Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.2-Treatments & Protective Styles

Treatments

We usually apply a treatment to our hair when all else fails or periodically and consistently if we love our hair and want it to love us back. What are treatments you ask? The activity of small but mighty microscopic bonds joining together to restore and defend the health and balance of our hair strands and scalp. It’s truly science at work. Let’s take a look at some of the treatments we consider the norm in the natural curly hair community.

Protein Treatment (frequency: monthly)

Protein bonds help fill the gaps of where our hair cuticles are fragile. Protein treatments help our damaged hair strands absorb and retain water more efficiently. Just as we have different curl patterns on our head, we also have different porosity levels in different areas of our head. Porosity deals with your hair’s ability to hold onto moisture. Because of the nature of our hair cuticles opening and closing, the more open your cuticles are, the more porous your hair is and the more water is able to escape.

Typically if your hair is very porous (high porosity) it absorbs water too quickly and constantly needs moisture applied. Frequent protein treatments fill those gaps  Medium porosity hair can retain and absorb moisture just fine. However, monthly protein treatments are still good. Low porosity hair is difficult to absorb moisture and needs steam to open the hair cuticles to allow moisture in. However, once moisture is absorbed, it stays for a while.

There are different protein treatments on the market today like Aphogee. My personal favorite is Green Beauty’s REAL Protein treatment.

Hot oil Treatment (frequency: 2-4 weeks)

I especially love hot oil treatments in the cooler months when your hair and scalp tend to be the driest due to the lack of moisture in the air and low temperatures. My scalp tends to attract build up and get dry quickly and while I refrain from using too much oil on it now, my hair can still benefit. A hot oil treatment is just a mixture of your favorite oils heated up and applied directly to the scalp and hair strands for the ultimate moisture boost. Put on a plastic cap and let the oil get into the hair shaft as your body heat creates steam and lifts the hair cuticles. You can add oil to your shampoo so that it isn’t so drying or take your deep conditioning sesh to the next level.

We handcraft a super hydrating and lightweight oil which is how it got its name, Supersonic Hair Tonic. We fill each bottle with organic essential oils and other botanical ingredients like coconut oil, Argan and Jojoba oils. Our new line will be infused with dried medicinal herbs so be on the look out for these total luxurious hair and body oil blends.

 Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse (frequency: when needed)

Dandruff is a layer of dead skin cells that sit on top of the scalp. It forms due to the scalp’s inability to produce a natural oil known as sebum at a normal rate. When natural oils cannot be produced on the scalp it results in a dry and itchy scalp, similar to how ash appears on the epidermis (skin). When scratched, the dead skin cells on the scalp will flake off. It’s not dangerous but it can be unsightly and embarrassing. Unfortunately there is no cure for dandruff and if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek a dermatologist prior to attempting to treat this condition with store bought anti-dandruff treatments. This could make your symptoms worse or create a problem that was never there in the first place. Instead try all natural treatments like an apple cider vinegar (ACV) rinse or the use of essential oils.

For a natural remedy to dandruff I recommend ACV or mixing tea tree essential oil in your shampoo. About 6 drops per ounce is the 1% recommended ratio. If you experience itchy scalp or see flakes, add 6 drops of tea tree essential oil to an ounce of distilled water and spritz your scalp every day until the itching subsides. Tea tree oil and ACV are anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so they help fight the symptoms of dandruff. You can also just apply organic apple cider vinegar with the Mother to your scalp and let it sit for a few hours then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Other treatments

These are some oldie but goodie treatments that are not as popular anymore but they’re still effective.

Onion Juice Treatment

Inversion Method

Maximum Hydration Method

Protective Styling

Now that you have restored balance to your hair and scalp, don’t you want to protect it and put it away for a little while? I know I do. If I don’t throw in some braids, Im wearing two flat twists for the week or if I’m feeling it, I’ll rock medium sized Two-strand twists for a few weeks so I can have a super defined twist out later. Whatever your preference, tucking away your ends via protective styling is the best way to ensure healthy hair. However, there are some pros and cons to everything that’s good in life right?

Pros

  • Low maintenance hair care for a month or two
  • More time on your hands
  • Less time to prepare
  • The best accessory for that fresh OOTD
  • Keep your hands out of your hair
  • Hair grows A LOT

Cons

  • Tight braiding can cause alopecia and balding
  • Tension can cause damaged hair follicles
  • Itchy
  • Neglecting hair underneath

Protective styling is a curly girls/guys saving grace. Just don’t get so accustomed that you neglect your actual hair underneath. Continue to follow the three steps in Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen just water down the shampoo and conditioner and I guarantee your hair will thank you. And if you’re worried about your style frizzing out, I have some tips and tricks for that too. See you soon.

Thanks for dropping by. If you found this information interesting or helpful, leave a comment and let’s chat!

xo, Andy

 

Fall & Winter Hair Care Pt.1- Building a Regimen

Happy Fall everyone. It’s that time again. Take a second to look at your hair care regimen. Maybe its time to swap out some products for some more moisturizing ones and hopefully learn some good and natural habits too.

I love delving into this topic because there is so much to cover but for now, we will only discuss hair care for the fall and winter months.

I find out all too often that many of my Andy Candy customers and fellow naturally curly haired ladies and fellas have no clue about the basics of a good hair care regimen. I think not having one is the most intimidating part about going natural for the first time.

What is A Hair Care Regimen?

A hair care regimen is a routine to which one commits to maintain the health and nourishment of the hair and scalp (Quote me Webster lol). Having a hair care regimen will definitely smooth away any of that anxiety you get about your hair “looking” a mess or it being too dry and hard to manage. A good regimen is not in the products we use but the techniques we apply while using those products. Let’s take a look at some.

Cleanse (frequency: 2 weeks- One Month)

Every 2 weeks to a month you’ll want to cleanse your hair and scalp with a plant based and pH balanced liquid shampoo or an all natural no-poo or a shampoo bar (your preference). You catch my drift, a cleanser. A CLEANser is like starting with a CLEAN slate as it pulls the oils and all the nutrients and buildup from the scalp.

Most store bout cleansers that contain sulfates like sodium laureth and sodium lauryl (SLS) strip the hair completely of its nutrients leaving the strands dry or brittle for some people. Plant based shampoos and no-poos that contain organic or ethically sourced ingredients are great alternatives for this problem. Not only do truly organic products render the greatest benefits to our hair and scalp, they will penetrate the hair strands as opposed to just coating them like products with silicons tend to do. Read this if you’re curious to how that works.

During the fall and winter, this technique is good to do monthly or sooner depending on if your scalp needs it. After applying products throughout the weeks, you will want to CLEANse to get your natural oils (sebum) flowing again. I put emphasis on scalp because the scalp is the only place we should directly apply shampoo as to not disturb its natural pH which can bring nasty bacteria. Keep this up and you will have healthy and strong hair from the root.

Condition/Deep Condition (frequency: weekly)

After we cleanse we MUST DEEP CONDITION EVERY SINGLE TIME, Follow this rule even if you think your hair feels moisturized. Your hair needs that moisture and those nutrients put back into it, so this step cannot be skipped even if you don’t use a shampoo. Don’t shampoo? No excuse not to deep condition. There are plenty of clarifying and cleansing conditioners that give our hair strands a reboot and removes the leave-ins, lotions and potions applied throughout the week. It’s good to just wash your hair with a conditioner each week even if it is not time for a shampoo session. If you find that you get build up easily like myself, use a cleansing conditioner each week or an all natural no-poo then deep condition.

Regardless of your hair type, all hair needs moisture and all conditioners are NOT the same. Some conditioners won’t penetrate as deeply so be sure to always follow up with a deep conditioner and let it sit on your hair for at least 30 minutes under a plastic cap prior to rinsing. I know, plastic-yikes! There are not very many eco-friendly alternatives to this method so to get great results and still be kind to mother Earth, reuse the same plastic bag each week for now. Here is a link to my favorite D.I.Y and vegan deep conditioner. It’s totally free from chemicals and harmless to the planet.

This technique is very critical especially during the fall and winter. When it’s cold out, do you feel how your lips get chapped and your hands get super dry? The same happens to our hair. This is why it’s important not to skip wash day to get rid of the heavy products we use throughout the week. Especially never forget to follow up with a deep conditioner.

Moisturize & Seal (frequency: Daily)

Do this if you don’t do anything else, PLEASE! It is critical to keep curly hair moisturized which is why we deep condition with a really good hydrating conditioner and moisturize and seal more frequently than we do anything else to our hair. Do this every day as a beginner and you can dial it back when you learn your hair a little better. For me I can now wait up to 3 days before moisturizing and sealing again. This is called reaching moisture retention.

To moisturize and seal, take a section of your hair and a quarter sized amount of moisturizer (more or less depending on the length of your hair). Smooth the moisturizer into your hair between your palms. Then take another dime sized amount of a sealing oil like our Andy Candy Supersonic Hair Tonic and apply it to the ends of your hair for long lasting moisture. This is how I go 3 days without moisturizing- I seal in my moisture with my AC oil or my Andy Candy Butter Me Up whipped Shea butter.

Now I’m going to stop here because this has gotten wordier than I expected. These techniques are suitable for all hair types and they are a sure way to help you get started if you are new to the natural hair community. These techniques will also keep you on the right track if you are more experienced. For my beginners, take a look here for the perfect starter kit to help jumpstart your healthy natural hair journey.

Other tips

  • Give yourself time to follow these techniques to the T. I reserve the weekend for my wash days and I divide each technique by day. So Saturdays I will wash and deep condition and Sundays I will Moisturize and seal and style my hair for the week. Then do it again next Saturday and Sunday.
  • Wrap your hair in a satin or silk head wrap every night so the moisture you just sealed in won’t come off on your cotton pillow.
  • Keep a hair journal and document your hair phases and how your hair responds to certain products.
  • Keep your hands out of your hair during the week, follow these steps and watch it grow like a weed.

Catch me same time next week for Part 2 of this series where I will cover treatments and protective styling- the real fun stuff!

Until then check out our Etsy shop, Andy Candy for your personal care needs!

xo, Andy