When it comes to hair growth, there are no hard and fast rules but the general rule of thumb is that hair grows faster during the warmer months and slightly slower in cooler weather. Combine that with the external factors, such as increased moisture loss in cold weather, rougher fabrics rubbing against our hair, and not being able to wear your hair wet – the winter can be quite challenging when it comes to making progress in your healthy hair journey. Here are a few tips to help you combat winter’s slower growth and maximize your retention for longer lengths:
1. Seal heavy. Use heavier oils* to seal your hair after moisturizing. Some of my favorites are castor and extra virgin olive*, both of which lock in moisture extremely well. Another technique that many ladies swear by is what I like to call the triple layer method of moisturizing and sealing: apply water based moisturizer, whipped shea butter* (as an example but any butter type product), then an oil (castor since we are trying to seal heavy).
2. Humidify your hair. Dry air can zap the moisture right out of your hair. Weekly steam sessions can help increase the effectiveness of your deep conditioning* sessions, but also having a humidifier in your home can help combat dryness. If you do not own a humidifier, not to worry just place a pot of distilled water on the stove and set to a low boil. It may seem minor, but it can really keep the air “moist” so to speak and help your hair remain moisturized.
3. Silken your clothes. Wear a silk (or satin) bonnet beneath your winter hats, wrap a silk scarf* over wool coat collars, and although they may not be as warm, opt for smooth fabrics when buying fashion scarves. Rougher fabrics cause breakage, rob hair of its moisture and can cause split ends and breakage.
4. Keep it up. Even if you are not wearing your hair in a long term protective style (such as a wig, weave* or braids) wear your hair in an updo a couple days of the week. Sometimes I don’t actually wear my hair up that day, but while I am commuting to and from work with my winter coat on, I will use a butterfly clip or bobby pins* just to keep my hair off my clothes and car headrest.
5. Apply a clear rinse. Clear rinses are known to lock in moisture, add a layer of protection to the hair, create a brilliant shine, and help control porosity. These can be done any time of the year, but are particularly useful during the winter time.