Curly hair constantly craves moisture, and when the temperature drops, hydration can be hard to come by. Don't allow your kinks and coils to suffer, though. Heed these five tips to maintain the best curls possible — no matter what Fall blows your way. Get seasonal styling advice when you read more.
1. Conditioner is still your best friend: The biting Fall air has trouble holding moisture, and therefore wants to steal hydration from your scalp and strands. Keep your hair as hydrated as possible by co-washing (that's conditioning in lieu of shampooing) over using clarifying shampoos. Increase the frequency and length of your deep conditioning regimen, as well. After applying your heavy-duty hydrator, cover hair with a plastic cap and towel for at least 30 minutes to lock in heat (or you can use an electric steamer or conditioning cap).
2. Your ends are under attack: The fragile ends of hair are the most susceptible to damage, even in the kinkiest textures (especially if hair is whipping in the Fall wind). To seal in moisture, apply an oil to the ends of hair after your leave-in conditioner.
3. 'Tis the season . . . for blowouts: Although daily heat styling isn't recommended, Fall and Winter are the best times to straighten curlier hair. While Spring rains and Summer humidity can destroy a blowout fast, the dry air in colder months will help maintain your style. That means you can stretch out one blow-dry session for a week or more.
4. Moisturizing ingredients have turned against you: Humectants like glycerin, wheat protein, and panthenol are hygroscopic. Read: they attract water from the air into your hair. And while they provide a great way to moisturize in the damper seasons, as dry weather descends, however, humectants can do more harm than good. If you still want to use your favorite brands, apply the product before a steaming shower. Then lock in the moisture with a nonhumectant hair butter or cream.
5. Your hair needs a bodyguard: A surefire way to protect hair from going brittle is to don a hat or scarf this season. Unfortunately, headwear can crush your precious curls. One way to keep kinky hair textures from being smashed is to twist or bantu-knot hair underneath your cap in a protective style. Or for looser waves, you can pin up curls with a bobby pin, and shake loose once you arrive at your destination.