With the winter season comes many changes. Freezing cold temperatures, uneasy road conditions, wardrobe adjustments – and changes to your hair regimen?! The cold weather conditions can actually be at times harsh on our natural hair. The frigid temperatures can affect your strands in ways ranging from dryness to breakage. Here is how to maintain natural hair in the winter weather.
1. Do not go outside with your hair still damp or wet
Although it may be tempting at times when you’re running late after doing a wash and go, it is best to avoid going outside while your hair is still damp or wet. This is not because you will catch a cold as the saying goes, as a pathogen must be present.
However, the water that is still left on your strands is absorbed into the atmosphere, and can cause more of a loss of body heat and moisture from your hair. This loss of moisture in combination with the cold temperatures causes your hair to almost retract and stiffen in reaction – often resulting in drier hair.
2. Use a heavier sealant
A sealant is what helps to lock in moisture throughout your natural hair. These can come in the form of oils, creams or butters, and leave-in conditioners. During the winter, the cold temperatures and wind chills cause an excess of moisture to be stripped from our hair, often times causing frequently dry hair. To combat this, after applying your leave-in products, try using a heavier sealant than what you usually do.
For instance, if you normally use olive oil as a sealant, try using a thicker oil like castor oil. For styling, if you typically use a gel, try using a cream or butter. The thicker the oil or sealant, the more thoroughly covered and sealed your strands will be which makes for better moisture retention.
3. Hot oil treatments help
Due to the dryness that cold temperatures can cause on natural hair, this can also lead to dull looking hair. Doing a hot oil treatment will restore shine and softness back into your hair strands. Simply mix together some healthful oils, heat the oils above hot water, then apply the mixture onto your hair. Completing hot oil treatments will help to improve the manageability of your hair with more softness, and creates shine that lasts for days.
4. Protective style, protective style, protective style!
Protective styles are called just that for the reason that they protect our hair – primarily the ends and nape of our hair that are prone to breakage. During the winter time, these styles are especially helpful as they protect against harsh weather elements. Protective styles like twists or braids help to retain moisture by essentially “locking” in your moisturizing products. Headwraps are another quick and beneficial protective style that can defend your hair from external elements and breakage.
5. Try to avoid certain fabrics with your winter hats
As we all know, it is best to sleep on a satin pillowcase and/or satin bonnet at night time, as this material is beneficial for protecting natural hair and preserving moisture. Cotton pillowcases can cause a drying effect on natural hair, as this fabric soaks up moisture easily. Additionally, there are other certain fabrics that can cause anywhere from frizz to breakage on natural hair, due to the constant friction.
Winter hats are usually made of wool, cotton, or other knits, and can produce these unwanted effects on natural hair. If possible, try to find winter hats made from “smoother” fabrics, or are lined with satin like this one here – perfect for natural curls, coils, or kinks.
6. Don’t forget to deep condition
Deep conditioning restores moisture and softness back into your hair, helping to improve manageability over time. It is important to include in any naturals hair regimen, especially during the winter season. Making it a habit to deep condition with each wash day will help to lessen the effect of the harsh temperatures during the winter. This one happens to be one of our favorites.
What are your favorite natural hair products for the winter season?