When The winter months come around the dry, cold weather, just don't seem to mix with natural hair. What can you do? As a natural, your hair loses moisture practically every day and on top you get breakage. Let's face it most of us have a demanding lifestyle that does not include our hair all day. The next best thing is to apply a few tips to your winter hair care routine to not just prevent breakage, maintain moisture, but retain your hair length.
The cleansing and conditioning process
Before you wash your hair Taking precautions even before you wash your hair is important. The best practice is pre-poo your hair with penetrating oils by heating up the oils or using a conditioning heat cap. The oils work to protect your hair from taking up to much water and breaking after washing. One of the best oils to pre-poo your hair with is coconut oil because about 75% of it penetrate the hair shaft. Read more How To use High Penetrating Oil To Protect and Grow Natural Hair.
Wash your hair only when necessary During the winter months, you are most likely covering your hair with a scarf or hat, or you are wearing a protective style. From having less contact with outside elements and you not sweating as much ( unless you are working out) you hair may not need to be wash as often as the hotter months. Shampoo your hair with a milder shampoo such as a sulfate-free shampoo about once a week or if you possible every two weeks. Using the sulfate-free shampoo and washing your hair less often will help with dryness. Now if your hair continues to be dry because of shampoo try co-washing with conditioner or even looking into a cleansing co-wash. They are even milder on your strands and still cleanse the hair. Now if your shampoo is working fine and you need the extra wash continue to use it because you need to keep your scalp clean.
Never skip Deep conditioning You may be able to avoid deep conditioning your hair some weeks during the hot seasons, but during winter you should make it a point to do so after every wash. Washing your hair will always dry it out to some degree and the dry, cold winter months are just adding to it. Using a deep conditioner for at least 30 minutes makes a world of difference. The best practice to having an efficient, non-time-consuming deep conditioning treatment is to use indirect heat like a steamer. The ingredients in your deep conditioner matters, so use mostly non-humectant products and try for the most part to stay away from honey, glycerin, panthenol, and hydrolyzed silk protein. Humectants are designed to draw moisture from the hair during the hot seasons, in the winter the air is dry. Best practice is to invest in a good deep conditioner as a treatment product or masque to add moisture to your hair.
Trims the dead ends Keeping split ends at bay helps with breakage. During the dry winter months, if you notice split, dead ends cut them off because they can cause your hair to keep breaking. Your hair will be battling a dry, cold weather so that it will be fragile enough already. Make sure before the cold weather comes full force that your ends are not in distress.
Your Health And Protecting Your Strands
Keep your body healthy and Sealing moisture Your body needs water to survive, and so does your hair to grow. Drinking water along with a healthy diet helps improve and maintain healthy hair. While the air outside is dry keeping your body constantly hydrated will nourish your scalp and keep your hair moisturize from the inside out. If you are growing healthy hair, then they will have the nutrients they need to survive the cold market months.
Massage your scalp When you are cold blood circulation tends to slow down in your body, so reaching your scalp could be a struggle. One of the best ways to keep blood flow going in the scalp is to do a scalp massage every night or every other night during the winter season. Using oils to massage the scalp not only helps blood circulate it prevent itchy scalp and help you avoid dry hair.
Handle with care and be patient During the hot months if I am too tired or don't want to do my hair I leave it alone. This tip is even more important during the winter months to avoid breakage. During the winter months, your hair is a little more dry than usual, so this means it's even more brittle and fragile. Take your time when you want to do your hair to be patient and not break off all the hair you have been growing during the summer months. Make sure to moisturize your hair before you handle it, try finger detangling instead of using a comb or brush. Always make sure your hair is manageable before you do anything to it. Now is the time to use your steamer with a little moisture to help deeply nourish your strands.
Use the L.O.C. (liquid, oil, cream) method Many naturals love using this approach for their dry hair, and it works just as well during the winter months to seal in moisture. It is not just important to add moisture to your hair you have to keep it in. Using the L.O.C. method allows you to add moisture to your hair and seal it in until wash day to prevent damage and breakage. Make sure to pay particular attention to your ends because remember they are the oldest part of your hair. Add a little extra moisturizer and Shea butter sealant to keep it nourish and protected. Winter is a perfect time to use those heavy oils and butter you have like shea butter and castor oil.
Use hats and bonnets with silk or satin lining Wearing your hair out may not always be ideal during the winter, so use a coverup. Whenever you have your hair style and are stepping outside, use a bonnet, hat, or scarf to cover it for protection. You can wear that great style you love and cover it up for when you get to the office to take it off and show everyone those gorgeous curls. The same is important before you go to bed continue to protect your hair. Before bed cover your hair with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet to protect your hair from your sheets and pillow but also from your home heating system. In the winter having the heater on consistently is important to keep the house warm but it also dryers hair during the night. Moisturizing your hair and covering it up at night keep it hydrated and safe until morning when you can give it a little more extra moisture love.
Avoid direct heat If you ever plan on not using a curling iron, flat iron or blow dryer the winter time is perfect. During the cold months, your hair will most likely be as dry as it can get. Using heat tools take away the natural moisture of your strands. Now you have your hair struggling against dryness due to the dry weather, and you are taking away the little moisture it is retaining with heating tools. Remember you are not without options, some tools and methods are out there to help straightened your hair. You can use African threading, regular braids, curlformers, and any other natural methods that do not involve direct heat. If you just can't go without straight bone hair try treating your hair first before using heated tools. Remember that deep conditioning treatment you invested in for the winter, use it with a good hot oil treatment to prepare and protect your hair. Invest in quality products such as a ceramic ion technology blow dryer to protect your curls.
Protective styles for the home run If you are looking to just hid your hair during the winter than protective styles are the way to go. You can wear your hair in different twist and braids, even wear buns and other up-dos, as long as your ends are tuck away. The set it and forget it braids are my favorite, I love using yarns to create braids and twist. I can braid and hide my hair and have the yarns the style and keep my end safely tuck away. Wearing this style allows me to protect my hair and make it easy to cleanse my scalp.
The winter months usually affect our hair in a negative way if we allow environmental factors to attract it. You can not only protect your hair; you can continue to see healthy hair growth with the right routine and products.
Do you have some winter hair care tips for other naturals? Go ahead and share them below!!