Curly hair is unique because of its characteristically spiral shape. That shape isn’t all that random, scientific research reveals that the degree of the curl pattern is directly dependent on the structural features of the hair fiber. They have found that the diameter of curly hair is not the same along the whole length of its shaft; in fact, the hair is thinner at the curve points or curvature sites causing the hair follicle to twist. However, at this juncture, hair is weaker and may even break when applying excessive physical stress like during combing or brushing. Similarly, seasonal changes can affect our hair, and fragile curly hair is even more vulnerable to these weather changes. Any changes in outside temperature and humidity level can alter the hair moisture level and thus change its fundamental properties.
As we get deeper into the colder months of winter, we’ve got you covered with some helpful tips on how to prep your curls for cold and chilly winter conditions.
The Drying Effect of Winter
We love the winter season for cozy indoor activities, snowy days, and family gatherings. However, frosty and chilly conditions could have a detrimental effect on skin and hair, which are the most exposed areas to the changing weather. Keratin, the protein that makes up our hair, becomes stiff and rigid at low temperatures and low humidity levels in the winter air draws out water molecules from hair causing excess drying. With these 2 factors, hair can become more dry and brittle during the winter months.
Why Moisture Is Key
Keeping a balanced water level in your hair ensures that it does not dry out, preserves its proteins, and enables the passage of essential oils from the hair surface to the inner core layer. And as we know, moisture level for curly hair is particularly vital because of the fragile nature of curls. Also, a sufficient water level in the hair provides mechanical strength to allow the hair fiber to maintain its elasticity. Water molecules are vital for hydrogen bonding inside the hair shaft. Under low humidity conditions, when hair loses its water molecules, it is challenging to maintain hydrogen chemical bonding, a key mechanical force of hair fiber.
Some key tips to maintaining hair moisture levels are:
- Keep your curls clean
- Apply a moisturizing conditioner regularly
- Use a deep conditioning treatment mask at least once a week
- Avoid traditional humectants, e.g., glycerin and propylene glycol; That can be found in some hair products, as they could have a negative impact under dry weather conditions
- Try applying natural oils or butter to your hair before washing preserve hair’s moisture
How Can We Help
Here at ManeMethod we understand that the main defense against hair damage is preserving the hair moisture content. That’s why our Repair Hair Mask is so beloved by curly hair girls, because it delivers intense moisture where it is needed. And if there is any time to mask, the dry winter months is it! Our product is a blend of two botanical oils formulated to address hair damage due to harsh weather conditions, hair bleaching, and excessive brushing and combing. The formula preserves hair moisture content, boosts its hydrophobicity, and facilitates daily styling.
Our two main ingredients are Batana oil (Elaeis Oleifera), and Castor Oil (Ricinus Communis).
Batana Oil known as the “Miracle Oil,” and our main ingredient in our Repair Hair Mask. This oil extracted from the nuts of American Palm is a rich source of monosaturated fatty acids or Oleic acid and has a high myristic acid content (C14 – fatty acid, 20-30%) which is responsible for its superior film formation property. In other words, it forms a protective coating at the hair surface, which is great for defending hair from harsh winter conditions. More importantly, the oil layer it creates is not greasy or weighs down your curls.
Likewise, Castor Oil is another one of nature’s gifts with a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids, providing a characteristic sensorial experience. It gives superb shine/gloss along with combating frizz.
How to use the mask
We recommend a once-a-week application as a deep conditioning mask for excellent results. If you feel like your hair is excessively damaged, you may also opt for a twice a week schedule. Use it as pre-wash to avoid stripping your hair lipids during your routine shampoos. You may also apply a very small amount after washing as a leave-in to help increase your hair’s lubricity, minimizing the hair friction, and easing hair combing, brushing, and styling.