How to Protect Curly Hair in the Winter and Summer

Hey my curly divas!

Happy today to all of you, beauties! This moment I want to share some tips on how to protect our unique hair in the winter and the summer, and by default… all year round!

Of everything on this list, just remember the CurlFundamental…. #conditionerConditionerCONDITIONER! Always keep the tresses hydrated whether it is winter, summer or anything in between!

Consult a Hair Specialist 

Soooo before we dive right in, I want to advise you to seek a curly hair specialist at least once in your lifetime! I know they cost $$$$$, BUT they really are WORTH IT.

Even if you only go once a year (which is not what they recommend), the right curly hair specialist will change your life and your curls! They’ll help you understand your hair better and teach you  how to navigate the curly hair waters. 

It can be challenging to find curly hair specialists in some areas, #GIRLIknow, but ever since quarantine there has been an upsurge in people offering online consultations! So reach out and see if you can’t get you a virtual consultation… it is the first step in full-protection! 

How to Protect Curls in the Winter 

Winter time is crucial for most human beings and specifically for women with textured, more fragile hair. During the coldest months, we have to take extra precautions to ensure that our hair doesn’t break off, get windswept, and basically become irreparably damaged.

Contrary to my former beliefs about #hairdowneveryday, one thing that I’ve learned on my natural hair journey is that beautiful hair comes through protection as opposed to showing it off every day!

Tip #1: Wear Your Hair Up As Much As Possible 

Soooooo…. I don’t loveeee wearing my hair up. Bleh! I mean, if I had to pick between up and down, wearing it down is just so much more #MoneyHoney! I love showing off my curls! BUT when it’s down regularly, especially in the winter, it’s wide-open to damage!

This can be from:

  • catching on handbag straps
  • catching on backpack straps
  • rubbing against the back
  • getting caught on backs of chairs
  • being windswept
  • taking off and putting on woolly hats

This is why keeping hair up is one of the highest forms of protection. Also, the ends of our hair are the oldest parts (think grandmommyEnds) and are the most susceptible to damage and breakage. Protecting them are our best bets for hair retention! 

AND here’s one of my secrets to beautiful hair:  GO get you a chopstick! You can use a chopstick to easily put up your hair, and unlike hair ties, chopsticks don’t tangle nor break our hair off! Ahmahhhhhzing!

I use my sticks anytime I need to put my hair up and because messy buns are always super cute and still showcase the curly girl in us, they are #winwinWINNERS!

Tip #2 Keep a Satin Scarf Handy Anytime you are Out!

Before quarantine, I would walk home from work each day. Here in Ireland it might be a nice dry work day THEN suddenly the weather gods will look down and see me walking home and decide to entertain themselves for the night by enlisting their rain warriors and wind minions to torment me until reaching my doorstep.

With wind and rain at #100 there is 0% chance of my umbrella staying up, and that is a problem. So I must do what all smart women who live in a rainy/windy country do and come prepared with tools.

In addition to a windproof umbrella, my satin scarves protect my curls from the elements. I usually keep 2 scarves in my take-to-work backpack and they are absolutely vital!

Those that have a better scarf game can do all kinds of cuteness with their scarves but as I’m a akin to a noob, my scarves act as more of a protective barrier than as visually-pleasing aestheticism ?.  Oh well. BUT they protect my hair while under my umbrella, hood, or a hat, and that is worth way more than looking attractive on a walk in the elements!

Tip #3 Get a Satin-Rimmed Hat OR a Satin Insert

Satin is a curly-girls friend! It actually is amazing for all hair types because it is gentle, boosts moisture retention, and actually smooths hair. Normal hats can cause frizz and dryness so whenever we are capping our hair, it is fundamental to let ‘nothing but silk’ touch the curls!

There are x2 options for satin hats:

  1. A satin lined hat/beanie
  2. Satin insert that can be worn under your hat/beanie

Of the two, I prefer the latter because it allows me to change hats if I wantssssss to. Back when I first got into protecting my hair I had a hard time finding a satin insert, so I asked my brilliant, creative mother to make me one, which I put on over my hair before wearing any hat.

As the ends are the oldest parts of the hair, it is a great idea to put our curls up with a chopstick before putting the satin liner or hat on as it will act as the strongest barrier between the curls and the elements.

How to Protect Curls in the Summer

Summer is different than the winter. DUH, Manika! Ok yeah… silly thing to start with, but its true! We must take a slightly different approach on a seasonal basis.  I like to equate my curls to plants, and like my plants in the summer time, my curls most thirsty in the summer months and therefore most in need of moisture.

Tip #1 Wear Your Hair Up or in a Protective Style as Much as Possible

Similar to winter, we want to prevent our hair catching on anything and becoming fragile, damaged, and broken. So, like in the winter, keep that chopstick on deck! 

Make a habit of wearing your hair up for the majority rather than the minority, and watch how strong your strands will become!

The same is true for a protective style like twists or braids as they connect your hair together preventing them from snagging, breaking off, and drying out.

My protective style of choice (twists) is very low maintenance and doesn’t disrupt the curl pattern too much, enabling me to wear my curls out when necessary! This helps me to wear my hair down for a photo shoot or when filming for our YT channel… thank gawd.

Tip #2 Seal The Ends Of Your Hair 

Tip 2 goes hand-in-hand with my protective style, a.k.a. my summer-four-twist-outs. Twice a week, I spritz distilled rose water (no alcohol, no chemicals!) on my ends and then seal them with shea butter. Using distilled water is helpful as the water that streams to my apartment is too hard for caring for curls ??.

Sometimes I mix the shea butter with coconut oil or jojoba oil, which ensures that the elders of my hair get the much needed extra love. Something like this is counter-intuitive to a wash n’ go because the oil and butter solely on the ends weighs curls down, BUT as I’m currently focusing on hair retention, this method is all part of the protection-process!

Tip #3 Protein Moisture Balance 

Balance is everything! We know ‘dis! Us curlies never want too much protein, a.k.a dry and brittle hair, nor too much moisture, a.k.a soft, limp hair, so it is important to find the balance betwixt.

There’s no one-size fits all remedy, so as per most anything in life, we each have to do a series of trial and error.

  • If your hair is dry and brittle, focus on moisture!
  • If your curls are limp, lifeless, and wet, they need protein!

What I usually do in the summer is mix a protein mask for one week and a moisture mask for the next and change it up depending on what my hair tells me she needs. Doing this helps me have a great hold on protein-moisture balance which is what?… FUNDAMENTAL, sis. 

My balance consists of:

  • Protein Mask: a botanical conditioner, olive oil, egg and henna
  • Moisture Mask: an intensive moisture conditioner, extra virgin olive oil and Jamaican castor oil 

Your Faveeeee Show is ON!

That’s That My Curly Girls 

And that’s that! My secret weapons for protecting curls! Summer and winter are the more extreme seasons, of course, BUT we can use these tips ALL year-round which makes them lovelydubbly! Remember that curls are a gift and a blessing, so never stop determining what it takes to look after and protect them!

  • What’s your hair care routine? Let me know in the comments!
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  • Take care of your blessings!
  • Love ya’s! ?

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