Gee. I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s no question that autumn is my favorite time of the year (especially October). Aside from the crisp air, pretty leaves and all of the fly sweaters that I am able to pull out and sport to the fullest, it seems to be the season that is the easiest on my hair too. The sun isn’t blazing and drying it out. Also, as far as cold weather goes, while fall can certainly be unpredictable, it’s not nearly as brutal as winter or the beginning stages of spring. Yeah, fall is all kinds of bomb. It really is.
Image: Unsplash via Pauly Wooten
At the same time, it would be totally irresponsible of me to imply that just because the season is, for the most part, good to our hair, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some specific things that we should do to make our locks “autumn-ready”.
Don’t worry. All you need to do is a little bit of tweaking to the routine that you (hopefully) already have and you should be able to get your hair to seamlessly transition over from summer to fall.
Eat more Vitamin C and Vitamin E foods.
As much as I adore all things autumn if there is one thing about it that I find to be particularly annoying is the unpredictable weather. One day, it seems like a T-shirt and jeans are all that you need; the next day, you’re rummaging through trying to find your winter coat. That’s why, for the sake of your hair, skin, and health overall, it’s so important to amp up your Vitamin C and Vitamin E intake. Vitamin C contains antioxidants that strengthen your immune system while they also increase the production of collagen that your hair, skin (and nails) need. Vitamin E is a great healing agent that gives your body more moisture too. Foods that contain C include citrus fruit, potatoes (white and sweet), spinach, green and red peppers, and winter squash. Vitamin E foods include broccoli, almonds, avocados, kiwi and sunflower seeds.
Drink herbal tea.
As the weather gets colder, take some of the chill off by drinking a warm cup of herbal tea. Peppermint tea can invigorate you while relaxing sore muscles. Chamomile reduces stress and offers up a good night’s rest. Dandelion is a great detoxifier. Licorice contains anti-inflammatory properties. Chai improves digestion. And listen, herbal tea isn’t only good for your system; it’s great for your hair as well. By creating your own herbal tea rinse (watch some cool DIY videos about this here, here and here), your hair will get deeply moisturized so that it can handle the dip in temperatures and harsh winds.
Steam your hair.
Another super-effective way to keep moisture in your hair is to steam it. The reason why this works is that a hair steamer opens up your hair’s cuticles so that moisture can easily get into them (which is why it’s a really great thing to do on your deep conditioning days). On this side of cyberspace, we’re such big fans of hair steaming, that we’ve penned pieces on it like “5 Amazing Benefits of Steaming Your Hair” and “How to Steam Your Natural Hair the Right Way”. Try it. You’ll definitely fall in love with it!
Seal your ends with butter.
Between your blowouts, hats and wool clothing that could cause your hair to snag on them, fall (and winter) are the times of the year when your ends tend to take an even more brutal beating. The way to keep this from happening quite as much is to seal your ends with a thick oil (like Jamaican black castor oil; I personally like Mango & Lime’s lavender and rosemary ones) or a DIY hair butter (a mango recipe is here; a Chebe one is here). You can use these to seal your ends on wash day or as a way to coat your ends before turning in at night.
Line your hats.
If you’re anything like me, one of the things that you love most about the fall season is fall fashion; that includes all of the hats that you’ve been storing up for the perfect autumn day. Since a lot of them are made out of materials that can be particularly drying to your hair, another good idea is to line your hats with satin. Even if you don’t line the entire hat itself, at least do the part that goes around the circumference of your head so that your edges won’t start to thin out. For tips on how to line beanies, click here. Tips to line hats, in general, click here.
Invest in a humidifier.
There’s no way around the fact that our electricity bills tend to increase during colder weather. When it comes to your hair, the problem with that is all of that hot air that’s blowing through your vents can totally dry our tresses out. A great way to combat that is to put a humidifier in your bedroom. It will keep moisture in your hair, plus it will reduce allergy-related symptoms, help to prevent the flu and can even cause you (or your partner) to snore less. You and your hair can definitely not go wrong with a humidifier, so “gift yourself” with one as soon as possible (if you don’t already have one). Welcome to fall, y’all!