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How I’ve Been Taking Care of My Natural Curly Hair During the Winter (with a Chronic Illness)

Having curly hair is a job in itself! Add a chronic condition to the mix and it can seem nearly impossible.

I’ve been natural for years now and it’s never come easy for me. It seems like it took me forever to find the right products and really understand how to treat my hair. Although the journey has been tedious, I’m happy to say I’ve finally mastered my Winter haircare routine.

  1. Moisture: Moisture is a curly girl’s best friend. Cold days can lead to dry, brittle and even tangled hair. It’s important to use hydrating products. My number one go-to being, of course: water. Water is the most hydrating (and cheap) product we have! I’ve found mixing 1/2 water and 1/2 Amla Oil in a spray bottle to be super helpful for my (already naturally) dry hair.
  2. Hair Masks: Before you skip this step, allow me to explain. I know we’ve been trained to believe that certain products or routines don’t work for all hair types. I believed for a long time that because my hair is low porosity, I’m not supposed to use things like hair masks. When I began learning the difference between low porosity and high porosity hair, I didn’t think my hair could possibly benefit from things like that because it’s already very difficult for my hair to absorb and retain moisture. – But I was wrong. It wasn’t that I couldn’t use hair masks, it’s that I needed to use the right kind. Months ago I discovered the Garnier Fructis Strengthening Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask. I disregarded it at first because I always perceived Garnier as a brand.. well…not for those of color… Boyyy was I wrong. This has seriously become one of my all-time favorite products. Whether you’re applying it to soaking wet hair or simply damp hair, this product works wonders for curly girls in need of bounce, shine and hydration. My sister and my niece have started using it and quickly fell in love too!
  3. All About the Bows!: Haircare goes beyond shampoos and conditioners. You can clean and hydrate your hair perfectly and still manage to prevent growth with a style. I personally have been living for these Scunci Spiral Twisters! They look a bit like keychains from back in the day, but these are amazing. They stretch and give your hair enough room to breathe, while still managing to hold the hair in place for a stylish look. Most of the time, friends can’t even tell I have it in when I wear the brown or black one. A lot of hair ties can cause breakage depending on how often and tight we use them. – These on the other hand are like a breath of fresh air with how simple they are. Recently Target decided to do a MAJOR price drop so you can purchase a pack of 6 for just $3! *Also, if you find yourself using them often and stretching them a little too much, just add water and blow dry to shrink it back down to size!*
  4. Don’t Forget to Dry!: You don’t want to get sick, especially if you’re already living with a chronic condition like myself. It’s going to be cold outside so be sure to completely dry your hair before leaving your home. This is where a diffuser comes in. I’ve been living for blow drying with a diffuser. Since I started, my curls have remained in tact and still manage to stay hydrated and keep their shine and bounce. I couldn’t find my exact blow dryer (I bought it from Ross), but here’s the most comparable one I could find online!

While all of this may seem daunting, depending on how much a time crunch you’re in, you can actually finish this routine in a matter of minutes! – Around 10 or less. Let me know if you try out any of my curly girl hacks and what you’re doing to protect your hair this Winter!

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What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19-04:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019