Have you ever noticed how diverse your wardrobe becomes with the drop in temperature? When the autumn and winter months hit, those knitted tops, cardigans, beanies, scarfs, leggings, sweater dresses, and swede and leather boots begin to emerge from the back of your closet. It’s as if you’ve just gone shopping and brought back a whole new style. So why are you accessorizing your new style with the same old, tired twist-out? Let’s change things up a bit, shall we?
When the air gets colder, most women like to let their hair down. We go into the style files, and pull out tried-and-true styles like the braid-out. The braid-out is similar to the twist-out, but instead of a curly fro reaching up and out, the corkscrew coils in a braid-out are more defined and hang down. The braid-out also stretches the hair and shows off that length you’ve accumulated during the summer. Ladies, let your hair hang low this winter with a braid-out! You can also use your new found length to protect your neck and ears from that cold, abusive wind if you live in a cold-weather climate.
Although we like to let our hair hang down in the winter, there are some setbacks, especially when one of our go-to accessories during the cooler months is the scarf. As much as we love scarves, they aren’t always nice to our ends. The ends are the oldest parts of our hair and need extra lovin’ in the winter to keep from getting dry and brittle. Unfortunately, moisturizing and sealing every night is not enough. When our ends constantly rub against the cotton or wool fabric of our favorite scarves or cowl neck sweaters, they can lose that moisture, which eventually leads to breakage. Although the braid-out is a great style for the winter, it shouldn’t be the only one you rock for the next three months. Give your ends a rest for a while and pull your hair up off of your neck into a high puff, tuck your ends into a high or low bun, or do a cute French braid. That way you can wear your favorite knitted scarf without the risk of stalling your goal of length retention.
Up-dos aren’t the only protective styles for the winter. With the cold, dry air, our ends aren’t the only parts of our hair that need protecting. Protective styles, as the name suggests, protect your hair from the cold, drying air and hold in moisture. These styles also help with length retention. Remember not to braid or twist too tightly, especially around your edges. Another tip is to be gentle when you’re taking them out, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the amount of healthy hair growth you have by spring. Popular protective styles include mini twists, yarn braids, kinky twists, box braids, and Marley twists. The installation process for these styles is quite lengthy, but with the proper care and maintenance, they can last up to three months. If you’re hesitant to commit to one style for that long, wear your hair in twists underneath a satin bonnet with a hat or beanie on top. Pin those twists into different styles throughout the week. The protective styling ideas are endless. Go crazy with it!
Most naturals tend to straighten their hair in the cooler months. You may be wondering – why is that? Well, if you live in a 90 degree, high humidity area during the summer, putting that much heat in your hair isn’t the brightest idea. Straight hair is a great style for the winter because it typically lasts longer. While the heat and humidity lead to frizz, the cold air does the complete opposite. It can help lay your hair flat. You don’t need to use an excessive amount of heat to get your hair bone straight, either. Remember to keep your hair moisturized because the cold air is still drying. Another wild idea about straight hair is that it can be low maintenance. Yes, straightening your naturally kinky hair with heat is far from protective, but once straight, your hair requires very little manipulation to maintain. For two weeks, you can sleep with you hair in a ponytail, in thick flexi rods, or wrapped up, wake up the next morning, and shake and go. Who knew straight hair could be so easy?
Another style that we naturals love but can’t seem to make last longer than eight hours during the summer is heatless curls using curlformers. Depending on how small you want the curls and how skilled you are with that hook, curlformers can take two to three hours to install. When they don’t even last a day, you may wonder if it’s worth the trouble. Well, during the winter season, it is. Just like with straight hair, you don’t have to worry about heat and humidity causing your hair to poof out and become frizzy. Stick with your favorite gel, mousse, or butter, and with the frigid air holding them intact, your curls can last several days instead of several hours. To make them last even longer, wait until the second or third day to separate the curls for volume, and remember to pineapple overnight to keep them nice and stretched.
So this winter, style your hair in something more than just your average twist-out. Our natural hair is versatile. It’s time we prove it.