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How to winter proof your natural hair routine

by Evenes Ruth Mafupa

Yes, winter is upon us and what shall we do except to comply and hide our tresses? Or is it even necessary to hibernate your hair for winter? Well the answer depends on what works for you. As for me and my hair, winter months are spent less active and more resting and out of the cold. Protective styling I mean, and low manipulation hairstyles that also cover my hair from the dry, cold Johannesburg winters.

Knot less braids

So, by now, I have become a total pro in winter proofing my natural, not joking. And that’s what I am about to share with you right now. So, buckle up and let’s get schooled here.

Short Marley Twists

Disclaimer: This method works for those in dry climates during winter months.

  • Do less with your hair. Not kidding. Less is more. should I say low manipulation one more time? There, I said it. Even if you are not a protective styling fan, try not to handle your hair too much. (This tips goes for all year round as well if you are trying to maximising length retention aka hair growth.)
  • Wash your hair at least once a week but please don’t go out in the cold with wet hair. The water will attract more cold to your hair. So, cover your head if your hair is still wet so that your hair doesn’t freeze.
  • More moisture retention techniques for your hair. A leave in conditioner alone may not be enough to retain moisture longer. Try sealing the moisture with a butter or heavier cream. I love whipped Shea butter from Nashe Organics. My hair stays moisturised and soft for days.
  • If you’re up to it, a long term protective style may be a good idea. I know salons are not yet open so this may not be too easy to achieve for a lot of sisters. But if you can do African threading, braid or twist your own hair, this may be time to do it.
  • Wigs are a good friend in winter months. For some people this is a no no. However, they offer quite good covering to your actual hair throughout winter. What I love about wigs is that, I can take it off and attend to my hair daily. It also keeps my head warm.
  • If wigs are not your thing, a crochet hairstyle may offer the same benefits as a wig. A crochet hairstyle with for example Marley hair can offer good covering and keep your head warm as well.
  • Moisturise your hair whether in a protective style or not, more so in winter than ever. Twice a day is ideal but, once a day at least if you are too busy.
  • If head wraps are your thing, cover your head with head wraps when you go out in the cold. I particularly go for my morning jog with a cap or woollen hat. Otherwise my hair will freeze completely.
  • When you go to sleep, a satin bonnet or scarf is a must have. It will help you retain moisture. Put one on soon after spraying your hair so that the moisture can get a chance to sink into your hair.

Here is an easy protective hairstyle that you can do on your hair.

Faux locs

A lot of people I know have a winter hair routine. From braiding or twisting in winter to protect the hair, to head wraps through out winter. What’s your plan? Tell me in the comments below. I would love to know.


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