6 Steps to Maintaining Natural Hair in the Winter

Maintaining the appearance and health of naturally curly hair can be a task. Knowing when to moisturize, how often, washing it enough or washing it too little, all can be less than ideal. Especially in the winter, where the weather is determined to ruin your mane. Here we have listed a low maintenance hair routine to have your curls flourish in the winter!

Step 1:Make Clear for a Special Day!

During the winter when the weather is extremely rough on you hair, it helps to pay more attention to your hair than usual. Whether it’s once a week or once every two weeks, carve out a specific day where you will revitalize your hair strands. On this day, you’ll wash, condition, deep condition, and moisturize your hair to get it prepared for the following week(s) ahead. You don’t wash to over wash your hair in colder months because it allows for your natural hair to keep its natural oils as long as possible. The key is not to look at this as work, but time for yourself to really take care of you, or a part of you. To make it a little more fun, turn the whole day into a spa day and enlist in some mask and meditation!

Step 2: Deep Condition!

The goal during the winter is moisture retention. If you don’t want to skip shampooing all together, opt for a pre-poo treatment before your wash using a cheap conditioner like VO5 Moisture Milk and your favorite oils. Caution, that comes oils work better in winter months to protect and seal in moisture, like castor and olive oil. You can keep this treatment in for as long as you’d like (overnight during harsher weather is ideal), but leave it in for ay least 15 minutes. You can also take time under the dryer or a steamer to really get the effects of the treatment. After your wash, always deep condition. Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner works wonders and smells lovely!

Step 3:  Moisturize with the Right Products!

The key to keeping your natural hair healthy in the winter is what products you are using. Different ingredients respond differently to different weather conditions. For example, using products with humectants (think of honey or vegetable glycerin) in the winter isn’t ideal because it naturally pulls moisture from the air. But in the winter when the air is dry, it will work in reversal mode, pulling the moisture from your hair and releasing back to the air. If you must use products like these, try the L.O.C. (liquid, oil, cream) method where you moisturize your hair and use oil or heavy butters (like shea butter) as a sealant to protect your hair. Your moisturizer should still be water based however. Try a moisturizing milk like Deva Curl One Condition Decadence Ultra Moisturizing Milk Conditioner and a moisturizing butter like Camille Rose Curlaide Moisture Butter. Don’t forget to oil your scalp at least twice a week either!

Step 4: Maintain your trims!

Just like any other season, it is important you stick to a routine of trims to combat split ends and breakage. For natural hair, any where from every two to three months should be fine.

Step 5: Protective Styles!

The winter is the perfect time to enlist in anything to prevent your hair from being in extreme contact with the cold air. Braids, weaves, wigs, hats – you name it! Try your hand out with fun styles to combat the cold weather. A few reminders if you do decide to do get something like braids or a weave, make sure you are taking care of your hair underneath with consistent moisturizing. If you wear a hat, make sure you aren’t placing harsh materials like wool directly on your hair, which can create frizz, strip moisture from your strands, and create split ends. Protect your hair with silk based linings if necessary.

Step 6: You are what you eat!

Whatever you do to protect your hair on the outside, will see better progress if you are taking care of you  on the inside. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water every day. Getting the right amount of protein, carbs, and vegetables are just as important too!

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