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Winter Afro hair care

CurlyTreats 2019 Event Summary - Sis Let's Talk: Dispelling Autumn/Winter Hair Care Myths

On Saturday, October 26th we had the pleasure of exhibiting at CurlyTreats natural Afro hair show, which has been celebrating curls, coils, afro hair and locs since 2013.

Our co-founders Rachael and Joycelyn held a conference titled ‘Sis Let's Talk: Dispelling Autumn/Winter Hair Care Myths’. The aim of the talk was to expose winter hair myths that could be holding you back from living your best healthy hair life!

We’ve all been guilty of believing less than scientific ‘facts’ about Afro hair, so we wanted to dispel those myths and get you on your winter hair journey, the right way!

For those that missed it (or attended and wanted a recap), we’ve summarised the talk that Joycelyn and Rachel gave on Saturday, below.

Now, let’s play a game of true or false, shall we?

Afro hair grows slowly in the winter

This ‘myth’ is true. 

On average, Afro hair grows six inches a year. Studies show that it grows more in summer in preparation for colder months. 

Afro hair gets drier in the winter

It may seem that way but with a consistent moisturising routine it shouldn’t be that way, so this myth is false. External factors such as going back and forth between the cold air outside and indoor air conditioning may make it seem as though your hair is drier. Keep up the moisture and all should be well.

Woolly hats help your hair grow

False! Warmth has nothing to do with growth, nor will it speed up your hair growth. In fact, the tangles and snags your hair may endure underneath the woolly hat may break it just as fast as it grows! To avoid breakage, wear a bonnet under your hat. This may seem extra but your hair will love us for it come spring.

You have to wear your hair in braids in the winter otherwise it will break

Another false myth. The winter weather isn’t breaking your hair, your hair care practices mostly likely are! Keep your hair off of your neck and moisturise it to make up for the air conditioning, rain and cold outdoor elements.

Braids are great but keep them in for a maximum of 6 to 8 weeks. Protective styles are great addition to your winter hair care routine but keeping them in for too long can be more damaging as these styles can easily dry out your hair.

You shouldn’t wash your hair often in the winter

Yet another false myth, so many of these going around(!) This one is somewhat of an "old wives’ tale" and has certainly lived through the ages. Wet hair will not give you a cold! Washing your hands more often in the winter, will be much more effective at keeping those pesky cold and flu germs at bay. 

Continue with your routine of washing your natural Afro hair every 7-10 days. Wash more often if you exercise. Your hair will dry more quickly if you use a microfibre towel, so by the time you step outside you won't feel a thing! 

You should avoid humectants in the winter

This one is only true if you live in a dry climate! Humectants work by drawing moisture in. In dry climates humectants will draw moisture away from your hair and into the air, which is definitely a bad thing for your hair. In humid environments they will draw moisture from the air into your hair. This is wonderful! 

In the UK, the humidity has been around 70% recently. Therefore, we would recommend using moisturising products with ingredients such as glycerin, honey, aloe vera gel, sorbitol, lactic acid and hydrolysed wheat protein in them. These are very good for Afro hair and are much needed for retaining moisture.

Scarves can damage your hair

This myth is true. Your hair rubs against the scarf that is on your shoulders. To avoid snags and tangles, keep your hair up or your ends tucked under (in a protective style). Should the cold weather be unbearable, try to wear silk scarves.

You need different hair products in the winter

False. This myth is linked to the glycerin myth. Each city is different, so you would avoid humectants depending on the humidity where you live. For example, in the summer Canada’s humid weather almost feels tropical making it great for humectant products. Las Vegas, on the other hand, has year-round warm weather but the climate is so dry that you should avoid humectants as we previously mentioned. 

This myth is largely based on skincare. Skin is alive and so what it needs in the summer or winter will change. This includes your scalp. Hair, once out of the follicle and visible, is dead. So it’s a little more like dealing with clothing, you wouldn't wash your clothes differently in the winter. Buy yourself some good quality products that can see you through both summer and winter and you can save yourself the extra pennies! 

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