Natural hair and winter worries
By Seriously Natural on November 20, 2013
Now, I am well aware not everyone lives in Denver with me, but despite that, we are all nearing the holidays and winter. Winter means dryer, colder temperatures for many of us that dryness can wreak havoc on our natural tresses. I just discussed that I am a Wash and goNatural year round, but that does not mean I keep the same hair maintenance routine for all 365 days of the year.
The main concern or worry that all of us should have is on combating dryness. Not just the temperatures but also the clothing we wear can whisk away moisture from our hair as well as our skin. The heaters we are using to keep us warm are doing the same thing so retaining moisture is essential during the winter months. Out here in Colorado, we suffer badly with the dry weather so we always have to jump into hyper gear during winter to keep our bodies from shriveling into prunes!
Vegetable Glycerin or just Glycerin as most of us call it is a great tool in the wintertime. Now, I know that some feel it should only be used in the summer but that is not the case. Glycerin actually pulls the moisture from the air in humid climates but in dryer ones, there is the concern that if there is no humidity it will pull it from the hair. This is why using glycerin with water is necessary!
"Glycerin (glycerine/glycerol - all the same thing) is hygroscopic. This means it draws moisture (water) from its surrounding. It is very good at doing these because it has 3 water attracting groups (known as hydroxyl groups) per molecule (As far as molecules go, this is quite high!). This is the reason why some people say that glycerin is drying which is sort of true but not really. If you expose glycerin to air, it will saturate itself to the point where it does not need any more water. And when you put it in water (which it loves), then it will REALLY saturate itself and will not draw water away from your hair." Curly Nikki
In my spray bottle, I have water, a few drops of glycerin, and Knot Today leave-in conditioner. I haven't added any oils but I'm sure I will when I figure which one I feel like using. I have coconut and jojoba oils around so one (or both) may end up in there soon. It seems I only remember to use glycerin in the winter since I immediately notice the dryness creeping in. The takeaway on that is to always listen to your hair. It truly tells you what it needs.
Covering up is just the usage of coats, scarves, earmuffs and hats to keep us warm. Although our clothes can cause dryness, they can also cause breakage just from friction when they are exposed to our hair. When our hair is down it rubs against coats and scarves and that's why many Naturals find using a protective style a great solution. Yes, protective styles protect the hair from the elements and us!
As an avid wash and goer, I allow my shrinkage to take hold and my hair steers clear of my clothing or I'll pin it up out of the way. Another simple solution would be to wear a satin bonnet under your hat or wear a satin-lined hat. Many naturals are finding more satin-lined hats from smaller businesses that cater to naturals or curlies. Scarves and earmuffs are harder to combat so move hair out of the way of both and remove them when you get to your destination so the friction will be minimal.
I'll bring more natural hair/winter worries and solutions as we get closer to our coldest months. Right now just enjoy the last of the warm days you have and take note to add glycerin to your repertoire (cute, huh?) and remember your outerwear is NOT you hair's friend.
Keeping that dryness and breakage at bay Naturals,
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