How I Combat Winter Loc Dryness

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. 🙂



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Saving on Your Winter Heating Bill Tips pt 1

Hey everyone! As we are in the winter season, I wanted to share some things that I have been doing for many years to save on my heating bill during the winter months. As I mentioned in an earlier post about air conditioning, I refuse to give the utility companies any more than necessary.

Here we go:

1) Weather strip around doors, windows etc. Place heavy curtains and/or layers of curtains on windows.

We want to keep all that heat you are paying for inside the house and you’ll want to do this to your interior doors as well. In another post I’ll talk a bit about what I’ve done to the bottom of my interior doors.

2) Start training your body by setting the thermostat a few degrees lower than you’ve been accustomed to, going even lower on days when there is a warm spell.


thermostat (Photo credit: Joelk75)

3) Dress in winter clothing ie sweaters, long johns, etc and in layers.

That should be common  sense right? However, I hear folks complain about how high their heating bills are, saying that the gas/electric company will charge you whatever they want to charge you. Yet when observing them at home, they are walking around in short sleeves, tank tops, shorts with the thermostat set on 80-85 degrees or higher.  Really?!!

Yeah it sounds like I’m criticizing but it makes no cents (pun intended) to have the house like it’s summer in the winter and winter in the summer. Of course it’s your choice, but don’t complain about it when the bill comes each month.

Now I grew up in a cold area of the country. The first place was old apartment building that was probably built around the 1920’s or 1930’s with those cast iron radiators

An old-style household radiator.

An old-style household radiator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and before each individual apartment had thermostats. You knew when it was 10:00 pm without looking at a clock, because you would hear a hissing sound indicating that the heat was being turned waayy down. Take a bath at 11:00 pm or after if you want to…I guarantee it would be a fast one and the last one be as you’ll be freezing your behind off.  I can also guarantee you that the temperature was set not high enough for you to be able to walk around in short sleeves or just one layer of clothing during the day/evening either.

A few years later my folks bought a two flat apartment building. We lived in one apartment and rented out the other one. It was a bit newer than the apartment where I spent my 0-12 years of age I think, but still old because there was only one boiler/furnace to heat both apartments and of course the thermostat was in our place.  I almost forgot, it had radiators too. The furnace was a huge oil unit located in the basement and looked like something that would reach out and grab you if you got too close. You could look through the window on the front and see the flames/oil burning. Honestly, it was scary! lol

Anywhoo…my father would have the heating oil company come out and fill the two large tanks in July or August as it was cheaper to purchase in the summer months. I mentioned before, I grew up in a cold part of the country which means the winters are long. Much longer and colder than where I currently live.  That oil had to last us and our tenant ALL winter. If the oil company had to come out during the winter, you’d pay double or more for each gallon of oil. If you read one of my How I Got Outta Debt posts, you’ll remember that money was tight…very tight. My father had a major heart attack just 2 months after he bought the place. So there was no dressing like it was summer time in the house in the winter…unless you wanted to shake what ya momma gave you.  I’m not talking about dancing either, though that is a great way to get warm.

I told those stories because I’m not telling you to do something that I have not done or experienced myself. I still dress in layers including wearing more than one pair of socks on my feet while inside my home in the winter and I’ve been out of my parents house, living on my own for almost 30 years. I even wear something on my head most days. Now that my locs are long enough to be on my back, I feel warmer than I did in the early days of my locs so now I’ve got that added warmth. Back then, I had something on my head everyday during the winter/early spring months.

The less clothes you have on your body, the colder you are going to feel. The colder you feel,  the more apt you are to crank up the thermostat.  It’s much, much cheaper to put more clothing on.

Which brings me to the statement that I hear a lot… “They are gonna charge you what they want to”. This is true but only part of the statement is true. Yes, while they do have control of the rate of each kilowatt, cubic foot, gallon whatever you are being charged, YOU have control of how much you use/waste. The more you use, the more you’re going to pay.

4) If you are just watching TV, reading, on the computer, etc use a blanket, throw or something over your legs. Snuggies are really nice for this.  And, yes this is addition to the layers that you are wearing.

English: A woman models her Snuggie.

English: A woman models her Snuggie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Again, much cheaper to do things like this to make you feel warm. If you feel warm, you are less likely to want to crank up the thermostat. The lower the thermostat setting, the less money you will be charged and therefore have to pay. Yeah ,I know I said that already but we learn by repetition right?!

I’ll cover more in the next post.