The northern hemisphere is dead in the winter and for many people that means dryness. It can be dry skin, chapped lips, or dry hair. For many curly haired people, winter can come with the challenge of caring for our kinks and curls throughout the long cold months. Being from California, I only recently had to start worrying about this when I started going to college on the east coast. The struggle to keep my curls moisturized and healthy throughout the winter has been a challenge, but I think I’ve mainly got the hang of it. Here are a few tips to maintaining healthy hair in the winter:
- Listen to Your Hair
This tip is a good one year-round and may seem obvious, but it can be difficult at times. It is important to listen to your hair because it may not be saying the same thing it did in the summer. The best way to see how healthy your hair is? Examine it. Is your hair dry? Oily? Frizzy? Are the ends breaking off easily? Examining your hair in its completely natural state will help you better assess what your hair needs. This can change, so make sure to be attentive.
2. Try a Trim?
Like many, I used to be afraid of trimming my hair, mainly because of losing length. But I realized that not trimming my hair was just allowing more tangles and breakages to occur. I didn’t believe it before, but trimming my hair made me a believer! After cutting off my dead ends, my hair not only looked healthier, but I could detangle it much more easily. You don’t have to do this all the time, but once in a while, trim.
3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize…and Strengthen
It is no secret that harsh cold winters can steal the moisture right out of a freshly oiled scalp. This is the time of year naturalistas need to particularly make sure they are properly moisturizing strands. Investigate different oils and products as well as methods (such as LOC or LCO) that will properly give and retain moisture in the hair. A general rule of thumb is that a cream will add moisture to the hair, while an oil will seal in that moisture. It is also equally important to make sure the hair is getting enough protein. For this try something like an Aphogee treatment rather than a DIY mask because a treatment will penetrate the hair further. The hair should have a balance of moisture and strength.
4. Give Your Hair Some Love
The winter can be harsh on your hair, so make sure to treat it with care. Maybe do a DIY mask or two. Indulge in a mask from a store, or even make an appointment at a natural hair care salon if you feel your hair needs extra attention.
5. Protective Styling
During the winter months, it may be a good idea to forgo the wash and goes, twist outs, braid outs, etc and instead go for a protective style. Try a twists or a cute braids style, keep ends out of the cold with a bun, or add hair for box braids, kinky twists, or a weave. Not only will this protect the hair – especially the fragile ends – but this will promote hair growth.
6. Remember, Not All Curls Are Created Equal
One of the most important things naturalistas should remember is that not everyone’s hair is the same. Not everything will work for everybody. Find out what works best for you. It may not be the most trendy or popular thing, but your hair will love you for it.
Good luck everyone. I can’t wait for spring.