I am approaching my second winter as a natural but during the first, my hair was very short and there was not much I could do in terms of moisture balance, maintaining definition or much of anything else. I went through quite a few products during that time but none of them have really lasted through the summer months. I think the best thing for any new natural is to understand that one product may not work year round or work for every style. This has been a hard lesson for me to learn because I used the same products for years on my relaxed hair. I remember being upset when Dark N Lovely changed the relaxer formula. I wanted things to be consistent. If I got great results with this group of products on January 1, I expected it to be the same all year round. And for the most part, it was. But that is no longer the case. Natural hair is different and it responds to its surroundings in a way relaxed hair never did. My relaxed hair didn’t get frizzy just by me standing in the shower.
So, now I am approaching a new winter with lots of new growth. I need to determine how I’m going to keep my hair moisturized. I do like having my hair out so I probably won’t be doing much protective styling. That may change as it gets colder but this is the plan for now. Considering that my hair will be out, this is my plan.
- For those cold mornings when I walk to work, I will leave my hair twisted and covered with a hat until I make it into the office. My hair gets twisted every night to maintain my styles .
- I will style using heavy butters (like Elasta QP) and light gels (like Taliah Waajid Lock It Up). This seems to give my hair maximum moisture and softness. On days when I want more hold and definition, I will use theSmooth N Hold Pudding, but it’s moisture retention is not as high as the Elasta QP. I may have to figure out how to add a bit more moisture to it. I may try to layer something underneath it to boost the moisture. I’m still trying new products during the winter but I will try to keep this to weekend and/or holiday styling when I know my exposure to the elements will be limited.
- I will set my hair earlier in the evenings. When I set my hair each night, I usually spray with a water/conditioner mix (shoutout to Nizzy who recently commented that she does the same). My conditioner of choice is the cleansing conditioner I use for washing my hair. Because I am slightly wetting my hair each night, I need to give it enough time to air dry. The earlier I style, the best chance I have at achieving this. This goes for mid-week washes as well. I do not sleep with my head covered because I then to sweat and that doesn’t help my hair dry. I don’t sleep on a satin pillowcase because they too make me sweat. What has world in my favor is that I have bed sheets and pillow cases with a very high thread count. They are very smooth and lovely and I have never had a hair to snag on them. Falling asleep on the couch is another thing entirely.
- When I am out in the cold and my hair is free, I will lightly wrap it with a scarf. My out locks are too much for any hat in my collection.