When the season changes people tend to get lax with the routines that keep them looking good in the warmer months, just because you get to cover up that doesn’t mean you have to fall off.
In the cooler weather your hair sheds more due to the colder dryer air. Not to mention the heavier garments rubbing on our head as we wear them. Even when you put them on and take them off, believe it or not they are rubbing and snagging your hair causing increased dryness, shedding and unnecessary hair pulling. We all love to wear fashionable hats and scarves to stay warm and look cute, but the real tea here is that these are one of the biggest natural hair dangers that you will face this season. Unless you find some that are lined with satin these are clearly an avoidable danger. But with the right adjustment you can minimize your casualties and keep those tresses in track.
Here are 10 hair care tips and processes to keep your hair from falling off
1. Eat, Drink, Grow– This one definitely requires the least amount of effort. Add Vitamin A to your diet. Lean proteins, such as Salmon, and Cod Liver oil, green leafy veggies, like kale (recipe for Kale chips), sweet potatoes, blueberries, bananas, broccoli, nuts, and carrots. Also green tea and plenty of water.
2. Do You Pre-poo– This is especially important if you are transitioning. It’s almost as simple as number one. Just coat your hair with oil for at least 30 minutes before you shampoo. This can be done as you detangle or if you do it before it will aide in the detangling and decrease the time and the amount of shed. (Side note remember to use a wide tooth comb or your fingers to detangle!!!) I usually do it the night before and just sleep with a plastic cap and head scarf / bonnet.
3. Feel Butter Soon– So this is a real game changer and may contradict some other claims out there, but for me it works wonders. Replace the coconut oil with Mango and/or Shea Butters. There are also a variety of very exotic butters out there but these are the only two that I can personally vouch for. Regardless of whether you choose a raw form or a processed form it’s all up to you. Sometimes the more processed form is safer for me because it’s not as concentrated and they usually add smell goods to them just for you, lol. If you are more adventurous than I, you can try some Ucuubba Butter, this one is known to have some antiseptic properties. If you are looking for shine and strength you can try Muru Muru Butter. The Kokum Butter is said to stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. You can find these at most health food stores, on Amazon, as well as other online retailers. You can now find Shea and Mango butter anywhere and in just about everything. The most popular Shea for hair is the Jane Carter Nourish and Shine Shea butter. It’s an oldy but goody and it still works great wonders. The process is simple and easy, just apply it to your wet hair after you cleanse to lock in the moisture. You can also use it for styling your damp or wet hair if you are going with a two strand twist or braid out.
4. Aloe There– Apply an Aloe Vera gel mask to your hair. This is done after you cleanse as well. You can use a DYI Aloe gel (DIY Aloe Gel Recipe) or you can purchase the gel right off the shelf. You saturate the hair from root to tip, place a plastic cap on your head and let it sit for 30 – 40 minutes. You can add heat and it will only take about 20 minutes. Then rinse hair with cool water. This will add volume and shine to your hair. If you do not have a hooded dryer you need to allow the conditioner to sit on your head for an hour or longer with the plastic cap on and or a hot towel wrapped around your head. If you are inventive enough you can position your hand dryer somewhere that you can sit under so it will blow low heat on your cap. Sit under it for 20 min. Just be sure not to get close enough for the dryer to burn you.
5. Go Deep– Deep condition your hair at least once a month. It is usually recommended that you do it every other week, but if that’s too much you should do it at least once a month. Believe me you will be happier with your hair if you deep condition. I actually don’t have a preference for one deep conditioner over another. In fact I use whatever I have on hand. I recently won a bottle of Jessicurl Too Shea extra moisturizing conditioner from the Natural Partners in Crime fall giveaway, and I used it as a deep conditioner.
6. Behind The Mask– There is some similarity with hair masks and the deep conditioners. They are very similar, but the mask is much more concentrated. Masks are designed to hydrate, seal and repair your hair. They use to be labeled with names like re-constructors. The application process is the same, you want to add low heat, and rinse with warm water.
7. Seal of Approval– The seal is oil or butters. One of my favorite sealers is Olive oil. I also love the Carma Care seal and shine. This is also the most beneficial use for coconut oil if you have thicker hair. In fact by my estimation the best way to use coconut oil is as a sealant on wet hair. You can use grape seed, argon, almond, or Jojoba oils as well. Personally I mix my oils with water in a spray bottle and use the almost daily. I use Olive, Argon, and Mint Almond oils. This is usually the step after you apply your leave in conditioner. Or just before you style or blow dry. You want to make sure you retain as much moisture as you can in your hair. All you do is apply it from root to tip and rub or comb the hair with a wide tooth comb, no need to rinse.
8. L.O.C It Up– The L O C method is a fairly new process to me, but I can tell you it is a transitioners dream. This is a very simple 3 step process that is done in lieu of deep conditioning. It does just as it says, LOC, you are locking in the moisture from your wet hair in. For me this has been the best way to make sure the line of demarcation is strengthened and moisturized. If you are a transitioner you know this term. It is the line where the process hair meets the natural hair, in other words “the breaking point”! This is very beneficial for all hair types and accents any style you use. The L stands for Leave in or liquid. I use Carma Care B’Leave in leave in conditioner. The O stands for Oil. You can use any of the oils you like but I use my oil mixture or you can incorporate your butters here. Coat the hair from root to tip with the butter or oil of your choice. The purpose of this step is to seal the leave in and the liquid in. The C is for Cream. I use my Cantu leave in, or my Carma Care Shea Souffle. You can use any curling creams or whipped product you like. If you have finer hair you may want to use the cream first them the oil. Technically that would be the L C S but some prefer that method so the hair is not too slippery. The hair should be a little slippery. NOT slick just slippery. At this point you can blow dry and style if you are doing a dry style. Or you can twist or braid the hair as usual. I saw instant results after the first time I tried this. My hair retained the moister at least 2 to 3 days longer than usual. And my twist out! Was the Bomb! Straight jelly!
9. Protect Ya Neck– it’s very important to employ low manipulation styles. Comb you hair as little as possible. The cooler months are the ideal time to sport braids and twist. The reason they call them protective styles is very evident. You need to protect your hair from damage. For me, the higher you keep your hair off your neck, the less likely it will be rubbed and pulled by our scarves, turtle necks and sweaters. Keep your ends tucked in, protected, conditioned and trimmed.
10. Poo Who You Don’t Have to Cry about It– I have shared before that I only use shampoo about once a month. I Co-wash. As we are trying to build moisture we also need to do as little as possible to take the moisture out. This brings me to my philosophy on shampoo vs no poo. It’s very basic. Shampoo strips moisture from the hair making it dry and dry hair breaks right. So why do we do it again. Oh yeah, because that’s what we’ve always done. O.K. I got it. Any who, Healthy Natural Hair 101 is don’t over use shampoo, (side bar I was sent a sample of a shampoo bar from Lia Naturals- it came in my Natural Partners in Crime fall give a pack I was impressed). I say limit the shampoos to once or twice a month and co-wash and clarify in between. In my post about shampoos under $12, I explain how I co wash and clarify with apple cider vinegar. By the way, if you read the back of the conditioner and the shampoo you will see a lot of the same ingredients. This is because most conditioners have cleansing agents in them. The ACV, further clarifies the hair, restores the ph balance of your hair and closes the hair cuticle.
The most important thing to remember is that your hair will be attacked by moisture robbing elements all season long. Even if you don’t wear any wool, knit, cotton, or polyester, which is quite impossible in fall, the cooler temps alone will do a number on your moisture retention. But have no fear we have some easy options to help you amp up the moisture level in your hair. This is the main objective in the fall. By keeping your hair properly cleansed and conditioned you will be able to combat undue hair loss that often occurs during the fall and winter months. Also because we recommend practicing low manipulation protective styling you will need to be diligent about taking good care of your hair when you touch it because you will not be touching it as often as you would if you were styling it every day.
Even if you just choose one or two of these fall bases and stay on them, that alone will improve your hair retention and growth. Additionally I will post a Suggest Fall Product Guide and Protective Style Look Book on www.facebook/Mrsphatandnaptural.com . Remember watch out for the moister robbers this season. We don’t want them to get away with any of our hair. Let’s grow together.
See ya Phatty!