Just like it’s important to make certain adjustments to our skincare regimen, each and every time that the seasons change, we actually need to do the same thing when it comes to how we take care of our hair. Now that we are fully into fall, I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the grave mistakes that I’ve made in the past when it comes to my naturally curly tresses, just so that you don’t have to repeat them.
You’ve probably heard before that we each grow anywhere between ¼” and ½” each month. If you want to make sure that you get to retain all of your length during autumn, here are eight mistakes that you should definitely avoid at ALL costs.
Not being hydrated enough.
You would think with all of the inclement weather that the fall and winter seasons tend to bring that our hair wouldn’t lack for moisture. Well, that’s partially true. Sure, rain can lead to humidity, but as temperatures drop, cooler air can pull water from the air. Plus, since it is significantly colder outdoors during this time, a lot of us prefer to remain inside. Without a humidifier or switching over to an iconic blow dryer to dry our hair, our locks can end up dry and brittle. One way to get a leg up on this is to stay hydrated. Yes, this should include drinking more water, but during autumn time, there’s also nothing like a cup of warm herbal tea too. As far as the kinds of teas that are perfect for maintaining hair health, check out our article “7 Herbal Teas That Your Hair Will Absolutely Love!”
Not sealing your ends.
When it comes to length retention, one of the biggest mistakes that I used to make was not taking good care of my ends. If your hair seems to be plateauing as it relates to hair growth, this very well could be why. One way to “baby your ends” is to seal them on wash day. But another thing that I also do is oil the ends of my hair before turning in every night. One of my personal favorite products is Jamaican Mango & Lime Black Castor Oil in Rosemary. It’s light enough to where my hair doesn’t feel heavy. Plus, rosemary relieves dry scalp, stimulates hair follicles and increases shine too.
Sleeping in flannel.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely adore cuddling up in my bed with a good book or movie on a cool fall day (or night”>. Although I like how flannel sheets or pajamas feel on my body, they are something that can zap all of the moisture out of my hair. If you’ve got some flannel in your linen and PJ collections, my advice would be to wear flannel bottoms but a different kind of top. And, as far as your bedding goes, keep the sheets but make sure you lay your head down on a satin pillowcase or that you wrap your hair up in a silk or satin scarf. This will give you the best of both worlds. Literally.
Using too much protein.
When you’re on the journey to grow strong and healthy natural hair, one of the toughest things to do is find a balance between how much moisture and how much protein your hair needs. As far as protein is concerned, signs that you need more of it, is if your hair feels “gummy” (you know, mushy”>, if it has lost some of its elasticity, if you naturallly have high porosity hair or if you happen to color-treat your hair a lot. All of these are indications that you need to protein-treat your hair about every 4-6 weeks. That said, if you are thinking that all of the extra styling that you’re doing warrants extra protein, avoid the temptation to over-treat. That can result in your hair receiving too much and feeling super-dry and brittle as a direct result.
Not deep DEEP conditioning.
Again, since you tend to be indoors more often during this time of year, and there is usually “dry heat” that’s inside, although it’s important to deep condition your hair year-round, it is absolutely imperative that you do it during the fall (and the winter”>. I’m not talking about that run-some-conditioner-through-your-hair-for-five-minutes-and-rinse type of conditioning either. I’m talking about setting aside at least 30 minutes to let your favorite kind of deep conditioner penetrate your hair shaft and then adding a leave-in conditioner once your rinse it out. If you do this every wash day, you’ll be amazed by how soft and manageable your hair will be, no matter what is going on indoors—or out.
Forgetting to remove all of that extra build-up.
You’ve probably got all kinds of extra-special functions that are coming up. With that, there will probably be more gels, mousses, edge controls and other styling products in your hair than ever. If you don’t make sure to clarify your hair (which basically means to get rid of product build-up”>, not only could the build-up weigh your hair down and leave flakes, it can also cause bacteria to multiply, it could irritate your scalp, and it could also clog up your hair follicles too. So definitely make sure that on your wash days, you give your hair a clarifying rinse by either applying some apple cider vinegar or giving your natural curls some extra definition by applying a mixture of bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. You can learn more about the clay/vinegar combo by watching this video.
Eating too much sugar.
As you start to ease into the holiday season, you’re gonna have access to even more sugary foods and drinks. While I’m certainly not one to discourage you from indulging in some hot chocolate or a slice of your auntie’s sweet potato pie, make sure to remember that moderation is key. Overdoing it, as far as sugar is concerned, will not only cause you to pack on the pounds and do a real number when it comes to your energy levels and metabolism, it can wreak havoc on your hair too. How? Well, the long short of it is, when we eat a lot of sugar, it causes our blood sugar levels to increase. Not only does that damage our hair follicles over time, it can lead to moderate hair loss as well. So, enjoy your goodies. Just keep everything in balance, OK? Your hair will certainly thank you for doing so.
Not being careful with scarves and hats.
Hats and scarves are cute in the fall. They can also wear your hair out. Between the drying that comes from the materials, the tension that comes from how they sit on your head, and wearing them so much that your hair doesn’t get a chance to rest and breathe—just make sure that your scarves are made out of silk or satin and that your hats are lined with satin too. Also, make sure that at least sometimes you put your hair into a protective style like braids or twists, just so that your ends won’t dry out or snag on your wool hats or the collars of your wool clothing. That way, come springtime, you’ll have a couple of inches to show for all of the fall hair care that you invest into your locks now. Happy Fall, y’all!