By Geniece of Beau­ti­ful­ly Made

One win­ter dur­ing high school a strange thing began to hap­pen to my hair. My hair was relaxed at the time and up until that point gave me lit­tle to no prob­lems. I rarely used direct heat because my moth­er would roller set my hair and I reg­u­lar­ly washed and oiled it (didn’t know what seal­ing was back then). Aside from lack­ing the thick­ness that only my nat­ur­al tex­ture could pro­vide I was fine with my hair, espe­cial­ly because in the 1990s girls my age with nat­ur­al hair were an unusu­al sight. How­ev­er, this par­tic­u­lar win­ter the hair along my nape began to break. I actu­al­ly didn’t real­ize it until the hair went from about bra strap length to about four inch­es with­in a mat­ter of weeks. Upon inspec­tion it appeared as if some­one had tak­en scis­sor to my nape and cut the hair clean off.  As my moth­er began to con­tem­plate what might be the cause she real­ized that the wool scarf I had been wear­ing that win­ter was like­ly the cul­prit. Indeed it was and to this day I will NEVER wear a wool scarf. Avoid­ing wool scarves, espe­cial­ly if you wear your hair down, is per­haps the eas­i­est way to avoid break­age along the nape. There are oth­er help­ful tips you might con­sid­er as well.

I find that because the hair along my nape will have the most con­tact with what­ev­er I’m wear­ing, the hair in that area is prone to lose mois­ture. Even if the hair is not in con­tact with an abra­sive fab­ric like wool the con­stant loss of mois­ture can make the hair dri­er and thus more prone to break­age.  So what can you do to pro­tect your nape hair?

1. If you wear a wool coat and your hair is shoul­der length or longer try clip­ping your hair up when wear­ing your coat. Using a claw clip, flexi-8 or even plac­ing it into a loose pony­tail should allow you to main­tain the style while keep­ing your hair off your shoul­ders.

2. If you like wear­ing styl­ish wool hats con­sid­er find­ing one lined with satin. If you can­not find such a hat, you may con­sid­er wear­ing a satin bon­net under­neath hat. I’ve done this with cot­ton hats and find that not only does my hair not lose mois­ture but my style doesn’t suf­fer from frizz. You’ll have to remem­ber to vis­it the rest room and quick­ly remove the hat and bon­net. For­get­ting that you’re wear­ing the bon­net may result in awk­ward glances from col­leagues and friends.

3. Reg­u­lar­ly assess the health of the hair along your nape. Often this part of the hair is for­got­ten because break­age doesn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly impact the appear­ance of your styling. It’s only when you decide to wear a high pony­tail or bun that your real­ize the hair along the nape is far too short.

4. Mois­tur­ize and seal the hair along your nape at least every oth­er day. Even if oth­er sec­tions of your hair feel mois­tur­ized remem­ber that this sec­tion is pos­si­bly dri­er.

5. If you have suf­fered break­age along the nape, con­sid­er flat twist­ing the hair hor­i­zon­tal­ly even while you wear a twist out or braid out. If your hair is at least neck length the flat twist won’t be vis­i­ble and pro­tect­ing the hair this way gives it much need­ed rest. By the way, this is how my moth­er suc­cess­ful­ly got my bro­ken nape hair to regain length after my wool scarf inci­dent.

How do you keep your nape pro­tect­ed when it gets cold?


Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

Leave a Reply

18 Comments on "Protecting Your Nape During the Winter Months"

Notify of
This arti­cle is the truth!!! I wore cot­ton and wool scarfs every­day last win­ter and in March/April 2014 I noticed large miss­ing chunks in the entire back of my hair that extend­ed from my nape up. I’m still recov­er­ing but I am mak­ing progress. This faux pas will NEVER…I REPEAT NEVER hap­pen again. I thought I was alone in this. Pro­tec­tive styles in the form of the flat braid or twist at the nape has been my SAVIOUR!! Great arti­cle and very infor­ma­tive. Ladies beware win­ter is coming…take care of those napes!! Hmmm.…but what to do with all those fash­ion­able… Read more »
Yetunde Lofstedt

I live in Cana­da and my hair always suf­fers in the win­ter so I used my tal­ent to cre­ate satin lined bean­ies which I offer for sale in my etsy store https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/171441388/satin-lined-bobble-slouchy-beanie-for. This way, my hair retains mois­ture and I still look chic :P


Good tips to remem­ber. Right now my hair isn’t long enough to rub on any­thing too much. Can fab­ric cause ssks or lack of mois­ture?

bomber jakcet women

I love this prod­uct so much!I rec­om­men­da­tion but this Parka!So com­fy ‚for all your life you love too if you buy!


Wow! That’s great! Check out Nutress Hair Stop Break Leave-in-Con­di­tion­er to reduce break­age.

Liza Nichols

Try NICOPLATED Nat­ur­al Rapid Hair Growth For­mu­la, final­ly here is a New Hair­care Break Though, That will real­ly grow your hair fast, so whether you wear a weave ‚nat­ur­al hair or perm your hair .NICOPLATED’s for­mu­la will grow your hair and you will see the dif­fer­ence quick, this for­mu­la is very dif­fer­ent because you eat it!! We are what we eat!!! Its packed with vit­a­mins and pro­tiens and when added to juice you will get ener­gy and see rapid ‚thick hair growth! Because it real­ly works!

http://www.nicoplated.com $20.00 for a 30 day sup­ply

[imgcomment image[/img]


Every year I go throught this and I have abid­ed by the rules and it hap­pens no mat­ter what. It’s so annoy­ing and embar­rass­ing.

Peace, Love and Choco­late,

Purpleicious Babe

Maybe try putting it in a pro­tec­tive weave styles. x

Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

Hon­est­ly I nev­er pay much atten­tion to my nape dur­ing the win­ter. I just treat it the same as I would the rest of the year. I also also my kitchen area sev­er­al times a week all the time (to reduce SSKs) so I think that helps keep it from dry­ing out too much.


I love the flat twist idea! I’ll prob­a­bly just corn­row since that holds bet­ter for me but that’s real­ly use­ful. Thank you!


I always wear a satin bon­net under my wool hats. The white folks at work always look at me like I have three heads when I put it on, but I don’t care. I don’t want my hair break­ing off.


I wear a much need­ed wool coat for these Ohio win­ters how­ev­er I have silk scarves that I tri­an­gle across the neck of the coat. It’s styl­ish and pro­tec­tive.


I just wear a silk scarf over my wool scarf.

Ugonna Wosu

I con­sid­ered that, but the thought makes me feel suf­fo­cat­ed. I like the idea of keep­ing a hor­i­zon­tal flat twist along the area. Just spray the area for mois­ture and take it down on wash days, and retwist.


Michelle my best idea would be to join our forum and ask the ques­tion there. We don’t have a list on here of that nuarte yet. If you fol­low the Mar­ket­place Mon­day posts, I will even­tu­al­ly get to that kind of infor­ma­tion.

This hap­pened to my moth­er. She had, and has, long fine hair that was prone to dry­ness. She was always wrapped up tight all win­ter with hats, scarves, high-col­ored coats and shirts… even turtle­necks. She dis­cov­ered the break­age in much the same way as you did. She start­ed fold­ing down her col­lars and using silk or satin scarves, etc. My hair was rel­a­tive­ly long and processed then (Jer­ri Curl! LOL) and I didn’t have that prob­lem. Even years lat­er liv­ing in Upstate New York and hav­ing a perm that didn’t hap­pen. I nev­er liked stuff up and around my neck… Read more »

I was always warned that wool can break your hair! Glad to see you we’re able to over­come!

Carmel Girl

I pin it up often and I mois­tur­ize with my home­made blend of raw shea but­ter, coconut oil, jojo­ba oil and almond oil. All the oils are organ­ic and I whip them togeth­er with my hand mix­er. My hair soaks this stuff up and I use it dai­ly on my ends, nape and hair line espe­cial­ly.