winter hair care braids protective style

Winter Hair Care 101

The temperatures have dropped and the snow is falling. Whether you're battling icy temperatures in Chicago, dry air in Phoenix, or harsh winds in Boston, you need to protect your crown with more than a chic beanie. Protective styles like braids, twists & locs are go-to’s for natural curly hair, coils & tight textures. But no matter the style, the best thing you can do for your hair strands is to keep them healthy & hydrated.

"Self-care for hair is the best way to get through the cold weather during these winter months," says hairstylist & PATTERN Pro Roneka Conley. "Love your hair. Care for it, brush it, moisturize it. Do scalp massages, hair masks & steam treatments."

We asked Conley & fellow PATTERN Pro stylist Jazmin O'Brien to share a few of their nourishing winter hair care tips to better ensure healthy hair during cold weather.

Q: Is it possible to use too much hair oil in the winter?
PATTERN team: There is such a thing as too much hair oil any time of year. It is always good to pay close attention to your hair’s moisture needs in colder, more brutal weather. Balance is key. Hair should never be weighed down and it is always a good idea to put the bulk of the oil you apply to your dry scalp. Simply allow the heat from your body to melt the oil & distribute it through the hair. Then, follow up with a light coat from the hair shaft through your ends.

Q: Who should worry about too much protein in the winter?
PATTERN team: Despite popular belief, tightly textured hair can actually be the most fragile hair type. Depending on tightness, coils tend to be more susceptible to tangling. Because of this, too much protein will harden the hair shaft & make a recipe for disastrous hair problems like hair breakage and split ends during detangling.

Q: What makes a great winter hair mask?
PATTERN team: PATTERN's Heavy Conditioner still takes the cake on moisturizing the hair. Sometimes clients think, "OMG it's winter I have to moisturize my hair more.” In reality, most people end up over-moisturizing the hair, making it too soft & fragile which, in turn, promotes hair breakage. During your winter hair care routine, simply use our curly hair mask. Let the mask sit on your hair for 5-10 minutes. You can also use it under the steamer (or hair dryer if you don't have a steamer) for 15-20 min in order to prevent damaged hair.

Q: Which products are great for hydrating protective styles like braids & faux locks?
PATTERN team: The Argan Oil Serum & the Jojoba Oil Hair Serum Self-Heating Packs. If you shampoo your hair while in the protective style, follow up the shampoo & conditioner with Hydrating Mist after shampooing and conditioning. Next, use the tips of your fingers to massage the Leave-In Conditioner into the scalp. Once your wet hair is dry, follow up with the oils throughout the scalp as needed.

Q: What's the biggest mistake curlies, coilies & tight textures make in the cold weather?
PATTERN team: Over-hydrating. We tend to go into panic mode in the winter. No need to panic. Make sure your hair stays moist & happy as it has been in the spring or summer months.

Remember, our hair is evolving always & you could potentially have different curl patterns in different areas around your head. You may also experience a shift in your hair as time, products & methods change. You may find our Curl Guide to be helpful as you find the right products for your unique, beautiful pattern.

Ensure your hair is flourishing all year round with PATTERN products. Our Mini Conditioner Trial Bundle is great for experimenting with our 3 conditioners to learn which is yummiest for your hair type, & our Jojoba Oil Hair Serum is especially beloved by an itchy or dry scalp. Shop the entire collection or save with our natural hair bundles now.