winter

Dear CurlyNikki: I’ve heard that I should change up my products when winter comes. Is this true? What should I avoid, and what should I buy?

A: Regimen tweaks are truly something to consider as the seasons change — your curls, which are already prone to dryness, crave even more moisture the cooler and dryer it gets.

What will I do to moisturize my situation, you ask? I plan to incorporate weekly deep treatments (haha, maybe), and shea butter for sealing. During the summer months I alternate between DevaCurl Set it Free (SIF) and shea to seal my wet, conditioner laden ends. In the winter, my hair seems to crave the heaviness of shea so I usually shelf the SIF. As for styling, I will continue to do Twist-n-Curls and plan to dibble and dabble in protective styles, utilizing flexi-rod sets to create chic curly buns.

Stay Clear of Humectants

"In very low-moisture areas, dry climates, or during the wintertime, humectants can actually dry the hair out further by absorbing water from the hair itself when there is no moisture in the surrounding atmosphere," says Tiffany The Curl Whisperer, curlynikki.com's resident curly expert. "Because the sole purpose of a humectant is to find and absorb moisture, it will find it and take it wherever it can get it — and that includes yanking out the moisture from inside your curly locks, leaving you with a dry, frizzy mess."

Humectants to Avoid

Examples of humectants (taken from NaturallyCurly's CurlChemist). I bolded the ones I run into the most, for your convenience!

  • Diols and Triols: propylene glycol 1,2,6, hexanetriol, butylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, hexylene glycol, Glycerin, triethylene glycol, erythritol capryl glycol, phytantriol hexanediol or -triol, beeswax
  • Humectants of biological origin: panthenol, sodium PCA, hyaluronic acid, inositol, glycogen

    Sugars and modified sugars: sorbitol, polyglyceryl sorbitol, glucose, fructose, xylitol, honey

    Hydrolyzed proteins: elastin, collagen, silk keratin, hydrolized wheat

  • Ethers: Isoceteth-x, Isolaureth-x, Laneth-x, Laureth-x, Steareth-x, PEG-x (polyethylene glycol), Silicone copolyols

As the temperature falls, and the humidity lessens, what will you add to (or omit from) your current routine to promote healthy growth, and beautiful, shiny curls?