Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mon Dieu, how to maintain my fabulous in winter?

I love winter. Snow and most of what comes along with it (snow men, snow ball fights, new winter boots), the yearly switch in my coloring (I go from a warm to a cool every year between September and November, somehow), the inalienable, God-given right to drop $50 a week on gingerbread lattes and peppermint hot chocolates. I love winter, I do. But goddamn do I hate winter! Bloody noses, skin so dry I wake myself up scratching behind my bloody knees if I forget to triple-hydrate before I go to bed, sore, dry throat upon awakening in the morning, having to actually purchase and use a moisturizer on my normally, er, amply moist *cough*oily*cough* visage, and, most depressingly, dry hair. Very, very dry hair. In years past this has been an irritant, not a full-blown problem, because usually in fall/winter I slip quite comfortably into weekly blowout mode, which is just damned convenient because then my hair is tortured only once per week and then gets extra special treatment of ponytails at night and being tucked up under hats after being glossed with something like this to keep the elements from sucking the magic juju life right out of it during the day. But now I go to the gym several times per week, and I really work out. Hard. Blowouts are out, as a concept and a strategy. It just won't work. I'd have to blow it out, like daily. And if you haven't seen my naps, lemme tell you, that would become an unpaid part-time job for all the time that would take. BUT! The curls are already kind of a killer in winter, because curly hair is by nature dry. Add indoor heating and outdoor arctic dry air and I get maybe one good day out of my natural. One. And let me tell you, since my "natural" involves two conditioners, a glosser and a styling product, plus ten minutes of finger curling, this is a whole lotta work, too. I can't be doing this every day, either. I'd like to go all crazy with something like Carol's Daughter or Shasta-approved Oyin, because their oil-based products would seem to be the perfect solution, but my damn hair is in my face all the time, so when I've used products like that in the past, it has taken roughly seven minutes for the product to transfer from my hair to my face and for my face to erupt into angry hideous spots. And of course the alternative, to keep it all pulled up, would render all the caretaking rather moot, wouldn't it? So. Da hell do I do this winter? Here, these are the products I am using right now for you to review: 1. Fekkai shea butter hair mask 2. Shampoo. I really don't care what kind, right now it's a big old Matrix I inherited from my mom. 3. Terax Crema 4. Farouk Biosilk Silk Therapy lotion 5. Matrix Sleek Look Extreme styling creme (Also inherited. She abandoned the line for greener pastures, you see. Oddly, though designed to hold hair straight after blowout, this has turned out to be the best curl-styler ever. All hold, all soft. Incredible.) Right now I'm averaging two washes per week, but that's stretching it, really. But I so don't want to end up doing this daily. Maybe keeping it pulled up all winter really is the answer. Meh. See? Even my hair has drama. For the love of god. What do I do?


At 12/17/2005 03:20:00 PM, Anonymous Shasta MacNasty said...

Wow. I had no idea you were going through such tramatic hair drama! I feel you though. Like you said, people with curly hair and people with highly texturized hair (a.k.a., black folk) have gorgeous, but dry hair. It is what it is. After reading your post, a couple things came to mind:

1. Do you HAVE to wash your hair twice a week? The drier your hair, the less often you should be washing it, but no less than once a week. Maybe doing that would help.

2. When you do wash, mayhap you consider more care in choosing a shampoo? Go for something ultra moisturizing. I've heard really good things about Nexxus' Therappe shampoo and Humetress conditioner.

There are some people that take the extra step and avoid shampoos/conditioners that contain SLS and ALS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate). Basically these are detergents found in your shampoo...aaaaaaaand engine degreasers, garage floor cleaners, and carwash soaps. So yeah, it could be overstripping your hair. Shampoos, like the Creme of Nature line, do not contain these ingredients. Just something to consider.

3. And yet ANOTHER option, is to not use shampoo at all. Mainly, the "No-Poo" method. Basically, it's washing your hair with conditioner then clarifying once a week or so with a clarifying shampoo, or a baking soda/warm water mix or apple cider vinigar rinse. The idea is that conditioners contain enough cleansers to effectively clean your hair, without drying it out. I'm considering this method for the winter.

4. If you wear your hair "out" a lot, then yeah, you're setting it up for some dryness and damage. Consider pulling your hair back into a bun, braided, or anything else that will protect your ends. I have a couple friends with locs that have sewn silk liners in their winter hats to protect their hair. I'm not that protective, but a good idea nonetheless.

I have to say this is wear the wigs come in handy for me. I wash and deep condition my hair once a week. I braid it up, then slap on the hair hat for the rest of the week. In the evenings before bed, I spritz my hair with the Greg Juice, tie on a satin scarf, and go to bed. In the morning, I lightly spritz my hair with water, back on with the hair hat, and there it is. Come Friday night, I unbraid my hair and wear a braid out on the weekends until I wash my hair and start the process all over again. I don't futz around with my hair, it's not exposed to the elements for the majority of the week. Not saying it's something you should do, but I know a lot of other sistas use this approach.

5. You've been really good about what you've been putting into your body. So I don't have to tell you that drinking lots of water, eating good foods, and taking your vitamins plays the biggest role in the health of your hair...right?

You have such beautiful hair, hopefully you'll find something that will help elleviate the dryness. Let me know if you need more info!

At 12/17/2005 04:06:00 PM, Blogger Sid said...

Hey, thanks for the tippies! I do have to wash it that often because of the workouts. I think it would actually be worse to leave the drying salty sweat in my hair to avoid washing than to wash, nahmean? But yeah, maybe I will just need to suck it up and get used to The Braid, AKA 9th grade 'do, AKA the dookie plait, AKA the Alien head phenom. Sigh.

At 12/17/2005 04:08:00 PM, Blogger rcknrobin said...

perhaps you can try some two strand kinky twist..its a hot protective style (i currenly have them for transitioning)..and i work out a lot, so i just keep my scalp clean with some sea breeze and q-tips.

At 12/17/2005 10:26:00 PM, Blogger Golden... said...

This has nothing to do with hair...but skin instead! What do you use to keep your skin moist because I'm about to scratch my skin RAW!

At 12/18/2005 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Viv said...

Golden --

My hands get dry and cracked in winter -- to the point where my knuckles are almost bloody because the skin is cracking so much. My advice right now is that whenever possible, lotion the hell out of your skin.

I enjoy using Burt's Bees Carrot Day Cream on all of my skin (not just my face) or Aveda stuff. Don't use lotions where the first few ingredients contain water. It's not good because the water will evaporate and you're just back to square one.

At 12/18/2005 12:29:00 PM, Blogger Sid said...

Dry oil spray after shower and nivea creamy-oil lotion before bed and I STILL end up scratching myself near-raw! I'm gonna have to come up with an extra step!

At 12/18/2005 09:44:00 PM, Anonymous Shasta MacNasty said...

I have dry skin ON TOP of my uber-sexy eczema. Remember that old Vaseline commercial where that woman could write the word "DRY" on her skin with her fingernail? Yeah.

So what I've been going lately has been helping a lot. I made an after-shower mix of jojoba and sweet almond oil. I slather that all over my dripping wet body after the shower (no charge for that last sentence gentlemen). Depending on how busy I am, I either pat dry or if I'm going to stay in the bathroom to brush my teeth, wash my face, etc, I let my skin air dry. Right before I get dressed, I smooth on (I REALLY need to stop reading so many lotion bottles) some shealoe. It's a thick mixture of refined shea butter and aloe vera gel sold at ("from nature with love). That has been helping me a LOT.

At 12/18/2005 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Sid said...

Shas, you are a fountain of hydrating knowledge. That was kinda punny, wasn't it? I get little eczema patches in winter, too, but usually only on my hands. But damn that's a pain. I'll have to check that "shealoe" out. I really want that L'occitane shea butter tub of balm/lotion, but I'm not sure I want to make the $35 commitment. I've used plain old Palmers cocoa butter oil under lotion, now the dry oil spray under lotion, i think i really just need to stop using soap everywhere during winter. I've already made the big facial cleanser switch from my old glycolic/salicylic acid brightener to philosophy's purity made simple, which is actually partly oil based, and that's been working great. Maybe I should go ahead and invest in the big bottle for all-over washing.

Oh yeah, and I still, to this day, sit around writing "dry" on my shins thanks to that stupid commercial, lol.

At 12/18/2005 10:21:00 PM, Blogger QuietlyGoingMad said...

Since soap can be fairly drying, I use glycerine based soap in the winter. Kiehl's products (the creme de something or the other) are really good for super dry skin as well and I love Body Shop's Shea Body Butter.

At 12/19/2005 06:19:00 PM, Anonymous GOLDEN said...

Ok you women are the best! We're going to have to have this convo on email cause me and my poor baby (my son) need help stat!!! Our skin is just horrible. I'm going to go check out that site now!


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