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View Full Version : Winter/Snow Hair Care - Help Needed!



Cheeks1206
November 16th, 2010, 10:06 PM
Hey guys! I originally posted this on the forum at Naturally Curly, but all I'm getting is crickets over there. Sooo ... I thought I'd give it a try over here. I'm currently living in southeast Texas and I've always lived in the gulf south, so I have NO idea about extreme cold weather and hair care. If there is something I need to know about humectants or which oils work best is snowy weather, etc., please let me know!

Here's my original post at nc.com:

Hello lovelies!

I found out recently that I will be in Philadelphia for the entire month of February (and some change) for work. It's a fantastic opportunity for me and I'm very excited! However, I'm concerned about how the climate and temperature will affect my hair. Because I lack a heavy coat and a sufficient amount of anything deemed "winter wear", I'm going to be doing a lot of shopping in the coming months and I would like to have a head start on my hair care routine.

This is my current routine:
I wash twice a week with Chagrin Valley shampoo bars, each wash is followed by a white vinegar rinse and a good conditioning. Between washes I rinse it roughly every other day (sometimes daily), condition and do light olive oil or coconut oilings. I also use White Rain as a leave in. Usually, I wear it in a french braid as it's just easier, but I do on occasion wear it down and curly. When it's braided I sometimes smooth the length with aloe vera gel and I always use it on top to keep the frizzies away. On the days it is down I have been using Curl Keeper on the crown and canopy and Manzanilla gel on the ends and up the length. The conditioner I use is Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition.

Is there anything I need to change in the colder weather? Do my products seem cold weather friendly based on the ingredients? Are there any products you specifically recommend for cold weather? Also, if you have any general tips, please share!

Manzanilla gel ingredients list:
Water/Matricaria (Chamomilla Recutita)Extract/Triethanolamine/Pvp/Carbomer/Propylene Glycol/Polysorbate 20/Fragrance/DMDM Hydantoin/Imidazoldinyl Urea/Dimethoicone Copolyol/Benzophenone-4/D&C Yellow #10/FD&C Red #40

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition conditioner ingredients:
Aqua/Water/Eau, Cetearyl Alcohol, Elaeis Guineensis Oil/Palm Oil, Behentrimonium Chloride, Pyrus Malus Extract/Apple Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Parfum/Fragrance, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Niacinamide, Pyridoxine Hcl, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Shea Butter, Citric Acid, Oela Europaea Oil/Olive Fruit Oil, Saccharum Officinarum Extract/Sugar Cane Extract/Extrait De Canne A Sucre, Benzyl Alcohol, Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride, Persea Gratissima Oil/Avocado Oil, Ribes Nigrum Oil/Black Currant Seed Oil, Linalool, Citrus Medica Limonum Peel Extract/Lemon Peel Extract, Ci 19140/Yellow 5, Camellia Sinensis Extract/Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Ci 15985/Yellow 6. F.I.L. D35637/3.

Thanks for your help!

pepperminttea
November 16th, 2010, 10:20 PM
I can't remember why - hopefully someone with a better memory will help me out here? :) - but avoid using coconut oil in extreme cold. Also, you rinse quite a bit - not a bad thing, but be very careful with wet/damp hair in frozen temperatures; your hair can literally freeze and snap off.

excentricat
November 16th, 2010, 10:39 PM
I believe humectants can be bad, since they pull moisture from more to less. It will be very dry in winter cold, because the cold air can't hold much moisture, and heated air doesn't have anywhere to get it from. Humectants in a conditioner probably wouldn't be so bad since you have the rest of the ingredients to provide moisture, but I'm not sure they're so good as a leave in.

Feel free to take my :twocents: as just that, I seem to remember reading it, but I've never really tried to take care of my hair in winter before.

mellie89
November 16th, 2010, 11:10 PM
My hair care routine doesn't change too much in the winter. I find that my hair is generally more dry in the winter, which I blame mostly on the indoor heating. My skin gets really dry too.

Just make sure you give your hair plenty of moisture, and you should be fine. Don't be afraid to blowdry if the alternative is going outside with wet hair.

eternallyverdan
November 17th, 2010, 12:39 AM
My main concern is actually with hair getting mechanical damage from rubbing against scarves and coats. I'd suggest having a couple of quick, easy buns in you repertoire so that you can have your hair up when you're wearing your coat/jacket, and you can easily take it back down when you arrive at your destination.

I also find it helpful to take showers in the afternoon/evening so that my hair is dry when I head out in the morning.

Nera
November 17th, 2010, 01:01 AM
Like eternallyverdan said; avoid going outside with wet hair.. I also cover my head if it's moist and cold, also when it's really windy. Goodluck with this!

Fethenwen
November 17th, 2010, 03:56 AM
I believe humectants can be bad, since they pull moisture from more to less. It will be very dry in winter cold, because the cold air can't hold much moisture, and heated air doesn't have anywhere to get it from. Humectants in a conditioner probably wouldn't be so bad since you have the rest of the ingredients to provide moisture, but I'm not sure they're so good as a leave in.

Feel free to take my :twocents: as just that, I seem to remember reading it, but I've never really tried to take care of my hair in winter before.
I have heard this too, and this year it troubles me :hmm: because my hair has grown a lot since last year My hair is getting dryer and staticy already, I did an SMT last night and it didn't really do that much, it did get softer but it is still a bit static and tangly floaty sort of.

How about using a intensive hair treatment which is not oil and that is actually store bought? Something that is meant to prevent things that might be a problem during winter time? I myself might actually be prepared to buy such a thing.

LocustSpawning
November 17th, 2010, 04:10 AM
Aaaaah, I'm so sorry, but I can't find the answer anywhere and I need to ask now I've seen it again! What is SMT? I'm sure I'm the only one that doesn't know :( haha.

My hair gets about 47548 times dryer in the winter too, I try my best to keep in moisture with olive oil, and I condition a lot.

Nini
November 17th, 2010, 04:12 AM
I don't really see the need to change your routine all that much, especially since it's only for a month. I'd pay much more attention to getting a basic wardrobe together so you don't freeze.

I stick to my basic routine pretty much yearround. An SLS-free shampoo from Urtekram, and I wash every second day. Since I'm better at using oils on my skin during the winter I'll occationally smooth leftovers on my braid:)

Good luck with your job opportunity!

aisling
November 17th, 2010, 04:37 AM
I'm with Nini, concentrate on the clothes, because that's the important thing. Remember, layers are your friend, even the toughest Finn uses long underwear when it's cold enough :) Luckily leggings are popular right now, you can easily layer those under jeans for example for extra warmth.

I haven't really noticed any huge need to adjust my haircare in the winter. I might use a little more leave in because my ends can feel a bit drier and of course, I wear a bun pretty often that protects those ends better than a braid. I've never understood the whole don't use coconut oil when it's cold thing, I've used it as a leave in without problems. Yes, it does go solid in colder temperatures but when used as a leave in, I at least use a very small amount, no problems there.

Gabriel
November 17th, 2010, 04:54 AM
Aaaaah, I'm so sorry, but I can't find the answer anywhere and I need to ask now I've seen it again! What is SMT? I'm sure I'm the only one that doesn't know :( haha...

That would be Snowymoon's Moisture Treatment (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=128&highlight=SMT+Snowy). :)

And some folks find that coconut oil re solidifies in the cold sometimes. It doesn't happen to everyone though.

I grew up in Philly. Your routine will be fine. It's not as dry as Texas can get. You might want to invest in a hat or scarf at the very least to protect your hair because it can get windy there. If you'll be outside a lot a coat and gloves and probably sturdy non slip boots will be necessary.

If you won't be outside too much, just jumping from house to car to house you won't need much more than the basics of winter gear.

Echoing the don't go outside with wet hair. My friend used to do that and it would freeze.

Fethenwen
November 17th, 2010, 04:57 AM
^ Yeah, keeping warm is the thing :) I love wearing layers.

Hmm, I have noticed troubles with coconut oil in winter, it sort of doesn't do anything and in worst cases makes my ends crunchy :S I guess this is very individual as it seems to be with oils.

nytquill
November 17th, 2010, 06:45 AM
Last winter I was only beginning my experience of LHC style hair care so I don't know about the coconut oil thing or the humectants. What I did to was to tuck my braid into my hat so it wasn't getting too much weather exposure or rubbing/catching on zippers and things. Of course the friction involved in the hat probably did a little damage.

The annoying thing about regular winter hats is any kind of bun or even a tucked braid gives you "lumpy alien head" and when you take your hat off your hair is all mussed, so you have to use styles that are quick to redo during the winter. Plus for me the only thing I really want covered is my ears, I don't mind having my head uncovered but my ears will freeze off and earmuffs aren't very comfortable and those sweatband things aren't very chic! (Not to mention forehead marks, haha)

Someone on this forum recommended one of these (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter06/PATTcalorimetry.html) but I don't know how to knit and never did get around to looking for a pre-made one! But I bet they have some similar stuff on etsy or somesuch that would be great.

Nini
November 17th, 2010, 06:55 AM
I bought a nice merino wool Buff, that doesn't itch when it's cold enough which keeps my ears nice and warm.

CrisDee
November 17th, 2010, 06:57 AM
I live about 15 minutes from Philadelphia, and my daughter lives in San Antonio. So I know that some parts of Texas can be anything BUT dry - the humidity in SAT is enough to choke a horse! If you're in one of the more humid parts of TX, the thing that will strike you most about this area is the winter dryness. Coconut oil isn't the best in winter around these parts because of its tendency to congeal at a low temperature, I switch to olive oil in winter. Your biggest issues will probably be staying warm and staying moisturized - so lots of layers, and lots of your moisturizers of choice. Good luck with the job opportunity! :flower:

curlylocks85
November 17th, 2010, 07:06 AM
I don't think your current routine and products are going to need to really change. I personally need to sometimes deep condition twice a week for added moisture. I would be cautious of rinsing you hair too often; it might become more dry unless you oil after or use conditioner as a leave-in.


I agree with the others to choose a few basic, easy to re-do, hair styles. If you are looking for added protection from damage, that is a way to go.


As for winter clothes, you will need hats, gloves, boots, scarves, a jacket, and layers. Layers are good becuase it can be realy cold and suddenly the sun decides to warm up and you need to take some cothes off so you do not over heat.

Good luck with your job and your hair. :)

Carolyn
November 17th, 2010, 07:17 AM
Buns may become your best friends. They keep the hair away from the grabby fabrics of coats and sweaters. Wool and polar fleece both seem to collect lots of hair. If you hair is in a bun, it's up and away from those fabrics. If coconut solidifies on your hair (it doesn't happen to me) try camellia oil. It's a clear, colorless oil like coconut oil. Oil your ends and bun your hair. Calorimetries are wonderful and a quick knit if you are a knitter or can find someone to make one for you.

Cheeks1206
November 17th, 2010, 08:21 AM
Thanks for all the responses! I'll try to wade through them throughout the day and post any furher questions I have, but I'm currently at work so it'll take a while!

MommaRalph
November 17th, 2010, 10:34 AM
You CAN buy Calorimetry 's on etsy and sites like that. Also the Hannah Hat is good. It will likely be my next knit!

Valerie

curlymarcia
November 17th, 2010, 12:32 PM
Hello everyone, I will also move to a colder city and my hair experience as a tourist haven't been good. I will also try your advices and I will never go out with wet hair in a cold windy day again :(

Cheeks1206
November 17th, 2010, 09:50 PM
My hair care routine doesn't change too much in the winter. I find that my hair is generally more dry in the winter, which I blame mostly on the indoor heating. My skin gets really dry too.

Just make sure you give your hair plenty of moisture, and you should be fine. Don't be afraid to blowdry if the alternative is going outside with wet hair.

I'm glad to hear that you and others don't really find it necessary to change your routine too much! I will definitely be blow drying my hair as there is no way in hell I'm going outside with wet hair. Absolutely not! Sometimes I'm cold in the office when my hair is wet, I can't imagine freezing temperatures.


My main concern is actually with hair getting mechanical damage from rubbing against scarves and coats. I'd suggest having a couple of quick, easy buns in you repertoire so that you can have your hair up when you're wearing your coat/jacket, and you can easily take it back down when you arrive at your destination.

I also find it helpful to take showers in the afternoon/evening so that my hair is dry when I head out in the morning.

I actually just bought my first hairtoys with this exact thought (almost) in mind! I'm a paralegal and as we will be in court much of the time, I imagine that updos will be easier to deal with in general than trying to get my curls to look nice and relatively frizz-free every morning.


(snip)

How about using a intensive hair treatment which is not oil and that is actually store bought? Something that is meant to prevent things that might be a problem during winter time? I myself might actually be prepared to buy such a thing.

Like a deep conditioning treatment? That's not a bad idea. I'll have to see if I can find a 'cone free one.


I don't really see the need to change your routine all that much, especially since it's only for a month. I'd pay much more attention to getting a basic wardrobe together so you don't freeze.

(snip)

Good luck with your job opportunity!

Thanks so much! Yeah, I'm definitely concerned about the wardrobe aspect of it. I actually just got a nice water-resistant coat for my trip tonight! If you have any tips about the types of fabrics I should look out for, or even which fabrics I should wear in layer order, that would be extremely helpful!


I'm with Nini, concentrate on the clothes, because that's the important thing. Remember, layers are your friend, even the toughest Finn uses long underwear when it's cold enough :) Luckily leggings are popular right now, you can easily layer those under jeans for example for extra warmth.

I haven't really noticed any huge need to adjust my haircare in the winter. I might use a little more leave in because my ends can feel a bit drier and of course, I wear a bun pretty often that protects those ends better than a braid. I've never understood the whole don't use coconut oil when it's cold thing, I've used it as a leave in without problems. Yes, it does go solid in colder temperatures but when used as a leave in, I at least use a very small amount, no problems there.

Yes, I imagine tights will be my best friend! I just need to get a few more pairs and some long sleeve undershirts. I feel like I have so many clothes to buy, but perhaps it isn't that much at all. I also use coconut oil as a leave-in in very small amounts. I'll bring a bit with me and if I notice it re-solidifying, I guess I'll know not to use it then.

Thanks so much for your help everyone!

Cheeks1206
November 17th, 2010, 10:06 PM
(snip)

I grew up in Philly. Your routine will be fine. It's not as dry as Texas can get. You might want to invest in a hat or scarf at the very least to protect your hair because it can get windy there. If you'll be outside a lot a coat and gloves and probably sturdy non slip boots will be necessary.

If you won't be outside too much, just jumping from house to car to house you won't need much more than the basics of winter gear.

Echoing the don't go outside with wet hair. My friend used to do that and it would freeze.

Definitely not dry in these parts! :D I have a few scarves I can use and a few hats, but the hat issue I'll address at the end of my post. When you say "non slip boots, " what exactly do you mean? I picture rubber fishing boots (http://www.alltackle.com/rugged_shark_great_white_boot.htm) for some reason.


I live about 15 minutes from Philadelphia, and my daughter lives in San Antonio. So I know that some parts of Texas can be anything BUT dry - the humidity in SAT is enough to choke a horse! If you're in one of the more humid parts of TX, the thing that will strike you most about this area is the winter dryness. Coconut oil isn't the best in winter around these parts because of its tendency to congeal at a low temperature, I switch to olive oil in winter. Your biggest issues will probably be staying warm and staying moisturized - so lots of layers, and lots of your moisturizers of choice. Good luck with the job opportunity! :flower:

Dry, you say? That doesn't sound exciting. I'm in Houston (not too far from SA), so I'm very used to high humidity! I guess I'll try to pick up some extra lotion when I'm at the store ... or maybe I'll use the coconut oil on my skin.


You CAN buy Calorimetry 's on etsy and sites like that. Also the Hannah Hat is good. It will likely be my next knit!

Valerie

Haha, yeah I know. That was something I learned here, I had no idea people sold them until I found the thread about it. I actually already have some yarn waiting to be knitted into one, so I'll be going that route.


Hello everyone, I will also move to a colder city and my hair experience as a tourist haven't been good. I will also try your advices and I will never go out with wet hair in a cold windy day again :(

Oh, no! I sounds like you experience was bad indeed! I hope living there works out better for you now that you have the advice from this thread. Good luck!


Thank you again for all your advice about hair and clothes! I really appreciate the help!

eternallyverdan
November 18th, 2010, 02:52 AM
Oh, also: If you're making your own Calorimetry you can sew a bit of silk or satin lining into it so that it doesn't make your hair frizz up in the cold. There are few things that will make you look silly as quickly as a bad case of hat hair!

As for layering your clothes, I usually do a thin tank top, a long-sleeved thermal, and a t-shirt or blouse, with a sweater or cardigan over all of that. Make sure to buy a coat that's about a size too big so that you can fit a sweater or two under it for warmth.

Have fun! The cold isn't as bad as people say.

CarpeDM
November 18th, 2010, 06:42 PM
I lived near the Canadian border for some time and the only thing I needed to alter due to the cold weather was keeping my hair up. Due to all the sweaters I wore the ends of my hair were really getting split, damaged and constantly tangled. I didn't need to change any product routine or such, but I really had to keep my hair up for most of the time. Hope that tip helps!

soopahgrover
November 18th, 2010, 07:55 PM
Yeah I never understood people who said summer was the worst time for their hair. Winter's tough, because of all the dry indoor air, and friction from coats and sweaters.

It never occurred to me not to use coconut oil in the winter, but that makes sense! I used coconut oil all last winter and never thought I had problems. I usually use a small amount before bedtime, so perhaps it was all absorbed by the time I went back outside.

The only thing I have to add that hasn't already been said is that you may want to pick up a small humidifier at a local discount store / Walmart / Bed Bath Beyond / Target. Not just for your hair and skin, but for your sinuses! I get all dried out from the heat, and I get sinus headaches and colds, all from dry air.
If you do, go for a warm mist one. They just work better than the cool mist kinds.

Tia2010
November 18th, 2010, 08:35 PM
My hair always gets dry and static filled in the winter . Between the cold and snow outside and the dry heat inside (especially from our pellet stove) my hair goes a little crazy.

In the winter I do more deep conditioning's , I put a little oil on each day to try to tame static , and I don't brush as often (also because of the static). The idea of a silk scarf under hats and hoods is a good one. Hats and hoods always rub my hair the wrong way !


**Oh....I also always go out with wet/damp hair in winter...I never even thought about it freezing and breaking off shudder:I will definitely NOT be doing that anymore ! **

darkwaves
November 18th, 2010, 09:58 PM
Good luck with your move -- you'll be fine!

I know it's all relative, but the odds of experiencing extreme cold weather in Philadelphia at any time, even February, is so extremely remote that I had to giggle when I read this. A quick Google search indicates the lowest monthly average at that time of year is only 27F. (Where I live, minus 27F is common in winter -- and except for a slight increase in dryness, my fragile hair does just fine with that.)

Serious, 27F is just barely below freezing. Wet hair will, in fact, survive just fine at that temperature. (It's a myth that it freezes -- at least, at temperatures that mild!) And once it's dry, that mild chill will not hurt it!

As Carolyn says, the main thing to watch for will be mechanical damage from grabby sweaters, scarves and coats. You might also find the indoor humidity -- or lack of it -- difficult to deal with. (Once indoor heating comes on, the air dries.) You might want to take a mister, so you can spray your hair with water for moisture, or better still, as has been suggested, just wear it up.

And in case I sound like a grouchy North Pole gnome who doesn't understand the contrast between Texas and a somewhat northernly state, please know that I have moved a lot, and have also spent more than a decade in the Caribbean, so I do understand how hair -- mine, at least -- copes with different temperatures.

Enjoy the adventure!

MinderMutsig
November 25th, 2010, 01:59 AM
My wavy hair is frizz-city in the sumer but it settles down in winter and my sister's curly hair does the same. We both get nice, defined curls / waves that don't need much work other then the occasional moisture treatment and a light oiling every now and then.
Maybe your hair will love winter too!

I have to learn how to knit because I think I need a hundred of those whatchamacallits. They are brilliant!

MinderMutsig
November 25th, 2010, 02:00 AM
Oops! Double post.