The winter season has the best holidays (including my birthday!) but the cold weather can be harsh on your hair and skin. I am a self professed "lazy natural", which means that I want my hair to flourish with the minimum amount of effort possible, but even I acknowledge that it may need a bit more tlc during winter.
Many people recommend having a set of winter products and maintaining the same regimen but that hasn't worked for me. As a product junkie, I have tried almost everything there is on the market, but the most valuable lesson I learned on my natural hair journey was that sometimes it's not the product, it's the technique. Instead of changing products, I just increase or decrease the frequency of certain steps throughout the cold months. I hope these tips help you achieve healthy hair and that you'll be ready to show it off next summer.
1. DEEP CONDITION
I do this with every wash day because for me, that is the whole point of washing my hair! I wash my hair once every two weeks on average (once a week in winter) and now that I have learned which products work best with my mane, I rarely get product build up. The main reason for my wash day is to rehydrate my hair and there is no better way to do that than to deep condition. Moisturised hair is manageable hair.
2. LEAVE YOUR HAIR ALONE
I love the way my hair feels and I enjoy tracing my curls or twirling my ends so my hands were always in my hair. This is bad. The more you manipulate your hair, whether it's through styling or just playing, the more breakage you will experience. I can testify, the minute I left my hair alone I started getting fewer split ends. Self inflicted damage is the worst! Winter is the perfect time to tuck your hair away in a protective style as the weather is much harsher.
3. "ACTIVATE" THICK PRODUCTS
I can't tell you how many cointz I've wasted on deep conditioner before discovering this. 😭
I used to add products to my hair and then spread it instead of spreading it first and then applying it to my hair. I know, it sounds foolish, but you can blame Youtubers for that one! A prime example were the Shea Moisture masques: everyone would talk about how much slip they had but I just found them thick and hard to spread. Not to mention that I would use lots of it and finish a tub in 3-4 washes. For years! Then one day I decided to rub it between my hands first to make it thinner et voilá, less product used, lots of slip and a great deep condition. Both my hair and wallet are happy.
4. EFFECTIVE DETANGLING
If your hair isn't properly detangled, your strands will tangle and your style won't bang. Effective detangling is achieved by using a product with lots of slip, being gentle, using a tool that doesn't cause breakage and removing shed hair. I used to aggressively comb my hair out with a Denman brush (again, blame Youtube!) while my hair was in large sections. Eek! I've since learned that the Denman brush causes me breakage (even after modifying it) and I now mostly finger detangle when my hair is saturated with conditioner. In summer I detangle every wash day plus in-between washes because I restyle more often; in winter I only detangle on wash day.
In the winter I tend to trim less frequently and I can't tell you how often to trim, but trim you must. Once your ends get raggedy and straggly you will encounter more breakage and your ends will start to thin. There is no good side here, just cut them off.