURES Jun 7 2013 7:04AM

Healthy Hair Regimen for Summer Growth

By  Merary Soto : www.maneconcern.com
Summer of 2011, I learned I was moving south, really south to Argentina.  Needless to say I had a host of emotions, I was going to miss my friends, my city and my routine but I was excited and ready for a new adventure.   Like most women I started freaking out about my products and what to take with me.  My amazing best friend gifted me with 4 huge bottle of cleansing cream for my hair which I knew I wouldn’t find out there, I had no winter in sight for a year and rather than packing styling creams for my temperamental curls, I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and work on growing my hair.
 I actually made a calendar and made a successful commitment to growing my hair.  Note that I trimmed my hair before starting this process.
It’s not that your hair doesn’t grow in the winter. The reason the summer is known as a time to grow your hair is because the humidity allows for less breakage and more moisture retention. The winter makes your hair more brittle and dry, requiring more frequent trimming and conditioning.   Here are some hair summer tips to help maximize growth and get your hair and scalp to optimal health.
Scalp:   Hair can’t grow to its fullest potential if the scalp is clogged. Styling products and frizz fighters build up and clog the scalp.  During the summer you don’t have to oil your scalp as you are less likely to have dry scalp.  Instead applying oils to your scalp opt for an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.   If your scalp is still a little flaky during the summer (usually happens if you chemically treat hair with color) Use less than a teaspoon of Jojoba oil mixed with 2 drops of peppermint oil. Lightly massage your scalp (mimicking a shampoo massage).    Make sure you use enough oil to lightly wet your fingertips once. On days you will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, wear a hat and protect your scalp from sunburn.
Hair:  I know it can be exciting to get the right curl pattern and you wish you can just keep its perfection over a week but you should be washing your hair at minimum 3 times a week. Summer styling products are heavy and are made to use lightly not layer with days and days of use. Layering styling products can weaken the strand and cause the hair to break.  Rather than adding more products, spritz your hair with a little H20.  Water will not cause frizz, it will wet and curl.  Frizz is a result of not properly moisturized hair being exposed to humidity.   A little water can activate your leave in conditioner and not cause frizz.  If you are worried about frizz, change your shampoo.  Instead of washing with harsh shampoos, opt for a daily cleansing cream which will help with moisture retention and you will notice less frizz and breaking after a few washes. 
Common summer hair don’ts: Don’t pull your hair up into a bun when it’s wet.  Don’t use conditioner as leave in conditioner.  Don’t go into beach or pool water without wetting your hair with fresh water.  All of these common mistake lead to breakage.  As much as you can; take a heat- break for the summer; less flat ironing and blow drying.  Take a look for more tips on beach and pool care:.
Internal Health:  During the summer months I am a million times more social.  I love happy hours and weekend getaways.  Which unless you count the fruit in my sangria as a healthy meal, it’s fair to say I am having too much fun to commit to perfect nutrition.  Instead of beating myself up, I drink a lot of water, take a daily vitamin B complex, and pick at least 1 day a week in which I commit to complete balance, loads of veggies, water, and tea. No exception.   What does this have to do with the hair growth plan?  Everything.  It is impossible to grow healthy hair without proper nutrition.   Vitamin B and C are great all year round but especially in the summer.  We lose a lot of vitamin B12 when we consume alcohol, a B complex will not only replenish B-12, and it will help with hangovers and supply you with biotin and other hair strengthening hair vitamins.
Sample of my Summer Hair Growth plan:
Monday: Morning wash with cleansing cream.  No deep condition.  Use Leave in and sun protection oil.  Take Vitamin B with breakfast, Take Vitamin C with lunch.
Tuesday: No wash in the morning, spray with water.  If it’s not perfect, braid and style. No styling products. In the evening massage: Jojoba and Peppermint before bed for 5 mins. Take Vitamin B with breakfast. Take Vitamin C with lunch.   Healthy eating day, no exception.  No booze, lots of water, no coffee only tea.
Wednesday: Morning wash with cleansing cream.  No deep conditioning.  Leave in/ Sun Protection oil only on ends.  Take Vitamin B with breakfast, Take Vitamin C with lunch.
Thursday: No wash in the morning.   Massage at night. Take Vitamin B with breakfast, Take Vitamin C with lunch.
Friday: Morning wash with cleansing cream, use conditioner for 5 mins.  Rinse thoroughly and proceed with styling.  Take Vitamin B with breakfast, Take Vitamin C with lunch.
Saturday: No wash; oil massage at night.
Sunday: Shampoo with clarifying shampoo, rinse well, rinse with apple cider vinegar, deep conditioner, rinse. I use a small amount of leave in, air dry or diffuser 
So mark your calendar, be kind to yourself, your body.  Get to know your hair and appreciate its reaction to warm weather, and rather than buying products to tame frizz; moisturize from within, strengthen and make the most out of the warm weather months.
With warmth, health and beauty,  

Merary Soto is the creator and writer of Mane Concern:  www.maneconcern.com, a blog space dedicated to hair and scalp nutrition for women of all hair textures.


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