As we steadily transition into the winter months, we are all bracing our spirits and bodies for the cold temperatures. We may be getting psychologically ready for the bum rush that certainly helps characterize holiday season shopping. Were buying coats, hats, mittens, and scarves to protect us from the frigid air and keep us cozy. However, how many of us have taken the time to think about how our hair routines will change, just as the season has?
Little changes in our daily routines can make all the difference in keeping natural strands supple. One of the most overlooked yet crucial components in protecting the hair is through the attire we wear. For example, while hats are great at keeping our heads warm and preventing a head cold, we must remember to consider the fabrics we choose. Wool is a great fabric at keeping the body warm but is a total moisture zapper for natural hair. A great way to enjoy your wool cap but to keep your strands in tact is to sow a Satin liner into your hat or wear your nighttime bonnet underneath it.
Next, the two words that you’ve probably heard too much in your natural journey is protective styling. Yes, I know your just about sick of feeling like Addy from American girl with your twist, french braids, and conrows but let’s face it, protective styles work. They may not be visually appealing but your hair will lock in the moisture you spent so long to apply. Plus, they keep those delicate ends tucked away and much less prone to breakage during the week. If you want to have some protection but see your natural hair loose from time to time then consider wearing a protective style for a few days then wearing it loose for the following days.
While deep conditioning should be apart of your natural routine during any season, during the winter it has added importance. Deep conditioning penetrates the different layers of the strand and nourishes it from the inside out. As most of us now know, if our hair is properly moisturized then it will break less. For those individuals who have low porosity hair (strands that have a tight cuticle), then do your best to apply heat to the process. You can wear a heating cap or a cheaper option is to heat up your conditioner. I personally get a hot bowl of water and then place my bowl of conditioner on top of that to warm up my conditioner so that all the important nutrients are not broken down too much.
Lastly, the ends are your golden ticket. We protect are ends best through daily moisture regimens, using infrequent heat, and daily trims. On wash day, its important to use a leave-in and seal that moisture in with a styling cream, oil, or both. In terms of heat, one can use it but its preferable to limit heat use to no more than once a month and to use a low setting, if possible. In regards to trims, it varies from individual to individual but you should inspect your ends particularly during protective styling and if it seems stringy at the very end then its likely your hair could use a trim.
With these tips, you won’t feel paranoid about how your natural hair will cope during the winter months. Most of all, remember to enjoy the holiday season and allow yourself to let it all hang loose with family and friends. Tis the season to be jolly and if you can follow these tips, your natural hair will not become a springtime folly.