by Tshepang Langa
Hot chocolate, knitted scarves and trench coats are some of the things that come to mind when I think of winter. Comfort and cosiness is the best way to describe what my body feels during this time of the year. My hair, on the other hand, would beg to differ.
Winter for naturals is characterised by static and hair strands snapping, frizz, breakage and lest we forget the dryness your hair experiences!! We all know that natural 4c hair is the driest type of hair. It is already difficult to retain moisture during humid seasons like summer, you can only imagine what a dry season like winter can do to your hair. So, I have put together 3 ways you can prepare your hair for winter and protect it from the horrible hair experiences that come with the winter season.
1. CUT YOUR SPLIT ENDS
Split ends occur when your hair splinters as a result of damage to the oldest part of your hair. Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and deserve extra love and attention. Split ends are caused by heat treatment, dryness and lack of moisture on the ends. When you leave your split ends uncut or untreated, you stand a chance of experiencing what we call breakage. This occurs when your hair breaks at a faster rate than your hair is growing and could easily make your hair experience very difficult.
You may want to read 3 reasons why your hair is breaking and how to fix it
If you cut your split ends during this time of the year, you allow your ends to grow afresh and make taking care of your hair during this season easier than it would have been. The best way to avoid split ends is by oiling your ends with a light oil regularly. Another way is to gently comb and detangle your hair. When you comb or detangle your hair, use a wide-tooth comb and start with your ends and work your way up to your roots. Make sure your hair is well hydrated before you do anything to it to avoid breakage and shredding.
2. DO A PROTEIN TREATMENT
Like your body, your hair needs protein. Natural hair is reliant on a perfect balance of oils, nutrients, moisture and proteins. One of the pillars for healthy hair, hair growth and hair retention is good nutrition. Consuming enough protein speeds up your hair growth cycle, and improves the overall functionality of your body.
Our hair is made up of a strong protein called Keratin that can breaks down with sun exposure, wind, daily manipulation and exposure to pollution. Protein treatments come in and temporarily help repair your hair strands. During the year, the Keratin in your hair breaks down because of the abovementioned factors. A protein treatment will strengthen your hair, fill in any hole that exists in your hair cuticle and create a barrier around your hair shaft to lessen further breakage.
Most protein treatments are conditioning treatment meaning they add the perfect amount of moisture and softness that your hair needs this winter.
3 CLARIFY YOUR SCALP
During winter, you are going to have to moisturise your hair more often than you usually do because the air is drier than usual. This could mean, using kinds of butter with thicker consistencies than the ones you would usually go for or moisturising every single day or maybe even twice a day and oiling your scalp more often. Regardless of which one of these options you use to use, the added moisture could lead to product build-up.
You may want to read how to moisturize 4c hair
Product build-up can clog up your epidermis and lead dandruff making your hair and scalp itchy. The best way to prevent this from happening is by clarifying your hair and scalp regularly. If you are like me and do not like using shampoo to wash your hair, you might want to reconsider and use pre-poo treatment before washing your hair with shampoo or do apply cider vinegar rinses when you co-wash.
Also see: Pre-poo treatment 101: the perfect wash day prep for 4c hair
Even though winter can be frustrating for your hair, you will need to adapt your hair routine to help your hair survive the season. You will also need to prepare your hair for this season by applying these 3 ways and you will be ready to conquer the difficulties that usually come with this season. While you’re at it, be sure to check out the hair concerns you can solve while at home.