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:
-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)
-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)
–Jane Carter Solution Nutrient Replenishing Conditioner
-Curl Junkie Hibiscus and Banana
-Miss Jessies Creme de la Creme
-Oyin Honey Hemp Conditioner
-Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding
-Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme
-Generic Value Matrix Conditioning Balm (Sallys)
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!
- 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!**