Seasonal Curl Care, Yeah It's a Thing
Updated: Jan 25
YES, SIS. Seasonal curl care is important because just like your skin, it can change with the seasons.
Products, routines, and styling can have different impacts on curls in the winter, than in hot summer months. So, let's go over my personal fave seasonal routines and learn why I change products/curly methods during each one!
Wintertime = dry time. My skin is dry, my eczema enjoys more applications of my body butter, and my hair loves creams, smoothies, and oils—you know all the moisturizing things!
My winter routine consists of me washing my hair with my Peppermint shampoo bar by The Yellow Bird Co. once a week (sometimes once every two weeks).
Following a wash, I like using a hair styling product that's T H I C K (smoothies, butters, creams, or a very thick leave-in conditioner, etc.) for a protective style. My go protective style are twists because they really help retain moisture for my curl patterns (type 3/type4).
And in particular, my hair loves coconut oil (my skin does not as it can be comedogenic, like many oils, yet, it can be beneficial to hair at the same time)!
HOWEVER! In moderation, my skin can handle coconut oil, and it's a great one to moisturize curls. Winter months can make curls prone to breakage, depending on your hair porosity and your environment, so it's important to find a moisturizing and sealing oil that works great for YOU!
Naturally, my sebaceous glands are very active, so I don't need to use use a lot of product in the winter to keep my hair nice and moisturized!
I also don't concern myself with clarifying as much because the oils my hair naturally produces are helpful in protecting, coating, and sealing my hair! (I clarify every two to three months—so about two to three times in total—for the whole winter season, November through February.)
Generally, winter makes my curl routine easy, because I don't have to worry about adding "too much" hair butter, or deep conditioning too often (yes I deep condition now haha).
Depending on the humidity and how hot Spring may be near you, this season can change your routine drastically.
Spring = more clarifying and sometimes, more washing. I definitely don't skip wash day during this season (so I wash my hair once a week, with no extensions) and clarify at least once a month.
Oils are out of the question, because product builds-up is right around the corner. But I can still get away with some creams, smoothies, etc. for hair styling products.
And, twists are still my go-to during Spring, but I feel I do braids a lot more, and bantu-knots with a good ol' light leave-in!
A great alternative to thicker products is using leave-ins because they can be lighter in weight and keep curls feeling light and moisturized, regardless of the heat. This is the perfect product to transition into summer with, too!
GEL. That's it.
He-he, just kidding. Buttt, seriously, gels are so my go-to for summer because they coat my (already oily) curls and help reduce product build-up. If you experience build-up quickly after washing and applying thicker products, then maybe a moisturizing gel is what you need!
Because I use an all-natural simple ingredient shampoo bar, I can get away with washing my hair more than once a week/more frequently in general. For summer months, I love to wash my hair once to twice a week and clarify one to two times a month.
And, if you haven't found a gel that works for you yet, you can always check out my flaxgel recipe because its a great way to create a budget-friendly, customized, eco-friendly gel that helps overall curl health, enhance definition, and shine!
In the summer, I like to experiment with styles and love doing basically anything (but remember, it's good to keep in mind how the sun and heat can impact your curly hairs—watch out curly babes the sun can hurt our little coils)!
Summer and Protective Styles
I got my hair done in braids for the first time (by mi madre) and loved it! I used an over-the-counter gel that helped keep my scalp moisturized while providing a hard hold.
So my new routine for summer braids (to keep them in longer when you have an itchy scalp) includes spraying my scalp with witch hazel prior to showering (in a steamy hot shower) and then covering my hair at night with a silk bonnet.
AKA STRAIGHTENING SEASON. I love autumn because of all the change from the leaves colors, to festive and themed drinks and dishes, to halloween and the cool weather.
Autumn always has the perfect temperatures and less humidity, which means straight hair that was once curly, can stay straight—longer *extremely dramatic heart eyes*
When it comes to routines, this is the perfect time for me to prep my hair for the winter!
I enjoy braids and twists as much as straightening my hair and transitioning from using my leave-ins to butters as the weather gets colder.
And, clarifying just becomes less frequent! (Typically, I'd clarify once a month in autumn and then switch over to clarifying every two to three months, as winter approaches.)