The Secrets on How to Care For Your Curls in the Winter
Written by Verna Meachum of The Mestiza Muse
Disclaimer: We all have different moisturizing and moisture retention methods, and everyone’s hair is different, which is why this is only to be used as a source of reference, NOT a one size fits all.
I’m reposting an old post from last year that I’ve updated because I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how to care for hair during the winter months. Today, we will cover some tips and techniques to combat dry hair during the Winter Season, plus some of my styling product recommendations.
The Winter Season is here, and in some areas, it has already set in. It is time to start planning a hair care routine that is fit for winter. Fall is gone, and winter brings a whole new set of potential problems that you may need to deal with. Dry and dreary weather can wreak havoc on your hair if you don’t take the right precautions. Your hair may find it harder to retain moisture, making it brittle and prone to damage, not only that, but the frizz and static that often come with wearing winter apparel.
When it comes to hair care, we may have to get technical. According to the National Climate Data Center, on average, from fall to winter, there's an extreme drop in humidity, meaning the air is a lot drier. The temperature is a lot colder, and winds are a lot stronger. That combination can be bad news for any hair type, mainly because it makes your hair and skin dry out a lot faster.
In the winter, the efforts of moisturizing our hair should not necessarily be increased, but consistent. Depending on where you live, winter can be very harsh, so if you skip a lot of opportunities to moisturize your hair, it can quickly lead to breakage.
Tips and Techniques to Combat Dryness
A huge part of having healthy, moisturized hair has a lot to do with how we clean it. For example, we stop washing it as often and instead layer products on top of products and co-wash, not knowing our hair strands are suffocating underneath all that product.
If you usually cleanse/deep condition your hair bi-weekly in the winter months, you can increase it to once a week. If you already wash and deep condition your hair weekly, try incorporating a hot oil treatment with a multi-purpose oil like Righteous Roots Oil. For those of you who are already on top of your cleansing and moisturizing game, it is essential to stay consistent.
You can't see this with the naked eye, but as the days go by, even with all of your sealing efforts, moisture always finds a way to escape through evaporation, which happens quicker in the winter months. So, what most of us like to do in this situation is layer on more products. Your hair feels exceptionally moisturized for a day or so but soon gets dry again. Now you're stuck with dry hair, coated with even more old products…then we repeat this pattern until our dry coated hair eventually breaks off. Rather than layering product after product, wash your hair consistently and add a product to CLEAN moisturized hair, especially during the winter.
We know that it is cold outside, but turn the hot water down. A really hot shower feels so good on a cold-weather day but, if you want to care for your scalp and hair, you should turn the temperature down- hot water can dehydrate your skin and hair.
Use a humidifier. If your hair struggles a lot with moisture retention, I highly recommend using a humidifier- this is a great passive way to inject more moisture into your hair. If you don’t want to use a humidifier, you can try to extend your shower sessions, letting your curls bask in the steam while you’re conditioning or wearing your hair mask. A humidifier puts moisture in the air, which gives many benefits not only for your hair but also for your skin. Plus, the moisture creates comfort for you in the winter.
Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. We all know healthy hair starts from within. With all of the dry air that your hair is subjected to during the winter, hydrating with products can only do so much.
Hats can also be a great way to preserve your curls while outside. Thankfully, Grace Eleyae invented satin-lined beanies that help mitigate hat-hair disasters. Satin doesn’t absorb moisture or create as much friction as other fabrics like cotton, so your hair stays protected and smooth while it’s covered up. This brand has everything from knit headbands to baseball caps lined with satin.
1. Kinky Curly Knot Today- This is a great product known by most, and it's affordable. It's designed to smooth the hair cuticle and remove knots and tangles. It can be used as a regular rinse-out conditioner for wavy hair or as a leave-in for thicker curlier hair types. I use it as the first step in my styling routine. It works great with a cream styling product as a follow- up or a gel. Also great for all weather.
2. Kinky Curling Custard- This product will give moisture and definition and is great for all weather. It is concentrated, so a little goes a long way. This product can be used alone, but for extra curl definition, pair it with the Kinky Curly Knot Today or gel.
3. If you like to use the LOC/LCO method, try Camille Rose Naturals Curlaide Moisture Butter or Camille Rose Aloe Whipped Butter Gel . Even though the Aloe Whipped Butter Gel is a “gel,” it can also be used as a leave-in conditioner for hair in need of both moisture and definition. I have found this product to be one of my faves during the colder season. Another fave of mine is the Curls Dynasty Twisted Definition, which is also great to use year-round.
4. Another great styler is the Soultanicals Marula Muru Moisture Guru. If you want maximum moisture, this is it. One time, I accidentally used this as a deep conditioner, and let me tell you the amount of moisture my hair had after rinsing it out was insane! This product will truly help to lock in moisture.
5. There are two new styling products on the market by Bouncecurl that are perfect for year-round weather, including dry, humid low and high dew points, and it works for all textured hair- Moisture Balance Leave-in Conditioner and Avocado & Rose Oil Clump & Define Cream.
What are your tips for caring for your curls in the winter? Share them with us in the comments!