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Anyone who’s on the journey to gain some real inches as far as their hair goes knows that if the saying “patience is a virtue” ever resonates, it’s in this particular situation. That said, if there’s one thing that I have come to adore about having a head of hair that is flourishing, it’s being able to wear my Afro. And if there is one thing that I especially love about the fall season, it’s that I can wear my ‘fro, in all of its fullness and splendor, so much easier during this time of year.

If you’re curious about why I’m someone who will shout from every rooftop that this is probably the best season of all to put protective styling somewhat to the side so that you can let your Afro shine for the world to see, I’ll share with you six reasons why I absolutely believe this is the case.

Less Humidity

I’ll tell you right now that one of the best things about wearing an Afro in the fall is that there is less humidity than there is in the summertime. You know what that means, right? Less shrinkage. Whew! While it’s kind of a myth that colder seasons have no humidity at all (I mean, inclement wet weather definitely puts moisture into the air), between temperatures being all over the place and us being inside more often with the central heat (which is dry) being on, both of these things definitely results in whatever style we put our hair into lasting longer — even if that means stretching it out via braids, twists or even a blowout first. So, if you’ve been hesitant to “let your soul glow” because you want it to remain big and full for longer than just an hour or so, this autumn season has you and your hairstyle preference written all over it!

You Don’t Have to Worry (as Much) About UV Damage

Another myth that comes with the fall and winter seasons is that you can’t experience UV damage. Listen, so long as the sun is out, it has the ability to affect your skin and your hair. However, when it’s super bright and really hot, that definitely results in a greater chance of ending up with drier strands, weakened cuticles, loss of color, stiffer hair and photochemical degradation (which means that your tresses will lose some of the protein and melanin that it needs to thrive). That’s why it can be a really good idea to keep your hair in a protective style during the summer season. But when the weather is much milder (like the fall), you can feel better about wearing your natural locks totally. This brings me to my next point, though.

Leave-In Conditioners Help to Protect Your Hair’s Cuticles

I tend to wear my ‘fro quite a bit yet a big mistake that I used to make, when it came to showing it off, is underestimating the purpose and power of leave-in conditioners. Not only is using one an easy way to maintain and/or restore moisture, it also keeps my hair soft; makes it easier to style; protects it from heat damage via styling tools and, it protects my hair from outer elements like sun damage or, when it’s cooler, brisk winds. Plus, when I wake up and I need to add a bit of “life” to my Afro, a palm of leave-in conditioner does an amazing job of “waking it up” too. I think sometimes, a lot of us are hesitant about applying a leave-in because we think it’s too heavy. To that I say, there are all kinds of “versions” that you can use including foams and sprays. So, if you want to give your Afro a solid pick-me-up, a leave-in conditioner definitely has your back (check out our articles “Top 20 Leave-in Conditioners”, “10 Best Water-Based Leave-in Conditioners” and a list of leave-ins that are featured on our site here).

Afros Adore Heavy Hair Butters and Creams

When the weather is cooler, it can be a great time of year to go with thicker moisturizers like butters — you know, shea butter (which strengthens hair strands); Muru Muru butter (which is rich in omegas that help to deeply moisturize your hair); mango butter (which protects your hair from harsh weather elements) and Cupuacu butter (which helps to keep your scalp healthy). Not only will they provide your hair with some extra special protection, they can deeply penetrate your ends, so that your curls will be stronger and shiner from root to tip. Personally, I’m all about applying a blend of shea and mango butter to my hair. The combo makes my ‘fro super soft, it’s non-greasy and it also gives my hair the kind of “bouncy texture” that I want for this type of signature look. An easy DIY recipe can be found below.

Steaming Your Hair Can Create Beautiful Natural Curls

Even though I mentioned that there is probably less humidity in your home during the fall season due to how much you are relying on your HVAC unit to keep you warm, you don’t want your hair to be totally zapped of all moisture. One way to get around this is to invest in a humidifier that you can turn on at night (by the way, some COVID symptoms can be relieved by high humidity conditions, so an elevated amount of it in your house can be beneficial for you when it comes to viruses like it or even colds or the flu). Another way to get more moisture (from water) into your hair is by steaming it. If you happen to have low porosity hair, it’s great at combating that. Steaming can also increase hair elasticity, lubricate your scalp, unclog your hair follicles and keep your hair moisturized in between wash days. For tips on how to properly steam your hair, check out our article, “How to Steam Your Natural Hair the Right Way”. And how do you keep your Afro stretched while using these moisture-inducing options? Stretching it with braids or twists (and then taking them out the following morning) should work just fine.

Fall Is the Ideal Protein-Consumption Season

Your hair is mostly made up of a protein called keratin. So, of course it makes sense that you would need to eat protein in order to keep it healthy and strong. Since fall brings Thanksgiving our way and Christmas is a month after that, you’ll probably be eating hearty meals — ones that may have meat in them like turkey, chicken and beef. Or, even if you don’t eat meat, you might consume more bowls of oatmeal in the morning, quinoa as a side for your lunch, nuts like pumpkin or sunflower seeds as a snack or black-eyed peas, spinach, portabella mushrooms, sundried tomatoes or Brussels sprouts for dinner. The more that you eat these kinds of foods, the more you’ll be feeding your hair follicles which will lead to more inches on your Afro in no time.

A Good Trim Creates a Great Shape

Your ends are the oldest parts of your hair; no way around that, and if you want a glorious Afro, it’s going to need to be given a great shape. This comes by making sure that you get a professional trim or cut. Not only will it give you the “rounded look” that you desire, it will also help to remove any of the damaged parts of your hair that the summer season may have caused. While I know that it might seem odd to recommend a cut in order to cultivate a beautiful Afro, the less bad ends you have, the less tangling and fairy knots you will have and the less you will need to put your hands in your hair (which can also damage your strands) to keep it looking the way that you want it to. Your Afro will be full, even and healthy — just in time for the reason that this fall season has in store for you!