Caring for textured hair year-round is no easy feat, especially in the winter. Colder weather causes excessive dryness particularly for this hair type, which can lead to hair breakage.
The key treatment for combating this is to add plenty of moisture back to your hair. “Use deep conditioners and wash your hair once a week if you can,” advises Cynthia Santos Ferreira, the salon manager of Curl Bar London. “It is water with the combination of good hair products that is going to give your hair moisture.”
Another way to help hair stay moisturized is with the use of silk hair accessories. “In the morning, you don’t need to do a lot if you protect the hair with a silk bonnet or use a silk pillowcase,” Ferreira said. “A silk pillowcase or even a buff is the best thing to keep your hair defined before you sleep.” Silk is far less absorbent than other fabrics like cotton, helping the hair retain moisture rather than allowing the fabric to soak it all up. Silk is also naturally more hypoallergenic than other fabrics, which is good news for people with sensitive scalps.
Another simple way to protect hair from weather elements, such as wind, rain and snow, is to wear a hat. Jacqui McIntosh, the European education director at Avlon, has a great tip on how to avoid dreaded hat hair. “Wrap your hair in a silk scarf before putting on your cozy hat of choice,” she recommends. “This protects your hair from damage caused by the hat rubbing against your hair and it will also cut down on static charge.”
Cold weather causes havoc on the scalp with itchiness and flakiness. Ferreira says, “For the scalp, my advice is to wash your hair and give your scalp a good scrub once a week to remove all the buildup. I recommend using a scalp scrub treatment once a month.”
It’s easy to reach for an oil or moisturizer to soothe your scalp when it’s itchy, but that’s a big no-no. “The oils block the water from getting into your hair. Our hair needs water. It is like a plant you need to water regularly so it grows and it doesn’t dry,” Ferreira advises.
Protective styles such as faux locs, braids and sew-in weaves are a great way to protect textured hair in the weather, though they shouldn’t be worn for too long otherwise they could lead to hair breakage. Wigs are a great alternative, as you can frequently switch them out and take them off before you go to bed. As for dealing with your own hair, McIntosh says, “Updos are great for keeping moisture locked into hair. Instead of reaching for the blow-dryer or flat iron, switch up your long, flowy hairstyles with a simple chignon, twists or bantu knots.”
We’ve rounded up four recently launched Black-owned hair care brands to help you look after your textured hair this winter.
This Australia-based brand launched in 2020 and was inspired by founder Maeva Heim’s childhood spent in her mother’s braiding salon in Perth. Its standout product is the deep-conditioning hair mask. It gives a lot of slip without weighing down your hair. The brand’s scalp serum is a new favorite, formulated with mandelic acid to gently exfoliate the scalp. Special mention goes out to the bread puff made with satin fabric, which doesn’t tug on your hair or leave any awkward dents.
Founder Rochelle Hamilton created this brand with the mission to embrace, nurture, protect and grow healthy Afro hair. The brand’s luxury silk pillowcase is made with the highest grade of 100% pure Mulberry silk. For the reasons mentioned above, a silk pillowcase is a great alternative to wearing a bonnet or tying your hair up in a scarf. It reduces friction and allows your hair to glide smoothly. This results in decreasing frizz, knots, tangles and split ends.
Quality Afro hair extensions are hard to find, which is why influencer and entrepreneur Freddie Harrell was determined to fill the gap. RadShapes (wigs) are designed to match hair types 3 and 4 with curls, kinks and coils. The RadGrip, worn under a RadShape, creates the illusion of a natural hairline and gives you the bald scalp effect. The newly launched RadClips are great for added length and volume to your own hair if wigs are not your thing. Both RadShapes and RadClips come in four different styles.
Knowing the right products to use for your hair can be tricky, and that’s why founder Winnie Awa created the first expert-backed, one-on-one coaching platform, called Carra. Customers fill out a hair diagnostic form and are then paired with an unbiased curly hair coach in a 30-minute video session. At the end of the session, customers are given a personalized hair care routine full of methods, tips and products to help their hair thrive.