How to Have Great Hair All Winter Long
Winter is a difficult season for your hair. The cold air dries it out, you stuff it under hats and hoods, and the rapid heating that happens when you curl up in front of your heater or a fireplace can make your hair brittle. So how do you keep your locks luscious when winter life is trying to destroy them? Here are some suggestions that we’ve found useful over the years.
According to the experts at ScalpMed, most regular conditioners simply coat your hair so that it will look and feel smooth. They do very little to improve the health of the hair itself. This is why it is a good idea to regularly do an intense conditioning treatment. Look for conditioners that have protein and vitamins in them so that they can help your hair be healthy on the inside, not just look that way on the outside. Healthy hair is better able to withstand the nasty elements that winter will throw at it. And, it will look better while it does it.
Short and Cool
During the winter, we love to crank up the temperature in the shower. There is no doubt that hot water can feel really good when we’re cold. It can also help relax your muscles and ease the aches and pains that start acting up when the weather gets cold. When it comes time to wash your hair, though, it is better to use cool water as hot water can strip your scalp and hair of its natural oils and do more to dry it out and damage it than help it. It’s also a good idea to keep those super hot showers short. Prolonged exposure to hot water can damage your skin.
Silk Scarves Are Your Friend
The best way to protect your hair from the elements is to shelter it from those elements. For most of us that means putting on a hat. This, however, can also damage your hair as it can build up static, increase oil production, etc. A great way to prevent this is to wrap your head and hair in a silk scarf before donning your hat. This reduces friction and static. It also feels better against your head than the itchy wool that you use for warmth. And it prevents damage that would normally be caused by the hat rubbing against your hair.
Wet Hair is Not Your Friend
Wet hair causing colds was debunked by science long ago. Even so, it isn’t a good idea to head out into the cold winter air while your hair is still wet. If you go outside with wet hair or even damp hair, the cold air will react with the moisture and cause your hair to become brittle and could even result in breakage. Dry your hair completely before heading out–even if you plan on wearing a hat.
That said, not all hair dryers and towels are created equal. If you have time before you have to head out, it’s good to simply towel dry your hair with a soft and very absorbent towel and then let it air dry the rest of the way. If you need to use a blow dryer, choose one that is built to diffuse the hot air instead of just blowing it straight at your head. It’s also a good idea to treat your hair with product that will protect your hair from the heat. This way your hair can be dried without automatically causing a bunch of damage.
Humidifiers Are Your Friend
Yes, yes, hot humid air can make hair frizz up. During the winter, though, turning on the humidifier can help counteract the drying effect caused by having the heat on all day. This isn’t just good for your hair. It is also good for your skin and even your lungs. It can help prevent those pesky nosebleeds that tend to happen at this time of year. And it can help your home feel even warmer than it would if you used just the heater (the moisture helps spread the heat more evenly across the space, which makes it feel warmer).
Care and Maintenance
It is much healthier to limit your shampooing to 2-3 times a week. This might feel gross in the beginning because your scalp will still produce oil at the “shampoo every day” rate. But over time, your follicles will adjust and you’ll see how much healthier your hair has become. And, of course, you’ll want to keep up with your trimming and cutting schedule.
Having healthy hair all winter long is as much about protecting the inside as it is the outside. Use these tips to help you have beautiful locks all season long!