If you live somewhere that has distinctive seasons, you’ve probably noticed the different effects that dry, cold and humid air can have on your hair. It’s well known that prolonged exposure to harsh cold begins to sap our hair’s moisture, leaving it prone to breakage, flakiness and dryness. The effects of which can become more pronounced the tighter your curl pattern is. Our modern lives also exacerbate these issues with the constant transition from harsh winter weather into our central heated homes and back again.
So what are you to do about this troubling news, you ask? Fear not, for we’ve put together 7 essential winter hair care tips so you can stop winter from wrecking your perfect hair game this season.
Moisturise and seal
Although colder conditions are known to have an adverse effect on hair, it’s actually the frequent transition between the cold and indoor heating that hurts our hair the most. You needn’t go to extremes and cut off your energy supply just yet though, this can be combated with a good moisturising product like a leave-in conditioner and daily moisturiser. You will also want a quality oil that can seal in the hair moisturiser. We’re big fans of jojoba, argan and sweet almond oil, but you can use any oil that works for you. If you what to level-up your moisture game check out our blog post on the L.O.C method, which is perfect for dry hair.
If you’re only experiencing a little dryness or are looking for a preventative measure, simply apply a few drops of oil to the ends of your hair each day. This will help revitalise your hair and prevent breakage, as well as leaving it soft and shiny.
If you’re suffering from more severe dandruff or flakiness we suggest applying a heavier oil treatment to your hair and scalp, allowing it to absorb for 20-30 minutes before continuing your wash as usual. This will nourish your hair, and is a quick fix for any flakiness you’re experiencing.
We know you’ve heard it before, but it rings even more true when the temperature begins to drop. It’s important to try to limit your use of tools like hair dryers, straighteners and curling tongs, because the heat can dry out your hair and scalp, increasing the risk of damage and breakage. We recommend experimenting with heat-free styling methods as much as possible.
A braid out is a great way to add some curl definition to your hair that doesn’t require heat, and banding, the method of dividing the hair into sections and wrapping hair ties throughout, can prevent shrinkage and lengthen the hair, heat-free. (Although both methods are best done overnight, as it can take several hours for hair to adapt to its new mould.)
If you’re still having trouble putting away your straighter, read on for some tips on protective styles that might be a perfect solution for you whilst your waiting for the weather to warm up.
As well as masks and moisturisers, protective styles can also be a great aid when trying to optimise your winter hair routine. Protective styles can be anything from cornrows to box braids and are styles that can be kept in for several weeks. They help shield your hair from the elements and minimise the need for manipulation with heat.
If you’re looking for some hairspiration we’ve got a great blog post on protective styles that you can read here!
Watch your wash routine
If you’re guilty of overwashing your hair this is your final warning that winter will be even less forgiving of this sin! Over washing strips your hair of natural oils that help to keep it healthy and moisturised, which is even more essential during the harsher winter months.
How often you should wash your hair is a very personal thing and does require some trial and error. If you feel you’re experiencing dryness washing 3 times a week, try to extend the time between your washes and go for 2, or maybe 1. There are a lot of great dry shampoos for natural hair available that can help you between washes if you’re struggling.
If you’re finding your shampoo regime is drying out your hair, consider giving it a rest and co-washing for a few weeks. A co-wash is a specially formulated cream cleanser that helps to remove buildup without the harsh parabens and sulfates commonly found in shampoos. A co-wash is much milder than shampoo and because of this and can often be used more frequently without risk of drying out the scalp. The conditioning properties help to add moisture to the hair, while the mild cleansing agents remove dirt and grease.
There’s a reason why most hair bonnets are made up of satin or silk, and that’s because wool, cotton and other coarser materials can increase breakage with the friction that’s created when rubbing against the hair. Consider replacing all fabrics that often come into contact with your hair with silk or satin. This includes hair bonnets and pillowcases, as well as any frequently worn hats, bandanas or headscarves.
Photo via naptural85 on YouTube
Replacing your fabrics with ones that will be kinder to your hair doesn’t need to break the bank. If you’re willing to do a bit of DIY, find an old satin scarf or head down to your local fabric store, and with a little measuring tape and thread you can sew the fabric into the lining of any hat or pillowcase. Check out Ayesha video (aka Healthy Hair Junkie) on how to make your own affordable satin-lined hat.
Last but certainly not least - stay hydrated. Hydration starts from the inside out, and if you’re dehydrated you can’t expect to have well-nourished and moisturized locks. Believe it or not, water accounts for almost 25% of the weight of just a single strand of hair. When our skin is looking dull and tired, we are quick to make the correlation with being dehydrated but due to our hair taking a little longer to show the effects, we often forget that our hair acts very similarly to our skin. Staying hydrated can prevent dandruff, dryness and itchiness as well as help to stimulate hair growth. To get these benefits you’ll want to be drinking at least 2 litres of water everyday.
Winter hair care can seem complicated but it really does revolve around one thing, moisture, moisture, moisture! Finding ways to ensure your hair remains well-nourished and moisturised is the key to healthy, happy hair in any season.
We hope these tips help you create a killer winter regimen of your own! Any tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!
The New Year always signifies a time of great excitement with new opportunities for a better year. For people that do make New Year’s resolutions, there is at least one goal that focuses on either improving health, fitness or losing weight. This is evident by the increase in gym memberships every year in January as people rush to the gym with the renewed motivation to create a healthier and fitter version of themselves (source).
However, according to research conducted by the University of Scranton, only 8% commit and complete their New Year goals (source). As the weeks and months continue, people begin to lose momentum and the excuses start to roll in, and soon that health and fitness goal has fallen by the wayside, only to be retrieved again in the upcoming New Year. Health and fitness should not be a goal, but a normal part of our lifestyles. It should be something you do subconsciously, like brushing your teeth or moisturising your hair ;-) To encourage you to see health and fitness as a way of life, we have put together some tips on how to look after your hair when you working out. At Curly & Wild, we understand how our hair can become an excuse to not take care of our health, so hopefully, these tips will help.
The annoying fact about sweat is that it dries out your hair, can make it frizzy and limp. Nevertheless, the best way to deal with sweat is to have a hair regimen that takes into consideration one’s workout regimen so you can best protect your hair in the most effective way.
Below we give 5 hair care tips to practice in conjunction with your workouts. Keep an eye out for the bonus tip below!
People may think they should wash their hair after every workout session. However, this is not ideal as too much washing will remove the hair’s natural oils, which can lead to dryness and breakage from continuous manipulation. Rather than washing your hair after every workout opt for air-drying instead. Once it is dry you can refresh your hair by lightly spritzing it with water and styling as usual. Spritzing your hair is also a good way to add extra hydration between wash days.
2: Shampoo your hair 1-2 times a week
When you have a consistent workout program it’s best to shampoo your hair no more than 1-2 times a week. How many times you do this depends on the number of times you workout, the intensity of each workout and how often you want to shampoo your hair. If you are doing gentle exercises and don’t generate much sweat, you may feel it’s not necessary to shampoo your hair twice a week. However, if you are doing HIIT workouts (High-Intensity Interval Training) 5-6 times a week, then you may want to shampoo your hair more frequently. If you do a combination of moderate to intense workouts, perhaps reserving your shampoo days for the times you sweat the most is easiest. Regardless of how many times you shampoo your hair, it is about devising the best wash day schedule that fits around you and your workouts. In any case, if you are working out 3+ times a week, shampooing your hair once a week should be sufficient for most.
3 Remember to co-wash, clarify and use protein treatments
If you decide to wash your hair at least twice a week, make sure you utilise co-washing to help replenish moisture to your hair. Using a clarifying shampoo once a month can remove the build-up caused by excessive sweat. This can also be a good way to reboot the scalp for the next month of workouts. If you are undertaking a rigorous workout schedule that is causing your hair to be continuously damp, your hair may become limp and mushy due to the extra moisture. To counteract this, incorporate protein treatments to maintain your hair’s moisture/protein balance.
4: Protective styling
When working out it’s always best to keep your hair off your face. Braid-outs, twist-outs, buns, ponytails and pineapples are great ways to protect and maintain your hair while working out. These styles are low-maintenance and practical because they do not require a great deal of styling after your workouts. You can also choose to leave them in until you are ready to wash and restyle your hair.
5: Use silk scarfs and headbands
You can use a silk scarf to flatten your hair to reduce frizz and maintain your edges and hairstyle. Headbands are also a great way to absorb excess sweat and protect the hair. In addition, you can try using hair grips to help pin down and flatten your hair before you put on your silk scarf or headband. This will also assist in maintaining your hairstyle.
This may sound like a lot to consider but in practice, it’s very straightforward and once incorporated into your lifestyle, it will be second nature. There are so many great benefits to working out; one of them includes hair growth because your heart rate increases the blood circulation around your body, which stimulates the scalp.
Let us end this post by promising to make 2019 the year health and fitness becomes a natural and enjoyable part of our lives, rather than an unattainable goal that has to be attained every New Year.
Because sweat by nature is drying to your hair you can incorporate more moisture into your hair routine during your week. Deep conditioning your hair once a week is an easy way to do this. Another way is by mixing water and your favourite leave-in conditioner into a spray bottle and misting your hair until it is damp before working out to protect your hair. If you go to a gym with a sauna you can also let the leave-in conditioner sit in your hair for 15-20 minutes as an extra treatment.