Grab your fuzzy socks and warm sweaters because winter is approaching fast! Tis the season to be jolly, but could your hair possibly be a mood killer this winter? Whether it’s dry ends or unexpected breakage, our strands sure do know how to misbehave when it gets a little chilly outside. Luckily, I am here to give you 12 winter hair care tips to help you keep your hair thriving during the colder months!
- 1 Up Your Moisture Game
- 2 Trim First, Thank Me Later
- 3 Heat is a No No
- 4 Treat Yo Hair Girl
- 5 More Pre-poos and Less Poos
- 6 Steam is Your Friend 🙂
- 7 Beware of Glycerin
- 8 Beware of Coconut Oil
- 9 Beware of Shea Butter
- 10 Your Ends Need More Lovin’
- 11 Low Manipulation Styles and Protective Styling
- 12 Satin Makes the World Go Round
Up Your Moisture Game
Moisture is the key to healthy natural hair, but it is also the key to surviving the winter months. Without moisture, our hair would be a dry, frizzy, crispy mess. Using the LOC/LCO method ensures long-term moisture and a sealed hair cuticle, keeping hair easy to manipulate and ready to combat dryness. Remember, heavy-duty products (twisting butters, thick creams, and heavy oils) will boost your moisture retention in the winter. The number of times you moisturize during the winter should increase as well. Spritzing and sealing can be utilized everyday to make sure your moisture game is on point.
Trim First, Thank Me Later
Taking care of your hair in the winter is like a fresh start in a journey, and nothing can ruin a fresh start like baggage from the past. In this case, your baggage would be all of the damage inflicted upon your hair in the previous months. Get rid of all of your split ends and single strand knots by trimming your strands before embarking on your winter hair journey. Your ends will be prepped and primed to take on anything winter throws its way.
Heat is a No No
Cold air tends to shorten the moisture longevity of strands. If not taken care of properly, your strands could experience excessive dryness that decreases manageability and increases damage. If winter already comes with these troubles, there is no need to add to these troubles by increasing your heat usage. While the winter months decrease the amount of time your hair stays moisturized, heat completely sucks up all of the moisture in your strands in that instance! Try some heatless stretching methods to ensure your moisture levels are ready to combat the dryness of the cold air.
Treat Yo Hair Girl
Hot oil treatments are a must to keep your hair shiny, manageable, and soft. Warming up the oils before applying will open up the cuticle and allow for easy penetration of the hair shaft, leaving your strands ready to take up any nutrients the oil has to offer. Hot oil treatments make the hair stronger and in turn prevents, tangles and breakage.
Deep conditioning treatments provide a moisture boost for the hair that is VITAL during the winter. With moisture being the key to surviving winter, you must do everything in your power to make sure that your hair is not deprived of it. This treatment should be upped to once a week during the winter to keep your hair healthy and manageable.
More Pre-poos and Less Poos
The cold, dry air of winter is harsh enough so there is no need to add harsh shampoos into the mix. Cutting down on the number of shampoos within the cold month rids us of constantly stripping our hair of its natural oils. These natural oils are meant to moisturize our strands, so without them in place, our hair is more susceptible to split ends and breakage. If you insist on washing your hair often, opt for a moisturizing shampoo and try to use clarifying shampoos 1- 2x a month. If you insist on using a clarifying shampoo every time then introduce pre-poos into your regimen. Pre-pooing with oils makes the hair more manageable during wash day and prevents the shampoo from causing excessive dryness. With dryness being a recurring issue in the winter for our hair, pre-pooing could be a lifesaver.
Steam is Your Friend 🙂
With the dry air comes difficult detangling sessions. Steam can help temporarily boost the moisture levels of your strands so that they glide past each other without tugging and pulling. Detangling in the shower or using a handheld steamer will cut your detangling sessions in half. Say goodbye to surprise fairy knots!
Beware of Glycerin
Glycerin means well, but only for the warmer months. Its main purpose is to pull moisture from the air and into the hair strands for more manageable and softer hair. However, the effects in the winter months pull dry air into the strands, leaving the cuticles brittle and fragile. Avoid using glycerin during the colder seasons if you want to maintain healthy hair. If you must use a product with glycerin, try to use steam before any manipulation or styling. Using steam before you walk outside will help as well.
Beware of Coconut Oil
The coconut oil debate has gone on for years now. Some love it and some hate it, but all should be aware of what it could do to your hair come winter time. Coconut oil solidifies and liquefies depending on its temperature. Cold air causes coconut oil to solidify and harden strands during the winter. This will leave hair dull (lack of shine), brittle (less manageable), and stiff (lack of body). Instead of reaching for coconut oil, opt for something lighter like olive oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil etc.
Beware of Shea Butter
Like coconut oil, shea butter also solidifies in colder temps. Unless put into a creamy state, the shea butter could weigh the hair down causing lifeless styles with little to no movement. When shea butter hardens on the hair, your strands have a hard time gliding past each other during styling and detangling; this, in turn, will lead to impatient detangling sessions and ultimately breakage. Using shea butter too often in the winter months will also cause more buildup. More buildup means more clarifying shampoos, which we saw earlier would be detrimental to our hair’s health.
Your Ends Need More Lovin’
The oldest part of your hair (the ends) need the best care. In order to keep your ends lasting all winter long so that they are ready for spring styling, they need to stay moisturized. Since the winter months love to bring dry spells, it is necessary to use heavier products to ensure your moisture lasts more than one day. Twisting butters, castor oil, and heavy creams lock in moisture more effectively for the colder months and will leave your hair ready to take on anything the cold may bring.
Low Manipulation Styles and Protective Styling
Our hair is very fragile as it is, and winter definitely ups our hair’s fragile state to more than we can bear. With that being said, it is only best to make sure that we are not manipulating our hair as often as we would be if it were warmer outside. The ends of our hair need to be put on lockdown in order to combat dryness that leads to breakage. Protective styling ensures that our ends are not only covered, but that daily manipulation of our strands is not necessary. If our hands stay out of our hair, we can expect more length retention during the winter months due to less breakage.
Satin Makes the World Go Round
I get it; you want to wear all of those cute beanies and headbands that you have had stored up all summer for the colder months. Well don’t be deceived my friends; what looks cute on the outside could be having your strands crying for help. Cotton, wool, and any other fiber along that line will prevent your hair from maintaining the moisture needed to get through the winter months. Opt for satin-lined beanies, hats, and headbands in order to maintain moisture levels and keep dryness at bay.
I hope these tips can help some of you on your natural hair journey. Do you have any more to add to the list? Did any of these work or not work for you? Let me know in the comments 🙂
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