It’s no secret that natural hair requires a lot of care, attention, and detail every single month of the year. But as the seasons change, we may also wish to make a few slight changes to our hair care regime in order to keep our natural hair healthy, happy, and even growing despite the cold weather. Now this isn’t about how big of a product junkie you are or how many products you have not managed to add to your stash of hair essentials; but it is about great hair care in the winter months. And this all boils down to how much you understand your hair, and making sure you nurture it to prevent breakage and even ruining your curl pattern. So put your wallet away, and keep in mind the following in order to keep your hair healthy, satisfied, and gorgeous despite the harshness of the colder months.
1. Understand the basics of moisture. Dry hair leads to dead hair…and ultimately breakage.
Depending on your individual hair type, dryness can be a huge pain in your hair regime, and even make natural hair harder to manage than it needs to be. For one thing, not only does dry hair not feel too good between your fingers, but it also doesn’t look good. It’s important that naturals remember that dryness not only causes breakage, but it causes frizziness and undefined curl patterns. It’s a sure way to a bad hair day.
So how do you tackle dry hair without spending a fortune?
It’s easy. Just go back to the basics.
Water is the first step to moisture for every natural. Even if you’ve managed to find an amazing moisturizer to aid you in your dry hair blues, a closer inspection of the ingredients will reveal that your favorite hair product is water based. And that’s no coincidence.
Water is not only hydrating to the hair, it is also a moisturizer. To moisturize your hair and keep it moisturized, you’ll need to add water to your routine. A spray bottle should be your best friend in styling and moisturizing, so be sure to always hydrate your hair daily.
Now water alone will not be successful in eliminating dryness, since as soon as the water evaporates, your hair will become dry. In order to prevent this setback, you’ll need to seal in the moisture of the water. Do this by using oils. The best two oils for moisture are coconut oil and olive oil.
Depending on your hair type, water and oil will be enough to maintain moisture. But for some of us (me included) it won’t do.
If you try water and oil and still end up with dry hair, you will need to add a cream (and water) based moisturizer or leave in conditioner to the water and oil method. Apply the water first with the spray bottle, then the oil, and then seal in the moisture a final time with a moisturizer cream or leave in conditioner.
Conditioner: Oyin Handmade Honey Hemp Conditioner
Moisturizer Cream: Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding
2. Protect your hair while sleeping.
Things are a little different as a natural. That good old cotton pillow may feel great against your skin, but it’s a nightmare to your hair. The pillow alone will absorb all other moisture you’ve managed to maintain. Satin is one of the only materials that won’t absorb your moisture, but actually preserve it. To keep your hair moisturized overnight, wear a satin cap or use a satin pillowcase.
3. Don’t forget to deep condition.
Cowashes are good, but they can’t do what a deep condition can do for your hair. The colder months will be harsher on your hair, so you should incorporate a deep condition in your regime at least once a month.
SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Masque
4. Utilize protective hair styles.
A lot of naturals rely on protective styles to get them through the colder months. These styles include braids, weaves, wigs, buns and twists. With these particular styles, your natural hair will no longer have to be exposed to the cold, rain, or snow. They also require low hair manipulation, and encourage hair growth.
If you’re not ready to rock protective styles and prefer to wear braid outs and twist outs, make sure that you are maintaining your hair daily. Re-twist or re-braid your hair each night to prevent tangling and breakage. Also be sure to moisturize your braids and twists thoroughly. It’s not good to sleep with your hair out in these particular hairstyles.
5. Don’t become dependent on heat.
Some naturals believe the colder months call for straight hair, but wearing your natural hair straight isn’t all that healthy.
Heat is not your friend as a natural, and should only be used a few times a year. Too much heat can permanently ruin your curl pattern, and even cause breakage if it’s not properly maintained. If you do choose to straighten your hair, rely on a blow dryer (not a Dominican blow out!), roller sets, and ceramic iron. Be sure to use a heat protectant thoroughly before straightening with the methods that incorporate heat.
6. Trim and detangle.
Raggedy ends will lead to raggedy hair. If you notice your ends are looking shabby, go ahead and clip them. This will prevent future breakage.
Detangling is imperative in every natural’s hair care regime. Always detangle your hair wet and after conditioning, and be sure to repeat at least once more each month.
Healthy hair maintenance should occur all year long, but the colder months are always harder on natural hair than the warmer months. Moisture is imperative to get through this season, while protective styles are essential in encouraging hair growth during the seasons. Make sure you are detangling your hair at least twice a month, and keeping your ends trimmed to keep your hair in a growing state.