This ultimate guide to winter hair care for natural hair is packed with information about how to care for your hair when the temperature drops.
I just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL (Dec.9) . This post is actually not written by me but by Rachel Nelson founder of the blog Coil Guide and I am so excited to have her here on this post.
She is a natural hair beauty and she writes for other natural hair beauties who long to take care of and grow healthy natural hair .
In this post Rachel dives deep on how to take care of your natural hair in the winter and SLAY all season long
Keep reading and check out Rachel’s blog Coil Guide for more awesome natural hair guides and tips !
How To Slay Natural Hair During The Winter
Winter is usually the colder time of year, but it looks different for everybody. For some areas, cold means temperatures around 60 degrees ( 15.5 Celsius) or higher.
For others ( like me) cold means snow and temperatures in the negatives. No matter what cold means to you, finding a way to deal with it is important.
Why Single Out Winter?
You might be wondering “Why are you singling out winter? I have to take care of my natural hair all year round. Why can’t I just use the same regimen I’ve been using?”
Climate and haircare go hand in hand, so you need a yearly hair care regimen that works with it. Climate is the consistent weather patterns all year round, and most of them have winters that are the complete opposite of the rest of the year.
Since winters are usually a time of dramatic weather changes, the regimen and products that work during the summer might not work anymore.
“ Rachel, does this mean that I have to buy whole new products? Because Camille Rose and Deva Curl are NOT cheap and I don’t have money to waste!”
No, keep using your products if they’re still working. I’ll go over everything in more detail so that you can live your best hair life all year round!
SIDE NOTE: I split this article by weather, so it’s possible to fall into multiple categories. For example, your winter might be cold and rainy or hot and dry. So be sure to read tips from multiple sections, and hopefully, you’ll find something that works for you.
How To Care For Natural Hair In Dry Winters
Moisturize More Often
If winter is your dry season, you need to moisturize your hair more often compared to the rest of the year. This is because natural hair will absorb the water in the air, which in turn decreases your workload. If there’s not as much water in the air, then it has to come from somewhere else.
Deep conditioning will be your best friend during this time. Do it more often, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. A good rule of thumb is to do it once or twice a week depending on how dry the air gets.
Any more than twice a week might give you moisture overload and trust me, you don’t want those problems. You have 99 problems, don’t make that one.
If you still need refreshing but don’t want ( or need) to deep condition more often, then you’re going to need to do the LCO or LOC method in between washes. This gives your hair a fresh moisture boost and helps to keep it hydrated until the next wash.
How often you should do this depends on the frequency of your wash days, how fast your hair loses moisture, and how well you hydrated your hair the previous time.
Use Heavier Sealants
You don’t want all of your moisture to evaporate. Heavy oils like olive oil, coconut oil, or castor oil might be great for you. However, if your hair never liked heavy oils, then continue to not use them.
If that’s you, you can try sealing your hair in other ways such as using gels or hair grease. I know the natural hair community generally thinks the devil is a tub of grease, but I beg to differ.
When used correctly, grease is actually pretty beneficial. The petroleum or mineral oil makes for a wonderful sealant, and in my opinion, a much better one than oils.
Take a thin layer of grease and coat your strands with it. Now you have the protection without having natural hair that’s weighed down. A little goes a long way so be careful not to use too much! The same is true with gel. Coat your hair using a thin layer in order to avoid flaking and build-up.
How To Care For Natural Hair In Rainy Winters
Humectants Are Your Friend
There’s a lot of water in the air, and humectants help your hair to take it all in. Humectants are substances that keep things moist. They attract water from the surroundings and transfer it to the hair. This is great for you because you don’t have to use as many products to achieve the same amount of moisture.
Examples of humectants for natural hair include honey, glycerin, and aloe vera. Not only are these items commonly found in the store, but most hair care products contain them anyway.
Moisturize Less Often
Going back to our point about humectants, absorbing water from the air means that you can take a load off. You don’t have to use as much of a product as someone who lives in a dry area. You might not have to deep condition as often, and you can use lighter moisturizers throughout the week.
How To Care For Natural Hair In Warm Winters
Exfoliate Your Scalp
In all fairness, scalp exfoliation should be a part of everybody’s yearly natural hair regimen. However, it should most definitely be apart of yours if you live a warm/hot area. Warm weather causes you to sweat more, and hair tends to trap in sweat along with all of the old products. You need to exfoliate your scalp in order to get rid of everything and have a clean slate.
The best ways to do this are to use a shampoo brush and/or buy an exfoliating shampoo. Both provide a good scrub and will help you have an easier time cleaning. I use a scrub brush and trust me, it makes a difference. Your hair will feel so much cleaner, and you’ll encourage growth by giving yourself a nice massage every wash day. Win/win!
Save Your Hair From The Sun
Warm weather means basking in the sun! While that’s great for your mood, it’s not always great for your natural hair. The harsh UV rays can damage your hair just like they can damage your skin. Wear hats or buy products with SPF in order to protect it from the rays.
If you don’t like hats or can’t find products with SPF, then you can use oils to help you out. Some oils have SPF in them and can provide minimal protection. Emphasis on minimal, never rely on oils as your sole protection from the sun! They aren’t strong enough to protect you from damage. You should be fine with oils if you don’t go outside for long periods of time, but I still encourage you to wear hats and buy products with high SPF.
What oils will help? Raspberry seed oil, macadamia oil, and avocado oil are known to have small SPF contents. Combine these with products and you’ll be good to go! The SPF of these oils don’t go past 50, so once again, please don’t rely on these as your sole protection.
How To Care For Natural Hair In Cold Winters
Wear Protective Styles That Cover Most Of Your Hair
Protective styles are hairstyles that keep your ends from being exposed. If you live in a cold area, it’s beneficial to go the extra mile by keeping your hair covered because having your hair out can present problems. Here are two important reasons why:
Oils Hate The Cold
The “freezing” point of most oils is around 30 degrees Fahrenheit ( 0 Celsius). Freezing is in quotation because oils don’t instantly freeze as water does. They develop a butter-like consistency before they become frozen.
While you probably won’t be outside long enough to have a head full of oil butter, the low temps can still cause problems.
If it’s cold enough, it might take longer for oils to absorb into the hair, or they might start the solidifying process. This can result in your hair feeling coated but not necessarily moisturized. Keeping it covered can help prevent this.
Hair Might Feel Brittle
This is especially true if your winters are cold and dry. The temp can solidify products to the point where it won’t absorb into your hair any further, which results in the brittle feeling.
Sometimes this can make you believe that you have to do extra to keep it moisturized, and that might not be true. Sometimes all it takes to slay the winter is a protective style to protect your hair from the wind.
What are some of your winter hair care tips for natural hair? Share your winter weather and what works for you!
Guest post author Rachel Nelson started her natural healthy hair journey in 2017. She created Coil Guide to document the lessons she learns along the way, and to show others the simple ways to take care of their natural hair! She has multiple articles on natural hair maintenance in order to take the guesswork out of hair care.
Fun Fact: This article was published on Dec. 9 which just so happens to be her birthday! #Sagittarius
Happy Birthday Rachel! We Are So Happy To Have You Contribute Your Natural Hair Experiences On Overwhelmed Beauty ❤️