It’s just around the corner; the dreaded cold, frozen, winter weather. Keeping our tresses beautiful and healthy throughout the frosty winter months can be done with some simple and effective changes to our daily hair care routine. Winter months can be negative on our hair causing it to become dry, brittle, frizzy or dull. We don’t have to let Jack Frost get the best of our luscious locks. Good preparation and practices will help our hair remain unaffected and looking its best.
Below are some basic dos and don’ts to help us combat common problems of hair health in the winter.
Shampoo – Don’t: shampoo too frequently. When it is cold, your scalp and hair dry out easily and quicker than during warm weather. Don’t shampoo your hair more than once a day or every other day if possible.
Condition – Do: deep condition or use leave-in conditioners. The coldness of winter weather and the dry heat indoors is robbing your hair of moisture, so it is imperative to condition. Deep conditioning and an intensive daily conditioner are important. Conditioning will help to keep static electricity minimal or non-existent all together (see other static electricity tips at the bottom). Leave-in conditioners will help those with excessively dry hair.
Water Temperature – Don’t: use excessively hot water when washing hair, it can dry it out. Rinsing in warm or cold water is the best practice and will give you smooth and shiny hair. Cold water rinsing and washing can help lock moisture in, while hot water releases moisture.
Trimming/Cutting – Do: trim or cut your hair often, about half an inch a month is a good. Even if you are actively growing out your tresses, trimming it a half inch every 4-6 weeks during the winter months will help prevent breakage and it’ll grow better once the warmer weather arrives because the points of breaking and splitting won’t have a chance to move up the hair shaft causing you to cut more length later on.
Blow Dryers & Heated Appliances – Don’t: use your blow dryer, flat iron or curling iron. If it can be avoided during winter months, pack them away until spring. These hot appliances will only dry hair out more during the cold winter. If you can stand to air dry your hair inside without getting too cold, this will be best.
Hats & Cover Ups – Do: wear hats, scarves, or caps to protect your tresses from the frosty elements outside. Whatever you use to cover up your locks should not be tight fitting, if they are too tight, scalp circulation will be constricted. Wearing cover ups outside only is the way to go. If you wear a hat all of the times your hair can become greasy and limp, so don’t keep it covered all of the time.
Clarifying – Don’t: use clarifying products during cold weather. If silicone build-up is a problem for you, changing to silicone free products will be helpful, don’t use ingredients with a suffix of ‘cone’. Silicone has the effect of adding shine and smoothness to hair but it can be difficult to remove and may have a drying effect on some types of hair. Clarifying shampoos and rinses remove this build-up but can also remove the good, protective oils from your hair. These oils are necessary and important during winter. If you have to use a clarifying shampoo use as gentle a product possible.
Wear an Updo – Do: wear your long locks up when it’s cold. Pinning your hair up can limit the exposure to the outside cold and dry air while keeping your hair healthier. You can dazzle and make your updo hairstyle festive and funky for the holiday season.
Brushing – Don’t: over brush your hair in the winter, it can cause more damage since the cold weather causes it to be drier and more brittle. Using a wide-tooth comb is better than a brush and combing it gently will help keep it healthier. Mom and Grandma don’t always know best when it comes to brushing your hair a lot.
Static electricity and the frizzy flyaway hair is always a problem during the frigid months of winter. To help combat this problem even after conditioning, anti-static sprays can be used. These special sprays are formulated specifically for controlling static in the hair. In an emergency, dryer sheets can be used on the hair or spraying your hairbrush with a light sprit of anti-static spray for clothing (Static Guard) can be used. Keeping your winter clothes as free of static as possible in turn helps your hair, so don’t be afraid to use fabric softener on your clothes.
Knowing the dos and don’ts of winter hair care and preparing now, before the sub-zero temperatures are upon us can help keep our luscious locks looking fabulous all through the winter.