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?