Different seasons require different techniques and products to maintain healthy hair. You might wear your curls out much more often in the summer, relying on carefree styles when it's warm outside. But your routine will have to change during winter if you want to maintain healthy locks. Here are some winter hair care tips that will keep your curl pattern in great shape, so when spring rolls around, your hair will be ready to face warm weather in good health.
If you experience breakage in one or two specific areas of your hair, it might have very little to do with how you care for it, but rather what you're wearing on your head. Wool hats and scarves can rub against and pull on delicate curls, breaking it off at the nape of your neck or at the crown of your head. A good remedy for this is to invest in a satin- or silk-lined hat, as this will make for less friction. (Or, if you already own a silk scarf, wrap it over your head before placing a wool hat on.) If you're wearing a wool scarf, make sure your hair is out of the way—either through a protective style or by securing it beneath your properly lined hat.
Deep Condition More Often
Heated homes and workspaces can dry out your hair, so combat the winter dryness with deep conditioner and hair masks. Be on the look out for products that hold in moisture, and use a good deep conditioner about once a week. As for humectants (touted for helping your hair to hold onto moisture), they're not all created equal. While glycerin is a popular ingredient for adding moisture, its intense water-binding properties will have the opposite effect in winter weather. Sticking to natural oils, instead, is a better bet for holding in the moisture that you get from water.
Wet Less Often
It's no fun leaving the house on a frosty morning with wet or damp hair, particularly if you're in a freezing climate where your hair might actually freeze and break if you step outside while it's wet, so it's even more important to pay attention to each step. Shampoo and condition about once a week and co-wash in-between shampoos to lock in moisture, but the key is to use a diffuser to dry your curls before facing the elements.
Use Heat Even Less
Indoor heating is going to suck a lot of the moisture from your hair. Don't help it along by using flat irons, blow dryers, or curling irons. Winter is an ideal season to practice setting techniques like wet sets (completely dry before you head out the door), bantu knots, cornrows, box braids, and 2-stand flat twists, none of which require heat to style your hair.
Rethink Protective Styling
While wearing protective styles is always a good idea for keeping hair ends up and out of the way, they work well in winter for protecting your hair from weather damage. Snow, sleet, and heat won't be able to damage your hair as much when you keep it styled in looks like goddess locs, micro box braids, straight-backs, and faux locs.