Karen Tappin Teaches You to Winterize Those Curls

By Karen Tappin, founder and CEO of Karen’s Body Beautiful

Baby, it’s cold outside. And that usually means the moisture in our hair goes bye-bye, even though we’d really like it to stay. Every year I have many customers who ask me how to survive the long, chilly winter with their curls intact. So what’s a girl to do? Know thy enemy. During those winter months, the cold air is dry from the lack of humidity and moisture. Moisture-zapped air combined with harsh winter winds, our winter wardrobe, and the blast of heat from both our furnace and hair dryer all work together like little assassins, killing healthy hair and leaving it dry and vulnerable to breakage.

If you want to save your hair from the winter blues, you need to fight the elements and train your locks like you’re Mr. Miyagi.

Don’t over suds, and skimp on the heat. When it comes to shampooing, less is more, and shampooing too frequently strips hair of sebum. When you do shampoo, lather up with a sulfate-free one that’s gentle on hair. Sulfates are industrial-strength detergents that rob tresses of natural oils, so check shampoo bottle ingredient labels and just say, “nope” to harsh cleansers. Add a pre-poo to your winter hair care regimen to help protect hair during shampooing, as well as soften and detangle. Pre-poo is a tried and true treatment. For hundreds of years, Ayurvedic medicine practitioners have been prescribing pre-shampoo mixtures to solve hair and scalp conditions. And, nix the hot styling tools, including hair dryers, curling irons and flat irons, which may damage locks and strip them of moisture, while causing breakage.

Save hair with satin and be careful with scarves. Scarves and wool hats are a must for staying warm during the winter months. And, although these accessories save us from the chilly temperatures, they wreak havoc on hair by snagging, pulling, tugging and eventually causing breakage when we put them on and take them off. Save your hair by wearing hats with satin lining or even sewing satin into your current collection of wool caps and hats. And be careful with that stylish scarf, by making sure hair is free and clear before wrapping it around too tightly. At night, opt for satin pillowcases or bonnets to protect hair and skin, while reducing breakage and shedding. You’ll slumber beautifully, while doing your tresses a proper.

Wax on some serious moisture. It all starts at the roots, so do a scalp massage to help increase your circulation, exfoliate your scalp, moisturize hair and promote healthy growth. Mix three tablespoons of warm jojoba oil (an oil closest to skin’s own sebum) with a few drops of rosemary essential oil, and massage into scalp gently in circles with the pads of fingers for five minutes, then work oil through hair to ends and shampoo out. But moisture shouldn’t just happen when you wash and style. Hair drinks up moisture like a sponge in the winter, so apply a conditioner each day to keep hair soft and healthy. For daily hydration, try a leave-in treatment such as my Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-in Conditioner, which intensely moisturizes and detangles, while minimizing frizz. Look for styling products without synthetic ingredients that may buildup in hair and cause dryness, while leaving it flat and dull. My Super Duper Hydrating Hair Cream not only acts as a styling cream, it adds in moisture and seals hair, too. Both products contain natural ingredients that will not only nourish your hair and scalp, but also strengthen it. And, oil it up! When hair is particularly parched, apply a nutrient-rich oil, such as olive oil, argan oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil, to bring out shine and rejuvenate brittle hair.

Tis’ the season to embrace protective styling. Protective styles protect your curls from the extreme winter elements, while warding off breakage. These nurturing hairdos also help support healthy growth. Do a braidout, twistout, two strand twist or flat twist and let those curls fly free. Natural hair is beautiful hair – all year long!

About Karen’s Body Beautiful: Karen’s Body Beautiful was founded in 2004 by Karen Tappin, who set out to create an all-natural line of luxury hair, bath and body products with nourishing and therapeutic ingredients. She’s made it her mission to develop solutions for all types of hair including relaxed, transitioning and natural. Karen’s Body Beautiful products don’t contain sulfates, parabens, phthalates, mineral oil, silicone or artificial color. The products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. Visit Karen’s Body Beautiful at KarensBodyBeautiful.com.

How do you winterize your curls?

About Jenell B Stewart

Jenell Stewart MS, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise.com, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.
  • cb

    what do think about wearing a wig for the winter months?…keeping the hair in cornrows? hidden

    • queenbee9

      Wigs are good but I prefer braids because wigs still require manipulation (as does weave) with either hair pins or combing and brushing on the head–in braids, hair is protected and left alone (I get my hair braided with synthetic hair so that the fake hair protects my real hair and I have it braided all the way down to make sure none of my hair is left out). If you get your real hair cornrowed or braided and do not use fake hair, then your real hair is still subjected to the environment.

  • queenbee9

    1. Prepoo with a combo conditioner and hot oil treatment (I use vatika oil, JBCO and a conditioner butter like Qhemet Amla and olive oil) slather on and ether sleep in it overnight or use a thermal cap and heat it up for about 1 hour.
    2 Rinse out, apply ACV and co wash hair
    3. dc
    4.apply leave in and then apply ice cold aloe vera juice
    Do a moisture treatment:
    A. on wet hair, apply coconut oil or another feeder oil
    B.. apply moisturizer (a heavier one )
    C.seal with shea butter or JBCO
    D. Get thee to your nearest hair braider and get Senegalese twists or another twist or braid that entwines the entire length in twists or braids. Don’t do microbraids if your hair is longer than shoulder length because they will often leave part of your hair out esp if you get kinky hair (they can hide your texture in the Marly hair.
    Keep the braids as long as you can (depending on rate of growth, can keep up to 5 months with reasonable detangle)
    while in braids, do nothing in the first month except to oil scalp with JBCO and a carrier oil
    Every month thereafter, apply JBCO mixed with a leave in to new growth. Wash every 10 days to 2 weeks
    In addition,in snowy or very windy states, wear a scarf–try to stay away from hats for long periods of time because they do not allow enough ventilation. Drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin
    by Spring, (if you start this regimen in Sept) you may have anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of new growth.