View Full Version : If there are any desert dwellers here, I could use some advice.

March 23rd, 2008, 02:43 AM
So I grew up in the Mojave desert and while I love the weather it's not exactly conducive to pretty hair and skin. Brutal is a good descriptor for 90+ summers and screaming dry winds. I didn't pay attention to the state of my hair till I went to college in a coastal town but now I'm back. Gonna be living in the Mojave for at least a year and I'd really like some tips. I normally just oil my hair whenever it feels dry but that doesn't really work here, it just makes my hair feel like oily straw. I was thinking misting? Never tried that before so anyone who has please chime in. In general I'm just looking for some good advice, I finally hit my goal (tailbone) and I'd like to keep it looking nice.

March 23rd, 2008, 07:48 AM
ajr -

Longtime desert dweller here, with a similar hairtype! Here are my top tips for not letting the desert wind/sun/absent humidity destroy your hair -

1. Mist it. Get a little spray bottle, put distilled or filtered water in it. Add EOs if you want, or a bit of jojoba oil, or a bit of aloe vera. Mist hair OFTEN.

2. Keep your hair in updos or braids the vast majority of the time. Put it up damp if you've just washed it, otherwise, mist it heavily, then put it up.

3. If you're going to be outside in the sun and/or wind, cover your hair. Doesn't have to be elaborate - a bandana or hat will do.

I've found that oil alone doesn't do much to protect my hair, and sometimes seems to actually make my hair dryer. If it works for you, my advice would be to mist your hair, apply a bit of oil to the canopy and ends, then put it up and keep it up.


March 23rd, 2008, 08:20 AM
Saldana has some great advice, I'd just like to add that a leave in conditioner, or your regular conditioner used as a leave in should really help with dryness and any static that develops. It's best to apply it to damp or wet hair just like you would oil, but you can use more without it looking greasy. I dampen my hair about 25% wet in the morning, especially on dry Santa Ana days, or when I'm in the desert (which is where I'm headed today!), apply conditioner, bun, then put on a scarf or buff, but a bandana or other hat will do. You know I'd invest in a pony scrub or two. They really cover your hair great, and they come in some great patterns.

March 23rd, 2008, 08:38 AM
I'd just like to add that a leave in conditioner, or your regular conditioner used as a leave in should really help with dryness and any static that develops. You know I'd invest in a pony scrub or two. They really cover your hair great, and they come in some great patterns.

Oh! Shell is right - I occasionally use a leave-in, especially if it's going to be dry and windy - helps a LOT with the static problem.

Pony scrub.....I'm going to have to go google that - I've never heard of them! I'm going to be doing a lot of hiking this summer.....if it's something that will work well under a hat, I may just have to order me one....

March 23rd, 2008, 10:06 AM
I live in a semi-arid area. I find when I travel to the coast where it is damp that I have hair problems--mainly extreme frizziness. I have very frizzy, wavy hair, and if it gets damp it just gets uncontrollable--my bangs especially so into all sort of weird shapes.

I find my hair is much easier to manage in a dry climate.

March 23rd, 2008, 10:18 AM
I grew up in the Mojave too! My studies etc have taken me very far away from there (I live in England at the moment) but I'll always remember the desert as my natural habitat. I think there isnt that much more advice that hasnt already been mentioned, but I would also add that Aloe Vera gel mixed with a bit of water is really an essential for me - if it protects sunburned skin and helps it heal maybe it does the same for hair? Anyway, it does do a good job of keeping more moisture in the hair, as it's a humectant.

March 23rd, 2008, 10:20 AM
Being in Scotland, I don't live in a desert by any means ^_^. However, I spend my summers outside in Ontario, where the temperature is usually at least 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit); I think our hottest day last summer was 37 (99). My hair dried out mostly from being a lifeguard at a chlorinated pool last summer, so I misted it with a leave-in conditioner and CWCed, or COed if my hair didn't need a wash. I also do lots of canoe tripping in the sun (think trips of several weeks in length) and WO my hair during that time, although this may not be viable in the city if, like me, you could cook chips on your hair. Nevertheless, you could try WOing your hair in the morning if it doesn't need a wash then putting it in an updo to allow the moisture to stay in, and misting with a leave-in conditioner or some such thing if it dries off.

March 23rd, 2008, 10:32 AM
Desert dweller here! I can really sympathize. After spending a year in a wet cooler climate and seeing how much nicer my hair was, I started looking around for ways to combat that heat and dryness.

Cassia treatments (if your hair likes them) or the henna 'n placenta
Weekly deep treatments of oil or conditioner or mayonnaise. --I don't always have time for this.
Leave ins that consist of conditioner and jojoba oil.
CWC method with enough condish to kill a horse.

I've yet to try misting. I ought to. I, too, want to know what a pony scrub is.

March 23rd, 2008, 10:53 AM
pony scrubs (http://www.blueskyscrubs.com/products/scrub-hats/women/pony.php)

I'm in a very dry area and last year I found my ends especially got really dry. This year I'm trying a WO wash every day. I always use leave-in & damp bun. I thought about getting a pony scrub last year and didn't, but I'm going to this year because I was in the sun a lot when I wasn't expecting to be and that's something I could carry in my purse.

March 23rd, 2008, 11:00 AM
Hi Ajr I also live in the desert 120 degrees can be brutal on the hair. What is helping me is making my on herb conditioners. I leave the herb conditioner on for 20 or 30 minutes than wash, and use coconut oil with Patchouli and Sandalwood in it. :)HTH

March 23rd, 2008, 11:01 AM
Thanks so much. I didn't even think about covering my hair, I've never worn hats. Maybe I can track down some cute scarves. I'll definetely try misting, in fact I'll probably pick some stuff up today.

March 23rd, 2008, 11:35 AM
Desert Dweller waving to you from AZ! Three things that help immensely ...

1. I wash once a week only. I use shampoo on my scalp, rinse, ACV rinse, use a nice thick conditioner from the ears down only, rinse.\

2. After washing, I use a concoction that I found the recipe for here on LHC ... Snowy's moisture something or other (I'll find it for you ... haven't had my coffee yet LOL). I put it on my hair from the ears down. I will sometimes also mist it with pure aloe vera gel.

3. Updos, updos, updos! I used to think that was stupid. I mean why grow your hair if you're just going to wear it up all the time. THAT was before I discovered hairsticks and just how many different ways you can braid your hair. WOO HOO!

Hope that helps!

March 23rd, 2008, 03:01 PM
I love the pony scrubs. The men's section has a great fabric (Austin is the Music capital of the World--bunch of acoustic guitars)... I wonder if they will do customs?

I live in a semi-desert, so I get winds, dry, but not that soul searing heat. That's what trips to Moab are for.

I will echo damp bunning with something to coat the hair, and preferably a cover, too.
jojoba on the last few inches and coconut or shea/olive mix up higher work well for me, but I do have some humidity.

The Flame
March 23rd, 2008, 04:18 PM
Once it hits 100, my hair is always up! I often mist or add jojoba to my ends. Actually, my hair really doesn't feel too dry (unless I'm just used to it) and my bones are nice and warm!

March 23rd, 2008, 04:26 PM
I just got back from a vacation in Nevada a few days ago. Whilst, I was there I noticed that my hair was totally frizz-free and controllable. The humidity of the Westcoast (where I live) makes me hair really frizzy and big. It was nice to have good hair without even trying for a few days! :)

March 23rd, 2008, 05:03 PM
One more point that I'm not sure has been made... oil helps my hair a lot in dry climates (currently in Utah, summers rarely get above 5% humidity), but only if I put it on while my hair is wet. If I put it on dry I get exactly what you describe, oily straw. Spritzing helps, last summer I was too lazy for that and would slather my hair with aloe and a little oil straight out of the shower.

Good luck!

March 23rd, 2008, 05:37 PM
Not quite in a 'true' desert, because of being in the northwest (so we do get cold during the winter (but it's a dry winter)--summer is pretty much typical desert, though).

I have to second the 'conditioner then oil' idea. My hair is really liking this, and oils just make my hair dry dry dry and brittle (even on wet hair). On *wet* (or damp if you prefer) hair, I put a bit of conditioner, and then oil (which seems to help seal in the moisture from the water and conditioner), and then I usually bun it or braid then bun wet. This has been great. I'm not even using conditioner in the shower right now (was CWCing -- and CWC or CO would be good washing ideas).

I'm trying to mist more (even with just water) before bunning, and often I'll just get the ends of my hair wet and either bun or braid.

Any kind of moisture -- water, moisture conditioners, aloe vera, SMTs -- seem to be great!

Other than bunning to get hair out of the wind, I don't really do much for outside, but then I have issues with sunlight, so I don't really have to do anything 'extra' for my hair. :oops:

March 23rd, 2008, 09:57 PM
Sorry for not posting the link for the pony scrubs--I was on my way out for an all day hike, and I rushed away!

I wet bunned my hair after adding conditioner, then I covered it with a long scarf that I wrapped completely around my head. My hair stayed beautifully moisturized all day, and in fact was still wet when I took it down.

March 23rd, 2008, 10:45 PM
I've lived in LA my entire life and around the city.

I've found keeping it up 95% of the time really helps. And oiling daily. Try to focus in on the moisture levels. I've actually found the No Poo has helped the best when combined with daily oiling.

Adding honey and aloe vera to my acv rinses is also an awesome helper.

Desert environments really suck, but I'll take dry heat over humidity any day, even though humidity turns my stick straight hair into curl and wave.

March 24th, 2008, 05:33 PM
I live in Riverside, CA. Not quite the Mojave, but I can drive there in about a half hour. My holy grail item in the summer is my mister. I wash daily (scalp issues) and use Kimberlily's de-frizz as a leave-in, but I put a mix of aloe, glycerin, and water in a little mister bottle and keep it handy. Every time I comb out my hair, I mist it thoroughly first. In one of those purse-size, 2-oz travel spray bottles I'll put 2 pumps of aloe (I've never measured), 10 drops of glycerin, 10 drops of violet oil (to make my hair smell nice) and the rest of the way with water from my PUR filter.

March 24th, 2008, 09:06 PM
You can put shea butter or some pomades (I use John Master's Organic Pomade) directly on dry hair for fly aways, static, and to smooth updos.