Winter Switch-up Part 2

Hey guys so as promised, here is part 2 of my winter hair repertoire. This time I will be focused on products and applications. However, I forgot to mention in my previous post one more protective technique. Sleeping in a satin bonnet. Now, usually I don’t bother wrapping my hair because I like my ‘fro to be free and I already sleep on satin pillows and sheets. However, In winter I’m not just protecting my head from sheets but also from the dry, hot air in my apartment so I cover up. Before I do this, I usually put my into hair as many or as few twists (not very neatly) as I feel like. This helps them fit under the cap more easily and stretches them somewhat so they can be more easily pulled into protective styles the next day. I moisturize them before doing so in a method I’ll explain shortly. So now for products.

I read on naturallycurly.com that not varying your shampoo can diminish or even reverse its positive effects. Is this without-a-doubt true? I don’t know for sure. I do not always agree with even the most reputable sites, however, I decided to be safe and bought a second shampoo/conditioner set to alternate in every other week. I chose L’oreal Ever Sleek mainly for the price and because I didn’t realise it was for straightened hair. Oh well! I don’t think that really matters. It’s cheaper than most natural products since it’s one of the drugstore brands getting in on the natural game and it was 7.99 a Duane Reade as opposed to Shea Moisture’s 10.99 ( I later realised that it’s only 8.5 oz in a bottle so per oz. the price is about the same.)

What did I think? Let’s start with the sulphate-free shampoo. It made my hair squeaky clean. It actually squeaked. It was clear and not rich and creamy like the SM shampoo at all. It felt…fine. I was neither here nor there with it. To be fair, I also realised the products were really for smoothing straight hair. It’s important, curls, to go off of research when buying products and not just price.  Still, even when you’re 3c/4a curly, you don’t want frizz so smoothing is a nice effect. The conditioner is the most important part to a curly in my opinion. It was extremely thick and creamy. It felt more like a curl-defining cream than a conditioner and did not give me the slippage I wanted. It took a lot of conditioner and work to detangle and ithe smell was nothing special, just like unscented body lotion. Afterwards I will say that my hair felt very smooth. However, that could also be attributed in part to the yoghurt deep conditioner.

That’s the other thing I am doing for winter: focusing on different conditioners. Normally I alternate between my Greek yoghurt conditioner and my caramel treatment. Now I may use the caramel Tx (treatment) occasionally still but am concerned that it contains honey, a humectant. Humectants are great for the summer because they draw moisture from the air to your curls. However in the winter they can have the opposite effect. Greek yoghurt is great for your scalp but rich in protein, which, in the winter, can make hair brittle. I use plain regular yoghurt mixed with olive, tea tree and peppermint oil. The two latter oils are great for a winter-dry scalp.
I just eyeball the proportions and I use plain yoghurt since sugary flavours can encourage fungus that can lead to dandruff. Yoghurt is good for fighting scalp fungus, the lactic acid is very good for your skin. Yoghurt also moisturizes the hair and the skin on your scalp and balances the pH of your hair, creating a shiny seal to the cuticle.

plain-yogurt

After washing, I recommend rubbing oils such as tea tree, peppermint or jojoba on the scalp, but a clean scalp only. Oil and dirt can cause buildup that makes a dry scalp worse. Ensure the oils you use are paraben-free because those ingredients also dry the scalp.

2010-11-03 08-36-13-peppermint_oil

Lastly, remember to use the LOC method on your hair: Liquid, Oil, Cream.
Spray your hair with whatever moisturizing sprigs you use, water, conditioner spray or whatever your personal mix. Not too much, as I said in my last post we don’t want to leave the house with wet hair. Next, add an oil of your choice for a light conditioning seal. I like coconut oil. Last, add a heavier cream or butter to seal, paying special attention to the ends of your hair, which may rub up against the rough, winter fabric of your clothes. Some bloggers recommend coating your ends in conditioner and sealing with a non-alcoholic gel. I can’t vouch for it personally. My LOC is an EVOO-condish-water mix followed by coconut oil followed by Shea moisture curl-enhancing smoothie.

Next post, I will take you through my routine for Trinidad. That’s right: no place like home for the holidays. Xox.
Daria & Angela

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Winter switch up!

Hey curls! Miss me much? I’ve got a few updates and tips for the winter season. It’s my first winter in NYC and as my friend wisely said “In this city, you have to be an all-terrain-person!
So how do you make your hair all-terrain? Here are my thoughts. They will be coming to you in two installments.

1) Protective styling. Can’t stress this enough. Here are some looks I’ve tried out recently.

20121210-201011.jpg here’s a tutorial link. I couldn’t figure out how to do a horizontal French braid so I did more of a flat twist. I need to practice this look. I call it my “hat hair”

Here’s another

20121210-201622.jpg borrowed from naptural85’s infinity twist tutorial
Here’s another tutorial I like but don’t have a picture of myself in it.
And here’s me just messin’ around with an old twist out.

20121210-202320.jpg That’s really just a loose side bun.

Here’s me making an ugly sad face in this look from naptural85

20121210-202742.jpg

All these looks are there to protect my hair by minimizing its exposure to the elements but they are also designed to fit better under my hats, which brings me to tip 2…

2) Cover your head. There are many reasons you should do this- to keep warm, to keep protect your hair from the elements. Winter air can be drying and damp hair can freeze in the cold, expanding and disfiguring the hair shaft. (Think about when you put a full water bottle in the freezer) also, the heat of indoors and the drastic temperature shift from indoors to outdoors can also dry your hair. That said, you should cover up but most winter hats are made of coarse materials like wool and fleece that cause friction and rub against the hair, resulting in damage and frizz. There are solutions to this.
A) buy winter hats with satin lining. The good thing about this is that the satin is sure to stay in place as a smooth, non absorbent barrier between your hat and your head. The cons are that they are not always easy to find and you are limiting the kinds of hats you can wear if you ONLY buy those kinds. They can be hard to come by too. Also the lining may not stretch all the way to the edge of the hat, leaving you with some exposure to harsher fabric.
B) Wrap your hair in satin and then put the hat on. This is pretty simple and protective. The problem with this is that it can be hard to get all my hair under the scarf if I don’t twist/ bun it. And the scarf and hat can start slipping off your head, making you look silly. Bobby pinning may help with this.
C) Pin a satin bonnet to the inside of your hat. I haven’t tried this one but it seems good because you can remove the bonnet as you change hats. But I think it can look clunky and not as seamless depending on your hair and your hat.
D) Fabric glue your bonnet at the rim to inside your hat rim. Again, I haven’t tried it but it could be great or it could get messy and again look like a clunky fit. Look for a washable fabric glue at your local Walmart.
E) Sew your own lining. Here is a YouTube tutorial for sewing in a fleece lining. I imagine you could do the same with satin. Haven’t done it but it seems like a good plan. Of course, it’s a little more work and skill involved but I have a friend who has done it and says it hasn’t taken her too much time or skill since she is not a sewer.

So there is part one. In part two I will be telling you about what products I am using and the right application techniques. Hasta luego!
Daria and Angela