Sweater weather knowledge Stacy A. Pulliam

photo courtesy of Summyr Sheppard

Colder temperatures mean it's sweater weather and sweater weather means wear and tear on your hair.

Break out your thigh high boots, cute fuzzy hats, and thick plush scarves. Did you know that your cute winter wonderland ensembles may be hazardous to your hair?

According to dermatologist Dr. Francesca Fusco, "wool [caps] can wick moisture away from hair as well as create friction that can contribute to breakage." The solution? Fusco recommends "maintaining moisture with a weekly hair mask and placing a piece of satin or silk liner to work as a barrier between the wool and hair."

Protect your hair from hygroscopic fibres

Merriam Webster defines hygroscopic as "readily taking up and retaining moisture." Guess which one of your favorite winter clothing items contains this fiber? If your label lists that your garment is made from wool, cashmere, acrylic, polyester, or cotton, prepare for some hair intervention. According to an Interknit specialist on wool material, wool is a hygroscopic fiber that "can absorb twice as much water vapor as cotton and up to thirty times as much as polyester. This makes it perfect for absorbing sweat and body odors while keeping the body dry and fresh." I say great to the body odors dying, but what about our ends being frazzled?

Well we can't freeze to death just to save our curls!

So what's a natural girl suppose to do? Well we can't freeze to death just to save our curls! Here is a list of some great ways to keep your curls Nutcracker safe (get it nutcracker, we don't want our hair to crack....)

Sweater weather knowledge Stacy A. Pulliam

Model: Chizi Duru

Oils

Choose the right penetrating and sealing oils for your hair type and hair porosity. Putting a little extra of both will protect the hair from the inside out. Coating those ends can prove to be especially helpful when you are out and about all day with your mane in full bloom. A few of my favorite coating/sealing oils include Shea butter, castor oil and cupuacu butter.

"If the moisturizer is effectively penetrating your hair, it should feel slippery and smooth on the hair and absorb fully by the time your hair is dry." - Rachel Blistein

Proper moisturizing is important

Moisturizing is a must all year but you need to pull out all the stops and take extra precautions during the winter months. Rachel Blistein, owner and founder of Original Moxie, is all about "moisturization."

Many curlies are loading their hair with multiple moisturizers in an attempt to add moisture. However, if these products are not the best fit for your hair, they may simply sit on the outside of the hair shaft and actually block moisture with dulling build up.

To correct this problem, start with a thorough but gentle cleansing treatment, like Uncle Funky's Daughter Rich & Funky Moisturizing Cleanser to open the hair shaft and ensure that it is not coated with product. Follow up with a rinse-out conditioner like The Doux Sucka Free Moisturizing Conditioner to restore any moisture that may have been lost during the cleansing process. Isolate a small section of damp hair, spray to re-wet if needed, and apply enough of your moisturizer to thoroughly coat the strand from scalp to ends. If the moisturizer is effectively penetrating your hair, it should feel slippery and smooth on the hair and absorb fully by the time your hair is dry. You should see enhanced curl definition even before the section is dry. Remember: the tighter the curl pattern and the denser the hair, the smaller the section.

Sweater Weather Stacy A. Pulliam

hair by DyeVerCity Salon

Protective styling is key.

I know some of us just don't like to pin our naturals up. But, hanging loose can cause frayed, or what I like to call paunchy ends. There are a billion cute, sassy, sophisticated pin-up hair styles that can prove to be your hair's lifesaver in sub-zero weather. When your hair is pinned up it doesn't rub against your sweater or coat during the day. I do suggest that you continue to oil your scalp or spray an oil-based moisturizer like Obia Curl Hydration Spray nightly before putting your satin scarf on. When synthetic hair is added to your up-do, it does have the tendency to suck the moisture out of your hair.

Winter is here! How are you keeping your ends protected?

Tell us your plan of attack below. We want to help!

For up-do protective style inspiration, check out @DyeVerCity on Instagram.