Header image for “How I prepare my natural hair for winter”. Comfygirlcurls smiling wearing burnt orange toque

5 Ways I Prepare my Natural Hair for Winter

by Kaya Marriott

I partnered with Pinterest Canada to create an Idea Pin sharing how I prep my natural hair for the winter months, and I wanted to share my tips here too!

Natural hair is fragile as it is, but when the seasons change and the air gets cold and dry, our curls are especially prone to breakage.

This means we need a little extra care to make sure it stays healthy and moisturized as the cold weather seeps in.

*Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links. This means, at no additional cost to you, if you click on them and make a purchase, I will make a small commission.*

Preparing Natural Hair for Winter

Note that these tips are from my own experience with thick, coarse, high-porosity hair. Your experience may vary.

Watch my Idea Pin for the top 5 ways I prepare my curls for Winter, and then scroll below to catch the details and product recommendations!

*Don’t forget to save this to your Natural Hair boards!*

1. Switch shampoo out for a cowash

When winter comes around, my primary natural hair care focus is maintaining as much moisture as I possibly can.

This means I try to reach for my cowash instead of my shampoo. I want something that cleans, but doesn’t strip my hair of nutrients.

Do note that using a cowash regularly may make you prone to product build up. This isn’t beneficial in the long run as it will make it difficult for hydrating products to penetrate your strands.

If you use gels or heavy butters, you may still need to keep your shampoo on hand, but consider using less frequently.

Cowashes I’m loving right now:

2. Use heavier creams, butters, and oils

Honestly… given the whole anti-oil crusade, I know this one’s going to be controversial, but it works for me.

I still find the LCO (Liquid/Leavein, Cream, Oil) method of layering hair products effective for locking in moisture and keeping my curls hydrated longer. Especially when it’s cold and dry out.

So when preparing my natural hair for winter, I move my heavier products to the forefront.

Of course, just like when primarily using a cowash, it’s important to pay attention to your hair and watch for build up. If you notice a film on your strands, or find that it’s not soaking up new products, consider a clarifying shampoo.

Products I’m loving right now:

(Can you tell I’m on a bit of a Dollar Curl Club kick? These aren’t even affiliate links!)

3. Protective style as much as possible

In order to product my curls from the elements, I take the colder months to protective style as much as I can.

I do so with or without added hair, knowing that sometimes styles with extensions can do more harm than good.

The goal is to keep my ends tucked away as much as possible.

This not only helps protect them from the cold winter air, but also prevents them from rubbing, snagging, and breaking on thick wooly sweaters.

4. Trim your ends

I try to trim my ends one a season change, so what better time to trim your hair than as we head into the winter months?

There are tons of different methods for trimming natural hair, but my favourite is to do a two-for-one, and trim after I’ve put my hair in a protective style like two strand twists.

Related Post: How to Trim Natural Hair: Ultimate Guide

5. Pull out my satin cap to wear under beanies

One thing I love about the colder months is all the cozy aesthetic accessories.

But the rough wool fabrics can be detrimental to the health of natural hair.

So to prepare my curls for winter, I always make sure to pull out a couple sat caps and keep them by the door. I wear them under my beanies (or toques for my Canadians) so that my curls don’t snag.

Alternatively, you can find winter accessories that are already satin lined.

Related Post: Fall Hair Accessories that Work with Protective Styles

Bonus Winter Hair Care Tips

And an extra tip that was not in the original Idea Pin:

Deep condition your hair! Use this time to give your curls all the extra love they need. Spend time deep conditioning on your wash days with a very hydrating product.

Final Thoughts on Preparing Natural Hair for Winter

And there you have it–how I prepare my type 4 hair for the cold months. While these changes in my routine are great for the end-of year, many are best practices all year round.

Which of these hair care steps will you be implementing as you get ready for winter? Comment below!

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