Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

How Will Your Routine Change?

By January 27th, 202132 Comments

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!

How Will Your Routine Change?
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

  • 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!

-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)

-Jane Carter Solution Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
-Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana
-Miss Jessies Creme de la Creme
-Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner
-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?


  • Natakue says:

    thanks for listing the conditioners. i thought something was off about my trusty elucence lately…this gives me an excuse to finally use up my other conditioners!

  • dajewel1982 says:

    i purchase my shea butter on ebay.

  • Cocoa J says:

    I just got some kinky twists… I'm not a fan of having to cowash in cold weather! I plan to use that herbal rinse that you posted a while back every 2 weeks or so too.

  • dajewel1982 says:

    so, i guess trying out CURLS products will be out of the question until spring?

  • LBell says:

    As my hair's grown my products have gotten heavier by necessity throughout the year. Straight shea butter is generally too heavy for my fine strands BUT this winter I'm thinking about using it just on my ends. Since I'm still not liking two-strand twists on me, I'm going to need something to protect the ends from the Midwest winter.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is all great advice! Curly Nikki, I really want my hair to grow and get lengthy! Do you have any suggestions for me in the winter time?

  • Unknown says:

    Hey, those are all ingredients that are easily accessible to me as well! Do you just do a part of each? I'm going to do that tomorrow! Thanks!

  • Anonymous says:

    to The Star
    Just make your own leave in spray! In a 4 oz bottle I mix water, Hello Hydration conditioner and extra virgin olive oil. Works great on my APL natural 4A hair. I only mix up a weeks worth at a time because I believe it would grow bacteria if it sits around too long. Its good for refreshing my curls between washes and keeps my hair really moisturized. I've also used DevaOne as the conditioner component in my spray.

  • Unknown says:

    I'm having a hard time finding a spray leave-in that doesn't have a lot of glycerin in it

  • Unknown says:

    I'll just 2-strand twist with the shea and coconut oil mixture I've been using, BUT will begin covering them with a wig or two the cooler it gets =)

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Everyone, Love the site. Question: Does anyone have advice about hair shampoo/conditioner (if any) for toddlers and very young children? Shea butter? Co/wash 1x or 2x a week? Which shampoos and conditioners are baby safe & won’t knot the hair too much? I’m asking because my (white) friend adopted a baby (of mixed parentage) and I know the "what am I supposed to do with the hair" question is around the corner, trouble is, I am just figuring this out myself. And what’s good for an adult like me seems way too much for baby. I want to be helpful when the topic comes up, and don’t want to steer this parent is the wrong direction…please, anyone have any good tips?

  • Anonymous says:

    Carols Daughter hair milk sealed with shea butter. I will be wearing braids and twists all winter.

  • Journey says:

    i will be doing 2-strand twists this winter w/ shea butter. if i am not too lazy i will be doing more cassia treatments, but i may have to modify my recipe for the winter.

  • Anonymous says:

    I buy my unrefined shea at the local co-op in bulk. I am also trying avocado oil, and coconut oil to re-twist at night.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am going to change my spritz. It usually has water, glycerin and essential oils but I will replace the glycerin with oil olive or a conditioner. I will have to check the ingredients on my other products.

  • Anonymous says:

    I see many of you have mentioned shea butter. What brand do you use? Can it purchased on line?

  • CURLYNIKKI says:

    Hey ladies! My routine is pretty moisture intensive, and my hair is not a huge fan of glycerin or honey, so most of the conditioners in my routine are great:

    -Hello Hydration or Totally Twisted (herbal essence)
    -Jessicurl Weekly Deep Treatment

    Probably should lay off of Sheamoisture Shea Butter Leave-in, and Oyin Honey Hemp conditioner. If a conditioner has glycerin toward the bottom of the list, I'll still use it.


  • Anonymous says:

    I have been doing a lot of wash and go's, but as the weather get cooler I have to find a new routine. I can't be out in the cold with a wet head. Thinking of rocking finger coils or braids for most of the winter.

  • Anonymous says:

    im gonna henna every 2-3weeks. im going to start using shea butter. im going to start keeping my hair in twists for longer periods of time.

  • dajewel1982 says:


    would keeping the hair in two strand twists and corn rows be enough to protect the hair in areas that have brutal cold climates??

  • Cygnet says:

    Thanks, B (10/2/2009 1:34PM)

    I've seen Nature's Gate at the local Whole Foods. Next time I'm in there, I'll look for that conditioner. And I'll also be on the lookout for the Giovanni 50/50. NC weather being what it is, I figure I've got a few weeks before I need to have a winter routine figured out and nailed down.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great info! I'll definitely have to check my ingredients of my conditioner and etc. I plan to do more protective styles such as 2 strand twists, finger coils, etc. and deep conditioning more often. I also try to put a satin scarf on my head before putting on a hat once it gets colder. Ear muffs are also a must 😉 ~KF519

  • Shelvasha says:

    I normally just do twist and wrap my hair in a silk scarf and layer with other scarves. Product-wise, I just use Shea Butter and I USED to use a mixture of glycerin and water for moisture.

  • Anonymous says:

    I plan on twisting, bunning and wigging (I know, not a word) my way through the winter. I live in the Northeast and it can be brutally cold here in the deep of winter. I plan on getting a good trim in December and letting my hair 'hibernate' for the winter. Having to wear hats, scarves and woolen coats and sweaters would definitely affect my hair so I'm keeping it up and covered. With lots of conditioning, treatments and love, I expect to reveal a glorious head of hair in the spring! :O)
    p.s. I'm with you Chloe on the KBB Hair Mask, I'm waiting for a deal too-but it is soooo good!

  • b. says:

    Hi Cygnet,

    Two of my faves may work for you. It's worth a shot! The Giovanni has glycerine, but it's near the bottom.

    Giovanni 50/50 condish: Aqua (Purified Water), Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis) Leaf Extract, Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Extract, Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Clary (Salvia Sclarea) Leaf Extract, Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia), Coltsfoot (Tussilago Fargara) Flower Extract, Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Soybean (Glycine Soja) Seed Extract, Cetyl Aclohol, Steryl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance with Essential Oil

    And Nature's Gate Awapuhi Condish: Water, Cetyl Alcohol, Hedychium Coronarium (Hawaiian White Ginger/Awapuhi) Root Extract, Prunus Serotina (Wild Cherry) Bark Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Betula Alba (Birch) Leaf Extract, Hydrastis Canadensis (Golden Seal) Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Equisetum Hiemale (Horsetail) Extract, Glycerin, Panthenol, Stearalkonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.

    (Ingredient lists taken from

    The Nature's Gate Awapuhi is runny, but I love it for both conditioning and as a leave-in. It also smells nice. HTH…

  • Carmel Stacks says:

    I've been wearing two strand twists in an updo for the past 4 weeks (cassia, deep condish and retwist with AOHSR every week) and I plan on continuing along for the rest of the year. This means I need to buy some earmuffs 🙂

  • Cygnet says:

    Hi, Nikki and others, I'm visually impaired (visual acuity of 20/400 in the better eye with best correction), and as I have gotten older, reading the small print on product bottles makes my eyes hurt. Can any of you recommend a list of winterizing hair moisturizers and stylers that do not contain any of the ingredients on this post? My hair does not seem to like an overabundance of oils, and although it's fine, it feels rough in some sections, and needs a ton of moisture all the time.

  • Chloe says:

    My hair is colored so I am still getting used to the over-moisturizing thing, lol. I hope to do amla treatments every week or two – my hair loves it. And I may have to look out for a good Fab Freebie Friday from KBB cuz that damn hair mask is the bomb but hella expensive. I will probably have to cut down on the wash-n-gos too, maybe straighten my hair more often becuase its not long enough to bun properly

  • Justina says:

    most of my conditoners have these products in them (worked great in the summer).. im in NC. currently transioning and well… what products are you all using this Fall & Winter?

  • Anonymous says:

    this year i'm going to invest in a diffuser so that i can do some wash n gos this fall/winter.

  • Charla says:

    I am new to the whole regimen thing in general. However, I live in Chicago and it is a must that I do something different for winter after reading up on how some conditions affect your hair. I have joined a protective styling challenge for the last three months of the year. The only protective style I know how to do is bunning. I will be looking for guidance on the products and routine I will use for the winter months.

  • Shelvasha says:

    Wow, this is good to know. I usually use glycerin as a humectant, but now that I know that it'll further dry out my hair when it's cooler, (which is now beginning to occur in NC) I won't be using it now. Deep treatments ftw!

Leave a Reply