This post was originally published 01/18/2015 on my Old Blog
January is here and for most this is the coldest month of the year. Many are dealing with freezing winds and subzero temps. This means wool sweaters, wool coats, heavy scarves and hats. It also means that your hair is subject to be drier around this time because let’s face it: most aren’t going to sacrifice wearing a hat in the freezing temps just so their hair won’t be dry! So, with the help of a few friends, I’ve compiled a few pointers that will help you keep your hair moisturized and lower the risk of hair breakage….all while keeping warm! Here goes:
1. Wear a bonnet! Wait…I know what you’re thinking….bonnets outside the bedroom are a terrible offense to women everywhere! I’m suggesting that you wear your bonnet UNDERNEATH your hat. I saw my saw my co-worker Shirley doing this while getting ready to go home. She even told me that she sometimes sews the bonnet (or a piece of satin) inside of her hats…how brilliant is she?! So now she can wear any wool hat she wants and be warm while protecting her hair at the same time…. I’m wearing a bonnet under my hat in the pic below:
2. Wear a silk or satin scarf over your wool scarf!! So all through my high school years my hair stylist, Deidre, always warned me and anyone who would listen to protect the nape (your kitchen) of your hair from your coats and scarves with a silk or satin scarf. So of course I didn’t listen and wondered why my hair was breaking off back there! This is especially important for my ladies and gents who keep a taper in their hair. You may notice a thinning in the nape and it may be due to your nape constantly rubbing against the rough fabrics that you’re wearing. So everyone PLEASE listen to Deidre and grab your nearest silk or satin scarf!!
3. Try pre-conditioning your hair. Sometimes if my hair is REALLY suffering then I will pre-condition my hair with a moisturizing conditioner cocktail. This is fun for me because coming up with the different mixes makes me feel like I’m a chemist or something lol. I have a LOT of conditioners and all of them I’m not in love with. So I mix several cheap conditioners together and maybe add some of my favorite oils to it. Heat it up in the microwave for no longer than 40 seconds and saturate your DRY hair and place a plastic cap over it for 15-30 minutes. Then rinse it out and shampoo and condition your hair again. Your hair will be super soft. You don’t need several conditioners, you can do this with your favorite conditioner. I use several so that the money and product isn’t wasted
*Bonus non-hair related tip* If you have a conditioner that you hate keep it in the shower and use it as a shaving cream for your body. You’ll achieve a super smooth shave and crazy silky soft legs.
4. Steam your Hair!
I have a steamer and I LOVE IT! Here are just a few benefits of steaming your hair:
* It helps to keep your scalp moisturized and helps to cut down on dry flakes
* It helps to soften the hair
* It opens the cuticle of your hair shaft and allows your conditioner to more deeply penetrate your hair
* If you’re natural it will help your curls to “pop” more
* It helps to promote the stretching/elasticity of your hair
I bought my steamer several years ago. There are many types of steamers that you can buy but I preferred the stand alone
This way I can steam my hair without having to worry about finding books or something to prop the steamer on so that I can sit under it. The stand allows it to adjust to anyone sitting anywhere. It has a water reservoir and a timer to steam for up to 30 minutes. After shampooing I apply conditioner to my wet hair, clip my hair up and sit under the steamer. No plastic caps. Deep conditioning at its finest!
No steamer? No worries! Here are a couple of tricks I’ve used that give me similar results: With conditioner on your hair, sit under your hair dryer with a plastic cap for thirty minutes. You will notice the steam under the plastic cap while you sit. Another option is taking a small towel and running it under cold water. Wring the towel out and place it in the microwave for 3-5 minutes. WATCH THE TOWEL WHILE ITS IN THE MICROWAVE TO MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T BURN!! You can then carefully place the towel around your wet hair (that has conditioner on it) and clip it securely. Then place a plastic cap over the towel. Let it sit until the towel cools and you can re-wet and re-heat the towel several times until you feel that your hair is properly conditioned.
5. For textured hair whether relaxed or natural: Moisturize and Seal at night. Before you go to bed, take a small amount of a water based moisturizer and run it through your hair, focusing primarily on the ends of your hair. Then take a small, dime sized amount of oil (I use coconut oil….the kind you cook with), rub it in your hands and over your hair. I like to compare this method with you taking a bath or shower. Baths and showers are needed to cleanse and moisturize the skin….but what happens if you take a bath and never put any lotion or oil on your skin? You’re going to have dry and ashy skin. Eventually your skin will begin to itch and over time your skin will flake. With hair it’s very similar. Shampooing is very important but should never be used alone. Conditioner, moisturizer and natural oils work as the “lotion” for your hair. When you wash your hair it receives moisture from the water and products. Throughout the week you need to moisturize your hair because the elements can cause dryness. Without moisture your hair will become dry, dull, and eventually break off. How do you know if a moisturizer is water based? Usually because the first ingredient is water. The first ingredient on the label typically tells you what it contains the most. So read your labels and do some test runs to see what YOUR hair likes! When choosing an oil most people choose extra virgin olive oil (evoo) or coconut oil. I purchase my hair oils from the grocery store FOOD isle not the hair isle.
So those are my five tips! If you have any questions or tips of your own to add, comment below, I love to read the comments!