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Summer vs Winter: what to change with the seasons

I had a really long post at one time about season changing routines. Let me try to paraphrase it.

1. In summer, you need moisture to combat/balance out humidity. You don't want the moisture level in the air to be more than than in your hair or your hair will "reach out" (frizz) toward it.

In winter, you need moisture to replenish what the extreme temps (cold and heat inside) with so much lower humidity in the air (so it's pulling humidity from your hair) are doing to dry out your hair.

2. In summer, just like you use lighter lotions on your body and more liquidy products rather than heavy creams, fluid is better on the hair. You don't want to suffociate it (read: crimped frizz) but balance its moisture level with its surroundings. In summer, I might just leave-in 10% of my conditioner during the rinse cycle so it's liquidy and dilluted and not too heavy.


In winter, you want to prevent moisture from being removed from your hair by the dry air. Therefore, rich creams, creamy leave-ins, and the like are perfect. I get a lot of frizz from creams in summer, but in winter, they give me chunky, clumpy, happy curls (like from the humidity's moisture but more in control). I'm more likely to use a cream or creamy leave-in in winter successfully.

3. In summer, the cuticle is more likely to absorb everything around and on it because the heat/humidity expands its "opening." Because of this, clarifying is more important. There was a curly who posted about a road-construction site near her work. She said it wasn't a problem in winter, but when summer hit, her hair smelt and felt tar-like, as if it was absorbing all that mess. It was heavier in the air too (riding upon the humidity's water particles in the air). Therefore, she clarified more often, and the problem was improved upon.

In winter, your cuticle is tighter (read: cold contracts instead of when heat expands). That's good for environmental yuck not penetrating. And because the air is drier (cold air can't hold as much humidity and inside's heated air is quite dry), you don't want to have to clarify (read: removes moisture) from your hair if you don't have to. Therefore, be careful about the creams you choose. Don't select creams that buildup because they will require more frequent clarifying (like summer's frequency), but the air is drier and can cause a vicious cycle (need more cream, need more clarifying, more dry so need more cream). A rule of thumb is that if you can't rinse a product easily from your hands with cool water (requires soap and/or hotter water), proceed with caution. And then clarify less often.

4. In summer, use a gentler poo since you want to avoid having to add creamy/heavier moisture but need moisture to combat the humidity.

In winter, it's fine for many to use a sulfate-containing poo to aid in the removal of the creamy leave-ins and creams without requiring full-fledged clarifying. You might not poo every day (maybe every other or third or once a week), but the pooing is a little stronger than summer to get the thicker stuff dissolved.

5. Here's what you've been waiting for...product suggestions.

In summer, for shampoos, I like [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Jessicurl-Hair-Cleansing-Cream-p-103.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=jessicurl-hair-cleansing-cream]Jessicurl HCC[/buylink], Jessicurl Gentle Lather poo, and other sulfate-free poos. For conditioners, I like [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Jessicurl-Too-Shea-Extra-Moisturizing-Conditioner-p-105.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=jessicurl-too-shea-extra-moisturizing-conditioner]Jessicurl Too Shea[/buylink] and other cone-free conditioners with some weight to them that rinse clean. For those with finer hair, Suave Coconut Conditioner, Alba Botanicals Hawaiian Mango Moisturizing Hair Conditioner, Avalon Organics Awapuhi Mango Moisturizing Conditioner, and Aveda Shampure Conditioner. Also, Biolage Conditioning Balm, MyHoneyChild HoneyNutt or Jamaica Island Conditioners, Nature's Gate Organics Persimmon+Rose Geranium Moisturizing Conditioner, and VO5 Moisture Milks Conditioners are all good choices. For stylers, I like HE Set It Up, BRHG, [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/DevaCurl-Angell-p-57.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=devacurl-devacurl-angell]Devacurl Angel[/buylink]l, Back to Nature Rosemary Mint Clean Gel (smells divine too!), Ouidad Climate Control, and my end-all combo...a generous helping of Jessicurl RR with about a 1/4 of the RR amount of [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Jessicurl-Confident-Coils-Styling-Solution-p-116.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=jessicurl-confident-coils-styling-solution]CCSS[/buylink] (this even survives FL's afternoon t-storms that happen most afternoons and the steaminess afterward).

In winter, for shampoo, I use Jessicurl Gentle Lather poo to start out with (like a transitionary poo), and then move on to [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Elucence-Moisture-Balancing-Conditioner-p-39.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=elucence-elucence-moisture-balancing-conditioner]Elucence Moisture Balancing[/buylink] Shampoo, Dove Moisture Rich Color, Suave Coconut, HE Hydrating Shampoo, Nexxus Therappe Shampoo, and many, many others. As long as it doesn't feel dry in my hair (Kenra poos were very drying for me), the sky is the limit. For conditioners, [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/Elucence-Moisture-Balancing-Conditioner-p-39.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=elucence-elucence-moisture-balancing-conditioner]Elucence MBC[/buylink], Nature's Gate Hemp Conditioner, Regis Smoothing or Olive Oil Conditioner, Umberto Giannini Curl & Twirl Detangling Conditioner, and countless others...winter is so wide-open since cones can come back on the scene without risk of being too heavy-yucky with summer's open cuticle. For stylers, I love Rusk Being Gutsy, Boots Curling Cream, [buylink=http://www.curlmart.com/AG-Recoil-p-24.html?utm_source=naturallycurly.com&utm_medium=text-link&utm_content=curltalk-post-text&utm_campaign=ag-hair-cosmetics-recoil-curl-activator]AG Recoil[/buylink], Sally's generic PM the Cream (regular PM the Cream recently changed the ingreds and I haven't gotten to try it), Ouidad Tress F/X, HE Totally Twisted Gel, Rusk Jele Gloss, CK under B&A BioMineral Gel, and Pantene Curl Defining Scrunching Gel on dry hair to smooth any strays.

HTH and hope I remembered everything!
2b w/ some 3a
product tester geek
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Comments

  • IwantcurlyhairIwantcurlyhair Posts: 338Registered Users
    Your posts are the best Laurabeth! Thanks for taking the time to write all that. If you don't mind me asking, where did you learn so much about hair and the chemistry of hair?
  • wild~hairwild~hair Posts: 9,890Registered Users
    Oh, I do love this.

    Thank you Laurabeth. You are an nc.com treasure!
  • DashnWinkDashnWink Posts: 34Registered Users
    Great post :D Thank-you :!:
    HG products: VO5 Tea therapy condish, RE:COIL and LA LOOKS Sport gel!

    Password: CurlyQ

    When I have a good hair day, I try to think of places to go (to show it off)...:)
  • briccagrlbriccagrl Posts: 540Registered Users
    Wow!!! Thankyou Laurabeth. This is soooo helpful...your the best :D
    .png
  • Ab-starAb-star Posts: 1,128Registered Users
    That was very informative, thank you! :D
    MY HAIR ALBUM
    pw - jack

    Going natural for the summer...just a dab of ArcAngell!
  • one way streetone way street Posts: 772Registered Users
    Thank you so much! It makes much much much more sense when you combine science with haircare. Also, would you suggest using a humidifier for curlies who get really really dry in the winter?
    mod. CG 2C-3A/M/iii
    Fotki album and journal updated: 10/01/07
    password: springlet

    Currently: Trying to stop straightening so much. Using Elucence conditioner and whatever works for me.
  • Kgrl17Kgrl17 Posts: 137Registered Users
    Thanks! Are there any curlies here who don't use gel at all in the winter but have to use it in the summer? This is my first CG winter and first time not straightening a lot in the cold weather. I absolutely have to have gel in my hair in the summer so I'm not sure what my hair will be like without it in the winter
  • LavenderCurlsLavenderCurls Posts: 1,478Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Thanks, Laurabeth!

    Kgrl17 - alot of us find we have to, or can, switch stylers in winter. Myself, I can use more cream stylers than gel in the winter. In the spring and fall when the weather is half-n-half, it can get frustrating to figure out what works :shock: :lol: !
    CG-modified since 4/05
    2b/3a and 3b on occasion!
    Products: The hair aisle in my own cabinets. :roll:
    Best definition winner: KCCC
    Best volume winner: LOOB
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,389Registered Users
    Thanks for the info! But you know, my climate is very hot and dry in summer, and cool and rainy in winter. Would I need to modify your suggestions in addition to using the winter tips in summer and vice versa?
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    Eilonwy wrote:
    Thanks for the info! But you know, my climate is very hot and dry in summer, and cool and rainy in winter. Would I need to modify your suggestions in addition to using the winter tips in summer and vice versa?

    No...the dryness in summer would just be just as much reason for moisture as the hot-humidity and creamy products would still penetrate deeper with the heat. The cool temps can't hold the same amount of humidity as hot temps and humidity so maybe you wouldn't need as much moisture in winter as in summer, but at least you'll have a climate-built-in humidifier.

    angiecurls, humidifiers can be helpful. Just one word of warning--the steam from a humidifier can produce 3rd degree burns in less than one second (literally) of exposure, unlike steam from a pot or pan that mixes more with the other air rather than being a concentrated stream of steam. Be careful with placement of your humidifier or use a cool humidifier, especially with babies/toddlers/kids and pets.
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
  • NuttyHairNuttyHair Posts: 75Registered Users
    Great post! I'm going to cut and paste this since I can't count on the bookmark method here!
    3B, I think w/very thick hair, shoulder length. Fall hair: Low Poo, TS, CK, Aloeba leave in, recoil or RR, plop, BRHG or SMU, no blow dry.
  • Kgrl17Kgrl17 Posts: 137Registered Users

    Kgrl17 - alot of us find we have to, or can, switch stylers in winter. Myself, I can use more cream stylers than gel in the winter. In the spring and fall when the weather is half-n-half, it can get frustrating to figure out what works :shock: :lol: !

    Thanks! I guess I'll just have to play around with my hair and see what kind of creme stylers I can find. I can't imagine not using gel but it seems like people that use only strong hold gels in the summer can go with little or no gel in the winter and substitute in conditioners and cremes.
  • laurabeth33laurabeth33 Posts: 1,443Registered Users
    Kgrl17 wrote:
    Thanks! I guess I'll just have to play around with my hair and see what kind of creme stylers I can find. I can't imagine not using gel but it seems like people that use only strong hold gels in the summer can go with little or no gel in the winter and substitute in conditioners and cremes.

    I use gels in winter also, but they have lighter hold (like B&A Gel). I also find that ones that look producty in summer (usually the ones with castor oil in them) are great in winter.
    2b w/ some 3a
    product tester geek
  • long_n_curlylong_n_curly Posts: 300Registered Users
    Thanks so much for simplifying this for us ..and for saving a few of my heavier castor oil containing gels from the trash can!!! Feeling enlightened now so I am going to try creams again once the weather changes!!!
    Lots of Fine easily weighed down 3A curls
    PJ currently loving Devacare one c, CEHT,& Durahold but still searching for HGs
    Finally grew out my bad layers!!!
  • NessyNessy Posts: 788Registered Users
    Thanks so much for this Laurabeth! This was very informative.
  • one way streetone way street Posts: 772Registered Users
    Thanks for the reply laurabeth!
    mod. CG 2C-3A/M/iii
    Fotki album and journal updated: 10/01/07
    password: springlet

    Currently: Trying to stop straightening so much. Using Elucence conditioner and whatever works for me.
  • kimmyckimmyc Posts: 551Registered Users
    2b/3a, primarily use Jessicurl and DevaCurl products, Curls Hair Tea conditioner and various gels. I'm modified CG-ish since 5/04.
  • Oregano  (formerly babywavy)Oregano (formerly babywavy) Posts: 5,297Registered Users
    That was awesome Laurabeth! Thank you!
    ~ the artist formerly known as babywavy ~

    Please excuse any typos. For the time being, we are blaming it on my computer.
  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
    bumping!
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • cunninghamaircunninghamair Posts: 176Registered Users
    I was just going to ask the question, "what do you change for winter?" Thanks:-)
    Modified CG since 9/03. 2B/3A. JESSICURL!!! Gentle Poo, Aloeba, Gelebration, Awe; or Mop Top Poo & Condish; Curlisto Mousse & Gel I. Winter: Elucence MB Clarify, Shampoo & Conditioner. ACV & honey rinses. Plop & Pixiecurl diffuse. Password: curls
  • one way streetone way street Posts: 772Registered Users
    bumping!
    mod. CG 2C-3A/M/iii
    Fotki album and journal updated: 10/01/07
    password: springlet

    Currently: Trying to stop straightening so much. Using Elucence conditioner and whatever works for me.
  • SmallFrySmallFry Posts: 614Registered Users
    Awesome thread! Thanks laurabeth!!
    Lotsa 3c curls
    Curly Journey Album
    Updated 2009 and 2010 pics
    Hair Journal/Products

    It's not about having what you want, it's about Wanting what you have
  • one way streetone way street Posts: 772Registered Users
    bump
    mod. CG 2C-3A/M/iii
    Fotki album and journal updated: 10/01/07
    password: springlet

    Currently: Trying to stop straightening so much. Using Elucence conditioner and whatever works for me.
  • hairdiarieshairdiaries Posts: 61Registered Users
    bumping
    just call me 'g'
    2b?
    mostly-almost-definitely CG, definitely a PJ
    photo journal
    password: curls
    updated pics Dec 2006
  • KurleeKurlee Posts: 1,354Registered Users
    Something weird that I have noticed is that my hair seem to get more mineral/hard water buildup during winter. I have used the same stuff as in summer, but still I get more build up from the water. Kinda odd.

    I have also noticed that once my hair got really healthy I can do much more with it than before and it still stays healhty. This is probably the best winter I have had when it comes to my hair. I guess maybe I have found good products, got down a routine that works and I haven't used bad products for so long (2½ years now) that my hair is handling the cold better.

    Hmm.

  • SunderellaSunderella Posts: 89Registered Users
    Wow Great info Thanks so much!!!
    2c/3a Fine Blonde/Silver
  • unique1193unique1193 Posts: 328Registered Users
    bumping
    awesome info :]

    2c/3a
    Growing out hair to a little above bsl
    pw: ringlets
  • unique1193unique1193 Posts: 328Registered Users
    bumping for the new spring season :)

    2c/3a
    Growing out hair to a little above bsl
    pw: ringlets
  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
    BUMP
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • SableSable Posts: 109Registered Users
    Okay, somebody help with suggestions for spring. Weather's been warm for the last week or so and my hair looks like crap. Nothing's working so far. I tried Boots (pink) with Volumax gel over it last night, it's okay but not good. My beloved Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco is also not working now. And for some reason I can't get B&A Gel to work for me!? HELP!
    3a/3b/F/ii
    Current Favorites:

    Mixed Chicks Shampoo
    Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
    Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner
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