Winter is in full swing, and if you live in the midwest like me, you know it can be seriously brutal! The dry air can wreak havoc on already fragile curly/kinky/coily textured hair. But, there is hope for parched winter locks. Here’s how I modify my routine to maximize moisture retention:
- Use a clarifying shampoo like SOFN’FREE NOTHING BUT CLARIFYING SHAMPOO at least once to remove product buildup from those delicate strands. Getting rid of old product film allows the moisturizing conditioning treatments to penetrate more effectively. You can use a sulfate-free shampoo for subsequent cleansing sessions. Try DARK & LOVELY AU NATURALE BEYOND GENTLE WASH.
- Deep condition, deep condition, deep condition! I know it can a bit time-consuming; however, it is essential for effectively moisturizing dry tresses. I shampoo my hair every 1-2 weeks, and I deep condition after each shampoo. And for the record, deep conditioning means using conditioning products that are specifically designed to impart intense moisture and conditioning to the hair. Most deep conditioners work best when heat is applied for maximum penetration. You can try sitting under a hair dryer with a processing cap, or heating the actual product before applying it to your hair and covering with a processing cap. ORS HAIR MAYONNAISE is tried and true!
- Use hot oil treatments. Not only is warm oil soothing to the scalp, but the heating action allows for increased penetration into the hair. The lubricating oils can help lock moisture in and keep hair from drying out. You can use a ready-made treatment or make your own using oils like coconut, olive, sweet almond, avocado, etc. Warm oil in a sauce pan or double boiler (I avoid microwaving to preserve the awesome vitamins in the oils) until warm–not burning hot– and apply to damp hair. Massage the oil into your scalp and smooth down the strands paying careful attention to the ends. Cover with a processing cap and leave on for at least 30 minutes. Then shampoo and condition as normal. With repeated use, your hair will be softer and more manageable with improved elasticity. GREENHOUSE™ HERBAL HAIR GROWTH OIL (great for the scalp) and AMLA LEGEND REJUVENATING OIL are excellent choices.
- Moisturize. And seal. Like, don’t skip the sealing! I’m talking to the flat ironed gals especially. I know moisture is kryptonite to our sleek styles, but that doesn’t mean we can get by without feeding our hair what it craves. In fact, because of the heat styling, our tresses long for moisture even more. Just use a small amount of an oil-based moisturizing cream like EDEN BODYWORKS COCONUT SHEA HAIR BALM and finish with a bit of sealing oil. Jojoba is great for that as it mimics our scalp’s naturally produced sebum. If your hair is really dry try using a heavier oil, like olive or castor, or even a whipped butter like TALIAH WAAJID NUTRIENT-RICH SHINE BUTTER . And don’t forget to “heat responsibly” by ALWAYS using a heat protectant to combat dryness and breakage. FANTASIA IC POLISHER HEAT PROTECTOR STYLE CREAM yields good results.
- Utilize protective styles. We all know that the ends of our hair are the first to dry out and break, so keep them tucked away. Sew-in weaves, wigs, buns, braids and/or crochet styles are my favorite options. Protective styles help to minimize breakage by reducing the amount of times you have to manipulate your hair. Be mindful not to neglect your hair, though. It’s still very necessary to cleanse, deep condition, and add moisture even while protective styling.
- Use a satin bonnet or scarf at bed time. Unlike cotton, the satin material prevents moisture lost while sleeping (or tossing and turning!). If you’re like me and sometimes forget to wrap, use a satin pillowcase. I sometimes leave the scarf on under my hat when going outside as well. Or you can try one of those super cute satin-lined knit hats!
Care to share your tips for avoiding the dry winter hair blues?