Written by: Ciarra McLean
When winter comes along, it brings holidays, glistening snow, and shorter days. It also comes with colder temperatures, and with that - dryer air. If you live in a climate where the temperature drops drastically, there’s no doubt you’ve needed to switch up your hair and skin routines to account for the changes that winter brings. We’re here to give you 6 tips on how to protect natural hair in the colder months, keeping it moisturized and ensuring healthy, happy curls.
TIP 1: Break out the protective styles
Keeping your hair tucked away in braids or twists minimizes exposure to cold, drying air that can cause hair to become brittle and break. There are tons of options for protective styles, so you can feel free to really express yourself through your hair. From faux locs to simple cornrows, pick something low maintenance is key so you won’t have to manipulate your hair daily. However, just because your hair is in a protective style doesn’t mean the maintenance completely stops, which leads to the next tip.
TIP 2: Moisturize regularly
A quick spritz of your favorite moisturizer is a great way to saturate thirsty hair with little manipulation, keeping the hair safe and therefore retaining length. Because of the dry air, you may want to reach for the thicker cream or heavier spray. After moisturizing, lock it in by layering an oil of your choice over the hair. Be sure to evenly distribute, particularly to ends of the hair to prevent breakage.
TIP 3: Deep condition
While protective styling may mean a bit more time in between wash days, you’ll still want to incorporate more deep conditioning into your regimen to make sure your hair is getting nutrients and retaining all the moisture it can. Grab your favorite, reliable conditioner and leave it on a little longer than you would in warmer months, perhaps adding the element of heat or steam to ensure every hair strand absorbs all that moisture.
TIP 4: Detangle with extra care
If you’ve read our article “5 Easy Steps to Detangle Your Curls” you already know to take your time detangling and start at the end, working your way up. During the winter, you’re going to want to take even more care when it comes to detangling to avoid unnecessary breakage. Using your favorite Kazmaleje detangling tool, be sure to take your time, especially if you’re in between protective styles. Be it with the paddle comb or your fingers, be delicate, and consider detangling in smaller sections to further protect your hair.
TIP 5: Avoid excess heat
While warmth can open the hair cuticle and assist with deep conditioning, using high heat tools regularly like straighteners, blow dryers, and curling irons can further damage hair that is already more at risk during the colder months. Try to limit the amount of heat your hair comes in contact with, and use a heat protectant should you find yourself reaching for your blow dryer or any other hot styling tools.
TIP 6: Incorporate satin into your hair care regimen
After adding the other 5 tips to your day to day practices, consider incorporating more satin into your life! A satin pillowcase or bonnet ensures hair retains moisture through the night, and satin lined hats (or simply wearing a bonnet underneath) ensures no winter accessories will be causing unnecessary friction or breakage. Also consider satin lined patterned head wraps for a protective style with tons of flair.
And that's it! When combined, each of these tips ensures that your hair will continue through winter healthy and moisturized.
Photographer: Audrey Fretz @parkstreet_
Model: Cienah Akesa