I believe hair care probably changes for most women during the winter months. Regardless of whether you are black or Caucasian there is no denying that the weather elements do have an effect on both hair and skin alike for all races! However for many black people, our immediate response is the ‘hide your hair’ regimen. This means cover up with braids, weaves, wigs and scarves. We rarely think to strengthen it against the harsh weather elements, we just conclude that our hair can’t take the heat, errrr …cold, so let’s just put it away. It’s sort of like teaching your child to stay in the classroom all day instead of going out on the play ground during recess because they will encounter the playground bully. Ok perhaps that extreme but I would like to submit that it can take the heat and it does not mean you need an additional day off to care for you hair. This post is to simply say the ‘hide you hair’ routine is not the only way and neither is it necessarily the best!
Don’t hide it, strengthen it.
- Additional quick moisturising methods, spray water and conditioner more often.
- Since we are battling dryness switch up the moisture protein deep conditioning treatment ratio. I use stronger protein treatments less often instead of milder ones more often. In the summer months my moisture to protein deep conditioning treatment ratio is 1:1 but in the winter its 2:1 and I go from using a mild protein to a stronger protein. This is because I wont be using it as often. Protein is still required for the strength of your strands so do not forego protein all together.
- Change oils and conditioners go for the thicker oils and creamier conditioners. For sealing I switch to Jamaican black castor oil from jojoba. I also go back to a heavier leave-in conditioner. Lighter products will work well in summer but winter not really. Some naturals even go back to using petroleum based products such the infamous Blue Magic, for sealing.
- Stick to what you know works. If you already have products that do a great job, winter is not the time to be switching things up for no particular reason. You know what natural hair junkies can be like. A new product or another conditioner that smells better and we just cant wait to try. Not in the harsh cold months. Stick with the proven and tested.
- Extra care for the tips and edges. Be wise about the protective styles, leaving your hair out is not the best for moisture retention or your ends in the winter months, so tuck and pin up dos may be better. They still permit midweek moisture routines while hiding your ends. Also moisturise those edges as they will need some time attention, being on the front lines daily.
I hope this helps your winter regimen or encourages you to try leaving your hair out over the winter. If you have more tips, please share below!