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SURVIVING COLD WEATHER WITH CURLY HAIR

Graphic by Rachel Nussbaum.While anyone with hair on their head struggles during the winter — the wind, the freezing rain and snow, the rooms dryer than week-old gingerbread — those of us with curly hair can get a bad case of the winter blues. But as a veteran of the drugstore beauty aisle, I’m here to help vanquish bad hair days. Below, I’ve compiled a list of products, curl-approved:

Deva Curl Products

As one of the first brands to market exclusively to curly girls (and guys), Deva Curl has an amazing array of products. From conditioners to gels to shampoo, their hair care products are specifically designed for the challenges curls can present. But this quality comes with a price; the majority of their conditioners, gels and spritzes are priced in the $20-$30 range.

However, if anything’s worth a splurge, it’s Low Poo: Deva Curl’s signature shampoo lacks the lathering agent sodium laureth sulfate, a chemical compound that strips hair of its moisture. A must-have for dry winters, this shampoo doesn’t cause frizz or breakage, and smells like a tropical breeze. You might need to buy it on Amazon or at Ulta, but as those with curly hair only need to shampoo once a week (or less), it should last for months.

Organix OGX Renewing Intense Moisturizing Treatments

Organix products are readily available at drugstores — including the Evanston CVS — and, at less than $7 a jar, offer an effective, low-cost solution to frizz. Personally, I’m partial to the Argan Oil and Shea Butter treatments; the cream is a nice alternative to gels, as it skips that sticky residue and is more readily absorbed by hair follicles.

After a shower, comb the cream through your hair with your fingers and let it sit for a few minutes. The bottle recommends washing it out, but unless your hair is super fine or more wavy than curly, you can go on your way.

Mixed Chicks Leave In Conditioner, $19.99, Target

Mixed Chicks Leave-In Conditioner

Though marketed towards those with kinky hair, Mixed Chicks products are great for anyone with tighter curls. Honestly, I have mixed feelings (no pun intended) about the Leave-In conditioner. On the one hand, it’s difficult to find outside of specialty salons and Amazon, and tends to leave a residue.

On the other, the leave-in conditioner is super moisturizing, with a yummy lemon fragrance. It also does an excellent job of minimizing frizz and lending definition to curls that take a beating from the Lake Michigan wind. If your curls are small, tight, or especially dry, then this is the product for you.

MoroccanOil Products

Unless you have $40 lying around to spend on a 10 oz. bottle of cream, you will not be buying this. However, you should definitely ask Santa to stuff your stocking with MoroccanOil products. I’ve tried their Styling Cream, Mousse, Shampoo, Conditioner and Curl Defining Cream, and all are first-rate. Their fresh, clean smell stays in your hair for days, and the creams can be applied to dry as well as wet hair for quick styling.

The shampoo and conditioners don’t last long enough to justify the price, but either the Styling or Curl Defining creams would be excellent investments. Out of all the products from this list, they’re the best defense against frizz and winter breakage.

Final Tips

This winter, keep in mind these quick tips to keep your curls healthy and fabulous:

  • Wash your hair at night and allow it to air dry as you sleep.
  • Ditch the blow dryer.
  • Go easy on the shampoo, and instead focus on conditioning your hair and hydrating your scalp.