Winter can be cold and rough, but it also brings little pleasure which makes it such a wonderful time of the year. We're talking cackling fires, hot chocolate, comforting soups, warm blankets, and holiday festivities – what's not to love?
But as the temperature drops and the weather changes, you'll start to notice a big difference in how your hair feels – and not in a good way. This is why it is very important to make some tweaks and adjustments to your hair care routine around this time of the year so your curls can flourish all through the winter. In this article, we'll be revealing the best winter hair care tips to help switch up your regimen.
Why Have A Separate Winter Hair Care Routine?
In the winter, the air is dry and cold which can cause the cuticle to become lifted. This allows moisture to escape out of the hair faster than you can keep up, leaving the hair to become extremely dry. When you have curly hair, you know dry hair is the start of additional problems like tangles, single strand knots and general breakage along the hair strands.
All these issues can wreak havoc on the curls, leaving them brittle, lacklustre and even derailing your hair growth journey. So, when winter comes you cannot follow the same hair habits you had in the warmer months as your goal should be protecting your hair from the harsh weather. You do not have to completely overhaul your hair care routine, but a few slight changes in your regimen can make a big difference.
8 Ways To Switch Up Your Winter Haircare
1. Limit The Shampoo Time
As we've already mentioned, winter will dry out your hair and scalp. But you know what also dries out the hair? Shampoos. A shampoo's job is to remove all signs of dirt and grime from your hair and most times this can also mean completely stripping your hair. So, when it's cold outside, try to reduce the number of times you shampoo the hair. If you usually wash once a week, go down to once every two weeks or once a month. Whatever you choose, by shampooing less frequently, you'll avoid frequently stripping your hair and causing more dryness.
Additionally, try to use a gentle moisturising shampoo like our Manuka Honey Hydration Shampoo which does not contain harsh drying ingredients and cleanses without stripping. This will ensure the hair stays soft and moisturised even if you decide to wash weekly.
2. Reduce Heat Styling
Since the cold weather makes your hair dry, that means your hair is probably in a very fragile state. This means excessive use of heat will increase your chances of damage which can completely mess up your hair’s elasticity and health. Now we know it may not be possible to completely cut out heat from your routine but try to reduce the frequency. If you like to straighten your curls, don't go overboard with it and always make sure your hair is properly moisturised with leave-in like Sofnfree's Manuka Honey & Avocado Oil Leave-In Conditioner.
3. Don't Go Out With Wet Hair
The last thing you want to do is go out with wet hair in the winter. It can cause your hair to freeze, dry up and develop excessive amounts of breakage. So if you are the type that likes to air dry your hair, try to keep that on the back burner when is cold outside. Okay, we know we just said limit heat styling but if your hair is wet and fresh out of the shower, you may need to use a little heat to dry it before going out. Blow drying or diffusing is the ideal drying method for such moments. In case you're worried about the heat, simply reduce the heat setting on your blow dryer or use the cool air temperature.
If you are a die-hard air-drying fan, then you can still do it. Just make sure your air is thoroughly dry before leaving the house. Keep in mind though, that if your heating is on, it can make the air in your room dry and that can lead to further dryness. So be sure to use a humidifier to balance the moisture levels in your home to help prevent dryness while you air dry.
4. Deep Condition More Often
When it comes to winter hair care, moisture is the name of the game. So, if you want your hair protected from the harsh weather, you've got to replenish it with as much moisture as you can. Deep conditioners are one of the best ways to add moisture back into the hair, so you'll need to deep condition more frequently to keep the curls hydrated and nourished. Incorporate a moisturising deep conditioner like our Manuka Honey & Avocado Deep Conditioning Hair Mask into your routine at least once a week. It is loaded with a ton of hydrating ingredients that will nourish and replenish the hair with moisture while also preventing any signs of breakage.
A weekly deep conditioning session is the perfect option but if you are busy and pressed for time, you can do it once every two weeks. Just make sure you are consistent.
5. Opt for More Protective Styles
Another great way to switch up your hair routine in the winter is to opt for protective styles. As the name implies, these hairstyles will keep your curls tucked in and safe from exposure to the drying elements of the weather. So, if you've been rocking wash-and-go's and twist-outs all summer, now is the time to switch things up. Go for box braids, cornrows, Dutch braids, two-strand twists, and flat twists. On days when you're too lazy to make an elaborate style, stick with a low bun or ponytail. While rocking your winter protective styles, you may notice a lot more flyaways but with our Curl Elongating Gel, you can tame and smooth down your tresses or even set your braids and twists.
6. Use Oil And Cream Based Products
While you may have opted for light water-based stylers and moisturises in the summer, in the winter, you need to do the opposite. Stick with oil and cream-based products that will seal in moisture into the hair strands and make it harder for the hair to dry out. If you have high porosity hair, you best believe your hair will suffer even more in the winter. So, make creamy products like our Coconut And Jamaican Black Castor Oil Curling Creme your go-to.
Meanwhile, if your hair is low porosity and you're still worried about product buildup, opt for an oil-rich styler like our Flaxseed Oil & Rose Water Curling Mousse to create that moisture-sealing film without weighing your curls. Whether your curls are low or high in porosity, make sure you finish off each styling session with a few drops of Sofnfree's Scalp and Hair Oil to further seal in the moisture from your styling products.
7. Keep The Scalp Oiled and Hydrated
Apart from your actual hair strands, the dry winter air can often lead to a dry scalp. This is why you may notice an increase in itchiness and flaking in the winter. That is a sign that your scalp is extremely dry and irritated and since healthy hair starts from the scalp, you'll need to nip that in the bud immediately. The best way to do so? Oiling your scalp.
Apply a nourishing oil like our nutrient-rich scalp and hair oil to revitalise the scalp and leave it hydrated, shiny and healthy. You can apply the oil once, twice or even three times a week depending on how your scalp responds to it. But, before piling on oil to an already dry scalp, try to spritz a little water on the scalp and then follow up with the oil. Feel free to get indulgent and incorporate scalp massage while you apply the oil. It will boost blood circulation and penetration of the oil while keeping the scalp healthy.
8. Protect Your Hair From The Elements
Since the weather is cold and harsh, it is best to keep the hair covered when going out to prevent moisture loss and breakage. Doing so will help your styles last longer and keep your curls from getting static. You can use a hat or scarf for this. Style and match them with your outfits according to your preference to ensure you don't compromise on fashion while trying to protect your hair.
Additionally, if your hair will remain covered for a long time while you are out and about. Make sure your hats and scarves are lined with silk or satin to prevent friction and frizz.
The cold temperatures in the winter can mean bad news for the health of your curls so, it is super important to be proactive and address any possible issues beforehand. Switching up your routine with the tips we have highlighted in this post to adapt to the season is the best way to do that. So, try them out to keep your hair healthy and thriving all winter. Feel free to make additional adjustments based on your hair's needs.