The leaves have fallen and the winter chill awaits us, but as the seasons turn…ask yourself, what is the condition of your curls? Seasonal changes in weather (especially in winter) can cause all sorts of issues for natural hair such as frizz, dryness or even breakage. Now that summer is long gone and autumn is on the way out, now is the perfect time to give those curls some love, ditch some bad habits and get them quenched and protected all winter long!
Is it time for a scalp detox?
Have you ever done a scalp detox? Healthier hair and curls starts from where it grows: your scalp! All sorts of things can clog the hair follicles and lead to hair shedding, slower hair growth and dryness from scalp oils being blocked. Styling products, hard water, dead skin, pollution are just factors that can clog pores and lead to challenges with your scalp.
Your scalp may need a detox if:
- You can “feel” product building on your scalp or hair
- You only wash your hair 2x a week (or less)
- Your hair has started shedding more than normal or you notice some thinning
- You use products that contain silicones or other artificial shine enhancing chemicals
- Your home has hard water
If any of these apply to you here’s what to do:
- Do an at home scalp detox only every 4 to 6 weeks to thoroughly cleanse your scalp and rebalance the pH of your skin. It’ll be very important NOT to overdo it however and overly exfoliate your scalp by doing it MORE than every 4 to 6 weeks.
- There are a variety of exfoliators you can use from physical ones such as activated charcoal and bentonite clay to chemical ones such as Apple Cider Vinegar or Citric Acid (which is an alpha-hydroxy acid). Activated charcoal and bentonite clay are great for the scalp because they absorb excess oils, while AHA’s will help dissolve clogs in pores as well as slough off dead skin.
Get into a better nighttime routine
Fresh curls and on point texture any day and every day starts not just that morning, but the evening before. Our own Priyanka Swamy has a ritual she does each evening:
- Before going to bed, take a drop or two of olive oil and mix it with a little water. Massage it all over the hair and gently comb your hair to work it in and detachable.
- Use a little bit of coconut oil and braid the hair.
- In the morning when you untie your braids, beautiful curls just roll out and it stays that way the whole day!
Hair Reset with a Protective Style
If you did a lot of thermal styling, haircolor or chemical services during the summer months, before winter kicks in it may be time to take a break. With a protective style you give your natural hair a break while encouraging growth and it involves little more than braiding to “put it away” and then use add-on hair such as wigs or hair extensions during the break period. In this fashion you can get as fun and wild with that hair as you want (because it’s not yours)!
Know the Rules of Conditioning
When it comes to really pouring on nutrients and hydration into your parched, damaged texture, there are some essential rules to know.
- Deep condition first, shampoo second! It may sound counter-intuitive, but always use a deep conditioner like our Inspire Deep Conditioner on your curls first before you shampoo. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes for it to do its magic.
- Use HEAT for extra benefit with deep conditioners! If you have textured hair that has low porosity, your hair is very resistant to moisture. Because of this, conditioners tend to sit on the surface of the hair as opposed to penetrate and do some good. Since heat helps to open your hair cuticles, using a steamer or hair dryer with a hood on it will help to open the cuticles of your hair so your deep conditioner can really get to work.
- Don’t be cheap with how much you use! Any deep conditioner is used best when every inch of your lovely texture is fully coated. Since the ends of your hair are the oldest hair that is furthest from the beneficial oils from your scalp, they are prone to the most damage. Really work the conditioner all along your lengths and ends, paying special attention to the ends.
Use the Right Products for the Right Job
We have ALL of the formulas you need to care for your hair during its great seasonal reset!
Daily Hair Care & Maintenance
Every day, ingredients such as Grapefruit Extract and Avocado Oil help to hydrate, strengthen and smooth your hair. Use our Curl Care Defining Conditioner first before using our Curl Care Defining Shampoo. Both of these are free of parabens or harmful Sodium Lauryl or Laureth Sulfates.
If you prefer more of a cream based styler, a Leave-In Conditioner rich in Aloe, Sage, and Pro-Vitamin B5 works wonders! It is buttery and rich and you simply spray and go!
When it comes to heading out the door for your day there are a few options depending on your curl type and even preferred way to style.
If you like to use sleek, shine-enhancing hair oils, Argan Oil is a powerhouse and well known hair beneficial oil. It helps to lock in moisture and repair while you go about your day.
No more than 2x a week
Deep conditioners will help to keep your hair protected and free of frizz. The key however is to make sure to ONLY use it when you need it. A maximum of no more than 2x a week and even then, in winter months unless you spend a lot of time outdoors or do a lot of thermal styling, 1x a week is sufficient.
Looking for even MORE tips? Check out “How to Winterproof Your Curly Hair” blog! How to Winterproof Your Curly Hair – Perfect Locks