Ask The Experts: Derek J. Explains How To Maintain Your Curls In Humidity
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Warmer months can be difficult on your hair—between the powerful sunrays, chlorine and intense humidity, we’re surprised our hair cuticles are still in descent shape. Thankfully, Derek J., co-host of Bravo’s Fashion Queens and owner of The J Spot Salon, knows all about caring for curls in the summer months. Here, he explains how to keep the extra bounce in our curls when moisture is at an all time high.

ESSENCE: How can you keep natural curls from clumping when humidity strikes, or when they are soaking wet?
Derek J.: Shampoo and condition hair and while the conditioner is still in the hair, then comb conditioner throughout the hair with a wide-tooth comb from root to end. Add a leave in conditioner or curly hair styling product and let the hair completely dry before pulling curls apart with your fingers. 

ESSENCE: What are 5 good products or brands to use when achieving defined curls?
Derek J.: Miss Jessie’s, Jane Carter, Mixed Chicks, Smooth and Shine Go Pro Curls by Larry Sims, and Kinky Curly.

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ESSENCE: We normally sweat more in the summer. How can we prevent heavy dirt and sweat build-up while wearing weaves during the summer?
Derek J.: It’s difficult to prevent sweat and dirt build-up because it’s a natural occurrence, but keeping dry shampoo handy will help you keep a greasy appearance under control. 

ESSENCE: After a long day in the sun, how can we maintain sexy, curly hair for a warm night on the town?
Derek J.: For naturally curly hair, a quick spritz of water with leave in conditioner mixed in will give those curls a boost and bounce. If you are wearing thermal styled curls (created with a curling iron or curling wand), while you are at home make sure you keep them pin-curled up to make the curls last and remove pin curls right before you leave the house. 

ESSENCE: Are there things ladies who are transitioning should avoid in warmer, sticky climates?
Derek J.: The easiest way to transition to curly hair during the summer is by wearing extensions. You can cut off the relaxed hair and wear extensions in any texture you like until your natural hair grows to the desired length. You want to avoid heat on your natural hair while trying to grow out you natural curl pattern and allow it to grow in its natural state.