These simple tips will definitely shield your natural hair from the damaging effects of cold temperatures. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below and share what you do to maintain your locks during the winter months.
Winter is the harshest season to keep hair moisturized. Leaving hair exposed in the bitter cold and extreme wind conditions can cause havoc on your tresses and you may wind up looking like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz! Even if you protect your hair from the winter elements, wool hats and scarves can suck the moisture right out of your hair and cause breakage.
Here are six helpful tips to ensure less hair damage during the winter season.
1. DO NOT USE coconut oil as a moisturizer. Coconut oil is great in the summer and works well in the summer to help lubricate hair strands during hot, summer months. However coconut oil solidifies in cold temperatures so it will also harden on your hair due to lack of humidity and heat during the winter. You will also notice that your hair tends to be dryer after you use it the next day.
2, DO USE coconut oil as a pre-poo conditioner during the winter. There’s still several benefits of using coconut oil but it should be used at the right time. Coconut oil is great for sealing split ends, adding sheen and healing dry scalp or skin. It’s great to use has a hot oil treatment, but just be careful not to overheat as it can burn your skin. You can simply apply at night and wrap your hair in a scarf prior to your wash day. Coconut oil is also helpful in detangling hair or loosing tight braids especially at the ends with a rat tail comb.
3. Use a deep conditioner always. Never go without a deep conditioner. Find the one that works in your hair and deep condition after every shampoo session (No more than once per week). Also, be sure to follow the directions. Over-conditioning can be just as damaging and cause breakage if hair is over-moisturized causing a rubber band or stretchy effect to hair strands.
4. Strengthen your hair with a protein treatment. One of my best hair treatments is simply adding an egg into my deep conditioner. Use a separate bowl. Scoop out as much conditioner as you think you may need. Add the egg and stir until the mixture in blended and whipped like a creamy custard consistency. You can add a teaspoon of castor, olive, almond or jojoba oil to the mix. To stimulate scalp you can add peppermint or tea tree oil. For a scented treatment, you can add frankincense, myrrh, lavender, lemongrass or other favorite essential oil.
5. Wear a protective hairstyles. Make sure you wear a protective style that ensures protection from the winter elements. Buns, braids, up do’s, roll and tuck and twists are great styles to nurture growth. There is less manipulation which allows hair to bond together especially if you use castor oil as your go-to hair oil. Wigs, braid extensions or hairpieces can be damaging and cause breakage so I recommend wearing them with caution. It can cause laziness in daily maintenance and wearing extensions for too long will cause hair to become dry and brittle causing damage, if not properly maintained. Also, another great protective style is head wear like head wraps and hat accessories. Go all out with the variations and styles but just make sure that you protect your hair with a silk liner or scarf underneath. A trendy and stylish wear is the Satin Line Caps (SLAPS).
6. Use a water-based moisturizer. Using oils alone does not moisturize the hair because it doesn’t penetrate the hair shaft and sits on top of the surface of the hair layer. You must use a water-based moisturizer that eliminates all signs of dryness. There are tons of products out there so have fun finding the perfect one that suits your hair type. My favorites are ORS Olive Oil Crème, ORS Carrot Oil Conditioner, ORS Hair Fertilizer and Monoi Coconut Moisturizer and Shea Moisture Hair Milk.