Fall Fashion Tips: Choose Coats that Won't Harm Your Skin or Hair
As the leaves turn from lush green to deep hues of orange, purple and yellow - our favorite fall coats start to make their appearance. Depending on where you live, fall may have already arrived and you’re bundling up with your best boots, comfy socks and autumn jackets. As we say farewell to summer’s sweltering heat and the cool breeze kiss our faces, it’s only natural to want to choose the most flattering fall coat. Popular coat silhouettes in recent years have included the puffer, the quilted, the duster, the cape, the trench and the robe coat to name a few. The truth is a coat can be your final coat of armor before stepping into the brisk fall air. Your choice may depend on the occasion - nothing screams power like a robe coat or cape coat (we can thank Olivia Pope for that!). Or if you’re heading into the office, a trench or peacoat is a professionally safe bet. When you’re looking to express your creativity with your style, a puffer or quilted coat can be your best friend and great evening companion. With all the choices on the market, it can be hard to narrow down your options. Especially when we need to juggle the various commitments in our lives. Let’s explore the different fabric options to help narrow down our choices.
Warm Fall Coats by Fabric Type
Let’s explore popular fall fabric options:
With so many choices on the market you start to experience decision fatigue. What makes the choices even harder are the hidden need of hypoallergenic, allergen-free and hair friendly textiles. For those of us who have sensitive skin and hair, choosing flattering fall coats becomes a need of utility and not purely style. While wool keeps our bodies warm, it wreaks havoc on our hair. If you have 4c natural hair, the nape area (the hair that sits on the back of your head close to your neck), is the most breakage prone. Hours of healthy hair habits can be undone in one afternoon with a great fall coat that doesn’t take into account hair and skin sensitivities.
4C Natural Hair Care 101
Have you ever asked yourself why curly textures are more difficult and time consuming to manage than straight hair textures? We explore the reason in our previous blog post A Visual Guide: 3 Easy Head Wrap Styles for 4C Natural Hair. “When you take a magnifying glass to the shaft of 4C natural hair, the hair strand most closely resembles a coil. While natural hair is often revered for its ability to defy gravity and adhere easily to different shapes, it’s a notoriously difficult texture to manage. Curly textures are drier than straight hair textures because it takes the scalp’s natural oil a longer time to navigate down the hair shaft.” Consider the likeness of the coil in a pen versus a straight pencil. When you release a drop of oil on the coil, the oil remains trapped at the top and reaches the end at a snail’s pace. When you release a drop of oil on the straight pencil on the other hand, the oil immediately drenches the object and reaches the end of the pencil in no time. Take a look at this illustration:
That’s how curly textures and straight textures differ. The scalp’s natural oil is moisturizing and nourishing…in balance. Too much oil without clarifying your scalp with shampoo can be just as damaging as excessively dry strands. Finding the right balance of moisture requires a natural hair care regimen that listens to your unique curl profile. This could mean knowing whether you have high porosity (highly absorbent) or low porosity (near water-resistant) strands. Because many curly textures are low porosity, you may need to search for natural hair products that are high in humectants such as honey, aloe vera, castor oil and hibiscus.
In addition to the products you use, you must consider the types of materials you use on your body. Harsh vampiric fabrics have the potential to reverse the love and care of your natural hair regimen. We know what you’re thinking! When you’re hours into the all consuming natural hair care regimen, your focus is on finishing rather and not pondering hypoallergenic, hair-friendly fabrics!
Natural hair care regimen tips for damaged hair
As our friends at Brown Skin Women say, healthy hair is a habit! It’s a collection of your day to day choices that build up over time. Consider these four pillars of healthy hair habits:
- Low manipulation: Low manipulation hairstyles often refer to braids, twists and wigs. Any style that allows the shaft’s fragile, dry ends to be safely tucked away from nature’s elements for long periods of time qualifies as a low manipulation style. The key is to use low manipulation styles as often as you can. Think of how much growth and healthy hair you can achieve by keeping your strands in low manipulation styles 4 of the 7 days a week! You may wonder how to keep your hair moisturized during this time. Consider liquid leave in conditioners, especially water-based moisturizers.
- Protective styles: On the other hand, protective styles can extend to fabrics such as head wraps, bonnets and hats. The beauty of a protective style is that it shields your hair from the elements including pollen and UV rays. Protective styles can’t be worn for extended periods of time like low manipulation styles. However it’s a good alternative to when you’re giving your curls a break between braids and twists.
- Hydration: Given the inherently dry nature of curly textures, the majority of your time, money and efforts should focus on infusing your strands with moisture. Unless you’re a high porosity hair type, liquid leave-in conditioners are great for low porosity curls. High porosity strands have a fairly easy time absorbing water whereas low porosity curls have a difficult time absorbing water. Try the porosity test and let us know your findings!Source: Getty Images
- Fabric for healthy hair: Now that we’ve reviewed the core habits to maintain healthy hair, seal the deal with smart fabrics. Silks and satins are important staples in any naturalista’s arsenal. The smooth fibers are terrible at absorbing moisture, which is great news for fragile curly strands. Instead, they help your hair retain moisture and are less likely to snag and break your curls.
Did you know that according to a University of Chicago and University of California study grooming outweighs attractiveness in terms of higher income potential? The study confirms black women are disproportionately affected by the pay equity and grooming standard, spending on average 9 times the amount of time and money on hair care than their professional peers? That equates to about $472 million annually on black hair products, or $32 every 30 days per consumer. We exist to bridge the grooming gap for textured-hair women and build time equity so customers can devote energy to what matters. Our apparel and accessories are strategically lined with silk and satin, a curl-friendly fabric, to offer additional protective styling options that are intrinsically built into the garment design.
Skin and Hair-Friendly Coats: How to Avoid Allergens and Damage
Hair safe textiles are easily accessible and affordable, which is great news for 4c natural hair shoppers on a budget. However not all fabrics are created equal. Depending on the fragility of your hair, you may need to be selective about the quality of hypoallergenic fabrics you wear. Hair and skin safe fabrics can help prevent breakouts, breakage and save you hours of discomfort and stress. A little can go a long way, especially in high breakage prone areas like your nape. Your nape is defined as the area of hair and the base of your head and top of your neck. It’s no coincidence that it’s prone to breakage, given the harsh but fashionable fall fabrics we love to sport in the colder months. That’s why we designed a special fall coat that serves as fashion and function. The satin lining coats not just the collar, but also the upper back and shoulder areas, strategically designed to meet the needs of all hair lengths.
Whether you’re wearing your 4c natural hair in an updo or afro, we’ve quite literally got you covered with our Satin-lined Robe Coats. The lining is 100% wooly satin, an extra plush satin that feels soft to the touch and that your curls love even more! Our custom print process allows us to produce fabric to the exact yardage, eliminating waste and reducing our collective carbon footprint. When you purchase one of our Satin-lined Robe Coats, you help sponsor a student at the Carnegie School of Home Economics Garment Making Program and contribute to our mission of training the next generation of seamstresses!
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