How To Keep Relaxed Hair Moisturized In The Winter

Despite living in the South for the majority of my life (and all of my adult life) I have experienced some mild winters and several cold and dry winters. No matter how cold it gets each winter at some point the colder air starts to negatively impact my relaxed hair. 

Related read: The Basics For Moisturizing Your Hair

In the wintertime I find my hair doesn’t hold moisture as long as it does during the warmer months. If I don’t have a good hair routine my hair doesn’t stay 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 the length I gained during the warmer months.

woman wearing satin-lined cap on hair in winter weather.
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After some trial and error, I found ways to help my hair thrive in the winter just like it does in the spring and summer. There are some types of products and techniques that I incorporate into my relaxed hair regimen that help add and retain moisture in my relaxed hair. 

I've found when I consistently do these things and use these products
  • My hair stays moisturized longer
  • I don't need to use a lot of product on my hair to have it look and feel good so my hair products last longer 
  • And my hair just looks better overall

1. Co-wash more and shampoo less

I 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 will either swap out my shampoo one week for co-washing or I’ll do a mid-week co-wash.  

To co-wash your hair you can use a cleansing cream like the Keracare Cleansing Cream or a regular rinse-out conditioner.

Learn more about co-washing in my video What Is Co-washing And How To Do It. 

2. Deep condition weekly

 Deep conditioning is a must if you're trying to keep your hair moisturized. This helps add back the moisture that may have been lost during the week or even the cleansing process so your hair is less prone to hair breakage.

I deep condition weekly and during the winter I tend to lean towards a moisture-based deep conditioner like the Carol’s Daughter Coco Creme Deep Moisture Mask. I leave it on for at least 30 minutes using my deep conditioning cap or my hair steam to enhance the conditioning and help it better penetrate my hair strands.

For those who don’t wash their hair weekly, deep conditioning whenever you do wash your hair can help make a big difference.

3. Avoid heat

Blow drying your hair and using heat styling tools can dry your hair. Our hair tends to be on the dry side in the winter, so when you use heat styling tools, you're robbing your hair of its last bit of moisture which can cause damage, especially in the winter when it can be dryer than normal.

Some things you can do instead to dry your hair after washing are
  • Air drying your hair fully or most of the way and finishing up your blow dryer
  • Blow drying your hair on a lower heat setting
  • Use a hooded dryer so the heat isn’t directly applied to your hair

There are other ways to style relaxed hair than heat styling tools. Some styling methods I’ve used to achieve wavy or curly styles are steam rollers, braid outs, or satin pillow rollers. Other non-heat hairstyles to dry are French braids, goddess braids, buns, and even ponytails.

If you’re looking for no heat hairstyle ideas you can check out these posts

4. Moisturize and seal regularly

The dryer the air is the dryer my hair tends to get. So I'll regularly moisturize and seal my relaxed hair. I tend to do it close to weekly but this isn’t a must-do because everyone’s hair is different. Only moisturize your hair when it’s needed.

5. Seal with a heavier oil

When you moisturize and seal your hair you can either use a serum for a sealant or a natural oil and there are many natural oils to choose from. Coconut oil is a favorite of mine, but it's not a good oil to use in the winter because it gets solid when its 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 and even breakage. Definitely not what I'm going for.

Because of that, it’s best to use natural oils that work better in the winter such as heavier oils like Jamaican Black Castor Oil or sunflower oil. I share some other options for natural oils in my posts

Personally, I think Jamaican Black Castor Oil is a little heavy for my hair so I use it on my scalp and would use sunflower oil on my hair. No matter what oil you use, one tip is to watch that you’re not heavy-handed with it so you don't weigh down your hair.

6. Pre-poo

This is a treatment you can do prior to washing your hair. It’s an extra step in the process but it can help to add moisture to your hair which is very helpful in the winter. I pre-poo pretty much all year long. You can see more about pre-pooing in my video What Is A Pre-poo And How To Do It

How do you keep your hair moisturized in the winter?
Keep your hair moisturized and avoid winter weather dry out by taking precautionary steps and using products that help keep relaxed and natural hair moisturized. |


  1. i LOVE the presentation of this post. I am now natural though, I have given up on maintaining relaxed hair since last year! Especially as I don't wear my natural hair out always I found it a waste!

    1. Thank you. I've heard that from other relaxed ladies who went natural. Several of these tips can also be used for natural hair so you may be able to incorporate some of them in your natural hair regimen. Thanks for reading!

  2. Great tips! I use several of these in my hair routine already. I need to start moisturing and sealing more thought.


    1. Thanks Keoshia! I feel like the moisturizing and sealing is where I tend to fall off as well.

  3. I love info graphics, and this one is really nice. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Nerline. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for reading

  4. Hi five for sealing and protective styles! It's the only way I can keep my hair on my head in the winter!

    KLP @

    1. Totally agree! I wish I had known about sealing and protective styles back in the day. My hair would have been in much better shape back then.

      Thanks for reading.


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