Your Much Needed Natural Hair Tips For Fall

Oct 6, 2019

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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.

a GIF of Snoopy blowing leaves in the air

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.

You need these natural hair tips for this fall. 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

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.

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.

Look for leave-in products that are water-based, contain a plethora of conditioning fatty alcohols and film-forming humectants.

Humectants will even out the gradient by putting moisture in where there’s less of it. Film-forming humectants create a barrier around the hair, keeping the moisture in our hair from evaporating. A must in any solid fall natural hair routine!

These humectants are also incredibly light-weight, which is great for low porosity naturals who typically experience product buildup. It’s also great for high porosity naturals with moisture retention issues.

Look for products that include film-forming humectants such as: aloe vera, flaxseed, slippery elm, marshmallow root, nettle, horsetail extract, and hydroxyethylcellulose. Here are some examples of our favourite film-forming products for deep hydration and definition.

a picture of camille rose curl love moisture milk

Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk

Best for TYPE 4, all porosities

This product is well-loved by low porosity naturals, but the film-forming humectants, such as aloe vera and slippery elm, is great for high porosity naturals experiencing moisture loss. The plethora of conditioning ingredients will also make your hair feel soft, supple and conditioned for days. A fan fave leave-in conditioner for all naturals!

an image of kinky curly knot today

Kinky Curly Knot Today

Best for TYPE 3 – 4, high porosity

A cult classic leave-in, this formula is perfect for both curly and coily hair. Packed with fortifying and film-forming humectants such as slippery elm and marshmallow root, it will keep your moisturized your hair for days to come. The conditioning agents will also allow for easy detangling, making your hair feel like butter. A fan favourite for high porosity naturals prioritizing moisture retention.

an image of tgin daily moisturizer

TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer

Best for TYPE 4

No other cream moisturizer exists on the market quite like this one – not only does it have amazing slip, but it’s rich formula with shea butter and Vitamin E will help flatten your cuticles and promote hydration all week long. 

Earthtones Naturals Curl Enhancing Jelly

Best for TYPE 3-4, low porosity

A Canadian-based brand, Earthtones Naturals focuses on holistic, natural ingredients – and this gel is no exception. Its formulated with some ingredients such as aloe leaf juice, panthenol and sea kelp!

Kinky Curly Curling Custard

Best for TYPE 3-4, high porosity

This gel is a cult classic. Long before the plethora of hair gels for natural hair, this gel was holding it down for the curls. Jam packed with film-forming plant extracts such as marshmallow root and aloe vera will keep your coils hydrated and ensure every coil is defined. A fan fave to moisturize and condition curly-coily hair!

Keep Your Hair Clarified

Clarifying your hair is one of the most important parts of your wash day routine. Having a wash day routine for natural hair is especially important in the fall because dirty hair equals dry hair!

There are many different shampoos to choose from, but two main shampoos all naturals should have are moisturizing shampoos and clarifying shampoos.

  • Moisturizing shampoos contain gentle yet effective surfactants that remove product build-up and dirt from the scalp. These shampoos are excellent for regular use
  • Clarifying shampoos, on the other hand, contain deep cleaning detergents that deeply clean the hair and remove hard-to-reach dirt, including mineral build-up (especially shampoos with chelating ingredients that can break these bonds. Clarifying shampoos are a must for low porosity naturals who experience accelerated product buildup.
an image of camille rose sweet ginger rinse

Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Rinse

Best for TYPE 4, high porosity

This shampoo is incredibly gentle and non-stripping, but contains enough surfactants to thoroughly cleanse your hair and remove buildup. Ginger root oil – the second ingredient in the formula – is antiseptic, boosting overall scalp health. A must have shampoo in any high porosity natural hair routine!

an image of the best products for fine type 4 natural hair_mielle organics pomegranate and honey shampoo

Mielle Pomegranate & Honey Shampoo

Best for TYPE 4, all porosities

This shampoo is one of the most moisturizing shampoos on the market. Key ingredients such as honey and panthenol reduce friction between hair strands, providing additional slip and promoting moisture retention throughout the shampoo process. A great biweekly or monthly shampoo to remove deeper buildup.

an image of Tresemme 2 and 1 cleansing shampoo

Tresemme 2 and 1 Cleanse and Replenish Shampoo

Best for TYPE 3-4, all porosities

This shampoo is a triple threat: it contains deep cleansing and detoxifying detergents that will remove accumulated buildup; remove mineral buildup from hard water, and; includes conditioning agents to avoid stripping the hair. Best as a monthly shampoo to detoxify the scalp and reset the hair, and is a great shampoo for low porosity hair that is prone to accelerated product buildup. 

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 experience excess drying with weekly shampooing). Try out both methods for a month and see which one works for you!

Steam It Up

Deep conditioning with steam/heat loosens up the cuticle layer, allowing your deep conditioner to truly penetrate into the hair.

Nothing sucks more than buying a deep conditioner, only to have it sit atop of your head and not do anything.

This is especially true for low porosity naturals who have flat, tight cuticles.

There are many options to choose from: you can either invest in a steamer, buy a hot head thermal cap (which harnesses the heat capacity of flaxseeds) or apply your deep conditioner in the shower and use the steam. Whatever works for you and your budget!

an image of tgin Miracle Repairx Deep Hydrating Hair Masque

TGIN Miracle Repairx Deep Hydrating Hair Masque

Best for TYPE 3-4, low porosity

The most superior ingredient list of any gel on the market. Virtually all-natural, this gel will hydrate the heck out of your curls and works swimmingly for Type 4 naturals, especially for twistouts and braidouts. A definite must-try!

an image of mielle babassu and mint deep conditioner

Mielle Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner

Best for TYPE 4, high porosity

This gel is amazing for defined wash and gos. The ingredient list also contains a few beneficial ingredients for natural hair such as nettle and rosemary oil, both instrumental for strengthening hair strands. 

an image showing a hot head thermal cap_best products for fine type 4 natural hair

Hot Head Thermal Cap

Best for TYPE 3-4, low porosity

This is a must have tool for low porosity naturals. Deep conditioning as a low porosity natural is essentially fruitless if you’re not opening up your cuticles to let the product in. And the heat supplied by this product will do just that. A much more effective deep conditioning strategy than the baggy method, and best of all: it’s more affordable and compact than a steamer.

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 natural hair community. If done correctly, these styles not only encourage length retention, but also moisture retention as well – a must in the colder months!

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 Protein Appropriately

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.

Use smaller-sized proteins in your hair, such as amino acids and peptides, which can penetrate into your hair and support your native proteins. Larger-sized proteins such as hydrolyzed silk and wheat proteins create a film around the hair and can be drying to low porosity hair.

an image of olaplex no 3 hair perfector

Olaplex No 3 Hair Perfector

Best for all naturals, all porosities

Olaplex’s Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment has a patented agent that is chemically similar to the disulfide protein bonds in our hair. Using it monthly prior to your wash day as a pre-poo will replace broken bonds in your cuticles caused by sun damage, dyes/bleach, heat tools and manipulation. Great for all porosities!

a photo showing aphogee two minute reconstructor how to take care of natural hair monthly

Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor

Best for TYPE 3 – 4, high porosity

This protein treatment is amazing for a protein up-keep, reversing mild heat damage and strenghtening high porosity hair. Your hair will be defined and bouncy immediately after washing it out. For best results, use for 10-15 minutes in the shower for Type 4 hair, and wash out with cool water. Follow up immediately with a moisturizing deep conditioner. Should be considered a staple treatment for high porosity naturals.

Once the temperature starts to drop, monitor your hair to make sure you are not overloading your hair with protein.

Protein overload is detrimental but can be accelerated in colder weather.

Look out for hidden protein ingredients in your leave-ins, such as hydrolyzed protein and silk protein, especially if you are low porosity and experience protein sensitivity.

Stay Hydrated!

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.

The Curl Market is a natural hair blog catered to helping black naturals grow their curls into a long, luscious manes.

We use the latest evidence-based scientific research to provide you with the top tips on growing your curls, regardless of hair type.

We also provide lifestyle tips, both self care and mental care, to ensure you are optimizing your body’s natural hair growth cycle – because you can’t grow natural hair if you’re stressed out!

Come as you are.

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Ayana Aden

Ayana is The Curl Market’s brand founder. When she’s not deep in natural hair research or creating content, she’s hanging on the couch with her husband and her cat, reading a book or scrolling through TikTok. Follow her on Instagram at @tothecurlmarket.

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