Sunday, 3 May 2015

Changing gears - different hair care for winter

South African winter has finally come, mornings and evenings are the coldest, the sun sets earlier and rises later than usual and my hair is responding to the temperature change. Due to the change in weather conditions I am changing my regime until winter is over so that my hair survives the winter blues.

When I listen to my hair and scalp the following are clear differences between seasons. By the way, I am only referring to summer and winter because this side of the world our autumn and spring are fairly similar to summer, so in essence 'two' main seasonal changes.

  • In winter my hair gets brittle and easily breaks
  • In winter my scalp takes longer to itch than in summer
  • My hair doesn't retain moisture in winter as much as it does in summer
This means I must adjust my regime to the following
  •  My hair gets brittle in winter because of the dry winds we get and the cold temperature that dries out my hair. So to prevent breakage I increase the amount of moisture in my hair as follows:
                     * Moisturise my hair every morning and evening. In summer I moisturise once only.
                     * Carry a water based spritz and moisturise twice in the day.  
                     * Wear a satin scarf to bed to preserve moisture.In summer I don't cover my hair at night
  •  Deep condition with protein bi-weekly instead of weekly. Protein strengthens the hair bonds in our hair but when hair loses moisture easily, the imbalance of protein and moisture can cause breakage. I also use a light protein instead of a strong one for the protein (keratin) deep conditioning treatments. 
  • Stay in protective styles by plaiting my hair in cornrows or braids. Since my healthy hair journey I don't plait my hair at all in summer (8-9 months of the year) because I've realised my hair doesn't enjoy it. Especially my edges, they get thicker and grow better when I keep my hair in low manipulative styles instead of plaiting. 
  • Wash and deep condition then moisturise my hair and braids/cornrows. I am adding this point to this topic because before my healthy hair journey I would stay in braids and not care for the hair underneath. This isn't good and leads to considerable damage, hair should still be cared for even when it is plaited. 
  • Elongate the number of days between wash days.  In summer, after 7 days my scalp starts itching when I don't wash my hair. If I tried extending the period to 2 weeks by the 9th day I would be in dire punishment of a super itchy and annoying scalp. However in winter my scalp can go up to 2 weeks without itching, probably because the skin(scalp) doesn't sweat as much as it does in summer and it also doesn't secrete lots of sebum (oily scalp can cause itchiness). The main reason for extending my wash days is to prevent over cleaning my scalp & hair which could lead to losing moisture & the good oils from the sebum. 
Team Natural Hair! Team Healthy African Afro! Team Healthy Hair! Love your hair!

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