It’s that time of year again when winter’s cold dry hair combined with indoor dry heat create a total loss of moisture for our locs. If your locs are color treated, the moisture loss is even worse. It’s not quite winter yet, but here’s how to get through it with softer, stronger and supple locs…
- Water. Drink water. Shampoo often. This is how water gets to your locs to do the most benefit. Whether it’s 3 “big gulp” glasses a day or 8-8 oz. glasses, drink water to hydrate your body. Shampooing often also gets moisture directly to your locs so that moisturizers, conditioners, oils and other products work their best. Bonus: water clears and moisturizes your skin. (Don’t like running to the bathroom? Think of them as needed mini breaks throughout the day.)
- Towel and air dry. Step away from the dryer this winter. We know it’s hard sometimes, but air drying retains your locs’ moisture. Towel dry with an absorbent towel and allow to fully air dry. (Don’t sleep on wet locs—your locs will lose their shape. Also, not allowing them to fully dry can lead to mildew!)
- Oil. Oil and water may not mix, but that is not the case for locs! In fact, applying a light oil right after your shampooing will hydrate your locs like nothing else. And its effects last longer. And don’t forget hot oil treatments. Coconut, argan, and olive oils are all good oils to try. Don’t forget to oil your scalp. Don’t forget your ends. In fact, your whole loc shaft can use oil for moisture and strength, especially those weak spots that rub against your coat and sweaters.
- Moisture mists. Moisture mists are excellent ways to get moisture to the roots and to the loc shaft. Spray above your locs and let the mist fall onto them. Allow them to fully dry. You can use between shampoos for needed moisture. They can also stop the frizzies, as your hair swells to seek moisture. One to try: Enso Naturals Coconut Lemongrass Moisture Mist with aloe juice, panthenol, macadamia oil, herbal infusions and dead sea salts (to tighten your locs. I’ll write more on this in a future post). www.ensonaturals.com Or try Chatto’s Uni-Locs Aloe Conditioning Moisture Mist with proteins, vitamins, aloe and essential oils. http://www.chatto.com
- Moisturizing creams. Moisturizing creams and butters work wonders in bringing moisture to dry, thirsty locs. Use them right after a shampoo and allow to air dry for lasting results. Use them between shampoos for moisture touchups. One to try: Fabulocs Intense Moisture Therapy with moisturizers that penetrate to soften hard, rough, dull looking locs. Great for color-treated locs.
- Watch those coats and sweaters! This is not pictured, but the collar of wool coats and the edge of woolen caps are brutal to locs. Over time wool acts as scissors, rubbing against the loc shaft, causing a weak spot, and eventually breakage at that point. If you use a wool coat, use a silky scarf around the collar to protect locs. Or try a down coat and avoid the problem all together. (Watch fuzzy sweaters for lint at the point of contact. Shampooing usually helps to remove, but a close inspection for removal right after wearing also works.)
Use these tips to get through the winter with longer locs, not broken ones!
Hot off the press: Sign up (or attend live in Chicago) for the Entwine Natural Coiffure’s Natural Hair Webinar, today (Sunday, December 4) from 3-5 p.m. One of our Role Models (see our Role Models post), Sandria Washington is one of the faces of Entwine. Go to http://www.entwinecouture.com to register.