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Winter is coming, and it’s time to think about protecting and keeping your natural hair healthy during the cold, wet, rainy and downright harsh winter months. Check out these 10 ways to keep your natural hair healthy during the winter.
Eat a healthy diet – We all know eating right, drinking plenty of water and getting exercise can help your body, but did you now it can help your hair, too? Eating fresh fruits and foods loaded with protein can help your hair (and nails!) stay strong and healthy. Iron, included in turkey, beans and egg yolks, is also an important part of strong hair.
Leave it alone – Believe it or not, the less you do to your hair, the more it will flourish. Your hair may look strong and thick, but it’s often much more fragile than it appears. For natural hair, brush with a wide-tooth comb while it’s wet or loaded with conditioner or moisturizer to minimize the amount of breakage. Stay away from styles that require daily manipulation.
Shampoo less – Natural hair does best when you don’t shampoo on a daily basis. One to two times a week is ideal, because too much shampooing will lead to excessive dryness and breakage. Consider specially formulated shampoos or “no shampoo” products that don’t contain harsh cleansing agents.
Trim regularly – Even if you’re trying to grow your hair longer and fuller, regularly trimming your dead and dry ends can help your hair stay healthy. You should be scheduling your trims every eight to 12 weeks, trimming about a half inch of hair from your locks at a time.
Massage your scalp – This can be an easy and relaxing way to keep your hair healthy during the winter. Regular scalp massages stimulate the flow of blood to your scalp, activating hair follicles and encouraging growth. Use oils like jojoba and grapeseed oil, and beginning at the nape or your neck, massage your oil into your scalp using a circular motion. Try to do this at least once a week.
Deep condition more often – In the winter, you’re spending more time in the dry air of heated areas, which can wreak havoc on your hair. It’s important to use a keep conditioner, like humectant products that hold in moisture (you can use leave-in conditioner between shampoos.) Use a thick, good quality deep conditioner once a week.
Dry before you leave – Did you know that leaving the house with wet hair in freezing climates can actually freeze and break your hair? Although many women with natural styles can let their hair dry naturally in the spring and summer months, winter is a time to wet your hair less often (meaning less washing and less wetting between washings) and to make sure your hair is dry before you step out.
Stay away from styling – Because indoor heat will do enough damage to natural styles, stay away from blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons when you’re styling. Use some no-heat styling, like pink curls and wraps, to style your hair, which saves it from extra damage.
Beware of winter accessories – Hats and scarves can pull on delicate natural hair and break if off while you pull them on and off your hair. One option is to refrain from wearing them – after all, there are other ways to style a winter outfit! If you live in a snowy or wet climate, use a silk scarf as a foundation to add a layer of protection between your hair and your wool hat. You could also sew or pin a satin lining inside your hat for a one-piece wool hat style.
Take advantage of protective styles – Protective styles include buns and chignons, braids, twists, and many women sporting longer natural hair claim they can make their hair grow longer by keeping the ends of your hair protected. These styles can be simple, stylish, and keeps the majority of your hair from the harsh winter elements. As an added bonus, hair in protective styles is more easily covered by the above mentioned satin scarves.
About the Author: Timothy Jenkins is a salon professional who specializes in organic haircare. Check out www.philipjamessalon.com to see more of Tim’s work.
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