Winterizing Your Life: Hair

Hey everyone! It’s that time of year again: fall/wintertime. Now I don’t know about where you live, but I know in my hometown, it can get very cold here. All you want to do is sit on your comfy couch or chair, wearing your warm clothing, your toes hidden in cozy socks or slippers and sip hot chocolate. You can’t forget turning the heat on or lighting the wood in the fireplace so that your house or apartment is at a comfortable temperature and you’re in paradise. Sounds like a wonderful fantasy huh? Well, though that is what typically happens in most homes during the colder months, the heat from inside, as well as the cold elements outside can wreck havoc on our hair if we don’t take care of it. I know that for me, the winter time is the hardest my hair gets hit because it feels like my hair doesn’t stay moisturized as I would like. Last year, I learned a lot about taking care of my hair during the wintertime and today, I want to help you guys. Don’t worry; I’m not sending you up the creek without a paddle. I did and will continue to do most of these things myself this winter and my hair didn’t suffer as bad as I thought it would. Just to show you guys the things I did for my hair, I’ll italicize them. The things that are not italicized, are things I plan on doing this cold weather season. Let’s learn together, shall we?
  • First and foremost, stick to a heavier moisturizer. I find that I cannot use my watery leave ins/moisturizers to adequately protect my hair and keep it as moisturized as I would like. I typically like to use a butter like Elasta QP Olive Oil and Mango Butter moisturizer for the wintertime because I feel like it does a better job. You can use shea butter, mango butter, or any other heavy moisturizer you feel will moisturize and protect your hair from the elements.
  • This is optional, but I also liked using a heavier oil on my hair to seal in my moisturizer. My favorite oil to use during this time was olive oil because I felt like it protected my hair better. I used just a little of it throughout the sections of my hair before either braiding or bantu knotting my hair for the night.
  • Protective styling is a must! I don’t know about you guys, but I typically see people wearing weaves during the hotter months than in the winter months. Personally, I feel like if you’re going to wear a weave, the winter is the best time. Not only is your hair going to be protected from the elements underneath, your weave can still add to your appearance. Just make sure you give your hair a BREAK from the weaves, ladies. Weaves add tension to your hair and can lead to breakage, especially if your are putting it in your head over and over again, consecutively. Other helpful protective hairstyles are buns, phony ponies, braids, and wigs. This season, wigs and ponytails will be my best friend!
  • Cover your hair! I know we hear this a lot when we do our hair for sleep, but this is also the case for when we step outside into the harsh wind and cold. Now, the reason I do not have this italicized is because, even though I always cover my hair up at night, I didn’t always do it when I went outside. Sure, I would wear my coat hood over my head or a beanie, but here’s the thing. The materials from your hats can actually dry out your hair and cause it to break. It’s the same thing with always protecting your ends from scarves and your clothes, especially during the winter. If you’ve made up your mind about basically living in beanies and the like (especially for the cold weather where it can get to 40 degrees and lower), then I suggest lining your hats with satin material. This way, you can still wear your hats and keep warm, as well as protect your hair from the friction caused by many hats. If hats aren’t for you (you may like earmuffs or just your coat hood better) then I suggest wearing your satin cap until you get where you are going. You can always take it off once you get into the parking garage of your destination or inside the building. Don’t forget to protect your hair underneath!
  • Condition! I know for me, I conditioned twice a week, after my co-wash or shampoo washes. For the winter time, I always made sure that I deep conditioned with a moisturizing conditioner, save for the day I did my clarifying shampoo wash. For that time, I would use a heavy protein to make sure my hair didn’t get that disgusting mushy feel of over moisturized hair. We want to protect our hair and baby it as much as we can since there is barely any water in the air that our hair could benefit from, unlike in the summer. Down south where I live, I can get away with doing less co-washing (if I wanted to) because there is so much humidity in the air that co-washing multiple times could make my hair overly moisturized. Trust me, your hair will thank you.
  • If you really feel the need to wear your hair out during the colder months, I suggest styling your hair in buns or braids. With buns, the ends of your hair are protected and keeping the ends moisturized and hidden can protect your hair from splits. We all know that ends are the oldest part of our hair, but they are almost the most important. Your length comes from your ends. If you allow splits to travel up the hair strand, it can break your hair off, making it appear thinner and unkempt. If you live in a windy city, tying your hair in a braid can keep your hair in place. The braid is an ideal protective style for me because my hair is free to tangle as the wind blows it to and fro. I suggest making sure your hair is thoroughly moisturized and sealed with oil before choosing either one of these styles. You want to make sure your hair has nourishment, even when you’re wearing it uncovered.
    • A bonus about braids: When you get to your destination and take your hair down, you may have these nice loose waves, depending how tight and big your braid your hair. Not only are your protecting your hair by braiding it, you’re protecting it from heat, which can also damage your hair in ANY season.
  • Try the “Baggy Method.” For my ladies on their relaxed and natural hair journeys, I’m sure you all have heard of this one before. For those that haven’t, the baggy method is when you moisturize and seal your hair like normal before putting on a processing cap and letting it sit on your hair for a few hours or overnight. This is like deep conditioning, except you’re not washing your moisturizer out. I love this method for dry hair because it helps me retain moisture a lot better. I feel like anyone can do this method regardless of hair texture and type. I will caution against doing this every single day though because too much moisture can be a bad thing. If you know your hair, you’ll know how much moisture is too much before it gets that disgusting mushy feeling. Always try to listen to your hair and try out different methods that work well for you.

So there you have it guys! Those are just a few of my tips to helping my hair survive the wintertime. But guess what! We’re not done with this post yet! I’ve decided to make this a little series for the wintertime, so I do not overload this post. There will be three parts: Hair, Beauty, and Clothing. I should have the Beauty post up soon after I research the trends in makeup, nails, etc. I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you have any tips for protecting your hair during the winter, don’t be afraid to put them in the comments so I and everyone else can learn from you. Love you guys! Have a great day!

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