Winters here in the DMV can be pretty brutal on my hair and skin. Not only are you dealing with the brutal cold and wintry weather outside but, you also have to battle the dry hair that results from being in heated environments. Hydration and protective styling are essential to maintaining my natural hair during the winter months. It’s important to make sure that I take care of my hair from the inside as well. Continue reading for some tips I follow to help protect my hair from the harsh weather conditions.
Hydrate From Within: First and foremost, healthy hair starts from inside. Make sure you are still drinking water (aim for at least half your body weight in ounces). If you don’t already take them, consider adding omega fatty acid supplements (like Omega 3s) to help keep your scalp and hair hydrated. Don’t think you’re merely limited to drinking water and taking an Omega-3 to ensure you’re hydrating from within. Celery and cucumbers, popular vegetables to make juices and smoothies from, contain silica with is known to boost moisture. Salmon and walnuts are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Reduce Wash Days: Shampoo is known to usually dry your hair out (which is why we condition after shampooing). Since we want to focus on hair that is well moisturized, and not dry, it’s a good idea to limit how often you’re washing your hair with shampoo. One option, for still having that “clean” feeling is to use a cleansing conditioner or a product meant for cowashing. Some good cowash products are the As I Am Coconut Cowash, Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk, and the SheaMoisture Cocnut & Hibiscus Co-Wash Conditioner Cleanser.
Deep Condition Regularly: Gone are the days where you could get away with only doing a deep conditioning session once every two weeks. During the winter, it’s imperative that you deep condition after every wash. I recommend at least once a week (try to deep condition twice per week if possible). Using a plastic cap while sitting under a warm dryer, or opting to use a steamer to infuse moisture into your strands are two excellent ways to deep condition. Make sure you still hold true to keeping a proper moisture/protein balance. While we want to ensure our hair is as moisturized as possible, we don’t want to overdo it. Too much moisture will result in hair that’s mushy and weak.
Sealing With Heavier Products: Heavy butters and oils help to lock in the moisture your hair so desperately needs to hang on to in the winter. Not only do you need to worry about the cold air outside but, heated homes and work environments can dry out your hair as well. You need to be vigilant when it comes to protecting your hair from both the dry air outdoors as well as indoors. Castor oil is a perfect example of a heavier oil that’s perfect for sealing your hair (especially the ends) during the winter. For a good, heavy butter, look into shea butter. One of my favorite products to use in the winter is the Qhemet Biologics Amla & Heavy Cream.
Protective Styling: The less you manipulate your hair, the better off you’ll be. If you’re into covering up your hair, weaves and wigs are an excellent protective style for the winter months. Consider them a fashionable winter hat that can be worn indoors! Keep in mind that you still need to make sure you are taking care of your hair underneath your weaves and wigs (washing, conditioning, moisturizing). Buns are a good option because it allows your ends to be tucked away. You won’t have to worry about your fragile ends (which are susceptible to splitting) snagging on those comfy wool sweaters). Buns not your thing? You can also rock cute protective styles that consist of braids, twists, and bantu knots. The options are endless.
Wear Hats Lined With Silk/Satin: Wool and cotton are notorious for wreaking havoc on our hair. But, this is no reason to skip wearing a hat when faced with the cold and snow. If you can’t find a hat that already has a silk/satin lining, go the DIY route. Head to your favorite fabric store, get a piece of silk or satin, and line your hats with this (this will require you to sew the fabric into the hat). Doing this will ensure your hair stays protected and won’t snack on the rough fabric of the hat.
What are some things you’re doing to make sure your natural hair is protected during the winter? Let me know in the comments below.
Have you subscribed to my channel? If not, just click the button below! It’s free and you won’t be disappointed!