During the winter months, the cold weather combined with dry indoor heat can wreak havoc on your hair, leading to frizz and breakage. That’s right, frizz and breakage isn’t just a summertime grief, it happens in winter and to all hair textures and types. The weather can make a significant impact on your curls and scalp, so it’s essential to change your hair care with the seasons. To have a fabulous curls all year long, there are a few precautions you should take throughout the year. I reached out to three curl friends in the curly hair community for tips, techniques, and how they adjust their hair routine for the Winter months.

1. Cynthia Guerra @curlycyn_

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We all have our own ways that we learn to do cool tips and tricks with our hair, right?? Things that work. Things that don't work. It's frustrating but sometimes you find something that works great for you! Well, I have found a fun trick that I actually have done since middle school! Yes, that's right. I said, middle school. 5 years ago (wink wink) I had that crunchy hard hair back then for a reason, thanks to Florida humidity, but I have transferred that to a method that I still do today. Curly Cyn’s Scrunch the Crunch out with MORE gel method! I know I know, it sounds crazy and too much, but hear me out.

I style my hair with products, right? Always a leave-in conditioner, cream, and then a gel. Sometimes I will add a mousse but only on occasion. For example, in this picture, I used all Bounce Curl products. Their Moisture Balance Leave-In Conditioner, Avocado & Rose Oil Clump and Define Cream and Light Creme Gel. Then I diffuse because my hair does no bueno with air drying (You don't wanna see those results). Then once my hair is mostly dry, I grab whatever gel I was using for that wash day (this day was the Light Creme Gel) and scrunch that crunch with MORE of the gel. Then I diffuse again. For me, gel is what helps me fight that frizz. It is what my hair craves and looooooves! It gives a bit more definition when doing it twice. I feel if I scrunched it with a cream or leave-in conditioner, it would weigh my hair down a bit. So why not the gel? And it works miracles!

During winter times, I still do this method, but just not as much gel. My hair is high porosity, which means it loves the cold so she behaves in the wintertime. Unfortunately, wintertime in Florida is 2 weeks (but for real), so I use this method almost every single wash day. Also, when I refresh, I mainly just use this method. I scrunch my hair with gel and diffuse. I noticed when I add water, it gives me so much frizz and not the ringlets that I am looking for and love. My goal is to have amazing curls with volume and definition and I feel this method does that. So I say give the Scrunch the Crunch with MORE gel method a shot and see if it works for you!

2. Maeve G. @maeves_waves

Refreshing is a critical part of my curly hair routine. I work out 4-7 times a week and only wash twice--I realized fairly early on in my curly journey that I would have to find a refresh technique that would keep my hair fresh and my scalp happy if I wanted to avoid washing, well, every day.

Post-workout curls are typically stretched out and sweaty. I learned that my scalp needed to be kept clean of sweat to prevent itching and that my curls needed more than just some additional product to spring back. Enter: the steam refresh.

Here’s how it works:

  1. First, I shower with my hair up in a pineapple bun. Once that’s done, I take my hair down and turn the heat all the way up (the water is pointed away from my body to avoid scalding myself). While the steam collects, I use damp hands to scrub my scalp down. This clears out the salt from sweat.
  2. Once my scalp feels clean (I go over it 2-3 times to make sure I’ve hit every inch--if I skimp on this, I end up itchy!), I flip my head over and start pressing the steam into my hair. I smooth the hair over, literally press it between my hands, and gently scrunch it--and repeat. I do this for about a minute until I start to see my curls spring up. I am careful not to get the hair wet, but some pieces inevitably get more water than others.
  3. I shut off the water and step out of the shower to apply product immediately. I typically use a cream and one or two gels (my hair loves product and can use a nearly infinite amount). I smooth the product over and scrunch lightly.
  4. Finally, I diffuse to ensure my scalp is dry and to set the shape of the curls. The result is fresh, sprung-up hair!
  5. Disclaimer: I have never tried this with a handheld steamer, but I’ve had a few people reach out to say that this routine has worked for them with a steamer.

My steamed hair is always springy and voluminous!

Winter Routine

My normal-to-low porosity hair tends to be on the drier side, so I have to be extra thoughtful during the colder months to keep it hydrated. Here are a few steps I’m taking to keep my hair looking and feeling its best throughout the winter:

  1. Deep conditioning: I always deep condition once a week, but lately, I’ve been doing it for longer and with a bit of heat. The heat helps open up the cuticle to let in more moisture.
  2. Co-washing: For the past few months, I’ve been almost exclusively shampooing with gentle shampoos, but with colder temperatures (and sweating less), I’ve been finding my scalp is just as happy and clean with some co-washing, which is less stripping, leaving more moisture in the hair.
  3. Loading up on moisturizing products: I’m using more leave-in and much more curl cream. These are the first two products I use after washing, and thus, they create a nice moisturized base for me to then layer some gel over for hold.
  4. Avoiding troublesome ingredients: I do honestly think the glycerin hype/fear is a bit overstated, but I’ve found that my hair frizzes out with too much glycerin at very low dew points (under 30 degrees Fahrenheit). To combat this, I use a glycerin-free gel as my final styling product to avoid glycer-frizz.
  5. 3. Lester Moreno @lesterjaviermoreno

    Hi everyone, my name is Lester Javier Moreno. I got inspired to take care of my hair on April 17th, 2018, after scrolling through IG and seeing other men taking care of their hair and posting their routines. A year and a half later, I now post to inspire and educate men just like me to care for their hair as well. It’s been an amazing journey.

    I am not really a refreshing type of person. If I need to redo my hair, I will do the whole wash day routine. My scalp is very sensitive and tends to be a magnet for build-up. So refreshing for me is screaming for a dirty scalp.

    Speaking about my scalp now that we are in the winter months, I have to be diligent in keeping my scalp moisturized. I spend a good amount of time making sure that my scalp is not only clean but also moisturized by using oils from Righteous Roots Oils. This will be my 2nd winter in my natural hair journey, so what I decided to do is utilize protective styles for my hair. Example like braids, twist, flat twist and just wearing my hair in an Afro, which I love to do.

    I would like to leave y’all with some tips that I personally believe is the foundation of keeping your hair healthy. I keep my scalp clean, deep condition weekly, and protect my hair like using a bonnet, having a satin pillowcase for when I sleep, and using a microfiber towel during wash days.

    You may already moisturize your skin during the winter months, but what to do about your hair and scalp? Just like skin, your scalp and hair need protection from the cold to remain soft, supple, and healthy. Defend your curls from the arctic air, whipping winds, static electricity, and even indoor heat. You want to have beautiful, healthy curls to show off when spring (finally) comes! Hopefully, these tips from our curl friends were helpful. With a little extra effort, you can keep your hair hydrated and looking great this winter.

    Check out other posts on our blog for more winter hair care advice!