Winter hair care is a big deal. Especially if, like me, you’re someone with naturally curly hair. Since embarking on my journey back to my curly roots (more on that in a minute), I’ve researched so many conditioners, gels and even hairdryers for the perfect curls. Seriously, I’ve scoured the internet mercilessly to find exactly the right beauty products uk brands and stockists have to offer us. To be honest, it’s not been that easy. There seems to be a real focus on hair straightening out there – which is great if you’re looking for smooth lengths. But for curly hair, it’s been much tougher.
In this post I’m going to be talking winter hair care tips, and sharing some of the steps I’d recommend as a curly haired person in order to keep those curls from frizzing, knotting and flattening out completely. Hate it when that happens. But first, some context.
What’s So Special About Curly Hair?
As some of you will know, I’ve been undergoing a bit of a journey with my hair over the last few months. It all came about at the end of the summer, when I decided I’d had enough of fighting against my natural curly hair and started searching out ways to go back to my roots. Since starting the curly girl method (which you can watch over on my Instagram stories if you like), I’ve waded through a lot of information about what curly hair actually needs. It’s an ongoing process, but there are few things I’ve discovered along the way which I’m going to share with you here, in case you’re considering your hair options.
I’m going to jump in right now and say that it is a majorly strange transition from using regular shampoo and conditioner to this world of curly hair jargon and products, but trust me, it’s worth it if you just persevere through the weird first-week weirdness.
Winter Hair Care For Curlies
Winter hair care is much more intense than summer hair care. Curly hair can be especially prone to dryness, and needs moisture like you wouldn’t believe. One of the things that I found most interesting when shifting from normal shampoo and conditioner to my now curly hair wash routine is that the dryness I was feeling in my hair was actually my hair’s true condition. It was so dry, so starved of moisture, it was showing it’s true colours at last because I’d finally stripped away all the sulphates and silicones from the regular shampoos I’d been using for years previously.
The key to curly hair care, and in winter especially, is moisture. Time to take that deep conditioning stuff seriously if you want your hair to stop snapping off and start coiling back into its true pattern!
Co-washing (which essentially means using a light, cleansing conditioner to wash with as opposed to a shampoo) remains a staple of your winter hair care routine. You might want to experiment with a thicker formula of co-wash, or stick with a firm favourite, but either way, do not be tempted to shampoo more frequently. Moisturised hair is key, and shampoo will dry your curls out even more.
It will take time to work out which products are the right fit for your curly hair, as everyone’s is very different. Some people have hair that’s extremely sensitive to coconut, for example, so Shea butter based products may work better for them. Others may be sensitive to protein, which can also dry out any moisture in the hair strand, making the hair brittle and less likely to curl.
Deep conditioners work best when applied to damp hair in the presence of steam. You can actually buy a thermal sleeping cap that retains the heat from your scalp as the conditioner soaks into your hair, which I’d recommend looking into. Just don’t sleep with it on – you don’t want to end up with a nasty fungal infection on your scalp.
One of the other core components of curly hair care is finding the right gel to use. Yes, you heard that right, gel. I know what you’re thinking, and believe me I didn’t want to look like a mid-nineties teenage boy either, but trust me, gel is your friend. They act by creating a seal around your curls after you’ve moisturised them with a deep conditioner, helping to really lock in the moisture after you’ve washed. You can scrunch out the crunchiness once your hair is dry, leaving you with soft, moisturised curls! My favourite curl-friendly gels are actually the supermarket own brand ones – they’re incredibly cheap and free from all the silicone nasties that curly hair can’t stand!
Drying is also something worth taking time to learn about. While it’s recommended to let your hair dry naturally as far as possible, It’s a good idea to finish the drying process off with a good quality hairdryer, to make sure your curls don’t lay flat against your head too much when exposed to the cold air outside. That said, the wrong hairdryer can make frizz about a million times worse in the winter, so it’s important to choose one wisely. There are some incredible hairdryers available now, one of which is on my Christmas wish list from Panasonic, and not just because it looks pretty either. Curly hair needs the right kind of drying, with a diffuser attachment (vital) and an airflow that dries at a cool temperature, infusing the hair with moisture as it dries. Good diffusers are hard to come by, so it’s worth taking the time to invest in the right one.
These are just a few winter hair care tips for curly girls – keep an eye out for an updated product list for keeping those curls under control this winter too! Have you got any tips you’d like to share? Drop them below in the comments or you can connect with me over on Twitter or Facebook too.
This post was created in collaboration with Panasonic.
Writer, tweeter and illustrator. Starving artist and thrifting expert. Pen for hire and first-time author at work.