Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Winter Hair Tips - Keeping Your Natural Hair Moisturized

Winter time is upon us!  The temperature is dropping...the winds are blowing....there is frost on the ground when we go outside in the morning....our skin is dry....and guess what else is?  Our hair!

So what is one to do?  I'm so glad you asked!   Here are a few tips for keeping your hair soft and moisturized during the frosty winter months.

1.  Condition your hair!  Conditioners are your hair's friend.  A Conditioner's main purpose is to smooth and soften the hair cuticle.  If your hair is prone to dryness, then you will want to deep condition you hair weekly to bi-weekly during the winter months.

Things to look for in your conditioners:  Humectants such as glycerin, panthenol (vitamin B5), or honey.  Humectants draw moisture from the environment to your hair.  The use of these should be minimized in extremely dry areas as they may draw moisture from your hair if they can't find any in the air.  In NC, this shouldn't be an issue as we maintain some measure of humidity in the air all year.  You can always check the measure of humidity in the air on your local weather station or on on their frizz tool by typing in your hair type and zip code.

2. Use a leave- in conditioner.  Adding a leave-in conditioner to your hair will help retain moisture after your cleansing process.  A creamy leave-in will work best for individuals with thick hair whereas those with fine hair might prefer a liquid leave in that won't weigh down their curls.

3.  Add water to your hair.  Moisture is only created by adding water to the hair.  There are two ways to water to your hair.  One way is to add plain water to your hair with a spray bottle, another way is to add a water based moisturizer.  A water based moisturizer will always have water as the first ingredient in the product listing.  You should moisturize your hair a couple of times a week or whenever your hair feels dry.

4.  Seal your moisturizer in with an oil.  Contrary to popular belief, oil is not a moisturizer.  Oils & water do not mix, which is why it assists in creating a temporary barrier to water escaping the hair shaft.  If you have persistent dry hair a butter, such as shea, mango, or cocoa, may be more effective in sealing moisture in your hair.  For individuals who have occasional dryness or fine hair a carrier oils such as olive or coconut (the best for textured hair) will be great for sealing in moisture.

5.  Use a humidifier at home.  The electric, gas, and oil heat that we use to warm our home also strips moisture out of the air.  It dries your skin and hair.  A great way to add moisture back into the air in your home environment is through the use of a humidifier.

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