While summer might be one of the best seasons to have your natural hair out, winter is the opposite. The harsh and cold weather constantly has natural hair feeling dry and brittle. And if you're living in areas where the temperature is constantly in minuses you want to stack up on these tips to keep your natural hair moisturized.
Your hair needs direct water to stay moisturized but you also need to drink water because the health of your hair begins on the inside and works its way out. Additionally, we need to stay hydrated in winter more than other seasons. To keep warm in the cold consider tea as it will keep you warm and your hair hydrated.
Experts explain that our attraction to heat in winter; through our layered clothing, heaters, hot food and drinks can cause us to be dehydrated without knowing because we aren’t thirsty or sweating as much as in summer. Despite not feeling as thirsty as you would on a hot sunny day, you still need 8 glasses of water in your system daily to stay hydrated and keep your system working.
The LOC Method
The LOC method is a life saver especially in harsh winter months. The LOC method stands for liquid, oil, cream and it is a great way to keep your hair moisturized. By applying the products in this order, you give your hair enough moisture and seal it in, allowing you to retain moisture for longer periods.
Although the most common method is the LOC, there are other variations such as the LCO and the LOCO. The latter uses a light oil with conditioning properties and seals with a heavy oil like castor oil or shea butter for optimum results.
Some oils to consider include olive oil, avocado oil, Jamaican black castor oil, mango butter, shea butter, among others.
The LOC method keeps your hair moisturized for more than a day which is important with water rapidly vaporizing in winter the sealants keep the moisture locked in.
Silicones might be detested in the natural community but they have some benefits especially in winter months. Although they do not have moisturizing properties, they make one of the best sealants.
Silicones are despised because they often act as a barrier, preventing moisture from permeating your hair after it’s been moisturized. But this barrier property is just what you need to keep the moisture in your hair from evaporating. If you're trying the LOC method, consider sealing with water-based creams containing silicones. However, if you would rather not go near any silicones, there are other moisturizing tips to consider.
Humectants are products which attract water from the air into your hair and skin. Sounds good, right? But these products are only best used in more humid conditions, that is, warmer seasons than winter. In winter, humectants draw out the water from your hair and into the atmosphere rather than the other way round.
Some examples of humectants to avoid are honey, glycerin, sorbitol, pathenol, fructose and wheat protein. You can get them out again when the weather is warmer.
Hot Oil Treatments
Hot oil treatments are good for your hair all year round, but in winter they are absolutely needed. Hot oil treatments strengthen, moisturize, and prevent your hair from being brittle and having split ends.
By doing a hot oil treatment the nutrients contained in the oil used permeate your scalp, nourishing it and conditioning your hair. It also stimulates blood flow in your scalp which, in turn, leads to growth.
To do a hot oil treatment, you need an oil your hair loves. Most people opt for coconut oil, but just about any oil works.
- Pour some of the oil into a bowl or an applicator bottle
- Put it in a bowl of hot water or place in a microwave to heat up.
- Make sure the containers used are safe for heating.
- When heated allow to cool off a bit so it doesn't burn your scalp. But it should be warm enough for applying without burning
- Cover your hair with a shower cap for about 20 minutes
- Rinse off
- Apply leave-in conditioner and seal in the moisture
Hot oil treatments can be done as a pre-poo. As a pre-poo, after 20 minutes, proceed with cleansing your hair.
The baggy method is a simple way to get your curls moisturized. All you need is a plastic bag or a Ziploc bag and a little of your favorite moisturizer. You can do this on your ends only as dry ends usually cause split ends and breakage.
Apply your favorite moisturizer, seal and cover with a plastic or ziploc bag for 3 hours to overnight but not longer. This results is soft and pliable curls. You could also try this without a moisturizer.
Incorporate steam into your winter regimen for uber moisturized curls. Steam is heated water vapor and making use of this gives your hair moisture without drenching it in water. If you don't own a steamer, taking off your shower cap during your hot shower is a great way to revive your curls with much needed moisture.
Keeping your hair hydrated in winter months is essential for keeping your hair healthy and protected in the cold. Consider these winter tips and employing the LOC method as you brave the cold this year.