So we’re heading into winter and it seems its the perfect storm of bad conditions. Harsh cold air outside followed by warm hot air inside, are sure to leave your hair stripped of moisture, dry and some major tangles. So how can you build a hair regimen to protect those ends and help your retain moisture and length during the winter? Let’s look at 8 tips to help your build your regimen.
Trimming- During the warmer weather, a lot of us wore our hair out and enjoyed wash n gos and twist outs, so as the winter approaches, now is the time to give your ends a fresh start and beginning hiding them away. I prefer to trim at the beginning of the change of each season, so four times a year- winter, spring, summer and fall.
Pre Poo- Every good regimen begins with a good wash day. Now because the weather is cold and believe everyone should be prepooing their hair with either an oil or mask. I prefer creating my own oil blend using ayurvedic herbs in conjunction with my favorite penetrating oils- Coconut, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Babassu Oil, Argan Oil. If you want to learn more about penetrating hair oils click here. Additionally, some of my favorite masks are henna glosses or cassia glosses.
Cleansing- Cleansing is key to every healthy regimen, even in the winter. However, you want to find moisturizing shampoos or clay to help you cleanse your hair without stripping your strands. For us low porosity girls, Bentonite Clay and Rhassoul Clay are my favorite clays to help clarify our hair without stripping it of moisture. For those with high porosity hair, consider cowashing frequently and only cleansing your hair every 2-3 weeks. Additionally, my new favorite moisturizing shampoos are shampoo bars- they are sulfate free and contain hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. My current favorite Shampoo Bar is Henna Sooq- Honey Shampoo Bar.
Deep Conditioning- Deep conditioning is my all time favorite method to infuse moisture deep into your strands. Looking for quality ingredients and humectants (plant gels, emulsifiers) and avoid chemical laden products such as silicones.
Steaming- Deep conditioning with steam will ensure that your hair gets all the goodness your deep conditioner has to offer. If you have a steamer or heating/deep conditioning cap make sure you use it religiously. If you have neither of these items, then break out the shower cap, plastic cap, or grocery bag and a warm towel. Steam will help your hair absorb the ingredients of your deep conditioner penetrating deep into your strands and providing some serious moisture.
Moisturizing- Moisturizing your hair regular using the Liquid, Cream, Oil, (LCO, LOC, LOCA, or LOCB) method as defined in my high and low porosity series will help you to lock in the moisture after wash day. Finding a routine that’s right for your hair needs is key to not letting your hair dry out. According to where you live, you may need to moisturize thrice weekly, or even daily depending on where you live. Up in Philadelphia, I can get by with thrice weekly, and as a low porosity girl, I prefer the LCO method.
Sealing- Now that your hair is moisturized, lets focus on sealing in that moisture. You want to find oils that seal your hair strand and lock in the moisture. You really want to focus on heavier oils such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Almond Oil, Safflower Oil. If you have fine strands you may find sealing with lighter oils such as Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil to be very helpful. One oil you want to avoid is coconut oil and focus on other oils that are liquid at room temperature, trust me you dont want frozen curls with solidified coconut oil.
Protective Styling- Whether you put your hair into a bun or twists, having a style that protects your hair and in particular your ends is particularly important in this winter. Out styles are out the door in winter if you want to maintain your hair’s moisture levels, health, and length.
Even wearing a cute high puff may seem okay, but the wind can cause tangling and eventual breakage. If you want to retain your length during the colder months, keep your hair guarded in the protective style for most of the week. However, do not put your hair in a protective style and forget about it! Your hair will dry out even in a protective style. I recommend moisturizing at least thrice weekly and changing up the style ever 1 to 2 weeks.
Stretching is also good for natural hair because it improves manageability and prevents tangles. Banding, twists, and braids all help to keep hair stretched and untangled. Wear satin lined hat/ scarf to protect your hair from extreme cold and winds.
The Great Glycerin Debate
As we have learned previously glycerine is a powerful humectant that draws in moisture from the environment into your hair. However, in most winter climates, there is minimal moisture in the air, and the air tends to be dry. So should glycerin be used in the cold winter time?
I recommend trying it out using the following techniques. Use a water/glycerin based leave in followed up with a hydrating cream leave in. Then, steam your hair for about 10 minutes to provide the glycerin with the moisture it needs to bind the water molecules to your strands. Finally, seal your ends with a sealing oil.
What do you think? Have you used glycerin in the winter time, if so, how did your hair respond?
Do you have any hair times for growing your hair out in the winter? Share them below!