Winter curl care starts here

Ever notice that your hair feels dry in the winter? Winter curl care can help.

In colder months hair might break more easily, split ends can appear and curls can feel more brittle. 

It’s easy to blame the weather – it’s just the turn of the season and hair is drier in the winter, right? 

It doesn’t have to be.

In this post, I’m going to show you lots of ways to protect your hair from the winter blues. 

winter curly hair care woolly hat

Why is winter bad for your hair? Do we need a specific winter curl care routine?

Most of it has to do with the air. Winter means that we are exposed to both temperature extremes – cold air outside and warm air inside.

Cold air lacks moisture – humidity levels naturally drop because cold air can’t hold as much moisture as warm air.

This lack of moisture can lead to dry, brittle hair and split ends. In a similar (but opposite 😉 ) way heating can also be damaging. The dry heat from central heating can also cause dryness.

The solution to both is to protect our hair with a great winter curl care routine.

Let’s dive into some specific problems and how to tackle them.

Winter Curl Care in the Face of Cold winds

Protection from cold, biting winds and chilly air is crucial.

You know the way your face feels when it’s freezing outside? Your hair is suffering the same fate.

Blasting it with cold air is doing it no good at all.

Apart from drying your curls out, winds will also knot your hair. The last thing we need.

Don’t get me wrong, ice-skating with your curls bouncing out from underneath a woolly hat is still the dream. We can still do it, but the rest of the time we should try to keep our curls away from the elements. 

winter curl care protect from cold air

Hoods and hats are our friends. I tend to opt for one of the following

-A low, loose ponytail with a silk scrunchie and hood combo 

-A gentle hair twist in side a woolly hat. Twist hair loosely and gently and tuck it in gently. Try to find a hat which has a bit of give – and the room to store curls without destroying the clumps completely.

What about wool – isn’t it going to cause dry hair and frizz?

Ok, possibly.

Wool, like cotton can absorb moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and susceptible to breakage.

If you find that a woolly hat is causing too much curl-disruption there are ways around it.

Silk can be the answer.

There are silk caps that will sit underneath woolly hats or it is possible to buy hats that have a silk lining in them. It doesn’t have to be 100% silk either, a satin fabric will work too.

Slouchy Beanie Satin Lined Hat For Women

You can fashion your own silk/satin cap and sew it into a hat or pop it on before the woolly layer to protect your curls. 

Protect from in-car heating

We can’t win, right? We’re outside, freezing cold and then suddenly we’re out of the wind and into the car. Finally, a break from the cold air.

What’s the first thing we do? Put the heater on. Blowing hot air straight at our curls. It feels great to be warm but we should still keep our hair covered up.

Nobody wants to sit in a cold car so we might as well keep the hat/hood on until we get home..

Having said that…

Central heating 

Ok, there’s only so much we can do here.

Central heating can also dry out curly hair. It goes without saying that we can’t stay covered up ALL the time! This is where the other winter curl care measures come in.

These measures will protect our hair from the dry, warm air inside our homes. Here goes… 

Deep condition regularly (but actually do it this time!)

We deep condition all year round – course we do. Winter is the best time to really nail that deep conditioning routine, though.

Hair needs moisture when it is constantly dried out by dry cold and dry warm air.

A deep conditioning mask is an essential part of a winter curl care routine. Once a week for about 20 minutes should do it. It can be a moisturising mask, a mask containing extra protein, or whatever your hair needs. 

winter curl care routine deep condition

I love Noughty To The Rescue Intense Moisture Treatment and use this as my deep conditioning mask.

Try sealing the ends

Try adding a few drops of light oil to the ends of your curls in between wash days.

Sealing with oil will help to protect your hair from harsh weather conditions and seal in moisture from your conditioning and styling products. 

Oils such as argan oil and almond oil are perfect for this.

US Argan Oil link

UK Argan Oil link

Look out for humectants in your products

Just a quick check on the ingredients in your products.

Humectants are often found in curly hair products and work to attract water to your hair from the surrounding air to moisturise it.

In the humid summer, this can work very well, but when the dry winter air comes along they can actually draw moisture away from your hair. This will make it drier and more prone to breakage.

Try using products that don’t contain humectants in the winter months.

Common humectants to look out for include glycerin, honey, panthenol, and sorbitol.

Reconsider your method of product application

If you are a curly girl that usually styles with gels and mousses, now could be the time to consider adding a curl cream to the mix.

Creams often contain moisturising ingredients such as oils and butters. 

Use the cream first to add moisture and then the gel or mousse next to hold the moisture in. 

Mind the hot water!

It’s tempting to increase the shower temperature when it’s a cold morning but this can be bad for your hair.

Washing hair in hot water raises the hair’s cuticle and enables moisture to leave your hair shaft. This can lead to drier hair and the ends will lose their strength.

Warm water will cleanse your hair and scalp and is better for the health of your hair.

avoid washing curls with hot water in winter

Avoid leaving the house with wet hair

Air drying your hair is great during the summer. It’s nice to know that you can set off with partially dried hair and it will be dry by the time you reach your destination. 

In the winter, however, this is a different story.

Leaving the house with wet hair can weaken it. Water molecules expand when the temperature reaches freezing and this causes them to expand. When the water molecules that have penetrated the hair expand they cause the hair shaft to expand too. This raises the cuticle layer, leaving the hair fragile and vulnerable to breakage. The frozen water molecules can also stiffen the hair – making it susceptible to breakage.

We can wash our hair in the evenings or ensure that it is fully dry by using a hairdryer before you go out.

Many curly-haired girls already diffuse to 100% dry with a diffuser. This leads to..

Diffusing – don’t be tempted to increase the heat!

We all know that heat is bad for hair.

A lot of curl products lack heat protection so it is always advisable to use low heat on a slower setting.

Colder temperatures outside do not mean that it is an opportunity to increase the heat! Hair will already by drier in the winter and increased heat is only going to make it worse. 

Consider silk in bed

If you notice that your curls are feeling drier, winter can be a great time to finally invest in a silk or satin pillowcase.

Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase has 2 main benefits

  • reduces the friction on your hair which can lead to breakage and frizz
  • absorbs less moisture from your hair than if you were to sleep on a cotton pillowcase

100% Mulberry Silk Pillowcase

There are also silk/satin bonnets that you can wear to bed which will achieve the same outcome.

In conclusion

Your winter curl care routine can beat the effects of winter on your curly hair.

Do everything that you can to minimise your hair’s exposure to the elements during winter and invest some time in a great hair care routine at home to keep your hair moisturised.

Your curls will thank you!

Lauren xx

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