Growth and Maintenance
10 Tips for Protecting Your Child’s Natural Hair During the Cold Months
Winter is here and that can mean some serious damage to your child’s hair. In the winter, the sun is closer to the Earth, thus the effect of sun rays reflecting off of the snow can really damage the hair. On top of that, freezing temperatures outside cause hair to become dry and brittle, while indoor heating causes additional dryness due to lack of moisture in the air. The constant in-and-out with extreme changes in temperature makes the hair even more vulnerable to wintertime hair damage. Fear not, however, because there are plenty of easy tips and tricks for winter hair protection.
1. Moisturize the Air
While it is good to moisturize your child’s hair during the winter months, it is equally important to also moisturize the air around the hair. Humidity loss causes natural hair to weaken making it dry and brittle. You can fix this by placing humidifiers throughout the house, preferably in your child’s bedroom, to pump that much needed moisture back into the air.
2. Moisturize the hair
The key to ensuring your child’s hair health during the winter is by keeping it moisturized. Rub a quarter-sized amount of an natural oil (olive, JBCO, or coconut oil) between your hands and apply it to the hair starting at the ends and working your way to the scalp.
3. Deep condition
Despite your best efforts, your child’s wintertime hair may still need the occasional deep conditioning treatment. If you don’t deep condition your child’s hair at least once a month, now would be the time to consider incorporating it into your routine. If you do already deep condition monthly, you may want to consider upping the frequency and/or adding a pre-poo to your routine.
4. Try an apple cider vinegar rinse
Apple Cider Vinegar, or ACV, has a long list of benefits. Some of those benefits for hair are: balancing hair and scalp pH, removing product buildup, softening the hair and treating dandruff and hair loss. Try adding 1 tbsp of ACV per 2 cups of water to a spray bottle and spray generously throughout the hair. Since apple cider vinegar can burn if it gets into your child’s eyes, have them cover their eyes with a damp washcloth and lean their head back while you spray.
5. Try a protective style
A protective style is any hairstyle that protects the ends of the hair from breakage and over exposure to harsh elements. Protective styles prevent manipulation of the hair thus encouraging length retention. Protective styles include two-strand twists, flat twists, cornrows, braids, buns, and up-dos.
6. Don’t forget about the scalp
The scalp needs just as much TLC during the winter as the hair. A telltale sign that the scalp could use some love is if your child is constantly scratching at the scalp or if you’ve noticed that it is becoming irritated or extremely dry. An easy way to fix this is to apply a natural hair oil to it such as coconut or jojoba oil. You also want to closely examine the scalp to ensure that the protective style isn’t too tight, and that there are no infections.
7. Do not wash hair frequently
Washing the hair too much during the winter contributes to drying out the hair and scalp, which can lead to dandruff. It is best to wash hair every fourth or fifth day or longer if possible.
8. Drink lots of water
It may be difficult to get your child to drink water during the winter since it’s cold, but it truly does make a difference when their body is hydrated. Try to get them to drink as much water as possible.
9. No going outside with wet hair
Never let your child go outside during the winter months with wet hair. The freezing temperatures can quickly freeze the water in their hair, leading to breakage. But don’t use a hair dryer, as blasting hair with high heat contributes more to the wintertime dryness problem. Allow enough time for your child’s hair to air dry by doing it the night, or even the afternoon, before.
10. Wear satin caps underneath hats
Satin caps protect hair from friction and moisture loss, while simultaneously keeping the head warm. Purchase a charmeuse satin bonnet from the Natural Hair Shop and have your child wear it underneath their winter hat. Or you can purchase satin-lined winter hats instead.
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