Even amongst the curly-haired population, there is still a wide spectrum of curls that require different types of management. Different curl types are commonly classified in the following ways:
- Type 2 – Type 2 hair is categorized as wavy, yet it is more delicate than straight hair, and susceptible to weather-induced damage. Using sealing products, such as light oil-based products, can help seal the water in the individual strands, keeping them soft and hydrated. Look for leave-in conditioners and styling creams with minimal hold that are either olive oil or jojoba oil-based. Hair salon quality products found in beauty supply stores are your best bet, but small amounts of olive oil applied to wet hair post-wash will serve in a pinch.
- Type 3 – Type 3 hair runs the gamut from loose ringlets to tight spirals. Type 3 hair can be quite fragile and exceptionally dry and frizzy during the cold months. If you want maximum curl hydration with hold, try a curl-defining product with some weight. Thick coconut or olive oil-based creams will keep your curls moist while providing lasting hold and optimum curl definition.
- Type 4 – Type 4 curls are generally the coarsest curls as well as the driest due to their high porosity. They are also the most delicate, and the most prone to damage. Coarse curls need a great deal of moisture for softness and flexibility. In order to seal in enough moisture to keep the strands strong while protecting them from the elements, heavy butters, such as shea butter and mango butter, do an excellent job. However, avoid mineral oil-based products; they can prevent the absorption of water and accelerate dryness.
During windy weather or blistering cold, hair is exceptionally vulnerable to damage – not only due to the low temperatures, but also the stress of being blown in high breezes. During these months, wearing your hair in protective styles will help preserve its health by keeping it from brushing against your clothes and getting excessive tangles. The best styles for maintaining your hair’s health are styles that require minimal manipulation. French twists and high and low buns are fantastic styles for keeping your hair protected.
While it is possible to combat winter hair dryness with good, protective products, once the hair is already damaged, no amount of oils and creams will reverse it. Remember to go to a hair salon to have regular trims – even if you want to retain length, it is nonetheless important to have split and frayed ends trimmed occasionally, so that the split doesn’t travel up the shaft and cause the hair to break.
Keeping your curly hair salon fresh requires a bit of preparation, but no sacrifice in style. Use these tips to enjoy your healthy, curly hair – in any weather!