Ok, ok. It’s officially winter. I’ve been trying to deny it for months, but it’s official. And for me, that means two words: cold and dryness. Dry everything – skin, lips, hair. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you again that winter and I aren’t friends. Every year, as May comes to a close, I’d usually have my hair up and away somehow. Last year, I decided to forgo protective styling completely. I was enjoying my hair so much, I just didn’t want to put it away. While I’m grateful that it didn’t fall out on me, I knew I didn’t want to take that chance again this year. Poor Fro.
I actually needed to put my hair away last month because my schedule just got ridiculous. And so I really neglected my hair. I just did the absolute basics of being a lazy natural. Yes, my hair suffered for it and was very tangled. But after being natural for 8 years, I knew not to expect miracles. I got a gap last week and I took it. I went to Natural Moisture Salon in Edenvale to hook me up with a treatment to prep me for my wig. I absolutely love wigs as a protective style. They’ve beat out my former favourite of weaves because they allow access to my own hair. I can keep my own hair washed and moisturised much more easily. Also, If I need my hair to be out for a shoot or speaking engagement, then it’s much easier to take down the cornrows underneath.
Here are 3 key things to do to prepare your fro for winter:
- Wash & Treat – no matter how clean you think your hair is, always try to clean it a day or two before you install a protective style. And wash it thoroughly. Your hair may be away for a while, so this is the best time to make sure that it’s properly clean and ready to hibernate. After you wash, don’t just leave it be. Give your hair a good treatment too, to help strengthen it. The stronger it is before you put it away, the stronger it’d be when you take down the style.
- Detangle – this actually is probably the most important step. The more knots your hair has, the more it’ll get. Detangling should be part of your wash day routine anyway, whether you’re doing it with a comb, detangling brush or your fingers. Again, your hair will be away for a while, and you don’t want to struggle to undo the style and possibly experience breakage.
- Seal the Moisture – make sure to seal every bit of moisture. Hair under and in extensions can get very dry. Of course, still, spray your own hair regularly but once it’s away, it’s not as easy for water to get to it. So use this time to seal with an oil or butter if you have high porosity hair like mine.
- TRIM! I know a lot of you hate that word, but it’s so important for healthy hair. I mean, that’s the whole reason why you’re putting it away right? Your hair won’t flourish if it’s still carrying the weight of unhealthy or dead ends. I was long overdue for a trim, so Sam at Nashe hooked me up before she put my hair into cornrows.
Now, it’s totally fine if you aren’t into wearing extensions of any kind on your hair. Protective styling doesn’t automatically mean weaves, wigs or braids. The key thing to remember is that your hair ends are tucked away. They’re the most fragile part of your hair strands as they’re the oldest. So, if you still want to wear your own hair this winter, go ahead and do so.
Here are three tutorials of my favourite protective styles that I do with my own hair:
My wig is called B.E. Afro Wig. I got it from South African online store Bounce Hair Essentials.
How are you wearing your hair this winter?