Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Winterizing Natural Hair

Winterizing Hair:
It’s getting cold outside and I notice I have to put a lot of moisture back into my hair. Although the scalp does produce natural oils which can travel up to the ends of the hair and moisturize it, due to the curly structure of natural afro hair it is difficult for the oils to make their way from the roots to the ends of the hair. I try to drink a lot of water and eat a lot of fruits maintaining healthy nutrition. In the winter months you have to make sure that you remain gentle with your hair. For some of us it will require a slight change in your hair regimen as the elements of the weather can affect our hair. Hair like our skin can dry out due to the lack of water. Simply put good nutrition and proper hydration will keep your hair healthy through the winter months.
Our hair contains protein and a diet low in protein can cause thinning and unhealthy hair. Nutrition is necessary in any climate but especially throughout the winter months. I have choosen to turn to flax seed oil, virgin olive oil, and soy products which I do throughout the year and borage oils provide natural waterproofing. If your essential fatty acid levels are low your hair will dry out. Flax seed oils and cod liver oil helps not only to clear your skin but provide hydration to you hair and can be helpful in many other areas of your body. Without essential fatty acids your hair can become every frizzy as well, this will appear in such styles as twists, braids, twist outs and braids out. Hair vitamins are also a great way to restore moisture back to our hair than using store brought products that may contain harsh chemicals.
Winter Hair Problems:
·       Freezing cold temperatures
·       Snow
·       Moisture levels in the air
·       Blowing wind
·       Scarves and hats
·       Hair being coat in coats
·       central buildings

·       Purchase a humidifier
·       Increase deep conditioning treatments
·       increase hot oil treatments
·       Oil/moisturize ends
·       Protect your hair with protective styling
Winter Hair Tips:
1)      A natural way to add moisture to your hair is a natural hot oil treatment once or twice a week. Let the oil sit on your hair to and then wash. This will put moisture back into your hair.
2)      Make sure that your hair is dry before heading out side, frozen hair in cold temperatures can lead to breakage.
3)     Protective styling will help to cover hair, retain length, and protect your hair against the elements.
4)      Shampoo less which will maintain natural hair oils and try co-washing, leave-ins every day and clarifying you hair more often. Excessive shampooing can lead to stripping of the hair and breakage.
5)      If you smoke cut back or better yet for your health quit.
6)      Reduce caffeine and carbonated drinks that can prevent hair growth.
7)      Avoid the use of hot water, hot blow dryers and other hot hair care tools. Washing your hair in hot water can damage hair and promote frizz, use Luke warm water for hair washing. Always make your final hair rinse is with cold water. Cold water seals the hair`s cuticle.  This will allow I personally have choosen not to use any heat in my hair for the next year.
8)     Try a weekly scalp massages to stimulate follicles.
9)     Do not rub your hair together this will create tangles, make sure to comb hair with a wide tooth comb.
10)  Use a deep conditioner on your hair regularly and make sure to moisturize your ends frequently to prevent fairy knots.
Fairy Knots:
11)  If your ends are destroyed get rid of them.
12)  Drink enough water, if you don’t eat a lot of fruits drink at least 6-8 glasses a day.
13)  You can hydrate the hair by spraying some water on the hair before bedtime or prior to combing. It will help the hair hydrate itself. I always spray my hair with water before combing. It is manageable and soft.
Using the Right Products:
·       Use products made for natural hair or afro textured hairs that are made with natural products
      to help your hair stay moisturize and retain its health.
·       Avoiding using petroleum-based products which will clog up your pores.
·       Use a good leave in conditioner: Carol`s Daughter, Organic root stimulator. I am a do it         
      yourself-er so I enjoy making my own leave in conditioner.
·       Stay away from alcohol based products like hair dyes.
·       Look for products made from olive oil, Shea butter, jojoba oil. This fall and winter I am
      sticking to these oils to help me through the winter months. For some people Shea butter can have adverse effects in the winter months. I have found that when you mixed together with the oils it works well for my hair.

Avoid the use of:

·       Isopropyl Alcohol
·       Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben
·       Petrolatum and Mineral Oil
·       Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Many people can have allergic reactions to these ingredients listed above.

Look for products that contain: rosemary, jojoba, olive, coconut

If you are a do it yourself-er then you will can have fun experiment with these oils to retain moisture and make leave-in with Shea butter. If you refer to my section on natural hair you are able to find information on oils that will be helpful if you choose to make recipes for your hair. Homemade Deep Conditioning

I have listed what works for me and many other naturals I have spoken to. It may not work for everyone. Some naturals have no problems with their hair and don’t require as much attention or change throughout the winter months. Find out what works for you, pay close attention to your hair.

Stay Beautiful!