FALL IS HERE Y’ALL!
Temps are dropping and humidity wanes with each day. Due to these and other factors, many of us find it necessary to switch up our regimen a bit so our hair plays nice with whatever the weather may bring.
Here are just a few things you can try this Fall to make the best of the crisp, cool air that comes with the season:
Use Heavier Oils/Butters
When I first began wearing my hair in its natural state, I thought using the same oils and things all-year-round would be fine. However, the lighter oils that I used in the summer (grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba) to seal in moisture didn’t quite cut it in the cooler months. For me, they weren’t a strong enough “defense” against the low humidity air and my hair was feeling drier and drier. What to do?!
I switched the game by using some heavier oils like JBCO (Jamaican Black Castor Oil) and Olive Oil. Not only did I use them alone, as sealants, but I would mix them in my leave-in and deep conditioners to give that extra oomph! Whipped shea butter also became an effective staple… not to mention they gave me some BOMB braid-outs! ;-) These heavier emollients gave my hair life because they formed a better seal and prevented my hair from losing too much moisture in the cooler air. They might do the same for you.
Bring the Moisture Back
The cooler it gets, the less moisture there is in the atmosphere. While the super humid summer air had the potential to wreak havoc on your twist-outs, it also had the positive effect of adding moisture to your hair. You might actually begin to miss that humidity once the cooler, drier air gets a hold of your mane, especially when you wear it out. Humid, moist air adds moisture, drier air does the opposite. So, how do we rectify that?
One thing that I’ve found to be a good practice as it gets chilly is regular use of my hair steamer. Steaming is the perfect storm of heat (to open up the hair cuticle) and moisture (water) to give your hair just the right amount of hydration to keep it soft and healthy. Whether sitting under my hooded steamer while deep conditioning or using my handheld steamer in between washes to refresh and restyle, steaming has done wonders for my hair! Don’t own a steamer or don’t have the funds just yet? Check out these alternatives!
Moisturizing and sealing is one thing. But tucking your hair away so as to KEEP that moisture there is another. Of course, feel free to wear your hair however you want to! I’ve found, though, that keeping my hair in a low-manipulation protective style on top of a good moisturizing and sealing regimen reaps fabulous results! Especially during the later fall months into winter will this be a good idea. The air is starting to bite and loosely worn hair is more at risk for moisture loss which can lead to breakage.
My first fall/winter with a fro, you couldn’t tell me NOTHING! I’d proudly walk around with my loose fro in that cold air without a care in the world… or a HAT O_O. By spring, while my girlfriend who big chopped after me was rocking shoulder length hair, I was stuck somewhere around ear-lobe-length due to breakage. Lesson learned.
As a bonus, protective styles serve a dual purpose: not only are you retaining moisture but you’re retaining length… for all you gals with BSL goals!
Hats on Hats on Hats… and Scarves!
Beanies are already starting to make their way on the scene. But be careful about the materials of these fashion-forward accessories!
Wool is the usual go-to for the season but hats made of this material will suck the moisture from your hair. They can also cause breakage due to friction so look for those that are lined with silk or some other hair-friendly material. If you’ve found a wool hat that isn’t lined, feel free to sew on a lining yourself or just throw on one of your scarves or bonnets underneath! Read more about this here.
Headwraps are hot! Grab a few scarves while shopping at your favorite clothing stores and make good use of them this season. The same rules about materials apply. They’re definitely a fashionable way to protect your tresses or cover up a bad hair day, all while keeping your head warm.
I really hope these tidbits help you out this fall and winter season!