Your fine hair can take a hit when winter arrives and it’s not fully protected. The frigid temps can literally dry out fine strands to the point of weakening them and causing them to snap. That’s why you need a good plan for winter natural hair care.
I recall many years back (before I was familiar with how to protect my fine hair in the winter. The wind would be whipping across my face, pulling my then loose hairs onto my lip where they promptly broke off once it came in contact with my lip balm.
Those days of breaking hair due to cold frigid winds are over.
Every winter, I make it a daily quest to fight off the damaging air so that my fine strands can continue to flourish in spite of the environment. In this guide to combatting dry hair in winter,
Below I provide some practical tips for winter natural hair care.
Moisture versus Hydration
Before we can even begin looking at ways to protect your hair from drying out during the cold winter months, we first need to examine the state we need get our hair to. This is to maintain it in the healthiest way possible.
There’s a lot of talk about keeping hair moisturized to prevent it from drying out. The word, “Moisturizing” is often used interchangeably with the word “Hydrating.” Yet, while the two practices are closely related, they are slightly different.
Moisturizing your hair is actually done after your hair receives hydration on wash day.
Hydration takes place when the hair is saturated with water and the cuticles have been opened to receive moisture.
How to Hydrate Your Hair
Hydrating your hair begins on wash day. You hydrate your hair from start and throughout the wash process:
- Saturate all of your hair with water . Do this until it’s soaking wet and the cuticles are lifted (Best done with warm water – especially for low porosity hair)
- When steaming and deep conditioning, allowing your hydrating products to penetrate your strands
Winter Hair Care for Moisture Retention
Moisturizing your hair is done when products containing water are applied to the hair to soften the strands and make them more pliable. These products are usually in the form of creams or sprays and water is usually first on the ingredient list.
Moisturizing products, also called moisturizers can be used daily or as often as your hair needs. Yet, when your hair is properly hydrated you won’t need to moisturize as often as every day.
During the winter months, your hair will need extra TLC. For sealing, add a natural butter either in place of or in addition to.
Keep Moisture & Protein Levels Balanced
While hydration/moisture is important to the health of your hair, so is protein. Protein provides your hair with tensile strength. This just means your hair won’t easily break under stress and pressure when you have a sufficient amount of protein fortifying it.
An adequate diet of protein is important but providing your hair with topical protein treatments is also important.
Protein is the primary material that hair consists of. Yet, the degradation of protein can hair due to wear and tear and environmental factors. That’s where protein treatment are your defenders!
Only you can determine the frequency (and type) of protein treatments your hair requires. (Read more about using protein treatments here)
Protecting Your Hair from the Frigid Cold
Once you have invested all that time into strengthening and hydrating your hair, (plus adding moisture either prophylactically or by necessity, you certainly don’t want the cold winds to undo all the hard work put into your healthy hair care practices.
There’s quite a few things that can be done to protect fine hair (all hair really) during the winter months:
- Protective styling – Styling your hair in a manner that doesn’t allow your strands to roam free, provides them with a high level of protection from dryness and breakage.
Recommended protective styles: Large pinned up twists, flat twists, and buns
Tend to your ends
- Sealing your ends – After moisturizing and sealing your hair, pay close attend to your ends by using a heavy oil based protectant on that section of your hair.
Jamaican Black Castor Oil is the heavy duty oil of choice for this practice. If you are protective styling, feel free to use some of this rich oil further up the hair strand. Otherwise, just use on the ends so your don’t weight your hair down.
- Keep your curls clumped – There’s safety in numbers. Keeping your individual strands clumped together in either tight curls, twists or braids, will protect your fine hair from the cold winter winds and temps.
If wearing your hair in curls, try styling in it’s naturally curly state via a wash and go that’s been set with a gel that allows your curls to remain clumped.
The gel should create a “cast” on your hair once dry. Allow that cast to break apart naturally. By the time this happens, it will be time for you to restart the hydration process.
Don’t allow the cold winter to do a number on your fine strands. Protect them by hydrating, moisturizing, strengthening, sealing and being selective with how you style.
Use the tips in this guide to winter natural hair care to get your fragile strands through the brutal cold temperatures.