Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by Verna Meachum
If you’re like me, your curly hair is a tightly coiled sunbeam of joy, happiness, and all things good in the world. And just like that ray of sunshine, you want to protect it from the winter months.
Between the cold air and harsh winds, our curls can easily become dry and frizzy.
Follow these 15 effective curly hair protection tips to keep your curly hair looking its best all winter long!
It’s wintertime and you know what that means? Chilly air, dry heat indoors. This is your hair and skin’s worst nightmare because it hates change!
The lack of or low moisture content and low temperatures make the outside air extremely dry, which can suck the moisture out of your hair causing your curls to become fragile, dry, and frizzy.
Different seasons call for different hair care methods and products. If you want to keep your hair healthy, you’ll need to alter your routine.
Curly Hair Care Tips During the Winter Season
The winter season can be tough on curly hair. The cold, dry air can strip away moisture, leaving hair feeling brittle and prone to breakage.
Luckily, there are a few simple curly hair care tips you can follow to help keep your locks healthy and hydrated all winter long.
Protect your curls while outdoors
If you’re going to be outside in the cold for a while, try to stay away from the harsh winds as much as possible.
But, if you need to be outside for an extended period, protect your hair by wearing a hat or scarf.
Make sure it is one that is lined with satin or silk (and yes, there is such a thing). These materials help to protect your hair from the elements and will keep it from becoming dry and brittle.
Not only that, it will protect your curls from friction that causes breakage.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, especially if you’re going to be outside in the cold for a while. We all know healthy hair starts from within, so drink up!
The cold air, heating systems, and other factors may all contribute to dry and damaged hair during the winter.
If you want to preserve the health and moisture of your curls during the winter months, use a deep conditioner at least once or twice a week.
A deep conditioner will help to restore moisture to your hair, and it will also help to strengthen and protect your curls from the harsh winter.
Use a humidifier
If your hair struggles a lot with moisture retention, I highly recommend using a humidifier. The one I use and love is by Air Innovations. This one, in particular, can run up to 100 hours without refilling.
It’s quiet, BPA-free, and has an extension nozzle and dual directional mist nozzle included, which means that the mist is not just falling to the floor.
This is a great passive way to inject more moisture into your hair. A humidifier puts back moisture in the air, which gives many benefits for not only your hair, but skin, health, and wood furniture. The moisture creates comfort for you in the winter.
Diffusing curls during winter
There are times when you need to use heat on your hair. Whether it is because you do not have enough time for air drying, or just because you want to style your hair a certain way.
Make sure you use the warm to cool setting in order to avoid damaging your curls.
Don’t go outside with wet hair
Remember your mom telling you not to go outside with wet hair because you’ll get sick? It’s not necessarily true.
The truth is, when your hair is wet, it’s more susceptible to the cold and can cause your curls to freeze and become brittle because the water molecules on your hair can expand and can cause breakage.
So, make sure your hair is completely dry before going outside, especially when the temperature is at or below freezing.
Less is more
When it comes to styling your hair with products during the winter, less is more. It’s important to use the smallest amount of hair product.
Using too much styling product may cause them to feel weighted down and crunchy or stiff. Also, your curls may experience product build-up.
If you’ve been using too much product on your hair and it looks drier or has lost its shine, try reducing the amount of product you’re using. A little bit of product goes a long way, so use sparingly.
Rinse with cool water
We all want a nice hot shower when the weather is chilly. However, the hot water temperature will dry out our skin and hair!
On the final rinse, try to keep the temperature in the lukewarm or the coolest temperature you can stand. The cold water will help to lay the cuticle layers of your hair flat, which means that it will look shinier and healthier.
Natural oils are the best way to combat dry winter weather. As the temps drop, it’s the perfect time to begin using penetrating oils.
Apply a few drops of oil to your palms, rub them together and then apply the oil to your hair. Be sure to focus on the ends of your hair.
If you’re dealing with severe dryness try applying Righteous Roots Oils to your curls.
Hot Oil Treatment
Do you remember when hot oil treatments were all the rage? I do because my mom used to make fresh coconut oil for my sisters and I.
She would warm it on the stove, pour it all over our hair, and let it sit before washing our hair. It made our hair super shiny and healthy.
You don’t have to make your own fresh coconut oil. You can buy it from the store and it will work just as great.
During the winter season, our hair’s ends are frequently exposed, which can result in more split ends, dry hair, and even breakage.
This can be avoided by applying oil treatments to your hair at least once every one or two weeks or as needed.
Take Care Of Your Scalp
The scalp is essential to the health of your hair, as the scalp is where the follicles are, and your hair grows from the follicle. It is important to keep your scalp healthy and moisturized during winter.
One way to do this is to use a scalp treatment regularly. You can make your own scalp treatment by mixing one teaspoon of honey with one teaspoon of olive oil.
Apply this to your scalp and leave it in for twenty minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.
Another way is to add rosemary (¼ tablespoon) and thyme (¼ tablespoon) to a pot of water, then let it steep for ten minutes.
After the herbs have steeped, add a cup of cold water. Pour this over your head after shampooing and conditioning your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
Protective Hairstyles During Winter
Many people with curly hair struggle to find a style that will protect their hair during the winter. The cold weather can cause your hair to become frizzy and dry, requiring special care during this season.
Protecting your hair doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead of putting up with frizz, try one of the following protective hairstyles that will combat the winter weather and keep your hair looking great all season long.
Braiding is a great way to protect your hair from the cold weather. It keeps your hair off of your neck and prevents it from becoming frizzy. There are many different types of braids that you can try, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style.
Ponytails are another great way to keep your hair out of the way during winter. They are easy to do and can be worn in a variety of styles. Just make sure to use a hair tie that doesn’t have metal parts, which can cause damage to your hair.
This classic option is perfect for those with curly hair. A bun will keep your hair out of your face and protect it from the cold weather. You can wear it high on your head or down low.
Bantu knots are a great protective style that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. They are perfect for those who want to keep their hair out of their face during winter.
This style is perfect for those who want a more elegant look. The French Twist will keep your hair out of your face and protect it from the harsh winter elements.
Ponytail with Bun
This style is perfect for those who want to keep their hair out of their face but don’t want to wear a ponytail. It combines a bun and a ponytail into one protective style, perfect for those who are busy.
Crochet braids are a great protective style that will last for up to six months. This means that you can wear them all winter long without having to worry about your hair.
No matter which style you choose, make sure to use a good quality hair product to help protect your hair from the cold weather.
For extra protection from the elements, shield your curls from the cold and wind by using a leave-in conditioner or curl cream before you head outside.
If you normally wash/deep condition your hair bi-weekly in the winter months, you can increase it to once a week or if you already wash and deep condition your hair weekly, try adding a hot oil treatment instead.
For those of you who are already on top of your cleansing and moisturizing game, make sure to stay consistent and don’t skip a day or how often you usually do it.
How Often Do You Clean Your Hair
A huge part of having healthy moisturized hair has a lot to do with how often we clean it. Over washing curly hair can strip it of its natural oils and lead to dryness. Curly girls should aim to clean their hair once or twice a week, or as needed.
During the winter, some say we should wash our hair less frequently, or to only co-wash, however, this may end up being a double-edged sword.
For example, we stop washing it as often and instead layer products on top of products not knowing our hair strands are suffocating underneath all that product.
Now you’re stuck with dry hair that is coated with even more old products, then we repeat this pattern until our dry coated hair eventually breaks off.
Rather than only co-washing in the winter, you need to use a clarifying shampoo at least once a month to prevent excessive build-up.
Don’t believe the myth that you have to stay away from glycerin or other humectants during the colder season! There is never a simple answer like “avoid this ingredient because it causes dryness.” You do not buy ingredients, you buy formulas. The ingredients label does not reveal the entire story, but it can allow us to glean important clues.
“A suitable trained cosmetic chemist can take almost any ingredient and formulate in a way that mitigates the negative aspects while enhancing the positive ones.”
For example, to determine whether or not a particular shampoo might be more or less inclined to strip our curls of too much moisture, a single ingredient (or lack thereof) is not sufficient to predict this.
It is important to consider the total ingredient list to not only look for certain types of cleansing agents, but also various combinations of different types of surfactants, polymers, oils, and other conditioning agents (humectants, vitamins, etc.).
To understand how you can use humectants during the winter, check out Glycerin For Hair: What You Need To Know blog.
What are some of your hair care secrets to maintain your curly locks looking great throughout the winter?
Share in the comments below.