Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Hair | Combat Dry Winter Strands

The past month has been rough on my curls. I think back-to-back 'Wash & Go’s’, neglecting my haircare habits coupled with the crisp winter air are the main culprits. I know how to keep my hair in good condition in cold weather but I haven’t lately. At all. In truth I’ve been lazy since I completed my transition to natural in 2016. I rarely use heat and I don’t use chemicals so I was lulled into a false sense of security. How could I have damaged hair? I don’t do anything to it - but that’s precisely the problem. My laziness made me forget the impact a little TLC can do to winter-beaten strands.

What I've noticed is that I was far better at caring for my relaxed hair and in looking back I've realised there's a few areas I’ve slipped up, especially during these colder months. There’s 5 ways I’ll be taking steps to prevent chronically dry strands for the rest of the winter and if your hair is suffering too, give the following a try.

Have a winter routine
Having set steps on how and when to care for hair and switching it up depending on the season will help eliminate dryness. I was so regimented with my routine when I had relaxed hair and during winter protective styles were key, I cleansed once a week with shampoo and never without following with a masque or treatment to keep my hair hydrated, moisturised daily, limited direct heat to no more than once a month to prevent drying my hair out further and spaced out relaxer services for several months. It sounds like a lot but once you have a routine in place it becomes like second-nature. Since becoming natural I gradually lost consistency with what I used or did to my hair and I stopped adjusting for the season but I've now created a new routine for my curly hair which includes most of the below points (I'll share the full details in another post).

Get that daily hydration
I’m just not talking about drinking enough water everyday (which I'm definitely trying to do more of). There’s several ways to inject moisture back into dry hair during the colder months but my main focus has been using a daily moisturiser. This is where I’ve slacked most but being consistent with adding a little moisture each day makes a huge difference by the end of the week during the winter. In general I like to keep any daily moisturising light as my hair gets build up easily so I tend to use water-based sprays and milks. If your hair needs less just use a light oil whilst the hair is damp to seal in moisture and if your hair tends to need more layer products or apply thicker, buttery moisturisers which are longer-lasting on very dry porous hair.

Treatments and masques
When it comes to wash day I’m usually pretty good with sticking to only using gentle moisturising shampoo and conditioning formulas which my hair love. However, what I haven’t been doing as regularly are pre shampoo treatments and intensive conditioning masques after shampooing to counteract the impact of the cold - but these can make the biggest difference. You can do both for maximum moisture or use one or the other depending on your needs. Applying treatments before shampooing tends to work better for fine hair which can get build up easily and masques after shampooing can be more effective on porous or thicker hair but it really depends on what products are being used. I like to use lighter natural oils as a pre shampoo treatment and I’ll mix my favourites together and warm them up - I love Jojoba, Coconut and Avocado. I then saturate my hair in the oils and let it sit for at least 15 minutes or I'll leave it in overnight and wash out the next day to save time in the morning. This means when I come to shampoo my hair feels like butter and detangles like a dream (no, really). It makes my wash day routine a breeze and if I finish off with a hydrating mask it’s the ultimate for a happy hydrated fro.

Try protective styling
Braids, twists, weaves, wigs, buns - whatever will keep the hair tucked away from the elements will mean it’s less affected by the cold weather and it’ll stay moisturised for longer. I wore a lot of protective styles whilst I was relaxed and when I first became natural and looking back has made me want to try more. I recently installed crochet faux locs for the first time myself just for fun as I wasn’t sure whether I’d like them on me. The process was much easier than I thought, especially as I'm not the best when it comes to styling, but I'd love to try it again. As I often need my hair curly for photoshoots and events it's been hard to protective style as much as I would like which is why the Wash & Go’s have increased. Combine that with leaving the house with wet hair in freezing cold weather and of course my hair was going to suffer. It’s screaming at me to tuck it away it so for the rest of the winter I’ll experimenting with more protective styles as much as I can.

Trim away damage
Knowing how often to trim really depends on hair texture, condition and how it's styled. My hair is fine (but looks thick as the strands are densely packed) and it can knot and split very easily. Dryness worsens this problem so my ends can become more damaged during winter. When ends are split and damaged the only (permanent) solution is a trim and the more regular the better. Every 6-8 weeks is suggested for damaged hair but as hair becomes stronger the time between trims could be as long as 2-4 months. I was obsessed with trimming or 'dusting' (very small trims) when my hair was fully relaxed a few years ago. When the hair is straight it's so much more obvious if your ends are split, thinning or damaged so I would snip at these every month. I didn't take off much hair but enough to keep my ends neat. With curly hair it can look in good condition when it's not and curls are also more prone to splits so you really have to pay close attention to minimise damage. I can usually tell when my hair is off - the ends get super dry and can be difficult to style which I've seen a lot this winter so I got a trim this week. I definitely left it longer than I should have as my last before that was in November. My hair feels so much better already and until my hair is in better condition, I think trims every two months are needed.

Sticking to the above has already started having an impact on my strands so I'm hoping constant dryness will be a thing of the past soon!

How do you care for your hair during the winter season? 

Christine Stewart x

 |  |  |  |