Despite living in the South the majority of my life (and all of my adult life) I have experienced several winters. Some of them mild, some of them cold and some of them with winter precipitation. No matter how cold it gets each winter I tend to the negative effect it has on my relaxed hair. In the winter I tend to find it's harder to keep my hair moisturized for more than a couple of days without using a lot of product. I also see more breakage which makes it harder for me to retain any length I gained during the warmer months.
Related post: Infographic: Why Relaxed Hair Needs Moisture
After some trial and error I've come up with six things I try to incorporate into my regimen during the winter to help add and retain moisture in my relaxed hair. I've found when I consistently do these things my hair stays moisturized longer, I use less product and don't have to wash my hair every week.
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1. Co-wash more and shampoo lessI love to co-wash and tend to do it when my hair starts feeling really dry. This way I'm able to cleanse my hair without stripping it of moisture and nutrients. I use a co-wash or cleansing cream, but you can also co-wash with a regular rinse out conditioner.
Related post: Product Review: Eden BodyWorks Coconut Shea CoWash
2. Deep condition weeklyDeep conditioning is a must if you're trying to keep your hair moisturized. This helps add back moisture that may have been lost in cleansing. I use a moisture based deep conditioner that I leave on for at least 30 minutes. If you don't wash your hair weekly, you can deep condition every time you wash.
3. Use humectantsHumectants draw moisture from the air and retain moisture in hair. Two common humectants are glycerin and honey. I will sometimes mix honey with my deep conditioner or make a pre-poo with natural oils and honey.
4. Moisturize and seal regularlyThe dryer the air the dryer my hair, so I'll moisturize and seal close to everyday in the wintertime. While I may do it everyday, your hair may not need it everyday. So moisturize and seal as your hair needs it.
5. Seal with a heavier oilWhen I use a sealant I prefer to use a natural oil. Coconut oil is a favorite of mine, but it's not a good oil to use in the winter because it gets solid when it's temperature gets under 76 degrees. I've also heard of it solidifying when it's on people's hair and making their hair feel hard and stiff. Definitely not the feeling I'm going for.
So I switch to using natural oils that work better in the winter. This tends to be heavier oils like Jamaican Black Castor Oil and even sunflower oil. I do have to watch that I'm not heavy handed with the oil so I don't weigh my hair down with it.
Related post: I've Joined the Hairlista Castor Oil Challenge
6. Wear protective stylesProtective styles are any styles that protect your hair, particularly your ends. This can be wearing buns, braids or weaves. I've found when I wear protective styles regularly and combine that with regular moisturizing and sealing my hair always feels great instead of dry.
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How do you keep your hair moisturized in the winter?
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