Worried that the cold weather will damage your hair? Follow this expert hair stylist’s advice on how to protect your hair and elevate your winter routine.
There’s not a lot that Ama Safo, founder of Ama Hair Salon, doesn’t know about natural Afro hair and how to look after it. With 30 years in the hair dressing profession, 20 of those running her own salon based in Tottenham, London, Ama first turned to the industry when she struggled to find a salon that could care for her natural hair without them urging her to relax her hair.
Taking some time out of running her busy salon, we asked Ama to share 5 simple actions that you should be doing to protect your hair and ensure we all emerge from the colder weather with our hair looking wonderful and healthy.
Here’s what she said…
Manage your split ends
On average, hair grows about half an inch each month so I usually recommend clients get their hair trimmed every 6 – 8 weeks. However, if the client uses a lot of heat on their hair such as blow drying, straightening and curling then this can cause split ends to occur sooner, so I suggest they see their hairdresser every month for a trim. But those who use low maintenance hairstyles and steer away from heat often don’t need a trim until about 10 -12 weeks. Your hair doesn’t have to be a particular length for it to be trimmed, rather it’s about how damaged the ends of the hair is that will determine how much hair will need to be trimmed off in order for the hair to be healthy and to maintain a hairstyle.
The myth of protective styles
It’s a common misconception that to protect your hair, you must have your hair in braids, a weave or tucked under a wig during the winter months. This myth means that yes, your hair is not being manipulated everyday by combing and styling but having extensions in for a long time can pull on the hair making the strands weaker. What’s more the excessive buildup of dirt, moisturiser and sweat can cause breakage. In order to combat this, I suggest not keeping extensions longer than 6 – 8 weeks. So, go ahead with those knotless braids and cornrows but ensure you take good care of your hair with good conditioners and treatments.
Moisturise! Moisturise! Moisturise!
To manage split ends and dry hair, I suggest using hydrating moisturisers such as the Mon Platin – Black Caviar 12-1 Multi Action Cream as a leave-in conditioner. We also love to use their Total Repair Shampoo from them as well as their hair mask on our clients. I also recommend natural oils such as coconut, shea butter and castor oil which is good at sealing the ends and locking in moisture while preventing split ends and tangles. You can also use these oils as a hot oil treatment too!
Use the right shampoo
When it’s time for wash day, pick a shampoo that is right for your hair. Ask yourself, ‘does my hair feel brittle and dry after shampooing?’ Or ‘does it feel soft, moisturised and clean?’ After shampooing, always ensure you use a good conditioner to replenish the hair further.
Let your hair breathe
My final “don’t” would be to not wear scarves and woolly hats for long hours on a daily basis. This is because the hair strands and the fabric can cause friction which dries out the hair strands resulting in tangles, split ends and breakage. What you can do is wear hats that are silk, or satin lined.
We hope this article helps you take better care of your precious coils and curls this winter!