So we’re right in the middle of winter (my FAVOURITE season) and I don’t like having my hair out during this time because 4c hair can get really dry, due to the lack of moisture in the air. I’ve been wearing a wig for the most part (my hairline is not thanking me right now) and have some length retention already.
This is also a great chance to retain some length and see growth because often when you have your hair out, you don’t realize that it’s grown because your ends could be snapping due to the frequent amount of manipulation. So the whole point of protective styling is to keep your hands out of your hair and to also give it a breather.
The most common mistake we make is just leaving the hair completely alone which is a major boo boo. Just because you aren’t touching your hair, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep it moisturized; there are so many sprays and mixes you could do to keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
Here are some tips that I use to keep my hair happy this winter:
#1 Decrease your shampoo use
Shampoos often leave my hair really dry so I avoid using them all together unless my scalp needs a really deep clean. Instead, I’ve become a huge fan of bentonite clay as an alternative as it still clarifies your hair and scalp but it doesn’t leave it dry. Bentonite clay is ideal for cleansing and detoxifying as it removes impurities from the hair and leaves it soft, shiny and defined as it encourages your curls to clump together. You can also add your own oils to add moisture and shine. I get my bentonite clay from Dischem and it’s pretty easy to use. You can also co-wash more because it doesn’t strip your hair and make it dry but you’ll need to switch between co-washing and a mild shampoo to keep your scalp clean.
#2 Increase your Deep Conditions
Deep conditioning is great for moisture and so it makes sense to increase the amount of times you deep condition. I deep condition once a week which is usually enough but during winter I usually do it twice a week if my hair is not in cornrows because of the wig and it really has helped my issue with dryness.
#3 Protective Styles
This is probably the most important tip. Protective styling hides your hair from the cold and also helps you retain length because your hands aren’t constantly playing with it. Braids and twists that aren’t too small are perfect as protective styles and the longer you keep them in, the more length you’re going to see. I plan on switching between braids and wigs during this winter while still focusing on keeping my scalp and my ends moisturized and happy.
#4 Trim your ends regularly
Your ends are more vulnerable to splitting and breaking if you don’t look after them properly so you need to make sure that you do a good trim before you put in a protective style because hair health will always be more important than length. It will do you no good having long hair that’s struggling so your best bet is to just cut away that damage (It’s hair! It’ll grow back!).
#5 Heavy Butters
Using butters such as shea butter will add some protection from the dry air. I personally use shea butter and my hair has been happier and healthier ever since! It’s a bit on the pricy side if you’re a student like me and is available online at www.natmoisture.co.za. I also received products to review from Eco Essentials (a proudly South African brand) and their Hair Butter is really great and keeps my hair soft with not a lot of shine.
I hope these tips help you! I really don’t do much to my hair; she prefers to be left alone.
images by LeePhotography