Did your most beloved product suddenly turn its back on you? Before you throw it out, read this article. It might be the weather change. Your product may be a seasonal one.
The weather and environment have an affect on curly hair.
Curly hair tends to get extremely dry in winter. This is because in winter, the weather tends to get dry with very low humidity. There’s no moisture left in the air. So the air starts removing moisture from hair. This can result in dry hair that does not have very good hold. On the other hand, in summer, the air is generally very humid and hot which keeps hair moisturized.
Since hair becomes so dry, it also results in frizz. The hair strands start reaching out into the air for moisture.
Curly hair also tends to loose volume in winter. This is because of the lack of humidity in the air. Hair grows and becomes voluminous because of moisture in the air (humidity) so lack thereof results in flat hair. Another reason for flat winter hair is that we try to add more product to our hair to combat dryness. Adding excessive product can weigh down hair.
Because winter hair tends to be dry, frizzy, and flat, the care it needs is different from summer hair. In summer, we want to balance out the moisture in the air. We don’t want the moisture level in the air to be more than that of our hair so else hair tends to frizz. In winter, we need to moisturize our hair because the low humidity is drying our hair. Humidity is being pulled from hair to the outside (less humid) air.
As colder months approach, here are some tips on how to manage your hair:
Switch up your products
In winter, curly hair loves heavier creams and oils to help prevent the moisture from being removed by the dry air. Rich creams and creamy leave-ins are great for winter months. In summer months, it’s best to stick to more liquid-y and diluted product. We recommend our Curl Defining Cream for colder months.
Since the focus is on keeping hair hydrated, it’s important to frequently do deep treatments and use hair masks. A pre-shampoo treatment using oils and masks before every shower will give desired results. Cover your hair with a cap or add heat to help the treatment seep into your hair.
Avoid washing your hair with shampoo too often
It's best to wash your hair less than you would in hotter months. Twice a week is recommended but find out what works for your hair. It's best to use lighter washes in winter months to avoid drying out the hair. Use moisturizing shampoos and co-washes. Deep condition as often as you shampoo.
Don’t use products that are high in humectants
Humectants are materials used in products to moisturize dry or damaged hair. They promote moisture retention by attracting water molecules from the local environment and binding them to specific sites along their structure. Sounds great. However, in extremely low humidity conditions, humectants may draw water out of the interior of the hair shaft and cause dryness and possible damage or breakage.
In simpler words, humectants will attract moisture to wherever is dry. If the air is dryer than your hair, humectants will pull moisture from your hair to the air.
Glycerin is a very popular humectant found in most products. Other popular humectants are honey and agave nectar. Use products with more emollients.
Note that this does not mean glycerins are bad. In the right humidity (like in summer months), glycerin can be great for curls.
Avoid air drying
Don’t let your hair get exposed to the cold when it’s wet. Cold air will expand the hair shaft which will put stress on the cuticle and lead to frizz and breakage. In extremely low temperatures (below 1°C), wet hair can freeze outdoors and result in ice on the hair shaft. When this ice melts, it will turn to water and ruin the style and definition that you worked so hard on. Instead, try to diffuse or blow dry your hair. If that isn't possible, try to plop or gently towel dry your hair. If you must leave the house with wet hair, protect them with a scarf to shield from the weather.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to protect your curls throughout all the festivities and wonders that winter is sure to bring with it.