Going Natural: Chimdi's Natural Summer Hacks

Colombia

South America

August is the hottest month of the year, which means one thing: THE DRIEST MONTH. That’s right, say hello to damaging UV rays and brittle hair. But would you rather get beat down by the sun or whipped by the chilling wind in the winter? I can’t decide what’s worse for me, so I decided to speak with Chimdi, a fellow SUAG writer, on how she rocks her natural hair in this gruesome heat.

1. You’ve been hopping the pond a lot recently like a true Shut Up & Go-er: What’s your natural hair routine like while on the go? 

Girl, my hair routine has been struggle city. I started with so much enthusiasm and promise. I had all these grand plans to experiment with local products, protective style with the hair options unique to each new city I was in, and basically master the naturalista travel influencer life that our very own Jo has dominated. That lasted maybe two months? By month three I was washing my hair with hand soap (GIRL, the struggle is REAL). But thankfully I’ve now finally reached an equilibrium, and I think the train out of struggle city has finally left the station. I’ve mastered easy protective styles that look cute, don’t require additional hair, and don’t need to be re-done every day. With the help of some sample size shampoo and store-bought olive oil, I’m set when it comes to my wash day, and a quick trip to the US allows me to buy some conditioner that I use for co-washes and the styling that follows. 

2. Every month you’re in a new country – we stan. How does your hair respond to the fluctuating climates? 

Protective styles have been my best friend as I’ve moved from place to place but my hair is definitely not in peak condition. All those luxuries like heated deep conditioning caps and Denman brushes are a thing of the past. My hair definitely feels drier because of less frequent conditioning and the trash hotel quality shampoo but I’ve been good about trimming my ends. All in all, the good old bits of my hair that are struggling the most at least have been given a quick death *winks*

 

 

3. Do you choose a new protective style every month? For instance: You’re now in Medellin, Columbia, and living life. Are you feeling braids, twists, cornrows, etc? How do you decide on a new style? 

I definitely love variety and it’s exciting to see what new hairstyles and colors each city has to offer. I was shocked that Split, Croatia had multi-colored kanekalon hair that allowed me to create autumn-inspired box braids. Or that Lisbon had curly synthetic hair perfect for passion twists. But with so much travel, I have a newfound appreciation for the things in my life that remain constant. And my hair is one of them. So for ease and simplicity, now that I have a few simple styles, like two-strand twists and flat goddess twists that I can create without much effort, I have found myself returning to them again and again.

4. What is one of the biggest challenges you have to face with your natural hair while abroad? 

I genuinely do love switching things up, so the lack of variety and quantity has been a dagger to my creative soul. In the U.S., I would easily have a new color, cut, curl, wig, you name it, every two weeks, and now I’m lucky to wow my fellow travelers every two months. Because I have never been a product junkie, the lack of options specifically catering to textured hair hasn’t impacted me too much. 

 

5. Sis, the #GoNatural team needs to know: What are some of your favorite products to use at the moment? 

Castor oil never goes out of style, and if it’s not available locally, Amazon will definitely ship it. My edges truly owe this oil my life! For normal use and for shine, grocery store olive oil is my go too. The fanciest I’ve done is use argan oil from Morocco. But otherwise, I find that tender love and care goes a lot further than a newly-released product. (If my strands could hear that they would scoff, but listen, even though I haven’t always treated them right, this month will be different, I swear!)

6. Favorite natural hair DIY remedy: GO!

Grocery store hot oil treatment! Basically, I’ll coat my strands with oil after I condition my hair, tie a plastic bag around that whole situation, and then wear a scarf to amp up the heat production from my head. It goes a long way, especially after the general neglect my coils normally receive. 

7. Watching you flourish in every city you land in is absolutely inspiring. What are some tips + tricks that you may have for the #GoNatural community? 

I’ve got a few! First, black people are everywhere even if we aren’t always en masse, you will find someone to do your hair. Second, grocery stores have every product you’ll ever need in the pasta and vegetable sections. Third, if you don’t already know, learn how to braid, twist, or do SOMETHING with your hair. You don’t want to be high and dry, trying to translate “3 layer feed-in braids” in some language you’ve never heard of, in a country where they don’t recognize Shea or Moisture. Finally, when it comes right down to it, your hair is lovely just as it grows out of your head. So if you keep it clean, moisturized, and healthy, treat it how it deserves, and love it unconditionally,  you and your coils will thrive no matter what city you live in. 

Do ya’ll have any “struggle city” moments?

Follow us