Hair today, fro tomorrow

How American University wrangles with summertime hair issues

The dreaded D.C. humidity will soon be upon the city, so what are people at AU doing to ensure they won't be walking around like blow-dried poodles?

Jabu Salazar, a graduate advisor in the School of Communication, said he changes up his daily regimen to include a special moisturizer from Pantene's line of products made for women of color.

Erich Cromwell, a freshman from Florida, is used to warm weather, but still relies on a hat to control his bushy blond hair. He said he tries to wear a hat every day, but sometimes it gets too hot in the summer, leaving him at the mercy of the cruel, cruel hair gods.

Vasudha Deiskan, sporting a hat cocked to one side, knows all about hair maintenance. She said the summer is rough, often puffing her hair up into an unruly afro.

However, some people are more successful at keeping their locks under control. Senior Cameron Miller said she's happy with her hair these days. She's been growing it out since December and is glad to finally be able to pull it into a ponytail. Her short, no-fuss style is a perfect wash-and-go option for summer.

Alysa Gillis, a freshman from Maryland, braids her own hair and says the simple style only takes an hour to achieve. Perfect for combating spring showers, her braids will also stave off the hellish humidity this summer.

But it seems no one can compete with anthropology professor Sabiyha Prince for having the perfect summer style. Her twists come through rain, sleet, snow and humidity unscathed. In fact, she boasts that she doesn't really do anything to her hair.

Man, some people have all the luck.

Methods to mane-tain

Short of shaving it all off, here are some ways to keep the elements from ruining your painfully coiffed locks:

Thermal straightening Oprah introduced this Japanese process, which "relaxes" the hair, to American women on her show a few years ago. Supposedly, the treatment can straighten even the curliest hair and keep it straight for months, even up to a year. Relaxers at the Aveda salon in Bethesda start at $100.

Braids Getting them done can be a long and costly process, but is often worth the effort in the summer. They're low-maintenance, versatile and undeniably cute. There are a number of braiding salons near the U Street Metro station and throughout D.C. Prices vary per braider and according to style, and may include an extra charge for hair extensions.

Hats & Scarves Accessorizing is a perfect way to camouflage unruly hair. Stores like H&M, Target and Forever 21 have cheap hats and scarves that will look great, but that you won't be too upset about accidentally leaving behind on the Metro.

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