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Caring for Your Hair in Cold Weather

theglamourouslife africanamericanhair 1 300x199 Caring for Your Hair in Cold WeatherIf you’ve recently turned your clock back and live in an area where 8AM is as dark as 4:30PM, you know winter is coming and along with it, some cold, snappy weather that will leave your hair dry and brittle. Hair care is challenging enough and cold weather throws in some extra challenges for Afro-textured hair.

Due to its curly structure, Afro-textured hair doesn’t receive all the benefits from the sebum that is naturally excreted from your scalp. Sebum is an oily substance that makes its way down the hair shaft and can act as a barrier to protect the hair. While other ethnicities with straighter hair aren’t as affected by this characteristic, curly hair needs added moisture and protection to compensate and keep dryness and breakage at bay. Here are four easy steps to help keep your hair in top shape.

 Moisturize – The most important thing your hair needs is moisture. If you’re relaxed, apply your favourite moisturizer at least every other day, ensuring that your tips are well covered. For naturals, weave and extension wearers, spritz your hair with distilled water mixed with a few drops of natural oils. If your house is dry, consider getting a humidifier – your hair and skin will thank you!

  • Up your drinking game – No, we don’t mean alcohol. Your hair not only needs external moisture, but internal moisture as well. Every cell in your body needs water and the spray bottle you’ve tucked in that secret drawer at the office will only go so far. So drink up and feed every cell in your body.

Protect your hair.  Since Afro-textured hair is more susceptible to dryness and breakage, covering your hair with a satin cap at night will reduce contact with the elements. Tuck the cap under your hat to reduce friction when you’re on the go and no one will ever know!

  • Avoid cotton pillowcases and switch to satin. Cotton will suck the moisture and natural oils from your hair so if you switch to satin, you may not need to wear a cap.
  • Wear protective styles – Style your hair into a bun, wear braid extensions or a weave. Whether you’re natural or relaxed, your ends need extra protection since the sebum won’t travel to your ends and this is where most splits happen.
  • Reduce or avoid heat – Excessive hat from dryers and styling tools can damage your hair and even more so in cold climates. If you must use heat, protect your hair first with a silicone-based serum.

Shampoo regularly – Washing your hair on a regular basis to remove excess oils and product buildup will help stimulate the scalp and usher in new cell growth. Some curly heads will argue that a bi-monthly wash (or even less) works for them, but if you consider the amount of sweat and products that accumulate both on your hair and scalp, two weeks’ worth of gunk is hard to remove without a strong, hair-drying shampoo. The more products that sit on your hair, the duller it looks and although you may think that these extra oils are protecting it, they’re doing the opposite. Extra layers of products keep moisture from entering the hair shaft and since moisture is what your hair needs, your hair will eventually break from lack of moisture and product overload.

Deep condition – Deep conditioning is vital to strong, healthy hair. A good conditioner feeds your hair and helps restructure and balance your hair’s natural and chemical balance. Do this once a week after cleansing and rinse with cold water to seal in your cuticle and the moisture that you’ve just put back into your hair. Look for protein-rich products with low levels of mineral oil, parabens and alcohols as these will dry your hair and may cause damage.

It goes without saying that regular exercise and a balanced diet will support any external care. Exercise keeps stress at bay, reducing the chances of excessive shedding or breakage and a diet that includes protein and vitamins A, C, E and K will help keep your hair shiny, strong and healthy.

Which products can you not go without during this time of year?


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