And just like that, hot girl summer is officially over. Time to implement operation fall natural hair routine and get your natural hair tips for fall.
There’s something so otherworldly about autumn – the golden leaves, the crisp air, warm drinks and the comfy sweaters. It may not last long, but autumn is arguably the best season of the year.
For us naturals in the Northern Hemisphere, there’s a critical point where the weather goes from warm fall air, to cold fall air, and we need to adjust our natural hair routine accordingly.
If you’re one of those people who use the same products and routines all year long, I have two words for you: STOP. NOW.
Unless you live in a climate with no seasonality (i.e. always hot or always cold), your summer routine cannot and should not make it to fall.
Let’s make this fall the hair growth season of the year.
You need these natural hair tips for fall 2019. Ready to learn how to customize your very own fall natural hair routine? Let’s go!
Why Do I Need a Fall Natural Hair Routine?
Nothing means more to naturals than moisturized, healthy hair. And cold weather compromises that. Hence the need for a fall natural hair routine!
Our hair is highly susceptible to changes in weather, especially extreme weather (i.e. really hot or really cold air). It not only robs the moisture from our hair, but it also can counteract the intentions of our products (more on that later).
If we’re not careful and intentional with our fall natural hair routine, we are setting ourselves up for accelerated breakage, shedding, split ends and other unwanted repercussions. And who has time for that?
Here’s how you need to transition out of summer with these natural hair tips for fall:
Get a Trim
I’m going to say this every post I do, so get used to it. Nothing makes your hair grow faster than a solid trim!
Your dead ends are holding you back. Holding on to your ends in the name of retaining length is going to hurt you in the long run because these dead ends will eventually break.
The result? Your hair will grow at the same rate your ends are breaking, so you won’t see adequate growth. Period!
Do you and your hair a favor and get a trim, even a small one. Taking off half an inch now will get rid of those breaking ends and allow you to see more progress in the long run!
Use Appropriate Leave-Ins
Your leave-in conditioner game can either make or break your natural hair. Why? Because certain formulations are better suited for the warm weather.
Generally speaking, you want to steer clear of humectants during the colder months. Why? When there is a moisture gradient present, the humectants will even out the gradient by putting moisture in where there’s less of it. In the summer, that’s great news because it will pull the moisture from the humid air and put it in your hair.
But that’s bad news in the winter because the humectants will take from the precious moisture in your strands.
That’s some shady business right there. Still not convinced that you need a fall natural hair routine?
The two most common humectants found in natural hair products are glycerin and honey. You can still use these ingredients in deep conditioners since you wash them out after an allotted time and seal with another product (honey is especially wonderful for moisturizing fall/winter time hair!). But it’s good practice to steer clear of products that have these in the top five ingredients.
Look for other, alternative moisturizing ingredients in your leave-ins, like aloe vera, shea butter, and olive oil. These ingredients are just as moisturizing and won’t rob your hair of well-earned moisture.
Clarify Your Hair As Needed
There’s no more important time to start listening to your hair than in the fall, especially when it comes to wash day.
But shampooing or clarifying your hair weekly may be too drying for your hair, especially when temperatures start to drop in late October/early November. Only you will know how often you should wash your hair.
As a guide, weekly clarifying is pretty standard amongst naturals. Some naturals will skip the shampoo every second week and solely co-wash (many Type 4s claim that weekly shampooing is much too drying). Try out both methods for a month and see which one works for you!
Steam It Up
We’re HUGE proponents of deep conditioning your hair with steam. Steam lifts up closed cuticles and allows the deep conditioner to truly penetrate into the hair.
Nothing sucks more than buying an expensive deep conditioner, only to have it sit atop of your head and not do anything.
For all you naturals who don’t use one, you’re missing out on an opportune hair growth mechanism. Nothing spells disaster than not deep conditioning natural hair, and there really is no better way to ensure your deep condition is actually doing its job than with a steamer.
Buying a steamer doesn’t have to be expensive. If you own a blow dryer, a hair steamer attachment will do the trick. Hot hats are also a good way to heat deep condition, and it’s cord-free too!
Regardless of what method you choose, a hair steamer is a non-negotiable when it comes to deep conditioning. This is specifically true for your fall natural hair routine, when the weather gets cold. Using a hair steamer is one of our top natural hair tips for fall. Plus, it’s super relaxing!
Protective Styling and Low Manipulative Styling
Now, what’s the point of putting in all that moisture only for you to let it evaporate away?
Protective styling is truly one of the best practices we have in the black community. Black people around the world grew up on various protective styles like braids, weaves, and wigs.
Protective styles are truly a cornerstone in black culture. And, if done correctly, these styles can have transformative results on your hair growth.
When installing your protective style, make sure that the style is:
- Protective of your ends,
- Not tight, especially along the hairline,
- Installed after properly deep conditioning and moisturizing your hair,
- Taken down every 6 weeks, and
- Allowed at least a week in between styles to breathe.
On off days from protective styling, low manipulative styles are both stylish and effective in retaining moisture. Examples include braid outs, twist outs and bantu knots. Try to stretch out your style as long as possible to minimize manipulation, and keep your fingers out of your style to retain moisture!
Use Less Protein
Natural hair is made up of keratin, a specific type of protein that gives our hair bounce and curl. But, remember that protein and moisture go hand-in-hand. Too much moisture causes hydral fatigue, while too much protein causes stiffness and breakage.
Continue doing monthly protein treatments in the first few weeks of fall, but once the temperature starts to drop, reduce your protein use to every six weeks. Moisture is the name of the game here folks, and frequent protein is the antithesis of this.
Look out for hidden protein ingredients in your leave-ins, such as hydrolyzed protein and silk protein. These products are great in the summer but may cause additional dryness this fall.
Drinking water is an all-day, all-year affair, sis.
If you’re not drinking water, simply adding water and leave-ins to your hair isn’t going to cut it. We hate to hear it, but there really is no substitute to drinking enough water and eating our fruits and veggies. You are what you eat!
The Bottom Line
Fall is a beautiful season. These natural hair tips for fall will ensure that your hair is at its peak condition through fall and into winter. Let your natural hair flourish this season with the right hydrating leave-ins and deep conditioners and protective styles.