As the leaves turn from green to golden, it’s time to adjust our hair care routine to prepare us for the cool months ahead. With cooler temperatures, it means for most of us, the end of the wash n go or at least a revised version of it.
For me, cooler months mean less shampooing and more co-washing. Sweating less and less humidity in the air decreases my need to use a shampoo since I have much less build-up. I can get my hair clean with a good co-wash and stretch my time between shampoos from weekly to biweekly or sometimes 1x a month depending on my hairs needs. Incorporate more moisturizing and nourishing products during your wash routine, use co-washes to avoid drying the hair too much and richer conditioners.
Because of how drying the air can be, I keep my deep conditioning routine a lot better during winter months and use my heat cap more regularly. I’m in less of a rush to run outside with wet hair and typically wash my hair at night, stretching it while I sleep, allowing me to leave with dry curls by morning. Try to deep condition at least 1-2 a week if you can and use heat or steam to let the moisture seep into your strands. **For add moisture, add nourishing oils like olive oil to your deep conditioners.
Keeping the moisture locked in after washing is key. You’re wearing turtlenecks, scarves, sweaters, and coats that will literally suck the moisture from your hair, if you let it. One of the oldest curly girl rules in the book is the good ol’ LCO or LOC method. – Leave-in, Oil, Cream – I generally don’ t follow this method of applying styling products during the spring and summer as it can tend to wear my hair down. I generally add in a scalp massage as well when I apply the oil. You can choose to apply the oil first or the cream first, it’s totally your preference, I personally prefer to apply my leave in and cream so my hair soaks in as much as it can from both products, then apply my oil to seal it all in. If I’m not using my homemade oil mix, one of my favorite go to oils to use is Jamaican Black Castor Oil. It’s heavier oil that I know will protect and strengthen my strands, as well as, promotes hair growth. Experiment with this method and create your own routine that your curls like. Start off light and build up to a comfortable amount of each product that keeps your hair moisturized without too much weight or buildup.
Don’t think because washday is over, you’re off the hook. Nah bruh. Don’t forget to sleep with a satin pillow or bonnet, which you should already be doing. I also like to re-moisturize and seal my hair by just applying a small amount of moisturizer to my ends and a tiny bit of oil. I tend to do this every other day or daily depending on my hairs needs. It helps to extend my style for a few extra days if I need to. Again, who wants to wash + style their hair when it’s cold outside? – Not this curly girl.
Here are a few other tips to get through the fall/winter with curls:
Try styles like braid-outs and twist-outs that you can do at night so your hair is dry by morning.
Use a diffuser – if you must wash in the AM, instead of leaving with a wet head diffuse your hair on cool/medium heat.
Don’t forget about protective styling! Upgrade your bun with some flat twists and put your hair up for the week or leave in your braids/twists instead of unraveling them for a twist out. Braids, wigs, weaves, are also other options.
Share some of your favorite fall/winter products and styles below. Let’s get through these cold months together.