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The Fall Regimen Master List — How to Transition Your Natural Hair from Summer to Fall

• Oct 15, 2015

Summer 2015 was a great one, but it’s officially over! The air is getting cooler, humidity is dropping and, for many naturals, our hair is acting kind of funky. Never fear! Our writers are here to break down how to transition from a summer regimen to a fall/winter regimen. Check it out…


cassandre beccai summer blow out

What my summer regimen was like…
During the summer, I always feel liberated to do more “out” hairstyles with my hair. And not just because the summer season allows for more humid and less arid conditions, but because summer just brings out the creativity in me! This past summer I was heavily into blow out and light presses.

It might seem strange that I would opt for a straighter ‘do, but I really wanted to rock my length a little more, but in such a way that the style wouldn’t be ruined from sweating, hence just a light press. I enjoyed doing twist outs on my blown out hair and the stretched state tended to last for 2 to 3 weeks. I would twist my hair down at night to have a refreshed style and even more stretched hair the following day.

Because I was using some heat, I was still pretty diligent about deep conditioning, often opting for my henna hack treatment, or my homemade caramel treatment and a few other mixes. I kept up my tri-weekly wash days regimen and always made sure I didn’t skimp out on the protein treatment (Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor) before my deep moisture treatments.

How I know I need to transition to a fall regimen..
I’ve noticed that for me personally, life seems to get more stressful in the fall. It’s time for me to catch up from lazy summer days and prepare for the rush of the holiday season. So as soon as September comes around, I’m already looking for my next long term protective style. To be honest, before I became a mom, I did not think this way. I was content with putting my hair in french rolls for a few days at a time or doing mini twists with my own hair  during the fall/winter season. Since having a baby, I’ve found that I prefer incorporating synthetic hair into my low manipulation style because it seems to stay fresh for longer. So now Havanna Twists, faux locs and box braids are my go-to winter styles for convenience and manageability.

If I don’t switch up what I do to my hair it gets terribly dried out.

How I adjust my regimen for fall…
When fall comes around I usually change my regimen by:
1. Incorporating  a long term, low manipulation style.
2. Because I’m always concerned that my hair’s hydro-lipid layers need attention even while in a style, I oil my hair every other day, something I don’t do regularly during warmer months.


Portia Wearing twists as a protective style during the summer.

Wearing twists as a protective style during the summer.

I’m one of those naturals whose hair absolutely hates the summer. At least it hates the summers on the East Coast where the humidity is so thick and the heat is so smoldering you almost feel like you’re choking on it at times. Over the years, I’ve learned what to expect from season to season, and I’ve adjusted my hair regimen accordingly.

What my summer regimen was like…
During the summer is when my hair is hidden a lot. I experiment with braids (with added hair), twists, and faux buns. I do this mainly because of the heat and humidity in the air. My hair doesn’t like humidity, never has, never will. It frizzes up, draws up, and becomes a tangled mess if I try to let it whip during the summer. When my hair gets a break between my protective styling, I wash it more often. This means that I’m washing my hair once every 4 days. It’s a pain, but there is no getting around it. Heat coupled with sweat, equals sticky and sour smelling hair for me if I wait a whole week to wash. Additionally, I tend to use more gel based stylers for my twist outs and lay low on the stylers that provide extra moisture. As a result, my hair doesn’t become over saturated and soggy. I use shea butter and water to provide the majority of my moisture when twisting and when maintaining my hair throughout the week.

How I know I need to transition to a fall regimen..

Portia wearing a three day old twist out, now that the weather is cool.

Portia wearing a three day old twist out, now that the weather is cool.

When the weather starts to cool down and my hair starts feeling a little dry, then I know it’s time to switch up my regimen and implement my moisture rich routine.

How I adjust my regimen for fall…
This routine includes a. using stylers that are creamier, b. washing less, and c. doing hot oil treatments/deep conditioning weekly. During the summer, I fell back on the hot oil treatments because for some reason, it was making my hair a little greasy. No matter how many times I thought I rinsed all the oil out, some would still be left making my hair feel like a mini oil slick. But in the fall/winter, the weekly hot oil treatments help to lock in moisture.

With these changes, my hair thrives and my kinks and curls stay on point. If I don’t make the necessary adjustments in time, my hair lets me know by staying dry and knotty. I’ll even start to see breakage.



Because I like to keep my hair care routine low maintenance I don’t make as many changes between summer and fall as I have in the past. There are, however, a few necessary adjustments made due to the simple fact that my hair and scalp respond differently in both seasons.

What my summer regimen was like…
In the summer, my hair retains moisture better and attracts dirt faster because of the increased humidity and sweat. I also play a lot more outdoor sports – such as softball and kickball – or take a dip in the lake, so the frizz and dirt are almost doubled. As a result, I cleanse my hair more often (about 1–2 times a week) and usually with a cleansing conditioner for a gentle, non-drying wash. I also deep condition less since I am not using stripping shampoos as often — using a quick conditioner like Tresemme Naturals or Silk Elements is usually sufficient.

Lastly, because I wash so frequently, I keep my hairstyles simple and quick to avoid spending hours on re-doing my hair.


How I know I need to transition to a fall regimen..
I know it is time to wind down my summer regimen and switch things up for fall when the weather starts to cool to sub 60 degrees fahrenheit. My hair will generally go from doing fine with light, quick conditioners to needing consistent deep conditioning and with heat. The telltale sign is that my hair stops feeling as supple and moisturized throughout the week as it has been during the warmer weather. Additionally, with my decrease in outdoor sports and general activity, I can wash less frequently; in the past, I’ve been able to go three to four weeks between cleansing sessions.

My moisture game stays the same regardless
One major step that doesn’t change (anymore) is sealing with whipped shea butter and oil(s) after each wash. I used to be of the mindset that summer meant lighter moisturizers and oils while fall, and even winter, meant heavier oils and butters. While this was true for my hair in the past, it is not so true anymore because other factors come into play as well, such as location (humid vs. dry vs. cool vs. hot summers) and whether I’ve dyed my hair. For example, when I bleached my hair last summer, lighter oils just did not cut it for sealing. For that reason, I seal with whipped shea butter and oil(s) no matter the season to be on the safe side.


How I adjust my regimen for fall…
So here are the changes I make for fall and the rationale behind them:
1. Deep condition more: Helps combat dryness due to cooler weather
2. Wash less often: I’m generally less active in the fall and don’t sweat or get dirty as quickly; less washing also decreases the stripping of my hair’s natural oils
3. Protective style more: keeps my hair protected from the elements (fall can get cold here in the Midwest.)

Ladies, how do you adjust your regimen for fall?

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6 years ago

YES! I, too, need more protective styling and moisture diring the fall and winter months. Excellent articles!

6 years ago

I live in a hot weather. After five years of being natural and dyeing my hair I’m still trying to figure out which oils are good for my fine hair.

Samantha L
Samantha L
6 years ago
Reply to  Saran

I too have fine hair and I really like grapeseed oil and jojoba oil. You have to use a light hand with the grapeseed oil, but its packed with ceremides.

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