So this polar vortex thing is happening everywhere, huh? Since I'm from the northeast, I've been "winterizing" my hair for years, but now even the curlies in the south need to think about cold, dry air and snow affect their hair. Here are some of my tips to ensure our healthy locs make it to spring:
This is probably the most important thing you can do. I know it's easy to slack off on deep conditioning, especially when your hair gets to a healthy state, but keep doing it! I skipped two weeks this winter, and I saw a clear difference in my hair's moisture level, elasticity, and manageability. Since my hair is low porosity, I always deep condition weekly under my hooded dryer or heat cap, which helps the product absorb into the hair better. I also need a good deep conditioner. I know when I've found a good one when my hair feels soft and moist when I rinse it out. I've also incorporated oil rinsing into my regimen, which has helped a lot.
Cover hair when going outside
I know this isn't always possible, but I've made it a practice not to go out in the winter without a hat on my head. When I don't, my hair becomes dry, hard and frizzy.
Don't forget the satin!
I wear a hat every day, but I make sure it either has a satin lining or I have a satin scarf or cap on under it. These wool and cotton hats will rob your hair of all it's moisture! It's also important to cover your head with satin when sleeping. If the air outside is dry, imagine how dry the air is inside! Satin pillowcases are great, but I retain more moisture when I cover my head with a silk or satin scarf.
Humidifiers are your friend
To the point about it being dry indoors, get a humidifier if you can to moisten the air a little, especially while you sleep. If I'm in the kitchen for a long period of time, I'll keep a pot of water boiling to add some moisture to the air.
Reconsider Your Products
In general, I prefer lighter moisturizers and oils. I realized last month that heavier products like shea butter castor oil, and thicker leave-ins aren't too heavy for my hair during the winter.
Stay warm, dry, safe and healthy!