Caring for my black children's hair in the winter varies greatly from how I care for it in the summer. Some of that is because of where we live. We have very moist, humid summers with a decent amount of heat. And in the winter, it is super dry and cold and usually very windy. So, as the weather starts to get colder, some things in my hair routine do change for my children.
1) Protect. First and foremost, we are always very careful to protect our curls and styles from the winter elements. Winter hats can be horrible on styles, creating fuzzies and breakage but are certainly necessary for warmth around here. My kids wear a sleep cap underneath of their winter hats as a protective layer. It helps us maintain those neat styles, reduce breakage, and protect against moisture loss. We like the small, medium, and large caps for this as they don't add any bulk under the hat and we aren't trying to shove long braids or twists into them anyway like we would for bedtime. We keep the sleep caps hanging up with our winter hats! Additionally, these same caps work great for us under helmets in the summertime :-).
2) Moisturize. Moisture is crucial to black hair care regardless of the time of year. However, we have to add moisture more often in the winter to compensate for that super dry air we have here. We daily spritz their hair with Africa Sleeps' Hair Oil at night before they go to bed. Read this article to find out a few reasons why we use our special almond/apricot oil blend instead of coconut oil in the winter. In addition to hair oil, we add a small amount of Nourishing Conditioner to braids every few days. It's a great leave-in conditioner that adds a lot of moisture.
At least once a week, we do a basic loc (liquid, oil, cream) method on our children's hair, even in protective styles (that we usually leave in for 2-3 weeks). In the winter, I start with coating the braids in a small amount of Nourishing Conditioner, then spraying the hair with Hair Oil, and finally adding a small amount of Braid Balm on top to seal in the moisture and keep the styles neat and tidy. If you're styling more often, you want to do this each time you re-style/maniulate the hair.
3) Protective Styles. While my kids rarely have free hair or puffs (with three beautiful girls with heads full of curls, I don't have the daily time to detangle), I find it especially helpful in the winter to use protective styles. We love a variety of cornrows, braids, twists, box braids/twists. We prefer use beads or GaBByBows to protect the ends and add some color to their styles. We do a lot more puff/free hair type styles in the summertime when there's a lot of humidity in the air and they aren't losing moisture as fast! We also have fun doing more complex/time consuming styles in the winter when we have more inside time to devote to them!