September is almost over (and so is the giveaway; only three days left!) and the evenings have gotten notably chilly. It’s time to switch out your products and amp up your moisturizing routine to avoid dry, brittle hair. I, for one, have switched out light oil mixtures, like my favorite blend of coconut and sesame oil, for a heavier product, a shea butter mixture. I have also begun baggy-ing my hair between wash days and removed honey and castor oil from my Elixir recipe. Below are ten quick tips to help you adjust your hair care routine too.
MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE
Cold weather can be extremely drying not only to your skin, but your hair as well. The key to protecting your strands from becoming straw-like and brittle is moisture so be more diligent about replacing moisture in your hair and moisturize often.
NO GLYCERIN (OR HUMECTANTS OF ANY KIND)
Glycerin, honey, bamboo extract, and castor oil can be your best friend in the spring and summer, drawing moisture in from the humid air, but it can have the opposite effect in fall and winter. As we know, fall and winter can produce some pretty dry weather so the glycerin will in turn sap the only moisture around; the moisture in your hair!
More product will be necessary since you won’t have the glycerin replenishing moisture for you. Since glycerin is no longer included in your routine, replace the moisture by using more leave-in conditioner and sealing. Mix a little water and leave-in together in a spray bottle as a refresher.
Moisture, as stated above, is the key to healthy hair during the fall and winter seasons so it becomes extremely important that you moisturize as much as possible and seal in that moisture. Using thick creams and butters, like shea or mango butter, can make a considerable difference in moisture retention and how long you can go without having to re-moisturize. The thickness of these products makes it harder for the water in your hair to evaporate, leaving your hair well hydrated for prolonged periods with the added perks of a little product going a long way and a soft hold. Shea butter–when used alone–can weigh hair down a bit. If that’s something you would rather not deal with, try whipping in a few of your favorite oils along with coconut oil and conditioner into your shea butter using a blender or mixer to combine into a lotion or creamy leave-in consistency.
The sebum produced from your scalp has a hard time traversing kinky and curly strands to the ends of your hair. In addition to that, the ends are the oldest part of your hair. That combo makes them the weakest part of hair; they require the most protection from harsh climates. True protective styles will help preserve ends and prevent breakage and dryness. A true protective style is one where your ends would be hidden, such as a bun or twist-and-tuck style. Hiding your ends from the drying cold air will also help them to retain moisture.
USE GELS WITH A SOFT HOLD
Gels with strong hold will feel crunchy when they hit the cold. Using a softer hold will allow for definition and slick edges while still maintaining softness and bounce. If you haven’t already, switch to a gel that doesn’t contain any drying alcohols or you may end up with dry hair.
GO EASY ON PROTEIN
Protein is wonderful for boosting the elasticity and strength of your hair, but too much protein in your hair products can block out moisture, leaving the hair feeling dry and brittle. That fact combined with freezing cold is a recipe for damage. Go easy on your products containing protein, including conditioners.
PAMPER YOUR HAIR
Remember, we’re trying to preserve as much moisture as possible without overdoing it, but it is also important to give your hair a little love by doing a deep treatment to rejuvenate it. Pay attention to what your hair needs and make or shop for a deep treatment that caters to those needs. Apply moisturizing deep treatments biweekly to stave off dryness and keep hair looking and feeling healthy.
DON’T GO OUT WITH WET OR DAMP HAIR
This is a no-brainer, but hey, it happens. Sometimes we’re in a rush and we need to do something with our hair and you may not have time to blow-dry. Excess water in your hair has the potential to freeze and expand the hair shaft, causing breakage, especially if you live in Northern areas where the cold is no joke. Use a blowdryer on low or cool, if you’ve got the time. If not, then try keep your hair covered with a hat or head scarf with a satin bonnet beneath.
UTILIZE HATS, SCARVES, & UPDOS
Not just for bad hair days, hats and scarves can prove vital as moisture protecting tools when Jack Frost rolls through. They also have the added bonus of being a great get-up-and-go solution when you’re short on time. For complete protection, pin your hair down in twists, braids, or a bun, slap on a silk scarf or satin bonnet, and top it off with a knit cap or head scarf. If you really want to wear your hair out, opt for updos that keep your ends from brushing against your scarf or any other rough material you may be wearing. If you decide to wear your hair completely down, then use a satin scarf, or if that’s not enough, envelop your normal scarf within your silk/satin scarf and then put it on.
What changes do you make to your regimen for Fall and Winter?