Hi everyone! I’m back with a post to discuss an email question I got about loc dryness and winter weather especially baby locs, where it’s not advised to put any oil on them at that stage of development.
I think there are a few things that need to be looked at. Now this list is not necessarily in any particular order of importance though the first one I’m gonna list…is.
1. The amount of water you are drinking and your diet in general.
The body needs water and nutrients to do all the things it needs to do to keep you upright and on this side of the dirt. lol Our hair while serving a purposeful function, is not necessary for our survival and is therefore last on the line when the nutrients are dished out. So, if there is not enough coming in, your hair ain’t gonna get any. lol Make sure you get enough of the good stuff, ie veggies, fruits water so that there will be enough left over for your hair/locs after the body has gotten what it needs. I’ve noticed when I’ve stepped up my veggie intake, my locs are better for having done that.
2. Product buildup on your hair before locking.
If you are about to loc your hair or have just started the locking process, I would recommend clarifying your hair. I wish I would have done this before locking my hair. See the next point about why.
3. The shampoo you’re using.
The type of shampoo you are using can make a huge difference in how your locs/hair retain moisture. If your hair is sensitive to silicone and they buildup on the hair or are already built up on the hair, this can prevent absorption of moisture into the locs. Some natural soaps/shampoos can have the same effect though not from silicone but from other ingredients although natural, not agreeing with your hair. Dr. Bronner’s soap had this effect on my locs. My use of shea butter in my loose hair days and a brief period after the year mark had the same effect as well.
4. Your drying method.
I mentioned in an earlier update that I air dry my locs. I noticed that when I allow my locs to air dry, they stayed hydrated and soft longer. For the last year I have not had to spritz my locs with water in between washes. I feel that this is due to letting my locs keep all that they can, the moisture that’s put in when washing and rinsing. When my locs were babies, I would sit under the dryer in the winter. However, I had to spritz them everyday because they felt scratchy and crunchy. This started to not make sense to me so I stopped using the hair/blow dryer.
Now I just washed my locs this past Thursday putting a scant…and I do mean scant amount of oil on them because I’m out of oil that’s been strained of the herbs that were infused into the oil and I was too lazy to strain the bottle I’ve got in order to use the oil. So you might as well say I did not put any oil on my locs. lol It’s now Saturday, 2 days later and my locs still feel moisturized. Ah ha..this is great because that means my oil will last even longer than it already does! Which means…less work for me!! As I get older, I’m all about simplifying my life. Any who, the drying thang brings me to the next point.
5. Forced Air Heating & Cooling
Ok how does a hair/blow dryer dry? The answer is in the label especially the blow dryer…it blows out heated air. And what is one of the things we naturals are told to decrease because of the (pun intended) drying effects…heat. The heated air from the dryer is forcing the moisture out of your locs/hair faster than it can absorb it.
Well the furnace/heater that are in a lot of homes is basically a big ole dryer. So, it is going to have the same effect on your hair as using a hair dryer, just not as fast. That’s why you hear the experts saying if you are plagued with sinus issues, scratchy throats, dry skin etc in the winter, the humidity level in your home is too low. These big dryers are…drying out the humidity in the air to heat the air quickly.
So, if you have not allowed your locs/hair to soak up all the moisture they could hold and you are in a forced air heated environment…weIl you’re probably gonna have dry locs/hair. This means you will have to replace that moisture somehow which will mean spritzing with water as often as needed. If the humidity levels in your home are low it may help to have some water sitting in a few bowls around the house.
This winter is the first one where I’m not using any forced air heating and I can tell the difference in my locs as I have cut down the amount of oil I was putting on them after washing for reasons stated above. See, laziness pays off sometimes. 🙂 Plus I do not have a low humidity issue in my home.
Now I know the question asked was about winter dryness but the same thing applies in the summer as a lot of folks spend a lot of time indoors under air conditioning. AC works under the same basic principle. Instead of forcing in heated air, it’s forcing in cooled air with the moisture (humidity) removed from it. This is why your locs/hair can feel dry in the summer as well even though you live in an area with humid summers.
6. Cotton pillowcases, scarves, hats.
Yes, these things can rob your locs/hair of moisture so wear a satiny type fabric under your hats if you are in an area where you need to put a hat on your head in the winter. I wear one of those cheap, polyester sleep caps that you can get at the beauty supply store under my hat when I have to wear one. I got mine from Wal-Mart, in the hair accessories aisle.
As for the pillowcase, you don’t have to spend a ton of money on satin pillowcases. I just got a yard of satiny like material that was on sale and tied it on my pillow as a pillowcase. I have a post of it here. One of these days, I’ll actually sew the fabric as a pillowcase…maybe. 😉
Well that’s all that comes to mind for to ideas about why your locs are dry and how I combat winter dryness or dryness period. I hope that helps and if any of you guys that are vets or any loc’ers in the loc game have any other tips or things that you do, put them in the comments below. 🙂