Afrobella- Winter Natural Hair Care

Multimedia mogul Patrice, of Afrobella.com and I have swapped articles! We are the first to see her winter routine! Wanna see mine? Head on over to Afrobella.com!


My hair has a love/hate relationship with winter. Crisp cold air seems to bring out my curl pattern to noticeable effect - after the frizzy heat of summer, my hair is thrilled by the coolness of fall, and it spirals just the way I want it. As fall turns to winter, the spirally coils remain... but then my hair becomes dry, dry, dry. So it looks good, but feels brittle and often gets tangles and knots. My hair needs more love in the winter, and I have to combat the winter dryness with changes in my day to day regimen. This is what has been working for me!

#1 - sleep on a satin pillowcase. For me, right now it's all about the Sharmooz. I change my bedding to warmer stuff in the winter - it's all flannel and plush microfiber. But under my head, it's silk and satin all the way. My head can't keep a bonnet on at night, so it has to be a pillowcase. The Sharmooz is one of the nicest I've been lucky enough to try - and it comes in a variety of beautiful patterns.

#2 - I already don't shampoo more than once a week, tops - but during cold weather months it becomes even less frequent. In addition to deep conditioning, I also conditioner wash my hair once or twice a week, just so I can detangle it. My go-to everyday conditioner wash is currently the super affordable Suave almond and shea butter conditioner, which is great for my detangling purposes, and I also LOVE Darcy's Botanicals pumpkin seed moisturizing conditioner (http://darcysbotanicals.com/new-pumpkin-seed-moisturizing-conditioner.html). It's so seasonal and delicious-smelling!

#3 - I need product in my hair as SOON as I get out of the shower! I keep my hair products and face lotion within reach so I can moisturize my situation while I'm still warm and moist from showering. I've been spritzing my hair with Oyin juices and berries, or sometimes I use Peter Lamas' Repair Me detangling mist. Then I use a heavier product from root to tip. In winter my hair's needs change completely - in the summer, my hair loves coconut oil. In the winter, my hair loves and needs castor oil and shea butter. So lately I've been using Oils from Jamaica castor oil- I pour a quarter-sized amount of castor oil in my hands, warm it up by rubbing my hands together, and then I basically style my hair with it. I also give myself a little scalp massage - I'm convinced that it's helped to cut back on my dry scalp issues.

#4 - At least every 2 weeks, I do a deep, deep conditioning treatment with a heavier conditioning product. And when I do that, I also use the Huetiful Steamer. I like to use a really thick decadent treatment. That's when I'll break out my last reserve remnants of Ojon restorative treatment, or Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery Treatment. The Huetiful is all that and then some. It's definitely made a difference in terms of maintaining my hair's moisture and health as the weather gets more and more frightful.

#5 - If I'm going out to brave the elements, then I have to think about my headgear choices. If it isn't snowing, I'll go out as is and rock my fro big and curly. However, you lose so much heat through your head if you go walking around in cold weather...so I usually take a big scarf or I'll wear a big stretchy, slouchy hat to cover my whole head. It hasn't been easy, but I found a few - a big purple hat with ear flaps and a pompom on it by Jessica Simpson (got that at Marshalls!) and a gray one from Urban Outfitters which was too expensive if you ask me. I actually just heard from a fellow afrobella who makes silk and satin lined winter headgear - her site is http://www.hatsome.com/ - I'm trying to get one of her knit hooded scarves to get me through the season!

That's what has been working for me thus far. I'm always down to try something new, especially if it will help to keep my hair healthy and strong and protected against the elements. So this winter, I also plan to experiment with twists and other protective styles. And of course I'll blog about all of that on Afrobella.com :)

Fighting Hat Hair- Natural in the Winter


Kelleemudiva writes:

Well it's finally time to pull out the coats, hats, scarves, and sweaters. The air is definitely colder and the moisture in the air has decreased. Last year this time I was not concerned with retaining moisture in my hair since I was relaxed, but now that I am a newly chopped natural I have no idea how to fight dryness. I love wool sweaters and most of my coats are made of wool, which I have been told that its terrible for your hair.

How do the TWA rockers fight hat hair?
We can't do protective styles, so how are you maintaining moisture?

Winterizing Your Natural Hair


Hola Chicas!

Regimen tweaks are truly something to consider as the seasons change -- your curls, which are already prone to dryness, crave even more moisture the cooler and drier it gets.

It is advised that we avoid humectants in the winter. Common humectants include honey, glycerin, panthenol, hydrolized wheat protein, and propylene glycol. These ingredients are great summer staples--they draw moisture from the humid air into our thirsty strands. But during the winter, they have the opposite effect, potentially drawing out the moisture from our strands into the dryer atmosphere. For this reason, I shelf many of my favorite conditioners and stylers until summer rolls back around. I don't, however, avoid humectants in products that I rinse out (my instant conditioners and deep treatments). I recommend the following:

TRY:
-Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment
-DevaCare One Condition
-Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner
-Jessicurl Too Shea
-Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment
-Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose

-CURLS MilkShake** (this will probably become my staple leave-in this winter)
-CURLS Whipped Cream** (this will be my staple styler this winter)
-CURLS Souffle
-Darcy's Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner
-Kinky-Curly Knot Today
-Kinky-Curl Curling Custard
-Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration or Totally Twisted (Walmart)
-Generic Value Paul Mitchell the Detangler (Sallys)
-Aussie Moist (Walmart)

SHELF:
-Jane Carter Solution Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
-Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana
-Miss Jessies Creme de la Creme
-Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner
-Elucence
-Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding
-Miss Jessie's Baby Buttercreme
-Generic Value Matrix Conditioning Balm (Sallys)
-Most gels

Remember to seal in your water-based moisturizer or conditioner with shea butter, castor oil, or other emollients. This will protect your ends from the harsh winds. Weekly deep conditioning treatments won't hurt either! During the winter months, replenishing moisture should be your top priority!

Other ways to winterize your curls:
  • Consider updos to protect your hair (especially your delicate ends) from the elements. Central heat, bitter winds, and the vents in your car that blast heat on high, can all weather your strands. I'm not really into hiding my hair, but I do tend to bun more often in the winter.
  • Deep treat at every styling session. Do as I say, not as I do, lol. When I was doing this, my hair was exquisite. All it takes is 15 minutes... and don't forget the bonnet dryer, it really does make a difference!
  • Look for satin lined hoods and hats to keep the wool and cotton from wicking the moisture from your curls and/or causing breakage. Plus, the satin lining will help prevent hat hair! I'm too cool for hats, but I do line my coat collar with a satin scarf to keep my ends from catching on the rough material.
  • Opt for curl creams, not gels for the winter months. Save the gels for summer. Moisture is the goal, and a styler that has moisturizing properties is a win-win.
I plan to incorporate weekly deep treatments and return to consistently sealing with shea butter and/or serums. As for styling, I will continue to do Twist-n-Curls, both dry and wet sets, and bun on occasion. I'll be using rich, moisturizing leave-ins and curl creams to style.

To be quite honest, my hair, no matter the season, is not really a fan of glycerin. It swells my fine, porous hair in the humid summer months, dries it out in the winter, and when overused, no matter the season, yields frizzy, undefined, greasy sets. I have to break out the kid gloves when playing with glycerin. My hair likes some glycerin laden products... others, not so much. Trial and error. Like Wanda Sykes said, 'it's like a damn science lab!'


**Disclaimer- Remember that no two heads are alike. You may do just fine with glycerin in the winter. As always, try it out, assess, and then determine how best to proceed!**


As the temperature falls, and the humidity lessens, what will you add to (or omit from) your current routine to promote healthy growth, and beautiful, shiny curls?

Post-Summer Hair Repair




CurlySuzy of NaturallyCurly writes:


Summer is winding down. Bikinis and sandals move aside for boots and scarves. My fall fashion choices are ready but my curls are not. They have definitely felt the heat, salt and chlorine from the summer months. My hair is a little weary and ready for a quick curl vacation full of R & Rs before winter gets here.

Check out THIS ARTICLE to learn how to execute the 4 R's-- Recover, Rehydrate, Replenish, Renew!


Hat Help!

Hola Chicas,

The CurlyNikki reader below needs some help figuring out curl friendly head gear for the coming months. Your typical winter hats can leach the moisture (that you've worked so hard for!) from your strands, causing frizz, split ends, breakage, and worse of all...a ruined 'do! Check out these satin lined alternatives below:

Village Hat Shop


Curly Zebra- Hats for curly heads!

Tenderheaded.com -Silk scarves and head coverings

http://prettyanntoinets.com/- Submitted by Alexis!

You could also place a heavy silk scarf or shawl over your head to protect your hair and ears, and then cover with your coat's hood. It doesn't get ridiculously cold in NC (plus I'm too cool for hats, lol), but when I'm in STL, I've been known to slap on a satin bonnet under my woolen hat. I wore the over sized berets last year:

I don't know how effective these are (at shielding ears from the wind), but they're sure cute, and you can stuff quite a bit a hair under there (and hide a satin scarf or bonnet too)!

Help her out ladies!
_____________________________________________________________

Dear Nikki,

Help! I did my big chop last month not thinking about how cold it gets in Germany in the winter. Now it's 34 degrees outside and I have no clue about hats and hair health. With a lot more hair to get under them, most of my hats don't fit well. I want to look fabulous while keeping my head and ears warm, without damaging my hair. Any ideas from my sisters in cold places would be appreciated.


Thanks,

DivaDr175 in Heidelberg, Germany

How Will Your Routine Change?

This is a re-post. I updated with a list of conditioners to use this season, and a list of ones you should hide away. Obviously, no two heads are alike, and if one of the conditioners on the 'Shelf' list works for you in the winter, keep on using it!


Hola Chicas,

Not too long ago, I posted Keneesha Hudson's (CEO of Urbanbella) tips for winterizing your curls. It was an excellent article with great product recommendations--check it out if you missed it! Regimen tweaks are truly something to consider as the seasons change-- your curls, which are already prone to dryness, crave even more moisture the cooler and dryer it gets.

What will I do to moisturize my situation, you ask? I plan to incorporate weekly deep treatments (haha, maybe), and shea butter for sealing. During the summer months I alternate between Devacurl Set it Free (SIF) and shea to seal my wet, conditioner laden ends. In the winter, my hair seems to crave the heaviness of shea so I usually shelf the SIF. As for styling, I will continue to do Twist-n-Curls and plan to dibble and dabble in protective styles, utilizing Curlformer sets.

According to The Curl Whisperer, our resident curly expert, we should avoid humectancts in the winter:

In very low moisture areas, dry climates, or during the wintertime, humectants can actually dry the hair out further by absorbing water from the hair itself when there is no moisture in the surrounding atmosphere. Because the sole purpose of a humectant is to find and absorb moisture, it will find it and take it wherever it can get it--and that includes yanking out the moisture from inside your curly locks, leaving you with a dry, frizzy mess.--Tiffany, The Curl Whisperer
Examples of humectants (taken from NaturallyCurly.com):
  • Diols and Triols: propylene glycol 1,2,6, hexanetriol, butylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, hexylene glycol, Glycerin, triethylene glycol, erythritol capryl glycol, phytantriol hexanediol or -triol, beeswax
  • Humectants of biological origin: panthenol, sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid, inositol, glycogen
  • Sugars and modified sugars: sorbitol, polyglyceryl sorbitol, glucose, fructose, xylitol, honey
  • Hydrolyzed proteins: elastin, collagen, silk keratin, hydrolized wheat
  • Ethers: Isoceteth-x, Isolaureth-x, Laneth-x, Laureth-x, Steareth-x, PEG-x (polyethylene glycol), Silicone copolyols

*I bolded the one's I run into the most, for your convenience!


TRY:
-Curl Junkie Rehab Moisturizing Hair Treatment
-DevaCare One Condition
-Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner
-Jessicurl Too Shea
-Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment
-Aubrey Organics Honey Suckle Rose
-Herbal Essence's Hello Hydration or Totally Twisted (Walmart)
-Generic Value Paul Mitchell the Detangler (Sallys)

SHELF:
-Jane Carter Solution Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
-Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana
-Miss Jessies Creme de la Creme
-Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner
-Elucence
-Generic Value Matrix Conditioning Balm (Sallys)

As the temperature falls, and the humidity lessens, what will you add to (or omit from) your current routine to promote healthy growth, and beautiful, shiny curls?

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