A NATURAL MOMENT: Protecting Winter Hair from Winter Dryness
It is always difficult to keep natural hair moisturized due to its unique attributes and harsh winters do nothing to help. There are some tried and true tips that should aid fellow naturalistas.
While regular care such as deep conditioning is what keeps the hair moisturized a proper protective style can maintain the moisture that is put in. The great thing about protective styles is that there are tons of them. Braids, twists, weaves, wigs and natural buns are some great protective styles. The point is to keep the hair, namely the ends of the hair protected.
When installing a protective style it is important to remember to moisturize the hair fully so that any synthetic hair does not end up breaking or drying out the natural hair. For those who are solely using their own hair just make sure to keep the length of the hair moisturized prior to install and maintain regular maintenance i.e. washes, deep conditioning, daily spritzing.
This is a rather contested idea that some will either agree with wholeheartedly or argue to the death against. Humectants is an all encompassing term that is a product to help retain water. Popular hair humectants are honey, aloe vera gel/juice and vegetable glycerin. These products work wonders in the summertime by taking any moisture from the air around it and drawing it inward.
The issue with humectants in the winter time is that they work the exact opposite. Since your well moisturized hair will contain more water and water-based products than the dry winter air, the humectants will cause the moisture to expel outwards as if trying to rehydrate the dry surrounding air. This is a trial and error tip as some people have products with low amounts of humectants and are not affected or live in a different climate. However, if you are having dry hair issues and think you are doing everything properly, check the ingredients of your hair products.
Avoiding Drying Fabrics
Staying warm in the winter is usually key but those same fabrics that keep us warm can hurt our hair. Cotton and wool are the number one culprits when it comes to drying winter clothing. The ends and nape of the hair are the first to see damage since scarves and sweaters rub the back of the neck while loose hair rubs the upper back of your sweater all day.
Obviously, you have to remain warm so the key is to modify. Line your hat with a silk cap. The same one from the beauty supply store will do. Try wearing all of your hair inside the silk lined hat so that it is not rubbing other materials. When you take your hat and scarf off indoors, wear a cute silk neck scarf to protect the nape of the hair.
The best way to protect your hair in the winter is really what you should be doing year round. While specific products may change season to season, you should always keep the hair well moisturized, clean and healthy. Write down everything that you do to your hair throughout the month. Do you do a clarifying wash more than usual? Try cutting out silicone products to prevent some of that buildup and washing. Also, evaluate what you put inside your body and not just out.
An unhealthy diet will affect the hair no matter how much moisture you place on it. A daily multivitamin should help most people but do what works for you. For example, if you are anemic and have to consume more iron research what iron does to your hair. Luckily, iron is a great hair builder so do not worry. Do you only eat meat and starches? Chances are you are not getting enough beta carotene and vitamin A which can never be good for your hair. A healthy lifestyle overall will be a happy one for your health and hair.