With the winter cold almost in full effect there is one more task to add to that holiday to do list. Those with natural hair must take extra precaution when it comes to guarding against breakage and loss of moisture. Thankfully, there are a few things that you can do to prevent hair worries this winter.
Protective Styling Do’s
The sky is the limit when it comes to these styles with the main goal simply being to hide the ends of the hair from harsh winter air and avoiding constant manipulation i.e. brushing, detangling, etc. Some common styles include cornrow braids, kinky twists, Senegalese twists, crochet braids and buns. These styles can be achieved with your own hair or with extension hair.
Wigs and full weaves are also used as protective styling since the hair is completely covered. It is important to remember when using extensions that the natural hair must still be cared for. Regular washing and moisturizing should continue.
Retain Moisture not the Cold
Frequent washing is a great way to give natural hair the moisture it needs but who wants to wash their hair so often in the frigid winter air? Moisture adding, daily spritzers are a solid addition to any natural hair care arsenal.
A spray bottle mixed with distilled water and essential oils of your choice are all you need. Some examples of spritzer worthy essential oils include jojoba oil, coconut oil, argan oil, flaxseed oil and Jamaican black castor oil. Extra add-ins of leave-in conditioner or a light weight normal conditioner will provide added moisture.
Typically, humectants such as vegetable glycerin and aloe vera juice are choice ingredients in a daily spritzer but the very properties that make these great can have negative effects in cold air. Humectants, substances that help to retain moisture, take the moisture of the spring or summer air and add it to the hair. However, the winter air has little to no moisture so the humectants will take from the hair shaft causing dry, brittle hair. Avoid products with the main ingredients of honey, aloe vera juice or glycerin if you live in a dry winter air region.
You would think that after retaining moisture and wearing protective styles it would be difficult for the hair to succumb to breakage. There are hidden foes of natural hair that can make the above measures useless if not properly combated. Scarves, hats, sweater and coat collars all help to split hair ends and cause breakage at the nape of the neck. When rubbing against the hair, materials such as cotton and wool soak up the moisture you just put into your hair.
The same materials also cause friction since it is so tightly wrapped around the neck, hairline and hair. To avoid these issues, try to line winter hats with a layer of silk or wear a silk hair bonnet under hats