I know you think I’m nuts. Summer literally just ended, we are preparing to enjoy fall and I’m talking about winter prep? Unfortunately, my state of Wisconsin got a whopping two weeks of fall weather last year, and then it snowed….and kept snowing. If I’ve learned anything living in the northern Midwest, when autumn arrives we’re almost literally staring winter right in the face. Winter wants to taunt us with the threat of another polar vortex up here in the north…sub-zero temps, massive snow….yeah, I see you winter. I have some things up my sleeve, as well. Here are my top 4 tips to get winter ready hair.
#1. Moisture is Bae. Seriously. If you were hanging back a bit this summer season, enjoying the ease of keeping your hair moisturized, get ready to turn it up a notch. Being nonchalant with moisture during a sub zero polar vortex can be detrimental to your hair.
With sub-zero temperatures comes a constant flow of extra heated air in our homes, cars, schools and workplaces. Too much heat draws out moisture and can cause dryness. Constant dry, parched strands can lead to breakage and kill your dreams of length retention.
Increasing the frequency of deep conditioning and moisturizing daily can help your hair to stay hydrated during those cold winter days. Adopting cowashing into your regimen can also be helpful at keeping dryness at bay. I typically increase my deep conditioning sessions to once weekly versus once bi-weekly and my cowashing sessions from twice per week to three times per week.
#2. Give your sealant some muscle! The first winter I tried to seal my hair with plain olive oil, the season laughed at me and said, “That’s real cute. Nice try.” No matter what oil I used, it seemed the moisture left just as fast as if I hadn’t sealed my hair. It wasn’t until I traded my oils for butters (and *cough* grease *cough*) that my tresses obtained salvation.
Those same oils you loved this past summer, (olive, coconut, grape seed, jojoba, apricot, etc.) may not be able to protect your strands from the moisture-sucking heaters. Heavier oils, like castor oil, and heavy butters like shea, mango, murumuru, cupuacu and the like, offer greater protection. My personal favorite is *cough*grease*cough*.
Increasing your moisturizing frequency is virtually pointless if you neglect to incorporate an effective sealant. The whole point is to slow down the evaporation of the moisture from your hair. Heat makes water evaporate at a faster rate, therefore, you want to protect your tresses and seal in as much moisture as possible.
#3. Put your heat tools in storage. It’s cold outside, darling. Anyone in their right mind is going to have the heat up….or on blast…ahem, like me. Hey, it’s Wisconsin. The last thing I need to do is add more heat to suck out even more moisture.
Adding blow dryers, flat irons, even hood dryers turns moisture retention into more of a chore in the winter months. Air drying is just as effective for drying your hair, although it takes longer, it won’t deplete your hair’s moisture as fast as heat tools.
#4 Practice the art of hiding your hair. Sure you may not be able cowash or deep condition your hair as frequently. But when in protective styles, you can still moisturize. A simple moisturizing spritz mixed with oils can offer great hydration and protection when used daily.
Protective styling may be for you, if you are one of those who must employ a flat iron when your hair is out. If that’s you, putting your hair away for the winter may work well for you. I start in the fall with my favorite protective style, crochet braids.
Protective styling is also great for length retention. HIH (Hands In Hair) syndrome is dangerous in any season if the year. Putting your hair up will help you keep from playing in it, like me. Lol. Length retention by keeping your hair moisturized and putting it away sounds like a win-win situation to me.
I’m ready for boot season and burgundy nail polish. I’m excited for hot cocoa and sweaters. I’m also ready for Old Man Winter. I see you, son! Bring it.
How do you get your hair ready for the winter season?