Here we are at the end of February, and while many may be thinking it’s nearly spring, but there are still a few more cold weeks ahead before the hats and scarves can come off. That means our hair will continue to suffer through winter’s harshness for a little while longer.
One of the worst things any of us can do to our hair is to try and change it into something it is not. Love the hair you have and do so with loving, nurturing kindness.
Over-styling and over-drying is overkill, no matter what kind of hair you have. Some might say I am blessed with “good” hair. It is a bit wavy when wet, but with combing and drying, it hangs straight. But actually, I just know how to take care of it.
Here Are 7 Ways I Protect My Hair In Winter
By Michelle Bui
1. Get A Trim
The first order of business is to get a trim. Split ends can ruin any do. After trimming, try slathering a little coconut oil or cream on the ends and wrap the ends in rolling papers overnight.
For straight to wavy hair, when you wake up, rinse the ends with luke-warm water and gently towel dry. If your hair is coarse, leave the coconut treatment on the ends, apply your regular hair products, and go.
What else can you use coconut oil for? Check out 4 Ways to Use Coconut Oil in your Grooming Ritual.
2. Don’t Wash Your Hair Every Day
The bad part of having straight-ish hair is that if it is not washed every day, it tends to go flat. But washing your hair every day is just not good for it. Natural scalp oils are there for a reason, and when we wash our hair too often, we dry the scalp, which not only results in flakes and itching, but also deprives our hair of nutrients. That’s right, we are starving our hair!
Do you have coily hair? Find out how to perfect your wash-and-go.
3. Limit your blow dryer use
The way I avoid relying on the dryer is simple and a time-saver for those busy, cold, winter mornings. I wash and towel dry my hair about two to three times a week. I towel dry it and when it is nearly dry, I put it up in a loose bun for work. In the evening, I take it down, and it is shiny and wavy.
When I go to bed, I put it back in the loose bun, and I can wear it down to work the next day. On the third day, I can either pull it in a half-up, half-down ‘do, or a pony-tail. Depending on my workout schedule, I can get in three, sometimes four days per week before my hair loses its fresh smell.
Check out these other 5 Bad Hair Habits to Break Now.
If you just have to blow dry, I get it – I really do. To avoid over-drying hair, you can wash and condition it, and then squeeze out as much water as possible out by twisting hair into a side ponytail for longer hair. For shorter hair, just flattening your hands and sliding down over your hair until no more water comes out.
After that, lightly towel dry, pull it back and let it air-dry while carrying on with your routine. If you still need to use the dryer after all that, use the cool or warm setting and try not to over-brush it.
4. Try Castor Oil
Another product she absolutely swears by is Jamaican black castor oil. When she started following this routine, her hair became more manageable, and a great deal healthier. Obviously, in winter months, this routine is more important than ever, but in summer – which means chlorine and salt water – this regimen works, too.
What does castor oil do for you? Find out here.
5. Use Keratin Products
My daughter has curly hair that is between soft and coarse. She is jealous of my hair and I am jealous of hers. I love her curly lion’s mane, but I understand that it takes more work to get the perfect “didn’t-do-a thing-with-it” look.
Keratin is a mainstay of my daughter’s hair care routine. We go about once a year to get her hair professionally-treated, then maintain it with off-the-shelf keratin for the remainder of the year.
She needed those keratin treatments three to four times a year before she began wearing her hair naturally for at least half of each week. When my daughter washes her hair, it gets too “fluffy,” as she says, and she prefers it when the natural oils in her scalp help to calm it down a bit. So I suggested that when she washes her hair, to initially wear it curly for a day or two, then use the irons and keratin to smooth it out.
Check out Kimberly Elise’s Alchemy 27 to wake up your sleeping scalp.
6. Switch Up Your Style
For my daughter’s nighttime routine, she wraps her hair in a silk scarf, making sure that every strand is as she wants it to be the next day. To prolong time between washing, she also opts for side or top braids, a bun, ponytail, or a wide band to keep her hair in place. To the unsuspecting observer, it simply appears she likes to wear her hair in a variety of styles, but you and I know the truth!
Want to grow your hair in winter? Find out how here.
7. Use The Right Shampoo For Your Hair Type And The Season
Another tip to consider: switch your shampoo during the winter months. If you decide to wash less often, then you may want to consider using a shampoo and conditioner that is less oily than what you use in the warmer months when washing more frequently.
Using products with natural essential oils is so much healthier for all hair types compared to products that basically use the same oils as skin lotions, such as lanolin and mineral oils.
Check out these 7 essential oils for stress relief.
The best advice I or anyone else can give regarding hair care is that your hair care routine should not be about changing who you are, but rather improving through healthy hair care products, routines, and attitudes.
It used to make me want to cry when my daughter said she hated her hair, now, she loves her hair. That makes us both happy.
Do you have any tips or tricks to care for your hair in winter? Share with us below!
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Michelle Bui is an author at The Barbr, a haircare blog providing honest advice and information about the topic.
She aspires to help her readers achieve their most beautiful hair by sharing personal tips that she’s learned through her years of experience.
You can also visit theBarbr.com to learn more about her work.