Caring for hair through the seasons can be challenging. Just when it seems like you’ve gotten into a solid rhythm, the weather changes and you have to start over with your hair care routine.
The winter months can be especially challenging for naturals. The materials worn in the winter (wool and other scratchy fabrics), the freezing temperatures, the dry air from heaters, and the constant changes in humidity (to say nothing of rain and snow) can all affect the way our hair feels and looks.
Here are a few ways you can protect your hair this winter so it stays soft, supple, and frizz-free.
Moisturize: In the world of real estate, it’s all about location, location, location. When it comes to keeping your hair healthy in the winter, it’s moisture, moisture, moisture. Cold weather often comes with wind, which can dry out our hair. Add heaters inside every building and your hair can become brittle very quickly. Moisturized hair can fight the battle of the brittle much better than already dry hair. To keep your hair hydrated at all times, use a deep conditioner like Nourish Treatment and a leave-in moisturizer like Enrich Moisturizer. However many times you add moisture to your hair in the summer, plan to double that in the winter.
Add Protein: Our hair is made up of protein bonds called keratin. This protein provides structure to the hair, giving it its shape and strength. When our hair has adequate protein, it is less prone to breakage and can hold on to moisture better. Protein also helps maintain our curls and protects them from heat damage. Maintaining a healthy protein / moisture balance is critical to keeping healthy hair. You can boost your protein intake with foods like fatty fish and low-fat dairy products or with supplements. You can also include protein, like the oat protein in Nourish Treatment, in your hair care regimen.
Embrace Protective Styles: Protective styling is a very useful technique for protecting your hair (especially your ends) during colder weather. A protective style refers to any style which has the ends of our hair – the oldest and most fragile part - tucked away. Bantu knots, box braids, and updos are all examples of protective styles.
Avoid Abrasive Materials: The type of materials worn in the winter can have an impact on our hair. Wool can rub on the hair causing friction and even wicking away of moisture. If you wear hats and beanies, it's advisable to tie a silk scarf underneath to protect the hair from friction. Keep hair tucked away from scarves or collars of coats and try to protect hair with more suitable materials such as silk and satin.
Caring for your hair in the colder winter months requires intentionality, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes easy. Just think of the winter as an incubation time for your hair to get some rest, soak up the moisture, and get ready for the warm months ahead.