5 Ways to Keep Natural Hair Moisturized in Dry Weather

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

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast.

51 thoughts on “5 Ways to Keep Natural Hair Moisturized in Dry Weather

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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, I’ve tried using other things, but have not been able to figure our why my hair remains to dry.

    • @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!

  4. 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 added curl. Next morning take down and finger comb. Voila, perfect hair.
    this may not work for everyone and I have no idea what my hair type is. But it do know if I just twist and not wet my hair at all it tends to just straighten on its own. Go figure. Wish I had a pic. ( I don’t do pics LOL)

  5. 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.

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