Maintaining moisture is always an important goal for natural hair, but it may require additional effort to keep hair moisturized during the winter months! If you’re struggling to retain hydration, consider adding one or more of the suggestions below to your cold-weather hair care regimen!
First Things First
It is important to remember that dry natural hair is not necessarily the result of something you have done or failed to do in your natural hair maintenance. The twists, turns, bends and coils of natural hair make it more difficult for the natural oils to travel from the scalp down the hair shaft, the way it does with straight hair. So dry strands are often considered a characteristic of natural hair. Add in environmental elements like frigid winter temperatures and harsh winds, and it is no surprise that natural hair is drier in the winter!
💧Start with Water💧
Water is your friend – remember this when trying to increase your hair’s moisture. During the winter months, start by misting your hair every day before styling and every night before bed. Your hair should be damp, but not soaked or dripping. You can add a little aloe vera juice to the water, which helps ease frizz and tames the ends of your hair. A great ratio to use is two thirds water and one third aloe vera juice.
Follow up this water application with a little oil to seal in the moisture. Your twist-outs, braid-outs and bantu knots will appreciate the refreshing mix of water, aloe and oil to seal!
Note: this works great on any style except heat-straightened styles.
If you are hesitant about applying water to your hair, especially twice a day, instead try using a water-based moisturizer. The moisturizer you select should contain water as its first ingredient.
Whether you pineapple or twist your hair before bed, a little water at night will provide moisture while you sleep.
Note: Water is the moisture, while the oils and products are what seal the moisture in.
Condition on the Go 🚗
Plastic or heat caps also help to lock in moisture for your hair. When conditioning, apply a plastic heat cap, cover your hair with a scarf and go about your day while the conditioner does the work. When you remove the cap, your hair will be both soft and hydrated!
Here’s a great conditioning on the go tutorial
Note: Although this method is super convenient, allowing you to complete two tasks at once, try not to stay out ALL day with the conditioner in your hair. We recommend MAX, one and a half hours to avoid over-moisturizing the hair, which can lead to breakage and scalp issues.
Use Down Time to Moisturize
If your hair is feeling really dry at the end of your day, mist your hair with water and apply a heat cap for about 30 minutes. This is ideal for wash and go styles, but I’d avoid on twist-outs, stretched hair, or roller set looks… unless of course, you don’t mind your look being altered by the additional moisture.
Make Deep Conditioners Part of Your Regular Routine
A regular once-a-week or every-two-weeks deep conditioning treatment can really boost the moisture in your hair. When applying deep conditioner, pay special attention to the ends of your hair. As the oldest and weakest parts of your strands, the ends should be fully coated in your deep conditioning treatment. Use your plastic heat cap to maximize the conditioning benefits and don’t forget to follow up by sealing in the moisture with a little oil, again paying close attention to the ends of your hair.
Give Protective Styles a Try
Protective styling and low-manipulation styles can be great options during the winter months. Not only will this help preserve your ends, but tucking away your natural hair might keep your head warm, as well. Use the colder temps to try out a new head wrap, braid style or a variation of the “tried and true” bun.
Here are two protective styles to try: headwrap and rubber band braids.
The truth is there is no magic fix to permanently eliminate dryness from natural hair, but there are things that you can do to ease the stress of cold weather! Tell us below, how do you make sure your locks are ready for extreme temperatures?
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