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Transitioning to Cool & Cold Weather Hair Care

Avatar • Sep 24, 2012

By Geniece of Beautifully Made

School buses, leaves in lovely orange, red and golden hues and cooling temperatures signal the end of one season and the beginning of another. Personally, summer is my favorite season. The heat, however, can dry out my hair. Cooler weather has can be beneficial for the hair but once the weather become brutally cold you will need to winter proof your hair to ensure maximum moisture. In providing you a few helpful tips I think it’s important to distinguish between hair care in cool, autumn weather and winter weather. In my experience, hair responds differently to cool temperatures and extreme cold.

Cool Weather Hair Care

Cooler temperatures in the fall bring a decrease in humidity and arid heat. In many ways the weather is conducive to retaining moisture but not humid enough to spoil you well styled braid out. During this time of year you may want to limit your use of products containing glycerin. Products that contain glycerin high on the ingredient list are designed to attract moisture from the air towards your hair. When the air is dry and cool glycerin doesn’t draw moisture from the air. The worst case scenario is that if there is more moisture in your hair than the air, you may suffer from moisture loss. In cool weather, say 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, light moisturizers and light oils to seal in the moisture have worked well for my kinky-coily hair. If you became used to humid, muggy summer that required less weekly application of moisture, you will have to moisturize your hair more regularly, paying special attention to your ends.

Cold Weather Hair Care

I live in New England and right around late October the weather begins to get downright cold, dropping into the 30s and below. During this time of year I find it helpful to have a rich and creamy moisturizer on hand. I am an aloe vera juice fan and will lightly apply the product to my hair before sealing my hair with an oil or butter. For me, products that contain castor oil are wonderful sealants in extreme cold. Castor oil is rather heavy so you might create a mixture with castor oil and a lighter oil like jojoba or olive oil. Be sure to moisturizer you hair before applying oils because, while oils and butters may make you hair feel soft and supple, they don’t actually impart moisture. Remember: If water is not in the product then your hair won’t be moisturized.

During the cold weather I find it necessary to protect the ends of my hair. This includes protective styling but more importantly being mindful of the fabrics in which our hair comes in contact. I have had the hair along my nape break off because of a wool scarf. I was in high school at the time and thanks to my mother’s wisdom I stopped wearing the scarf. Left to my own devices I would have happily continued wearing the scarf as it rubbed against my hair, all the while wondering why the hair along my nape was 7–8 inches shorter than the rest of my hair. Also be mindful of wool coats. Wool pea coats are lovely winter staples but if you wear “out” styles that cause your hair to be in constant contact with you coat consider using a satin or silk dress scarf and folding it over the collar of the coat. The same goes for hats. I’ve seen a few winter hats lined with satin or silk that may be a great option to reduce unnecessary friction between your hair and your clothing.

I hope these tips are helpful as you approach cooler weather. Although, I’m not a fan of the cold I do appreciate the lack of sudden summer down pours and the sweltering humidity that transforms my well styled braid out into, well, something else. As long as you keep your hair moisturized winter hair can be flawless and fabulous just like you.

How do you transition your regimen as the weather cools?

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Tai
Tai
8 years ago

I have been all natural for 9 months and although my hair is only

Ang
Ang
8 years ago

I plan to continue using heavy oils ie- castor &/or olive oils and using cream conditioners atop for styling.

Love JAH
Love JAH
8 years ago

Gonna invest in kinky twist for the late fall/winter…

JenniD
JenniD
8 years ago

Honestly winter hair care isn’t that bad. The reality is that its gonna get to a point where hair care will trump style and you’ll just have to keep your head covered a lot of the time. I don’t wear my hair out much in the winter because of the gusty cold air and all the man made heating such as the hot hair blowning in from the vent in your car or the furnace in your home. That is what makes my hair dry, so for me its hats, scarves n some for of protective style. You can still… Read more »

Trini
Trini
8 years ago

I cowash more often, shampoo infrequently and protective style through spring. Somehow glycerine infused products don’t seem to hinder my hair’s moisture. I suppose because I drink at least 2 litres of water daily that helps with hydration and moisture retention.

Bianca
Bianca
8 years ago

I need help pertaining to this topic. I’m a 4b with a TWA, (I shaved my head in March so 7 months of new growth but major shrinkage). I work at the airport outside on the ramp. I am exposed to every kind of weather + heat from the jet blasts of aircrafts. I do a wash’n’go every day and put some evoo with shea moisture products that are great, but as it starts getting colder I know I’ll be freezing if I do a wash’n’go every day working in winter weather. What do you guys recommend?

Kamilah
Kamilah
8 years ago
Reply to  Bianca

, what if you tried coils so that you don’t have to wash everyday. Then you could do a coil out later. They take awhile, but I love the look. Also, I don’t know if your hair is long enough for 2 strand twists but that is another way to hold off from everyday wng. I did one on yt under tabisadelta.

Bianca
Bianca
8 years ago

@ Kamilah. Thanks, I never did my research on coils, you mean like the beautiful shiny coils Lauryn Hill had at one point? If you’re talking about those I would consider, I don’t think my own hair is long enough for 2 strand twists yet. Like today it’s raining in NY, I got soaked working outside of course and then I have to mat my hair even more with my work hat. Once the hat comes on it doesn’t come off or else my hair looks like a rug. I’ll look more into protective styles. Thanks Kamilah 😀

Marlea
8 years ago

Historically, I shove my hair into some braids or a sew-in… I live in DETROIT… The weather is beyond unpredictable and I love coats, scarves and hats. It’s just easier for me to manage my hair if it’s covered up/ protected… It took a long time for the hair at the nape of my neck to finally grow back due to breakage from my outerwear… I won’t be compromising that anymore…

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