With the coldest time of the year around the corner, it is time to transition from wash n gos to protective styles. Not only is how you manage your hair important, but what you use in your hair is just as critical. If you are taking care of your hair properly, you shouldn’t have to make any drastic changes to your hair routine in the winter. If you are not incorporating these steps in your routine now, and you want to see an improvement in your hair journey consider these tips for a more refined regimen.
Using sulfate-free products can reduce levels of dryness in your hair. If you have looked up hair tips before, this is the most reoccurring advice from many natural hair “specialists.” Sulfate acts as a cleaning agent to loosen the grease and oils from your hair and scalp. Products containing sulfate, strip the essential oils from the hair that is naturally produced by the body. For dyed hair, sulfate-free products help maintain color.
Sectioning off your hair when washing medium to long length hair can be beneficial from detangling to using a less amount of product. When your hair is in sections it allows better access to the scalp when shampooing. This is necessary because buildup on the scalp can inhibit hair from growing. After shampooing, the sections allow each strand to get the right amount of product when conditioning. This method of washing may take a bit longer, but it is very effective for more coarse and thicker hair textures.
Hairstyles that require less manipulation can reduce breakage. Hair sheds on a daily basis; however, if you add the amount of hair that breaks off due to constant handling you won’t see the results in length that you are looking for. Twist outs, braid outs, mini twists, and puffs are examples of low maintenance hairstyles. Wash n gos are considered a low maintenance hairstyle, but having your hair that exposed to dry, cold air can make your hair more susceptible to drying out.
Keeping your hair hands-free benefits in a small, yet effective way. Constantly playing in your hair or letting people touch your hair takes away from the moisture it needs. Sometimes it is a habit to touch or pull on your hair when you are thinking, bored or frustrated, but keep it mind that all bad habits have their consequences.
In the winter season the biggest factor is trying to retain as much moisture and preventing breakage caused by dry, brittle hair.
Shampooing your hair less in the colder seasons helps retain oil that sebaceous glands produce. If your hair is more prone to dryness, this may help. Try alternating between shampoo and a co-wash when you wash your hair. On average, one washes their hair at least once a week. Even though shampooing is necessary, in colder weather it can have an adverse effect. For instance, if you go outside in cold weather with recently washed hair and very little oil to protect your hair from the weather conditions, the more likely your hair is at risk to become dry and brittle. Pre-pooing also helps restore the oil in your hair prior to washing.
Sealing your hair with a heavy butter or oil is better for withstanding colder weather. Some good products for this step is Raw Shea Butter and Jamaican Black Castor Oil. In the summer, some people use substantially less of these products because they are too heavy on the hair due to hot and humid weather. Depending on what kind of consistency you look for in products, either product is a good base when styling after washing and moisturizing throughout the week.
Protective styles are designed to protect the ends of your hair. Protective styles are not required to be done as often, versus low-maintenance hairstyles. Roll, tuck and pin styles, wigs, weaves, crochet styles, and cornrows are all considered to be protective styles. The most important thing about these styles is to make sure your ends are tucked. The ends are the oldest part of your hair and they are more vulnerable to break off.
Wear a silk cap or line your hats with silk so the material does not take an unreasonable amount of product out of your hair. Materials use in hats can cause breakage due to friction, and absorbs the moisture from the hair. Wearing a silk cap underneath or lining the inside of a hat with silk will allow you to wear hats to stay warm and reduce breakage.
There is no one-way to take care of hair, because every hair texture is different. The tips in this article are general guidelines to help all types of textures withstand the winter season. One thing that also matters in relation to length retention is dieting. What you put into your body plays a part, too. The key to maintaining healthy hair in the colder seasons is to already have a good hair routine. This way, you will only have to adjust levels of attention in certain areas to keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
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