Going Natural: Protective Natural Tips During Your Winter Travels

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Europe

Portugal

Happy New Year, lovely naturals! It’s been a while since I’ve dropped some natural gems for my fellow naturalistas. First things first, it’s winter and if you’re not a fan like me, it’s time to overload on moisturizing products and protective styles to prevent inevitable dryness and breakage. Winter is a rough season, especially if your type 4  like moidehydrated, brittle ends is often a side effect for our hair type.


But what keeps me going forward with my natural hair journey is what my hair will become not what I want it to be. We can’t control how our hair grows out of our scalps, but we can control how we style, protect, nourish, and moisturize our curls. Our curls need some tender lovin’ care this winter season (and every season), don’tcha think?!

This time last year I was exploring the mountainous Interlaken, taking cable cars up Planpraz – Brevent in Chamonix, strolling through Geneva’s city center and strutting amongst the quaint streets of Vieux Lyon soon after winter began. It was a great way to start off the holiday season but looking back it was helllllla cold and way tooo dehydrating for my hair.

Curls poppin' in Rome <3

Even though I live for the exposure of my God-given curls any day, I can’t stand how fast my hair gets dehydrated and tangled. That being said, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: winter is not curly-girl friendly. Even if it’s not snowing, the cold weather still has the power to suck all the moisture out of your hair, turn your twist-out into a twist-not, and is more prone to breakage and split ends.

Whether you’ve opened the door to an unplanned snowy day or forgot your umbrella while visiting a city or country (*cough* London *cough* Belgium *cough* Netherlands) it’s STILL possible to avoid static and unintended frizziness. Below are my top 6 protective natural hair tips this winter season:

PROTECTIVE STYLES

Anytime I write natural hair tips on Shut Up & Go, this is my number one rule: DO protective styles! Winter is not a nice season ya’ll. It’s windy, gloomy, and straight up cold. That being said, take advantage of your local black hair salon and get protective styles done before you travel or do them yourself! That includes twists, braids, weaves/extensions, buns, faux locs, and even head wraps! Here are a few examples:

When I first arrived in Belgium. I got my braids done in the states before I hopped across the pond lol
Since I like to do my own hair, I did DIY Twists using hair from the local black hair salon in Leuven.
Two fun buns, perfect for last minute styles!
Slicked back hair into a natural ponytail extension. People thought I grew my hair overnight, LOL.
Lazy, but wanna look cute? Headwraps are the way to go!
Protective Style = Protect Your Style

Don’t be cheap this winter season – yeah, I get it. You’d rather spend $40 on a train ticket to a neighboring city, state, or country but don’t you dare neglect your vulnerable strands! They’re just as important! Just cause you have a protective style doesn’t mean you don’t have to worry about maintaining it!

When I was touring through Switzerland and France last December, I was so ecstatic about my trip that I forgot to pack essential oils to maintain moisture. We didn’t arrive at our hotel until the day after we toured Interlaken; that was a whole DAY ½ without moisture. Once we arrived at the hotel, I realized I didn’t pack ANY moisturizers. Yeah, water is a reliable form of moisture, but you need an oil to seal in the water. I was hella cheap.

Moral of the story: protective styles ain’t just for decoration.

My protective style while visiting Switzerland + Chamonix. You see the dryness? Unacceptable!
Avoid Knitted Hats and Scarves

So, you know how I went to Switzerland and France and I was hella cheap for leaving my products at home? Well, it didn’t help that it was freezing, and I absolutely couldn’t step outside without a scarf or a hat. As a result, my hair was brittle throughout the trip and I had to deal with that unfortunate consequence. What can I say? Your hair is a reflection of what you eat and how you maintain your hair.

The rough knitted material will pull and tug on your curls and will eventually cause breakage. The friction is the main cause of brittle hair! If you can’t avoid knitted wear, invest in a satin lined hat or if you cheap like me, tie a silk/satin cap in between your hair and the knitted hat itself. You’ll save yourself the moisture and from dry ends!

Your hair is a reflection of what you eat and how you maintain your hair.

Trim, girl. 

Do you trim your hair often? Well, you might want to start doing that now. Due to the excessive winter climate, your ends are twice more vulnerable than in warmer temperatures. Due to the jarring wind and cold air, your natural hair is prone to even more breakage and split ends. I made the same mistake last year – don’t be like me lol.

Avoid Heat

When I went natural 5 years ago, I was obsessed with Youtube tutorials and buried myself in any natural hair reviews I could find because not only did I not know how to take care of my hair, I wanted to avoid heat altogether. Just because you’re natural and you only use heat to blow dry your hair does not mean you’re exempt – I see you. Drop heat like a bad habit, your hair will thank you during this winter season!

Heat blatantly strips the moisture out of your hair and during the winter it just isn’t ideal. Plus, there really isn’t much space in your suitcase for blowdryers or flat irons – pack travel sized products and oils instead!

DEEP CONDITION

I’m pretty sure I’ve written this 10+ times, but winter = dry! To combat the dryness, deep conditioning restores those lovely nutrients that keep your hair moisturized. Use products with all natural ingredients (no parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum) to deep condition your natural strands. The more you deep condition, the more you protect your hair from dryness.

Don’t be afraid to make your own deep conditioners and shampoos – at least you’ll know what’s in it!

Eat, Pray... Gelato?
What’s your favorite winter natural hair regimen?

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