Melanin & Mistletoes: Winter Essentials & Tips for Black Women

Winter is coming and us sistas all know what that means: ashy knees and dry curls. I don’t know about y’all but I’m not trying to be ashy or look like Little Bill for the holidays. Skincare and haircare are important year-round but it’s especially important that we show our ‘fros and melanin a lil’ extra TLC during the cold winter months. These are some of the most important things to remember and have around throughout the holiday season, as well as my personal favorites!

Hair

Ladies, our ‘fros are our crowns, we have to take care of them. The most important thing is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! I can’t stress this enough. Moisture is the key thing our hair needs during cold weather. The harsh weather can easily dry out curly hair, which is a huge no-no because nobody wants to lose their edges or experience breakage. I’ve recently started to wear my hair out now that it’s growing, and every morning I moisturize my hair using the LOC method: leave-in, oil, cream. First, I use a leave-in conditioner, my current favorite is Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-In Conditioner!

Courtesy: Shea Moisture

After I apply my leave-in conditioner, I apply either Jamaican black castor oil (The Jamaican Mango & Lime brand, coconut-scented) or coconut oil (the Holy Grail!) to my hair. I apply it to the roots and then work it through to the ends of my hair. Oils are crucial to the moisturizing process, they seal in the moisture so that your hair won’t dry out throughout the day – remember, we’re trying to keep our edges.

Courtesy: Jamaican Mango & Lime

The final step in my year-round hair routine, the LOC method, is to apply a curl cream all over hair. My personal favorite is EDEN BodyWorks Coconut Shea Natural Curl Defining Crème. Curling/styling creams help to define and hold your curls so that they last all day.

Courtesy: EDEN BodyWorks

Another way to keep your curls healthy during the winter is to wear protective styles. Slicked-back buns, braids, weaves and wigs are the most popular protective styles during the holiday season due to the fact that they’re very low-maintenance. Also, ladies, make sure that your hair is dry before you step outside! You definitely don’t want to catch a cold. I use a cotton tee to dry my hair every time.

Skin

Let’s get skin-deep. Say NO to cracked lips. Nobody wants to be “chapped lips” lady from SpongeBob.

Courtesy: SpongeBuddy Mania

Remember her? She’s the reason I use Carmex religiously. Having moisturized

lips is crucial during the winter time. So be sure to use lip gloss, lip balm/chapstick or a moisturizing lipstick. Chapped lips aren’t fun to have.

Dry skin is a no-no. Nobody wants to be ashy, so it’s imperative that we keep our skin exfoliated, moisturized and soft. Cocoa butter and shea butter are my personal favorites year-round and I slather it on when winter comes. Another favorite of mine is Bath and Body Works lotion, my all-time favorite scent is Warm Vanilla Sugar. I also exfoliate (brown sugar + coconut oil + vanilla extract = BOMB exfoliator sent from the DIY Gods) and use a moisturizing body wash when I shower.

Not only does your body need to be soft and moisturized but so does your face! Be sure to exfoliate and use your go-to daily moisturizer to avoid dry patches.

Cold weather is coming, ladies, so show your bodies some extra TLC. Continue to grow, glow and give thanks, this holiday season.