winterizing fine hair
Growth & Retention

How to Winterize Fine Natural Hair

winterized natural hair

The temps in NY are frigid to say the least. The brutal cold has wreaked havoc on my fine hair in the past. I didn’t realize the importance of winterizing my hair back then. I used to care for my hair the same way I cared for it in the summer – including wearing it out most days.

You can imagine what the results were. It’s bad enough my fine hair was already prone to breakage due to each strand’s  lack of “weightiness.” Every winter I would experience breakage and my hair never grew past my shoulders.

After doing a bit of research on what it takes to care for fine hair,  I know what it takes to winterize it. Here’s what I do in a nutshell:

– Protect the strands from drying out
– Keep the hair strong as to prevent breakage
– Provide a buffer between the hair and the cold

The best way to accomplish these three tasks (in conjunction with covering your hair when going outdoors) is to apply a heavy sealant to regularly deep conditioned hair.

winterizing fine hair

Winterizing on Wash Day and Beyond

On wash day, I normally seal in the moisture using the LCOC (Liquid, Conditioner, Oil, Cream) method. Well, winter weather isn’t normal! It’s only 1/4 of the year’s weather. The other 3/4s of the year require a little less diligence (not much less though).

To winterize my hair, I actually drop the oil and cream and replace it with a heavy butter. The goal is to winterize the hair but not weigh it down too much. I rarely use stylers or gels in the winter (except a little aloe vera gel). My heavy butter serves as my styler and coupled with the AVG, smoothes my edges when necessary.

Jane Carter Nourish and Shine is my butter of choice. I mix it with Jane Carter Hair Nourishing Serum and apply to dry hair every other day. The serum is formulated with a rich blend of essential oils that aids the hair in the strength and moisture departments.

When co-washing and deep conditioning my hair (every other week), I seal in the moisture right in the shower using my special blend of natural oils (Jojoba, Almond and Grapeseed). When I’m ready to style, I follow my dry hair routine. I do not leave the house with wet hair in the winter.

Any ‘Ole Butter Will Do

When it comes to using a butter to seal the moisture into your hair, you don’t have to use what I use. Shea Butter and Mango Butter are just as effective. I am not a huge DIY gal so I only make a mango butter mix when I’m feeling inspired 🙂 Most of the time though, I gotsta have me some JCNS. It smells amazing and it’s also all natural. Most importantly, I love how this butter just melts into my strands and maintains’s my hair’s moisture level for days on end (umm I’m thinking JC needs to be paying me for this advertisement LOL!)

Can’t Forget Protective Styling

No hair winterization (I don’t think that’s actually a word but I’m adding it to the ebonics dictionary!) would be complete without the inclusion of protective styling. Now, I know some ladies say protective styling doesn’t work for them but I think I know why (at least for us fine hair curlies).

Protective styling with styles that require very little manipulation is mucho importante. A lot of ladies put in kinky twists, mini twists, braids etc. I’ve found that for fine hair like mine, these protective styles aren’t necessarily the best options to protect our hair.

While your hair is indeed hidden away with these styles, it requires far too much manipulation to install and take them down when the time comes. If you do it yourself, you know how super careful you have to be. If you get it done by someone else, I can guarantee they will not be as careful with your hair as you will. Hence, some breakage is bound to occur (i.e. braiding, adding hair)

Since fine hair is much more prone to breakage when handled, I opt for low manipulation protective styles like buns, medium to large twists that I can pin up and rolls.

I also do not add hair that doesn’t grow from my scalp. Even with human hair, breakage can occur due to the “foreignness” of the hair when added to your own hair.

To sum it up, winterizing fine hair is pretty simple:

Low manipulation protective styles done on well conditioned hair that’s been sealed with a heavy butter also serving as a buffer from the cold.

That’s it. Now, when summer comes I put my butters aside and return to using light oils to seal and stylers to style.

How do you go about winterizing your hair?

fine natural hair blogger

Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

2 Comment

  1. Greetings, my fellow fine-haired sistren 🙂

    I’ve been working on more frequent deep conditioning overall. I wash often but don’t have the patience to DC. I think I also need to invest in a sit-under dryer for better penetration.

    I’m also surprised to say I’ve been using a butter as well. I say surprised because butters have always weighed my hair down and made it limp.

    But I’m been having success with TGIN’s butter cream. Granted I’m super careful when using it. My hands are completely wet and I just rub a thin layer between my palms.

    I’ve used it for my last three washes and am enjoying the extra moisture it’s providing. So far, so good *fingers crossed*

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