Summer means summer camp + swimming. SWIMMING = CHLORINE. CHLORINE can be harsh on NATURAL HAIR!! We tried a swim cap a few years ago so I know for my DD this is a NOT AND OPTION!!!! Her main complaint was the cap was too tight and then I wondered what to do if you are wearing a protective style for swimming. For those looking for a cap for protective styles, I found these caps at Amazon for long hair, locs, and braids.
What are we to do with natural hair? Natural hair exposed to chlorine requires a daily routine for proper maintenance. I figured out this year since camp is 8 weeks we must have a NATURAL HAIR CARE PLAN!!!! Also protective style(2 strand twists, flat twists, bantu knots, coils, braids) help as well.
I decided to do braids for camp. As a NATURALISTA COCOAMOMMY with my COCOABABY who has oodles of thick natural hair. I always scour the web for product suggestions and an overall plan!!! My DD has Type 4C hair(while I have 4b), which is thick/coarse with a tightly packed curl pattern. Here is a great guide from one of my go to sites Naturally Curly Type 4 Hair on Type 4 hair,
Here’s how we will tackle taking care of MY DD NATURAL HAIR while swimming:
I try to give my DD protective styles each month that eliminates adding unnecessary heat. My protective styling may consist of either 2 strand twists or braids. I decided for camp to do braids which should last for at least 2 weeks if not longer.
Day 1 AM routine before camp:
1) Spritz with water and coat with pure unrefined coconut oil (Whole Foods) and Curls Unleashed Leave-In Conditioner(Sally’s and Target). As I have learned no oil can moisturizer the hair without water. Water is essential for my DD’s hair for long-lasting moisture. I squeezed a quarter size amount in my hands and rubbed throughout her braids.
After pick-up from camp I noticed her hair was not dry and brittle. Despite the heat and humidity from the weather. Adding the oil and conditioner really helped to coat the hair and seal in moisture.
Day 1 Evening routine during shower:
2) I had DD rinse conditioner from hair for at least 3-5 minutes and then I added clarifying conditioner to remove chlorine. I thought the clarifying shampoo would cause too much dryness(especially if swimming each day) so I am opting to use a clarifying conditioner. Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Conditioner (Whole Foods). Rinsed out thoroughly.
3) I added Tresemme Naturals (Target) silicone-free conditioner for at least 10 minutes while bathing and rinsed thoroughly. Time is limited in the evening so a 20-30 for deep conditioning is a bit of a challenge. It is kept on her hair until shower is finished. Deep conditioner on Friday is a great idea.
4) Before bed I applied a small amount of 100% creamy pure shea butter(Wegmans) this can be found at most hair supply stores) to seal in the moisture.
Bedtime: Day 1 her feels soft and moisturized.
Week 1: hair was still well moisturized.
Week 2, the braids were a bit frizzy however her hair was still moisturized. Braids were a bit frizzy so I decided to take the braids out!!!!
Week 3, braids again. On Friday I did a hot oil treatment with jamaican black castor oil and blended with Tresemme moisturizing conditioner with cap for at least 30minutes. After the hair was rinsed I decided to do 2 strand twists instead of braids.
We just finished week 5 for camp and have the process down to science!!!!!!