The entrance of cooler weather into certain parts of the world can mean drier hair for many naturals.  However, you can be prepared and avoid parched strands with these five must-haves for the fall:

1. Moisture-rich conditioner

Some of the conditioners you used in warmer months are probably not as effective in these cooler months.  To reduce dryness this fall, purchase a moisture-rich conditioner, which will contain a combination of oils, humectants, and fatty alcohols among other ingredients.  Another option is to increase the moisture level of your current conditioner by adding humectants (such as honey or glycerin) and/or oils (such as olive, coconut, castor, or avocado).  Some naturals may also like to add butters (such as shea, murumuru, or cupuacu).

2. Effective moisturizing method

During the summer, your hair probably faired just fine with water-based moisturizers and no sealant or the use of humectants mixed with water alone.  However, this fall, do not be surprised if your hair requires the “moisturize and seal” method, which involves applying an oil or even a butter after moisturizing your hair in order to really lock in that moisture.  Is this method not sufficient to combat your dryness?  Then you may want to try the L.O.C. method of moisturizing (i.e., apply a liquid, then an oil, then a cream or butter), which was created by a long-time natural named Chicoro.  Some naturals have benefited more from this method than the usual moisturize and seal.

3. Heavy sealant

While light oils or moisturizers may have worked for you during the warmer months, they may not work as well for you now.  Switch to a heavier oil (e.g., olive, avocado, or castor) or a thick butter (e.g., shea or cupuacu) to lock in that moisture during these cooler, drier months. Some naturals prefer to mix butters and oils together to create a more effective sealant.

4. A thick satin scarf or bonnet

You may have gotten away with sleeping with your hair uncovered and on a cotton pillow this summer, but this fall?  You probably won’t.  Get a thick satin scarf or bonnet to reduce moisture loss from your hair as you sleep.  Do you want to increase your moisture retention even more?  Switch to a satin pillowcase in addition to covering your hair with a scarf or bonnet.  Additionally, you can wear the satin scarf or bonnet under your beanie, head wrap, or winter hat (when the winter arrives).

5. A humidifier

This isn’t necessarily a must have for most naturals, but it is for those with extremely parched hair in the cooler months.  The indoors tend to be much drier during the fall, but a humidifier can mitigate that and help to restore moisture to your hair.

What are you must haves for your hair this fall?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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52 Comments on "5 Ways to Keep Natural Hair Moisturized in Dry Weather"

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[…] By BlackGirlLongHair […]

Shyaine

Actually there are oils that are great for winter/fall and not so great for summer/spring…and vice versa. You have to look at (research) the natural properties of an oil before deciding 1. if its right for your hair and/or 2. which season to use it in. Coconut oil is definitely horrible for winter, it dries you out, hair skin and nails! Try different oils for the colder months, and remember to make a list of humectant (humidity) and anti-humectants (anti-humidity) oils to keep on hand for reference.

Emrld5
I wear my natural hair out daily and I live in the suburbs of Chicago (cold as H—). I twist my hair every other night. And on the nights I don’t I mini pineapple. At night and after a wash using the spa conditioner from Trader Joes. I use Cantu Shea butter leave in, followed with coconut oil (also from Trader Joes) then followed with Shea Moisture Curl enhancing smoothie. East twist is done separately and with minimal product ( a lot goes a long way. I then triple band each twist followed with a straw at the end for… Read more »
Brizaida Ribalta
You give some good advice. Like everything else all of these things have not worked for my hair. I’ve tried some of your advice. I have tried the coconut oil (cannot stand the smell) , avocado and almond oil (just okay). I sleep on a satin pillowcase and I’ve tried sleeping with a scarf wrapped around my head. Despite this my hair is still very dry the next morning. I even tried sleeping with a plastic shower cap. My hair was very wet the following morning. I would not say it was moisturized, but full of sweat..ewwww. Along the way,… Read more »
Iyanie

@brizaida, it’s possible that you’re using shampoo too often, or maybe your conditioners or leavins contain drying alcohols. Trying using products in the shea moisture line. Also, watch out for products with protein. Maybe your hair is dry because of too many protein treatments? Make sure you’re deep conditioning your hair once a week. Hope this helps!

Solomon

I am no longer positive where you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend a while finding out much more or understanding more. Thanks for fantastic information I was in search of this information for my mission.

Charlotte

Can someone explain something to me without judging, lol. I am super confused. I have low porosity hair and am said to need humectants but why would humectants be good for your hair in the winter time? Can they not make your hair more dry because if the air is dry, wouldn’t they take moisture from your hair? If someone can explain why humectants are good for winter I would appreciate it. Also when I was doing Shea butter I got split ends. I think it shut my hair off from getting any kind of moisture.

eltia

I live in Namibia Windhoek where can I buy the Jamaican oil

home health care

Whoa! Seriously worthwhile info. I’m just book-marking the web site as soon as possible. Thanks a bunch!

denise

i have reallu dry hair did my big chop 2 weeks ago i tried cocconut oil and olive oil but they dont seem to seal my hair…i tried custor oil two days ago buh ots jusy the regular one i bought in a pharmacy…id like to try the jamaican black custor oil but dont know where to get it seeing that i am in namibia plus i wud also like to try shea butter but cant find any either just find it in body creams…

Nichole

Amazon.com for JBCO

Pucelle
I know that a lot of people don’t understand the whole water/liquid –> oil –> cream thing but it always made a lot of sense to me. The oil is sealing the moisture into the strand and keeping it there while the cream is a keeping posture on top/close to the top. You have the moisture inside and out; people get that you need moisture but that there are 2 ways to do it and both tend to make the hair happy. I live in the DMV area and just got back from Orlando, my hair LOVES it down there… Read more »
MyCurlyMane

I definitely switch to a heavier oil in the winter/fall. This is when I’ll add more Jamaican Black Castor Oil to my oil mix (Vatika and Alma). Don’t forget to cut down on shampooing. Here are some more tips: http://mycurlymane.com/moisturize-naturally-curly-hair

Screwy Haired Girl

I’ve been using the LOC method for most of my 13 years of being natural. (Tickles me whenever I read the “invented by” attached to it LOL.) It works; it’s the only way that ever made sense to my tightly coiled hair–seems logical to lock in moisture with something heavy–and my 4z hair stays well moisturized this way.

Don’t forget your ends, ladies!

Natalie

I wish I’d known about the LOC method 13 years ago instead of greasing my hair with Pink Lady, however I would have never had the experience of locing my hair, everything happens for a reason they say.

Jo Somebody

For the LOC method, I see in places the ‘L’ standing for liquid (i.e. water) or leave-in, does it matter which one you use? I know most leave-ins are mostly water anyway, but mine are water based AND creamy (e.g. Koils By Nature Shealoe Leave-in) and I never know if they should be used first or last.
What is your ‘L’?

Natalie
Hey Jo, When I wash my hair I do a final ACV rinse then leave my towel on for 10 minutes and apply KLIC (Kimmay leave in conditioner recipe) and twist or plait it up. During the week, usually two days after I wash it I will implement the LOC method. For me I simply spritz my hair lightly with a herbal tea then my oil and cream. Usually about 4 days after I wash my hair if I have any KLIC left over I will use this as my liquid for the LOC it gives my hair some extra… Read more »
curiouskinks

lol, I agree. I read so many “so called” methods that I wasn’t even aware has a fancy name. I don’t really do a seasonal change to my hair since my hair stays dry regardless. I just wear winter hats in the winter and use less oil in my hair and scalp in the summer to avoid oil running all over my face!

Alwina

I follow Chicoro’s method of sealing all year round for the most past except when I am doing a simple style like a wash n go or a twist out. usually when I finish washing my hair, I put my kimmaytube leave-in mix (with added grapeseed oil) and then as I 2-strand mini twist my hair I apply SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie. Hasn’t failed me yet.

Landry

My hair regiment stays the same regardless of the weather. For me a mix of water, aloe vera juice, and olive oil is THE BUSINESS. I spray my hair with this mix and seal with a bit of grapeseed oil. My hair has stays soft, moisturized and shiny. Butters and creams tend to weigh my hair down and cause a lot of buildup.

mlank64
I’ve been a product junky for a little over a year. I finally found a product that works on my hair. I use the keracare butter cream, twisting cream and detangling shampoo. My hair stays moist, and well defined. I really was hesitant about buying the keracare buttercream because my hair does not like shea butter. It’s too heavy and leaves a white residue on my strands no matter how little i put on it. I have low porosity hair, so that has been an issue for me. But, the shea butter is about the 4rth or 5th ingredient on… Read more »
Dana

braiding my hair at night w my favorite moisturizer works for me-Motions Hydrate My Curls (or whatever leave-in or moisturizer I’m tryin at the moment…lol). My hair doesn’t recognize seasons very much. When my hair feels dryer its usually because of ME not Mother Nature.

Natalie
I have been using the LOC method for some months now after giving up on KCKT and the Curly Custard as all it did was dry out my 4b/c hair. I found the LOC method worked great in the summer and I’m sure it will be same in the winter. The summer in the UK this year was like a mini autumn. For my liquid I boil up some hair friendly herbs with water and use it as a spritzer and a final rinse. I make my own oil blend the essential is 25% castor oil as a base then… Read more »
Vonnie

Your my regimen twin lol. The LOC method is a godsend these colder months. And even though I still use KCKT, I had to give up the KCCC during my TWA days. Cute curls but it left my hair crunchy.

Jo Somebody

How do you mix those butters with water without an emulsifier? Does it split after a while?
I’d love to make my own buttercream! (even though my shealoe works pretty well already)

Natalie

Jo,

Water and oils will not stay together you MUST use an emulsifier. I’m sorry I forgot to mention it in my original comment. I was told about emulsifiers by Belinda of BeUnique I met her at a hair meet up in London. I find a tablespoon of emulsifier is usually enough.
Nats.

yoshi
I don’t know about you all but my hair is MAAAD dry right now and it’s only October. Right before I read this post I was thinking about how my hair felt so dry and I sealed my hair 2 days ago. My method to combat seasonal dryness will be to reincorporate Qhemet Biologics Amla and Olive conditioner back into my regimen. I used it in the spring and I have yet to encounter a product that keeps my hair sealed and conditioned between my monthly washes. I’ve also been considering investing in an in-home steamer for my Aubrey Organics… Read more »
honeybrown1976

I’ll look into avocado oil. Other than that, I’ll keep my simple moisturizing and sealing routine.

JenniD
I tend to switch to using more castor oil in the winter. In my opinion its the best oil to brave the winter weather with. Also I stretch out my wash day to every 15 days instead of 7. As the humidity is gone my hair and scalp tends not to get dirty so quick, plus my hair is more than likely more covered in hats and scarves during most of the day. This is also the season when I deep condition more. In the summer I tend to skip the deep conditioner every so often. In the winter I… Read more »
Ugonna Wosu

I’ll do all except number 5. There’s only so much fuss I can do for hair!

LM

will def be trying the LOC method this winter and a bunch of protective styles. I don’t really know how to incorporate honey into my regimen. I have mixed it in my shea butter before, but couldn’t really tell if it made a difference. It’s rather sticky so I wouldn’t think one could apply it directly to the hair. Any suggestions?

JenniD
Try mixing honey and olive oil( coconut or almond oil works too) into your deep( read thicker) conditioner for a nice deep treatment. Your hair will feel amazing. I think the recipe is 2 parts oil and 1 part honey. So you could go 1 tsp honey and 2 teaspoons oil for short hair and 2 tablespoons oil and 1 Tablespoon honey for longer, thicker hair. Add that mix to about 2 tablespoons of conditioner and slather it on. It will be sticky but not overly so. It rinses out well so no need to worry about sticky hair. You… Read more »
martha

want to be sure. The olive oil is it the normal cooking oil? Secondly after applying the mixture of honey, olive oil and conditioner do u rinse with jst water? Wouldnt the oil remain in your hair? Need clarification plse.

la*belle

yeah, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is best IM

Che

Humectants aren’t best for fall and winter months. If there is lots of moisture in the air (spring, summer), humectants will draw that moisture into your hair as a way to create a sort of equilibrium. But in fall or winter months when the air is drier and less humid, you might find that using humectants makes your hair drier because moisture is leaving your hair to maintain this equilibrium.

Jennifer Kennedy

I never do much differently in the fall than I do in the warmer months. All my products remain the same. My hair tells me when it needs more moisture — so, when it’s dry, I’ll make sure to rinse my hair in water and add a leave-in conditioner.

That works for me…it keeps things simple.

Zanthe
I definitely intend to employ heavy sealing methods this winter but one problem I have being in the Uk (and something denser heads will understand) is hats. So I usually wear a 40s headscarf every day, it’s my go-to. Now summer has passed and it is getting colder here, I need to wear a hat. I have three new ones BUT none are lined with satin/silk. Why is it so hard to find lined hats that are still fashionable? All the ones I see online are hideous. A bonnet or scarf underneath just adds to my already dense hair and… Read more »
Jo Somebody
I am in the UK and have thick, dense and very kinky-coily hair. It’s not very long at the moment, but already can’t fit under 90% of the hats I try on or most shower caps. BUT this is only when loose or when any hair is ‘out’ (puff, frohawk, twistout etc.), so I just keep my hair in weekly/fortnightly protective styles (usually just twists). The protective style protects from the winter air too, so it’s a double bonus. Otherwise, my saving grace is the fact that I like coats with hoods. That protects my hair from the elements when… Read more »
hairscapades
Hi, just wanted to let you know about the Etsy shop, Threadmill. This is my go to spot for cute, crocheted and satin-lined hats! In fact, I was the one who told the Threadmill owner/artisan to add satin-lining as an option for her hats:)! She is a doll and she ships internationally. Here is a hat that she made for me: http://hairscapades.com/2011/09/06/threadmill-debut-and-new-giveaway/ http://hairscapades.com/2011/09/10/threadmill-satin-lined-hats-have-arrived/ And here is a link to her shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Threadmill She also does custom orders. HTH!! (p.s. There is also a site called Hatsome.com that used to sell very cute satin-lined hats, but they haven’t had any stock… Read more »
Nel

Question 1. Can anyone suggest some products of the following that can be found in a drugstore (walgreens, target, beauty supply, etc.):
a. humectants
b. oils
c. butters/cream

Question 2. When wearing braids, with extensions, what’s the best products to use on your edges (and for braids with extensions in general).

Thanks ladies (and gentlemen) in advance.

Vonnie
1.) a – humectant – ??? Some conditioners (i.e. Suave) list if they contain humectants b – oils – you can never go wrong with olive or coconut, but African Pride has a Herbal 6 oil that contains a mixture of oils (castor, sunflower, etc.) with pretty much no fillers; I read the ingredients. c – butters/creaam – this can be pretty hit or miss. Depending on your hair thickness and porosity, I know some folks love the creams and/or butters the Shea Moisture line provides. 2)Do you mean as a gel or for moisterization? If you’re not label-picky, for… Read more »
Nel

I’ll look into African Pride for their oils.

I usually use Cantu’s shea butter as my “butter/cream.” Shea moisture do not do much for my hair, but it doesn’t hurt to maybe try them again.

I’ve used Cantu’s shea butter on my natural hair, like I said earlier. So since you’ve suggested a shea moisturize for my edges then I’m sure using Cantu wouldn’t hurt. Thanks for the IC olive oil suggestion. And yes, I was looking for something to moisturize (and strengthen) my edges.

Thanks Vonnie for your Reply!!

Vonnie

You’re welcome. And by the way, that was African’s Best 🙂

Inf
Hey Nel…I think I can answer Question 1. Oils and humectants can be found in grocery stores, as well as health food stores. Basic olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil can all be found in the same section as cooking oil in every grocery store I have ever visited. Honey is also easy to find. Glycerine is a little harder, but I know walgreens.com carries it. Most beauty supply stores will carry shea butter, but the other butters will be harder to find locally unless you have health food stores in your area. Etsy.com will have everyother type. Shea moisture… Read more »
Nel

Thanks for your suggestion Inf!

Over the summer I went full out natural. Meaning, I didn’t wear any extensions like I usually would. I spent almost $200 on products with very few successes.
I do have some raw shea butter laying around somewhere. I know I could just heat it up and put in on my hair. I’ll probably try that sooner or later.

Thanks again for your reply!! (:

Trish

Hi Nel,

The following can be found at Walgreens
a. Humectant – Honey
b. Oil – Castor Oil or Vitamin E oil
c. Butter/Cream – Shea Moisture Organic Curl Enhancing Smoothie Coconut & Hibiscus

Try applying castor oil with a Q-tip to your edges.

Good luck!

sam

I have thick, course hair that needs LOTS of moisture. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Amla & Olive Heavy cream by qhemet biologics and dark jamaican black castor oil as the oil sealant. I was a product junkie until I found this mix, but not everything works for everybody but it’s worth a try.

Kristen

Can you tell me how your regimen using those products? I love both these products but am not sure I am using them properly. Thanks!

sam
If I’m doing twists, I will use 3 things. 1. I use the Amla/olive cream to moisturize the section. Then 2. I use a small dab of the Aethiopika hydrate and twist butter for definition, then 3. a tiny drop of the dark jamaican castor oil as I’m twisting the ends to seal. When I take my twists out, I just use the Amla/olive cream to moisterize the fro. I have VERY low porosity hair, so I couldn’t find stuff that penetrated and softened my hair. Most stuff just sits on top and makes greasy and didn’t soften, but this… Read more »
Dana

this were great questions

Cherron

Humectant- Try Tressemme Naturals moisturizing conditioner. My hair LOVES it, or Aussie Moist conditioner.

Oils- I love the Africa’s Best 8 in 1 oil from Wal-mart. It’s got good stuff in it. You can also get the Louanna coconut oil from the food section (it is 100% coconut oil)

Butters/Cream- Shea Butter from the beauty supply store!

Irisavonstore

I use Shea Moisture Curl. Enhancing Smoothie with olive oil and then put my hair in a protective 2 strand twist

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