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How To Maintain Twist-Outs and Roller Sets in the Humid Summer Months

Avatar • Jun 2, 2014

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by Portia of huneybflyy.com

With summer quickly approaching, natural ladies who rely on twist outs or roller sets for bouncy curls may be cringing. The warm weather may be ideal for sun kissed skin and back yard barbeques, but it may not be so ideal for certain natural hair styles.

You spend all night washing, twisting, braiding, and rolling your hair, only to wake up and walk out of the door and into raging humidity. All efforts to keep your tresses looking fabulous seem to be in vain and you just accept whatever your hair inevitably does. This, at least for me, means that my hair will turn into a big bushy mess in 30 minutes or less.  Certainly NOT the look anyone wants to showcase in public. I think just about every natural diva has been in this situation. You probably decided right then, that there was nothing you could have done differently. Or perhaps there is? There just may be some tricks that you haven’t yet mastered.

As a natural, who loves a twist out, I’ve learned a thing or two about keeping my curls in place during the summer months. Below, I’ll share some of the tips I’ve learned that can help minimize the effects of humidity on your hair. I also have Founder and CEO of KurleeBelle, Terrinique Pennerman, weighing in on how to keep curls, twist outs and braid outs from turning into frizzy, bushy disasters.

 

The Technique

The Smaller the Better

I learned early in my natural hair journey that if you want a defined curl, then you should twist, braid or roll your hair in small sections. This method creates a better hold and distinct curls. Also, if humidity does try to take over your hair, it will be less noticeable than if you twisted or rolled your hair in larger sections.

Wet Vs. Dry Hair

This is probably more of a personal preference, but Pennerman suggests twisting your hair while it is wet or damp.

The hair is more flexible when wet, so your results will be more defined,” she said. Pennerman also suggested twisting your hair while wet on day one and then re-twisting on dry hair a few days later to prevent shrinkage. Lightly spritzing each section of hair with water will also help to hold the curl pattern. She recommends the same technique for roller sets and braid outs.

I like to twist my hair on slightly damp or completely dry stretched hair in the summer. My hair tends to absorb moisture like no tomorrow. So twisting on really wet hair will only cause my hair to swell and frizz on humid days. However, I do know several naturals who rely on wet twist outs. It really depends on how your hair responds.

Taking Down Your Hair

This is probably the most important part of the process. I’m always very careful not to separate my hair too much when taking down my twists. Separating the hair too much will usually cause your hair to look undefined and frizzy — exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Pennerman unravels her twists naturally. Meaning, she only separates the twists or curls where there is noticeable separation. This technique reduces frizz and keeps individual curls intact. I like to separate my twists or curls no more than four times.

Re-twisting/rolling/braiding

During cooler months, I can go almost 4 days without re-twisting or rolling my hair. I can’t say the same during warmer months. My preference is to re-twist my hair every other day, if not every day. I make sure to spritz (not drench) each section I’m going to twist with water so that my curl really sets. I also have to make sure the twists are small. I can’t get a good curl by doing larger twists as it will come out fluffy and undefined.

Products

Shea Butter and Coconut Oil

I know these gems might seem like the solution to every natural hair crisis, but shea butter and coconut oil truly keep your curls during the summer. They are anti-humectants, which means that the product blocks moisture (humidity) from your hair, but still provides plenty of moisture for your hair if used properly. Not only are they great for moisture, but they also are excellent stylers. Some even use them alone. I like to apply shea butter and coconut oil to my hair before I apply anything else. Because shea butter is a heavy butter, it’s perfect for combating humidity. Simply apply the shea butter first, because it’s a moisturizer, then seal in the moisture by apply the coconut oil next.

Castor Oil

Castor oil is another anti-humectant and is also heavy. It combats humidity while keeping moisture locked into your strands. I like to spritz my hair with a mixture of castor oil and water if I need to retwist throughout the week.

Kurl Defining Cream by KurleeBelle

KurleeBelle’s Kurl Defining Cream packs a mean punch. Although it’s light weight, it is ideal for defined, bouncy curls. Pennerman suggest only using a little of the product on twist outs and flexi rod sets. The defining cream also helps combat humidity. Fashion and Lifestyler Blogger, Melissa Chanel, stated in her review that her hair held up during a very humid day in NYC. Go to melissachanel.com to read her review! Below is a picture of KurleeBelle Found/CEO, Terrinique Pennerman, wearing a bantu knot out after using the Kurl Defining Cream.

Terrinique Pennerman Bantu Knot Out using Kurlee Belle Kurl Defining Cream

 

Melissa Chanel is wearing a roller set.

Melissa Chanel Roller Set with Kurlee Belle Kurl Defining Cream

Gel

Before you cringe, hear me out. I’ve found that if I don’t apply some kind of gel to my twists, then my hair will only hold a curl for 1 hour in humidity. For some reason the gel really helps keep the effects of humidity on my hair to a minimum. I don’t use gels with alcohol or harmful ingredients. My favorite gels for twist outs are Olive Oil Eco Styler gelArgan Oil Eco Styler gel, flax seed gel and aloe vera gel. Below is a picture of a twist out on my freshy washed hair after using a combination of shea butter, coconut oil and Argan Oil Eco Styler Gel. My curls appear tight, but will stretch each time I re-twist my hair throughout the week.

Twist out using Eco Styler Gel

Aveda Anti-Humectant Pomade

aveda antihumectant

This pomade was created specifically to keep hair frizz free during humid weather. It’s heavy pomade and a little goes a long way. You MUST use this product on DRY hair. If you use it on wet hair, your hair will turn into the frizzy, bushy mess that you’re trying to avoid.

Sabino Moisture Block

sabinomoistureblock

I began using this product when I was trying to discover what worked best for my natural hair while in college. I saw YouTube reviews and thought I’d give it a whirl. You can use Sabino Moisture Block on wet or dry hair. This product truly seals your hair so that moisture won’t stand a chance. I finished the bottle a few years ago and didn’t bother to purchase another. Not because I didn’t like the product, but because I was experimenting and found other ways to combat humidity. A dab of moisture block on each twist is all you need to see great results.

 

Of course these tips and products will not prevent humidity from affecting your hair completely. Sometimes, you’ll get some swelling and the occasional bushy fro (sigh). Those are the times when there really is nothing you can do. However, if you decide to manipulate your curls, these tips and products might give you hope for more luxurious curls and less frizz this summer!

 

How do you maintain your hair styles during the humid summer?

 

 

 

Portia is a wife and mother who enjoys making things and people look pretty! As a graduate of Rowan University, Portia has an insatiable craving for natural hair, beauty, and fashion, but she also enjoys traveling and home decor. If you’d like to know more about her, visit her blog at huneybflyy.com

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kayla
kayla
6 years ago

I find no reason to fight nature. If I’m not protective styling, a bushy afro is the way to go (not what I’m trying to avoid). At night I set my hair with about 12 twists with shea butter and aloe vera juice/water. I separate each twist about 3 times and by the time I step outside I have an awesome semi defined fro. I love it! Perfectly defined hair isn’t always the ideal.

JenniD
JenniD
6 years ago
Reply to  kayla

Amen! This is my attitude as well. Perfectly defined anything is for cool weather only for my head. In the rainy spring and sultry summers I don’t even bother. A fro is where its at.That in some scarves or head wraps for sun protection. I don’t even bother to reset most of the time. I just do mini puffs at night and re-fluff in the morning. This helps my roots from shrinking down too much and causing massive tangles. I even got my hair shaped recently so my fro would lay right and I would’t have to do so much… Read more »

Nappy 4C Rocks
Nappy 4C Rocks
6 years ago
Reply to  kayla

love, love bushy afros…

silkynaps
silkynaps
6 years ago

I decided to twist my hair last night. This morning my hair was a big, dry, frizzy, cotton ball. As far as my hair is concerned, shea butter and castor oil may as well be humectants. I think I have the most tragic hair in the world because it doesn’t seem to differentiate between emollients and humectants. Well, I have products that keep my hair moisturized in its wash&go/coily state. However, it’s in its afro state, the only thing that moisturizes my hair is water…and that’s when I’m re-doing my wash & go. *sad trombone*

cepfeng
cepfeng
6 years ago
Reply to  silkynaps

have you tried using something like Frizzeaze by John Frieda? I know its full of mineral oil and frowned upon in the natural community but it really is amazing for defining/ reducing frizz.

mary
mary
6 years ago
Reply to  silkynaps

Castor is a humectant. I Googled it this fall when my hair began having problems when using it. I’m not sure where they got the information that its an anti-humectant.

Kay
Kay
6 years ago

I used to have this problem in the humid months… my type 4 hair didn’t benefit from the extra moisture at all because my hair would be tangled by the end of the day which led to breakage. Carols Daughter loc butter helped with the twist outs and then I’d just wear my stretched hair in a bun on a lot of days.

cepfeng
cepfeng
6 years ago

Big bushy mess, something no one wants to showcase in public’

Whoa what. What website is this again?

Miss T
Miss T
6 years ago
Reply to  cepfeng

I don’t think anything negative was meant, the article is referring to those times when a person is going for a specific style like a twist out or roller set. There are times when I want a big bushy fro, and there are times when I roll my hair and I want curls.

cepfeng
cepfeng
6 years ago
Reply to  Miss T

me too, I love having a good knot out as much as I enjoy a wild crazy poof, but I think to refer to it in those terms is just reinforcing the belief that defined curls are more acceptable and attractive.

Lovely Tranformation
Lovely Tranformation
5 years ago
Reply to  cepfeng

That’s what it sounded like to me too :/…

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  cepfeng

Right!? I’ll echo the first three commenters: I LOVE my undefined afro. It’s my favorite thing to showcase in public, and it’s pointless to fight what it does naturally. I get that some folks are really into curls and definition, but I feel that it’s a bit silly to run out and buy “anti-humidity” products and stress out about twisting techniques for 3–4 months of the year. Just let it fro 🙂

Lana
Lana
6 years ago
Reply to  Dananana

I dont think this post is for women who want to “fro” out their hair. Its for women who want to keep curls during the summer when humidity tries to prevent it. If you dont mind “big bushy afros” then thats great. But other people do mind and may find these tips useful. And there is nothing wrong with that 🙂 i found parts the writers post to be funny actually.

Dananana
Dananana
6 years ago
Reply to  Lana

I also liked parts of this post (specifically the techniques section because it was informative), but I don’t feel that cepfeng, myself and others were wrong for pointing out problematic language/perspectives, e.g.: “All efforts to keep your tresses looking fabulous seem to be in vain and you just accept whatever your hair inevitably does. This, at least for me, means that my hair will turn into a big bushy mess in 30 minutes or less. Certainly NOT the look anyone wants to showcase in public.” Sure, the author probably didn’t mean to imply that big bushy afros aren’t fabulous and… Read more »

Alwina
Alwina
6 years ago

I learned last summer for the first time not to use a glycerin heavy product for a twist-out. I saw it happen on my sister’s hair, but didn’t put two and two together until it happened to me. Now I know better 🙂 Still learning what works best for the summer and my hair.

Redseouls
Redseouls
6 years ago

Thank you for these tips!

Brenda Lewis
Brenda Lewis
6 years ago

Yes, we have to be really careful about language. I love my hair, and if it is big and bushy — that’s fine with me.

mochachick10
mochachick10
6 years ago

I don’t hardly bother with twistouts in the summer. I live in the deep south and it is just a waste of my time. Summer’s for me = wash and goes, buns, and mini twists.

Brittany.L
6 years ago

One day this summer I’m gonna really find the patience to do a roller set Iol

Check out http://www.curlskinksfashion.com

Caray
Caray
6 years ago

If I want a twist out in the DMV heat I avoid Glycerin products.

Bunny
Bunny
6 years ago

Anywayyyy. On the topic of roller sets, I always set the front portion of my hair but I notice it’s hard to keep set hair moisturised even with pomades, oils etc because I’m not using water based moisturiser. How do you keep a rollerset soft and still intact?

mary
mary
6 years ago

Not sure why the writer refers to an afro as a frizzy, bushy mess. Why does a fro signal a frizzy mess to you and why be derogatory by calling it a bush? The nature of our hair is frizzy and bushy and it is beautiful. All that twisting, adding gels and whatever is what is unnatural and suggests the desire for something other that what you have or that its appearance needs to be tamed or altered much in the same way relaxers do. I love my frizzy, bushy fro.

Lovely Tranformation
Lovely Tranformation
5 years ago
Reply to  mary

I THOUGHT THE EXACT SAME THING. I always wear my afro-styles in the summer and it don’t bother me lol. Afros are beautiful <3.

Get over yourself
Get over yourself
5 years ago

They surely are, but this is about wearing different styles.

Get over yourself
Get over yourself
5 years ago
Reply to  mary

That’s you mary. Some people want to style their hair and they are free to do so. Why did you even read this?

LBell
LBell
6 years ago

Keeping in mind that the only natural hair rules I follow are those that work for me and my hair: A couple of summers ago I was trying to rock the BAA and failing miserably. It wasn’t about texture (all hail the undefined ‘fro!); my problem was with shrinkage. My hair has always sucked up water in whatever form it was in, and humidity was no exception. Combined with the fact that I have extreme shrinkage (over 80 percent on the top of my head) you can see how my morning BAA would become a TWA by evening. I can’t say… Read more »

mary
mary
6 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I went back to the grease in April. My hair is finally happy.

Jenny
Jenny
6 years ago

I am pretty sure there is no product that can combat the heat and humidity. I am pretty sure I have tried a million things to avoid the destruction of my twistouts to no avail. I would literally walk a block away from my home and go from luxurious curls to big chunks of shrunken chair, ugh. I think its best to just use protective styles. Its hot, no need for all that hair on your neck!

Queenie
Queenie
6 years ago

I like Taliah Waajid products. They help my hair to stay moisturized and defined even during the summer…

Jessie
Jessie
6 years ago

I’ve been using Aussie Smooth 12 hour anti-humidity spray with good results. It’s like a hair spray, but my hair isn’t even hard or still when I use it, and my twist-outs do last all day.

Chel
Chel
6 years ago

The “S” in Sabino Moisture is the same stylized “S” in Shea Moisture. Are they under the same company or did they really just pick the same font for their products? Lol

Shay
Shay
6 years ago

The author mentioned that shea butter was a moisturizer? I thought it was a sealant??

Adriannan Nonyo
Adriannan Nonyo
5 years ago

Ikr, many of these comments are judgemental and clueless. Whats the point of reading this if they’re perfectly fine with the weather messing up their hairstyles?
I live in Florida, I can’t flat iron, do twist outs, blow outs, or any others ‘outs’ all 12 months of the year.

Public_Programming
Public_Programming
4 years ago

Very good tips. I remember when I would get my hair flat ironed my stylist always used Sabino and/or the Aveda pomade. The humidity has been terrible and I want to make sure my roller set stays in place, so I’m being proactive and researching products early.

Adrea M
Adrea M
3 years ago

Wonderful advice. I put a little extra Shea butter in my hair after I took down my braid out and barely had any shrinkage. I looked beautiful aha, my hair was nice and full. 🙂

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