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How to care for for your natural hair this fall

Sabrina Perkins

Should you prep natural hair for fall and winter? What is required for a fall prepping of natural hair? Most often it depends on what your hair needs but starting with an end of season clarifying wash and moisture-boosting conditioning is an excellent start.

More: Curly haired women have been using this pre-poo trend for ages

It’s officially fall this week, but I’m not waiting to get my hair ready for cooler temperatures, drier air and harsher elements. I’ve been neglectful the past few months with family obligations and my more than normal amount of stress, but this routine is a great one. The best part is it can be altered to what your hair needs. It’s a great way to not only get hair in the ideal shape for a new season, but a reminder to get back into a regular maintenance routine if you nixed it for those carefree summer days.


Pre-poo: a treatment done before shampooing your hair to help against hair stripping by shampoos and to aid in detangling.

I am not one for a pre-poo every wash day and actually only do it when my hair has been neglected and is pretty tangled. I also haven’t washed my hair with a shampoo in at least a month, haven’t properly detangled my hair in weeks, and wanted to help my hair to stay moisturized and tangle-free before my washday.

What I did: I slathered my hair with Fractionated Coconut oil and covered with a plastic cap for three hours. It was a drippy mess so I made sure to wear an old house dress (yes, I’m old) and hung around the house all day.


I often co-wash but was in dire need of something stronger. I hadn’t washed my hair with a clarifying shampoo in a long time so I needed to get my hair completely cleansed of product build-up, dirt, and oil. Before I wash I do rinse my hair with water to help remove some of the tangles prior to adding shampoo.

What I did: I washed it first with Design Essential Oat Protein & Henna Shampoo to start off, and rinsed well before following up with Design Essentials Honey Creme Moisture Retention Shampoo. I do not normally use two different shampoos but when my hair is really dirty, I have trouble removing all the build-up so I clarify and cleanse, and then cleanse and moisturize to fully remove everything without stripping my hair.

More: 5 secrets to get the most gorgeous hair ever

Deep condition with heat

We should be using a deep conditioner during every single wash day but I’ve been neglectful the past two washes. I never do this but the past couple of months have been hectic so I let this slide.

What I did: I love my SheaMoisture line, but I gave another deep conditioner a try this time. Eden BodyWorks Natural Deep Conditioner has a great consistency (not crazy about the smell) but glided in my hair well. I got my Wet Look Shower Comb (which I NEVER USE because I only finger detangle) but needed to fully detangle my hair. It was a chore but I got through it by starting at the ends and working my way up. To penetrate better I used my Deep Conditioning Microwavable Heat Cap for 30 minutes before rinsing hair.

Tea Rinse: A hair tea/hair tea rinse is simply brewing a type of tea, allowing it to steep and cool prior to pouring it over your hair and scalp. Massaging your scalp with the hair tea is next and this all happens after hair has been washed.

I love tea rinses and you can simply use any black, green or blend but I love those blends that are created to stimulate hair growth and fight hair loss like Chagrin Valley Hair Tea Stimulation Blend.

What I did: I boiled water and allowed loose tea leaves to steep for 45 minutes. Once cooled I pour tea over my head after I rinse my deep conditioner out and massage. I never rinse it out.

Leave-in conditioner

I do not care for traditional leave-in conditioners as they are too watery. I prefer to use a regular conditioner on washday and this helps my curls last longer.

What I did: After massaging the tea rinse I apply Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner throughout my hair.


I used to think washday did not require a styler but this is what is needed for second, third, and fourth day hair. I allow it to air dry before removing the gel cast for soft, fully defined curls.

What I did: After blotting my hair I raked Kinky Curly Original Curling Custard Natural Styling Gel in my hair.

Woah! That was a lot but this is not my regular wash day routine and if it was I would rock a TWA! I’m not for all day long wash days, but with my neglect and the cooler weather approaching, I needed to up my hair game.

Now, you can substitute the deep conditioner for a protein treatment if you need to but I needed moisture more than anything. A trim is also a great end of season component but I will be doing that in November. I only trim twice a year. Tailor your end of season routine to your needs, and use the products you trust and love.

More: How my 4-year-old taught me to love my natural hair

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