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When it comes to the effects of winter, your skin isn’t the only one affected. In fact, winter can be incredibly harsh on your curls, especially if you’re of African descent and have hair like mine. However, winter doesn’t just affect those of us with Afros as cold weather can be incredibly harsh on your hair, regardless of type or coil.

For one, similar to how it affects your skin, cold weather can dry your hair, causing damage, split ends, and breakage. It’ll also make it look dull and lackluster and that’s the last thing that you want. If that’s not enough, winter can also increase the risk for hair loss as a result of the lack of hydration, which then leads to a dry scalp.

As someone who has a strong attachment to her hair, I’m not about to let a few colder nights affect the health of my hair. That said,  I’ve compiled a list of my favorite hair products to help keep my hair healthy and bouncy during the colder months.

Winter Hair Guide

Top Tip: Get A Protective Style

Photo by Alex Robinson on Unsplash

Before I delve into which products I recommend to protect your coils against the African winter, it’s first important for me to suggest that, if you are of African descent, you should put your hair in a protective style.

As mentioned, winter can be hard on your hair so the last thing your curls need is any extra tugging or manipulation.

As its name suggests, a protective style will help protect your hair from the external terrors that come with colder weather, reducing the risk of split ends and breakage. Whether it’s braids, crotchet hair, faux locs, or wigs, make sure you keep your hair tucked safely away gorgeously. 

Co-wash more, shampoo less

Yes, we need to keep our hair clean, and shampoo is touted as the product to do that. Unfortunately, a lot of shampoos contain sulfates which can strip the hair of its natural oils, drying it out and that’s the last thing you need during the winter season.

Co-washing, on the other hand, not only cleanses the hair, but also conditions it, providing the necessary moisture to keep it hydrated and healthy. Aunt Jackie’s Purify Me Moisturizing Co-Wash Cleanser is my favorite co-wash because it cleanses the hair and provides nourishing moisture for those who suffer from seriously dry hair.

If that’s not enough, the co-wash also contains the ultimate hair ingredients, which are flaxseed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and apple cider vinegar, each of which helps to hydrate and nourish the hair.

Deep condition your curls

Deep conditioning is a step that you need to include in your hair routine, as it provides a stronger dose of hydration and nourishment to your hair. In doing so, it reduces the risk of breakage and damage.

A great deep conditioner is the Masodi Organics Deep Conditioner, which provides intense moisture and softens your hair, making it easier to manage. The product contains coconut oil, which we know is great if you want to keep your hair hydrated and nourished, but it also contains sweet almond oil, which also serves to hydrate the hair.

Leave in a leave-in conditioner

A leave in conditioner is great because when you use it, it enhances your hair health throughout the day by providing extra moisture and nutrients to your hair and protecting it from damage.

If you’re looking for an effective leave-in conditioner, might we suggest the Curls In Bloom Blossom Butter Leave-In? For one, the vegan-friendly product contains high-quality ingredients sustainably sourced and ethically farmed from South African farmers. As for what those ingredients are? Well, there’s coconut oil, shea butter as well as castor seed oil.

We’re aware of the benefits that coconut oil can provide for your hair, but what about shea butter and castor seed oil? Thanks to the presence of vitamins A and E, shea butter helps condition your scalp, similar to castor seed oil, which also has strong moisturizing properties. 

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Don’t forget your scalp

You might think that with all the products you’re using that you don’t have to worry about your scalp, but that’s not necessarily true. A happy scalp means happy curls, so it’s important to pay extra attention to it.

In giving your scalp a little extra attention, why not reach for the Ethnogenics Stimulating Scalp Lotion? The product, formulated by actress Gail Mbabane following her journey with alopecia, contains a host of ingredients that are focused on maintaining scalp health.

First, there’s vitamin B5, which strengthens and nourishes hair follicles, encouraging hair growth. Then there’s shea butter, which we know is a necessary part of a healthy hair arsenal. Additionally, there’s also vitamin H, more commonly known as biotin.

Chances are that you’ve heard biotin being recommended for healthy hair and nail growth. This is because biotin stimulates keratin production, restoring both hair health and growth.

Hydrate daily

The best way to keep your hair happy and healthy during winter is to ensure that it gets enough moisture. Water is the best way to moisturize your hair, so if you feel like including a water-filled spray bottle as part of your morning routine, then by all means go ahead.

Alternatively, if you’d rather use a product, then make sure that water (aqua, Eau) is listed as the first ingredient. My personal favorite is definitely the Indola Hydrate Spray Conditioner. It not only moisturizes the hair, but also helps to detangle it. The product also contains jojoba oil, which now only contains moisturizing properties and helps to prevent hair loss.

Cover your locs

Yes, a beanie is sure to keep you warm when you’re outside, but it can also protect your hair from the harsh elements. That said, friction from fabrics like wool and cotton can increase the risk of damage. To prevent this, and still keep warm, try wearing silk-lined or satin-lined beanies as this material helps reduce friction, which can cause split ends.

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Want to know more?

We all like to smell nice and often, our hair is one of those forgotten places. However, it seems like the way to sweet-smelling locks might well be the next big thing in beauty as more people look to hair perfume.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.