Fall 2009 Hair Routine: Guess summer is gone. At least that’s what my hair is telling me.

A month into Fall and it snowed today, a light wet snow. Alrighty then!

Life was good in the summer once I figured out what my hair needed – Up to 3 days with one wash and go and high dewpoints to help my hair more easily fluff out and back down on day 2. I would do dry twist outs after 3 days and easily go 6 days before washing again.

Now I wake up to a stringy hard mess on day 2. But you know? It’s all about making those seasonal changes:

  • One of these is shea butter. Haven’t touched it once since maybe May. Now it’s my new best friend. The thickness of it works better for me in cold dry air to keep moisture in than a thinner product like Qhemet Olive Honey Hydrating Balm or even castor oil. Both of these work like a charm in the summer, hydrating and protecting the ends yet inviting that atmospheric moisture in.I emulsify about a 1/4 tsp of shea butter in my hands in the shower and scrunch right over conditioner after I’ve detangled. I make sure to cover every end. If I’m dry twisting, a little shea on my ends after moistening them with Afroveda Curly Custard or Curl Junkie Honeybutta leave in is protective and softening.I’m also adding a little shea butter to my Devacurl Set it Free for dry 2nd day hair. Shea butter works especially well to hydrate if the product I’m using contains large amounts of glycerin.

  • Glycerin, that’s another thing – I dial it down in the cool to cold dry weather, when there is much less moisture in the air to be captured. Glycerin heavy products like Qhemet Honeybush gel and CJ Aloe Fix will go into hibernation until what passes for the monsoon season up here.

  • More water for the hair in the winter– This may sound counter-intuitive because the last thing you want to do is walk around in the cold with wet hair — and I’m not recommending that. But this time of year, my hair needs more frequent hydration — more cowashings and shampoos to get it wet more. To avoid the wet cold head, I will use my diffuser more often or even my hard bonnet dryer, and wash more frequently at the end of the day. I’ll try more roller sets to bun for 3 days or so, followed by dry twist outs. Adding a light scrunch of moisturizing product daily, of course.

  • More moisturizing deep treatments – did I say more? I did not do one moisturizing DT the entire summer. Not one. With the moisture-attracting and enhancing products I used and the high dewpoint, there was no need.

My hair’s key to summer/hot/humid vs. winter/cold/dry? In the summer, I want my hair and the atmosphere to be equalized. That means I’m going to load on the humectants and attract moisture to my hair. If it’s equalized I don’t get frizz. If my hair is less hydrated than the atmospheric moisture, it’s going to frizz. Badly (See my Summer 2009 journal).

In the winter, none of that equality with the air crap. I will do everything I can to keep moisture in my hair from being leeched by the dry air. That means more moisturizing (water, conditioners) a heavier butter like shea, more frequent co-washing/cleansing, more deep treatments, and more frequent moisturizing of my dry hair.

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1 Comment

  1. super-helpful, thanks. i live in chicago and face similar weather/seasonal challenges. i've been off/on natural, texturized, buzzed off, yada-yada for years and am now committed to being without any type of relaxer while growing my hair beyond the twa/mra (middle-range afro) stage.


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