The winter weather, with its cold temperatures, dry air, and blowing winds, is harsh on our hair. So, here are some tips to help winterize your hair, protect those precious strands, and retain those inches.
Protect your hair, and especially your ends, from friction. And by this, I mean, rubbing against anything that will pull moisture or cause splits. Having your ends out and rubbing against your clothing every time you move your head, for instance. This is the main reason that many are not able to grow past shoulder length. It is at this length that your hair comes into direct contact with clothing that pulls moisture and causes splits. Those splits ride up and break off. Then it feels like you can't get the hair to grow past shoulder but if you protective style and get your ends up off your clothing (or back of chairs, etc), you'll find that you'll have better success getting past this length.
Line your head coverings. During the winter, you may wear hats to keep warm or wigs as a protective styling option. Make sure your hair is not coming into direct contact with fabrics that absorb moisture or allow friction. Protect your hair with satin or silk linings. And beneath wigs, make sure there is also a barrier between your hair and the wig. People are often stunned to find mid-shaft splits. These are splits, not at the ends of the hair, but somewhere in the middle of the strand. Wigs are often the culprit.
Moisture, moisture, moisture! Winter weather is harsh on our hair. It robs our hair of precious moisture which can lead to breakage. It is important that you make sure that your moisture and seal routine is on point and that you are on a regular deep conditioning schedule. Dryness leads to breakage.
The goal is to drive moisture into your strands and seal it in. Remember, when you're doing a moisturizing deep conditioning, wet heat will help get the conditioning properties of your treatment into the strands. This is especially important to those who are low porosity. You have to lift those cuticles to get the moisture in.
Wet heat means using a hair steamer or creating a steamy environment. You can create a steamy environment by applying a plastic cap over your hair after applying your deep conditioner. Then, sit under a hooded dryer or a thermal cap or, wrap a warm towel around the plastic cap or, simply cover the cap with a scarf and go about your business for awhile. The plastic cap traps the heat from your scalp, also creating a steamy environment. You'll just have to let it sit a little longer. 30 minutes should be sufficient. If you are using a hair steamer, you can steam for half that time. (That reminds me. I need to shop for a new steamer. They make your hair feel so yummy and are worth their weight in gold! Especially during the winter months. Steam also sanitizes the scalp and stimulates the follicles. What are we waiting on. Grab one neeeoooowww!).
In addition to regular deep conditioning, you may need to modify your regular moisture seal routine to include a heavier seal. Many are using the LOC or LCO method. ( Liquid, Oil, Cream in whichever order works best for you). The purpose of this layered method of sealing in moisture is to slow down the evaporation of moisture from your strands. Or, locking in moisture. The dry air and winds blowing in the winter months will surely steal moisture from your strands.
One simple adjustment you may consider is switching your "C" to a "B" for a whipped butter for the final layer. That may leave the hair a little greasy to the touch but gets the job done. And finally,
Remember your hydration goals. This is always going to be a good thing for hair growth and your overall health. It's easy to think that the summer months require proper hydration but, staying properly hydrated is key in maintain the body's systems for maximum performance and in stimulating cellular turnover. Remember, sugars de-hydrate, which slows down growth and proper hydration balances your body's pH, creating an ideal condition for your body, and your hair, to thrive.
For an extra nutritional boost while reaching your hydration goals, our Kukua hair growth teas provide herbs that help stop hair loss and support maixmum hair growth . And, there are variations that provide additional benefits as well as hair growth. Did you know? Take a peek at the blends that we have available today.
Don't create weak spots in your hair. In an effort to protective style, which is protecting your hair, more specifically, your ends, there are styles that we resort to that, if done incorrectly, can damage your hair cause a setback.
1. Buns and ponytails. Please make sure there is no tension on the edges when you create these styles. With the threat of dryness from the weather, tension will cause the hair to snap off. Leave a little slack, especially if you create the style while wet or damp. Your hair will pull as it dries due to the effect of shrinkage. To get your edges laying flat, apply a natural hair gel, like aloe vera, to the edges, tie a satin scarf around the edges and allow it to airdry 5-10 minutes before removing it. Your edges will be laid, hunny.
Also, with buns and ponytails, move them around and resist putting them in the same place repeatedly. This may cause a weak spot as that same location on the strands is stressed by the pulling. That weak spot quickly turns into breakage. Oh, we've all seen people who wear ponytails that get thinner and thinner over time. That's why.
And when bunning, moisturize and tuck the ends under the bun to keep the ends protected. If a hair pin is needed, don't pin the ends directly, pin further up and just tuck the ends under. This will keep you from damaging your ends anc causing splits.
2. Baggy those buns. Sis, if your style will allow it, a good way to keep your moisturized strands from drying out is to cover your bun with a plastic sandwich baggy (not the zippered ones, or cut that off), twist and tuck the bottom or secure with a ponytail holder "on top of the baggy". From there, you can cover your baggied bun with a phonytail. faux bun, or fabruc bun cover. Be creative. This used to be my go-to hack for keeping my ends well-moisturized while looking stylish in the winter. Maybe I'll do a video. Hmmm...
3. Braids. This should be common knowledge but, I'm gonna say it anyway. If you're having braids installed, please make sure that they are not too tight.
Signs that your braids are too tight:
1. They hurt like hell when having them installed. I'm not talking about hurt from detangling or being combed. I'm talking about the braider grabbing your every thought, hope, and dream out of your very head and it causes your body to tense up and your face to grimace while she continues as if nothing is wrong.
2. You can visibly see your hair pulling away from your scalp and yet holding on for dear life. The struggle usually produces raised bumps at the base of the strands.
3. You have a surprised look on your face because you can't lower your eyebrows and you're blinking more because your eyes are wide open and trying not to dry out. You look like you think somebody asked you something. "No Ma'am. I didn't ask you a question."
4. People are looking at you with THEIR eyebrows raised in automatic response to your raised eyebrows but also because they're thinking to themselves, "Yowch! R.I.P. to those edges".
5. Without asking, your braider will suggest that you take some Tylenol to help with the pain while you rethink your entire life...but you look cute tho.
I can go on but, you get the idea. We all know what the danger signs look like, but still, we have this happening. I can only imagine that it's because you don't want to say anything to the braider. Maybe you're worried about hurting her feelings. Maybe you're concerned that she might go harder. Maybe she just looks like she's always ready for a fight. IDK. But, for the love of God, and the health of your hair follicles, SAY SOMETHING! Or, ABORT MISSION! Get thee heck out of that situation. Don't be that person that prioritizes a cute style over the health of your follicles.
BUT, if you are, we have something for that. RejuvenX Max Formula Hair Regrowth Serum will help heal those damaged follicle and get you growing again. But, act fast because once a follicle dies, those edges are gone gone.
4. Microbraids. *deep sigh* I agree that microbraids look nice. But, they are a high risk for breakage, and here's why. You're relying on the tiniest section of hair to carry the weight of added hair. No, each one may not carry much extra weight but, strength comes in numbers when it comes to wearing braids. And, as you move those braids around to put them into various styles, you run the risk of breaking one strand out of a group of only 4 strands, weakening the section even more. (Ok 4 strands may be an exaggeration but, is it really?). And we won't even talk about the takedown. I'll allow you to come to your own conclusion. The thought of the time and effort has me triggered.
These things are also true of regular braids that use too much hair for the strength of a small section. But, I digress. We're talking about winter styling and I only want to touch on a few protective styles that could cause problems. None of these problems have to happen but, of the problems that present, these are usually the culprits. Be safe in your protective styling options.
5. Protecting your edges while in braids. Please remember that your edges are more delicate than the rest of your hair. Tension and styling that the bulk of your hair can pull off may still be a bit much for your edges. If braiding your hair, I would recommend braiding down the first inch of your hairline just so that there is no excessive pulling whenever you move your hair. Protect your edges at all cost. If you lose them, you run the risk of losing them permanently. And nobody wants that. Address lost, damaged, or injured hairlines as quickly as possible. And in all seriousness, RejuvenX can help if used before the follicles die off. If there's even fuzz growing, the follicles are still active but shrinking. If there's no growth, you may be too late.
6. Wigs. Wigs have really come a long way and there are different types of wigs available.
For those that rely on combs to keep them secure, those combs can create weak spots from tension created by the combs trying to keep your wig from slipping. An alternative is cutting the combs out and using hair pins a little further back and away from the hairline.
And for the lacefront wigs, which a lot of people are wearing these days so, I'm going to try not to step on toes trying to be humorous, please be careful on how you are treating your edges. The wig is often glued down and can cause tension just in staying in place or during the removal. I saw a video where a lady was peeling the wig off the front of her hair and it was cringe, to say the least. Please be careful with the edges coming into contact with adhesives. I know that there are techniques used to avoid damage. Please employ any and all protective measure to avoid damaging the hairline.
Remember that hair growth naturally slows down during the winter months. But we can push past any growth stalls by being consistent with your healthy hair growth regimen.
Don't forget to oil and massage your scalp,
Happy Hair Growing!