Having enjoyed a wonderful Black History Month this October I have now noticed the cold weather is rushing in faster than we can wrap up. Protecting our hair from wind, rain and central heating should be easy and can make a difference to your hair manageability during this cold season.
Here are my 3 top tips
Condition, Condition, Condition.
Hair may have been roughed up by hats, blown silly by the wind or dried out by all the central heating resulting in dull, dry, frizzy hair that is unmanageable. The more unmanageable hair becomes, the more likely you may be to reach for your straighteners, blow dryers and brushes, which can start off the vicious cycle of heat-induced hair damage (see our first blog post).
The easiest way to infuse moisture into the hair shaft and keep hair feeling smooth and healthy is to make a real effort when conditioning your hair. Smoothing it over your hair whilst you’re in the shower and then rinsing off is not going to make an impact.
Take the time whilst you’re in a steamed-up bathroom to make sure the conditioner has covered the hair from root to tip. Gently comb the hair, using a smooth, wide-toothed comb, to tease out tangles and ensure an even distribution of conditioner….then rinse out.
Once a week I would suggest a steam treatment. At our clinic, we use our rich conditioning masks and professional hair steamers to nourish and help repair damaged hair, making a difference in its softness and manageability.
2. Protective styles.
It is common sense that we wrap up our hands in the cold and we must do the same to the vulnerable extremities of our hair too.
For longer hair, I am a big fan of French plaits when tied loosely. It protects the hair by keeping the majority of it covered under the plait, and when loose, doesn’t pull at the hairline or small sections of the hair causing traction. The trick is to keep the plait large so that surface area of exposed hair is kept to a minimum.
If hair is shorter, a silk scarf can be a blessing to protect hair from the elements whilst limiting the amount of rubbing the scarf does on the hair itself.
For afro hair, try to avoid wool hats as these rub on drier, brittle hair causing friction and breakage. If you can, try to find a silk or satin-lined hat to reduce rubbing on the hair.
3. Stay moisturised!
I cannot emphasise the need to moisturise enough!
Hair, particularly chemically processed hair (dyed, permed, straightened) will have a degree of porosity, meaning water can move into the hair but also out of the hair. If our environment becomes more weathering (strong winds, rain, and high central heating), then our hair will lose more moisture and it is up to us to replace it.
Dry hair means, less elasticity which means easy breakage and split ends, leaving hair looking unhealthy.
Moisturised hair will have a more balanced water content and improved elasticity, giving it strength to put up with the weather no matter how much it tests us.
Our favourite moisturiser is our best-selling Leave-in Hair Protector. It has a high protein content which nourishes the hair and is hypo-allergenic so won’t irritate the skin, keeping it moisturised and strong. For drier European hair, only a little bit is needed after washing to seal the ends of the hair which can become more weathered. For Afro hair, which is more porous and can easily become dry, you can apply it as and when you feel it’s necessary, to soften and moisturise the hair, this could be done daily.
Good luck with the weather.
Teresa Angelina Richardson MIT