By Chinwe of Hair and Health
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how to prevent breakage during the wintertime. (You can view that post here.) Though moisture loss and breakage can overlap, this post is focused more on the former.
1. Switch to the L.O.C. method or the L.O.C.O. method
By now, many naturals practice the L.O.C. method, but for those who do not, this winter may be the time to start. What is the L.O.C. method? Well, it works like this: First you apply a liquid (i.e., a water-based product) to your hair. Then you follow up with an oil (e.g., olive, avocado, coconut). Lastly, you finish up with a heavy cream. Using this method during the wintertime can help some naturals retain moisture better than sealing with oil alone. What about the L.O.C.O. method (not to be confused with the L.C.O. method)? I personally have not seen anyone talk about this, but I find it even more effective than the L.O.C. routine. Just follow up your cream with a sealing oil (e.g., grapeseed, safflower).
2. Wear twisted and/or braided natural hair styles
Protective styles help to lock in moisture better than loose hairstyles. For some naturals, twisted and braided updos (using your own hair) are the best protective styles in terms of moisture retention (in addition to protection). There is a variation of styles that can be done — big twists or small twists, big braids or small braids, flat twists or cornrows … any twisted or braided style that works for you.
3. Wear a satin scarf under your hat
Winter hats are usually made from acrylic, wool, or cotton, which are all fabrics than can suck moisture from the hair. To avoid this problem, wear a good quality satin scarf under your hat OR purchase a satin-lined (silk or polyester) winter hat.
4. Deep condition more frequently
During the warmer months, you probably did not do much deep conditioning or you skipped it altogether. During these colder months, such routines may not be sufficient for some naturals. That being said, this may be the time to step up your deep conditioning for a moisture-intensive treatment. Depending on your hair’s needs, you may want to increase your frequency to bi-weekly or weekly.
5. Lather the roots and only once while washing
The intended purpose of a wash routine is to remove dirt, pollutants, and product buildup … not to remove our natural oils. Lathering twice (or more) while washing your hair can strip away these natural oils, so during the winter, try sticking to lathering only once. Now for those who are comfortable with this next adjustment, you can avoid further stripping by lathering your scalp and roots instead of your entire hair from root to tip. When rinsing away the shampoo, allow the rinse to run through your hair down to the tips. This can help give the hair a surface cleaning without stripping it entirely.
Ladies, how do you change your moisture routine for the winter?