It’s that time of the year again when we all have to slightly modify our hair care routines. Yes, our hair can thrive in colder climates as long as it’s properly cared for. During summer, I may slack off on my routine without any consequences. In winter, I know to step up my game! Here’s a checklist of necessities to get you through the season. What are you missing?
1. Moisturizer/Leave-in – Investing in a good moisturizer is key. Remember, water = moisture. A true moisturizer will have water/aqua listed as its first ingredient. During winter, I mix my summer moisturizer with extra virgin olive oil instead of buying a heavier moisturizer.
2. Carrier Oils– These natural oils are used to seal in your moisturizer and have many other hair benefits. Unlike mineral oil and petrolatum, they are absorbed into the hair strands. I prefer to use castor oil during this time of the year because of its thick viscosity.
3. Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner – Your staple shampoo should be a moisturizing shampoo (this applies all year round for black hair) and you should always follow up with a deep conditioning treatment. You can also co-wash if you choose not to shampoo. Co-washing refers to washing your hair with a conditioner.
4. Protein Conditioner – Restoring protein to the hair strengthens it. This is more important for chemically treated (relaxed/dyed) hair. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner to restore the moisture balance or your hair will feel like straw! I do protein treatments every 6 weeks.
5. Detangler – Dry hair = tangles galore! I prefer using my detangler while my hair is dry. I simply section my hair into 10 – 12 parts and saturate each part with the product. Some prefer to detangle in the shower using their conditioner–that works too.
6. Clarifying Shampoo – Many shriek at the thought of squeaky-clean hair. I actually don’t mind it. Eventually you will experience build up from all the products you are using and a clarifying shampoo will get you started on a clean slate. Just make sure to deep condition afterwards. I clarify every 6 weeks (same day as my protein treatment).
7. Protective Styles– Braids, sew-ins, wigs and buns are all great ways to protect your hair from the harsh weather. You also want to avoid having your hair brush up on those woolly sweaters! The friction created between your hair and wool will cause split ends, which is counter-productive if your goal is to retain length.
Getting through winter will be a breeze once you establish a routine. Hope this helps in getting you started!
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