Winterize Your Hair
by Wilma Ann Anderson

If you're in a part of the country where there's a cold front, the word "winterize" is top of mind. Car tune-ups, window and door insulations, furnace testing are all on the to-do list. But don't forget your body and hair!

Skin and hair tend to be dryer in the winter so that means more moisture is in order. Here are a few beauty tips to keep you out of brittle-bear status:

Start from the inside. A balanced diet filled with lots of water and fresh food is essential to keeping your body hydrated. Use the Food Pyramid as a guide.

Wash. It is a myth that healthy hair grows from a dirty scalp. Whether you are wearing braids, a natural, or relaxed hair, washing your hair at least once every two weeks is important to creating a healthy growth environment. Avoid shampoos and styling products that contains alcohol or are extremely alkaline.

Dry. Allow your hair to air dry if possible. Less heat styling preserves the natural oils your scalp produces. Consider deep conditioning your hair once or twice a month to put back oils that are stripped by winter weather.

Massage. Carefully and sparingly apply nourishing hair oil (check out for a few excellent homemade mixtures!) to your scalp once a week and then massage that day and throughout the week. Use the tips of your fingers to massage your scalp and make this part of your beauty regimen; it stimulate the hair follicles.

Brush. A thorough brushing of your hair while it is dry (not wet), to properly distribute oils, is essential. Brush slowy and gently with a fluid motion to avoid damaging ends and to keep your hair free from unwanted particles.

Get a hattitude. Cold and dry climates can rob your hair of moisture and oils. Wear a satin-lined cap if you can. Stylish ones can be hard to find so I recommend wearing a satin scarf or bonnet right under your hat. Also wear a sating bonnet during sleep.

Style wisely. Look for products avoid alcohol and that use:

  • Jojoba Oil--an oil that can easily penetrate the scalp and hair
  • Mango butter--is an emollient derived from the fruit seed of the mango tree. It seals in moisture, protects and softens
  • Panthenol--gets in side the hair shaft to keep the cuticle moisturized
  • Shea butter--a fat obtained from the fruit of the Karite tree
  • Water--water is the ultimate moisturizer, but since we can walk around with wet heads, be sure to get water back into hair via a regular spritzing

Wilma Ann Anderson is the Editor-in-Chief and Co-founder of Mahogany Baby. She's also an accomplished singer, and works as a model and film executive. This mother of four has freelanced for ESSENCE and Working Mother magazines, enjoys crafting, and is based in New Jersey.


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