Winter hair care is very different to looking after your locks in the spring or summer. Colder temperatures, increased rain and snow storms and windy days all take their toll on the condition of your hair and extra steps must be taken to protect its health and shine.
Your hair tends to suffer more from dryness in the winter months, as well as static, split ends, breakages, frizz, dandruff and dullness. Many of these issues stem from our constant movement between the cold streets outside and heated homes and offices. Our hair can’t keep up with these rapid temperature changes and as a result can lose moisture, become more prone to damage and require extra care and attention.
Here are seven ways to help your hair retain its natural gorgeousness during colder months and ideas for how to take care of hair in the winter season. Whether you choose to follow them all, or prefer to select your favourite tip to begin with, you should hopefully start to see the benefits before too long.
Split ends are signs of dryness and hair breakage and these can get bigger and longer, travelling up the hair shaft until the damage is too high up to get rid of without a drastic haircut and change of look. It is important to maintain your hairdresser appointments routine over winter, arranging a trim of the ends every four to eight weeks to keep them free from damage. This also allows your hairdresser to keep an eye on your tresses and alert you to any potential problems sooner rather than later, such as dryness or thinning patches. Shorter hair is also easier to look after when the weather is not on your side.
Reflect the darker days of winter by choosing darker colours to dye your hair. Lighter bleaches tend to strip the hair of moisture and winter conditions tend to exacerbate dryness in the hair and skin when you are exposed to chilly temperatures and drying winds. Plus, you won’t have to venture out quite so often to have your roots touched up, as darker colours tend not to be so noticeable as they grow out. You can achieve some stunning looks with bold russets, deep purples, rich, chocolatey browns and sleek blacks.
When you go outside – and we all have to venture outdoors from time to time to walk the dog, go shopping and take some exercise, protect your hair against the elements. Cover your hair with a silk scarf or silk lined hat to keep the rain off it and protect it from split ends and damage. Silk is amazing for hair and is known to help reduce thinning and knots due to its smooth fibres and soft, luxurious finish. Never leave the house with wet hair in the winter, as this can freeze in low temperatures and break. Dry your hair at night to avoid a rush in the morning.
A common problem that has to be solved when working out how to care for natural hair in the winter is dealing with static. Flyaway, static hair is a symptom of excessive winter dryness and is both annoying to live with and damaging to hair as it makes it more prone to split ends. Choose a leave-in conditioner that is designed to help relieve static and avoid washing your hair with too harsh a shampoo, or one that contains sulphates that strip the hair of its natural oils and make it dry and unmanageable. For an instant fix, wipe your hair with a tumble dryer laundry sheet.
The key to healthy hair care in winter is keeping as much moisture in it as possible to help protect it from the cold temperatures and adverse weather conditions. Treat your hair to a deep conditioning hair mask once a week to help maintain water and oils and don’t wash it too often to remove the natural oils. Use dry shampoo in between washes to open up the hair shafts and refresh its look to bring it back to life. Other hydrating ideas include buying a humidifier, drinking plenty of water and following an oil and mineral rich diet with plenty of Vitamins C, A and E for healthy hair and skin.
Your winter hair will love you forever if you pay attention to how much oil is being retained to help keep it moisturised and hydrated in the cold. Use oil based treatments such as hair masks and leave-in serums to add key oils and restore any moisture lost by going outside. Choose hair treatments containing argan or jojoba oil, as these are excellent at sealing in moisture and nourishing the hair. To stop split end from getting worse in between cuts, apply a small amount of either oil directly to the end of your hair every day to seal the splits and nourish the damaged hair. Additionally, if you know how to care for dry hair in winter, you can also keep your scalp healthier and less prone to dandruff.
As contrary as this may sound, too much heat in the winter can be as damaging to hair as too much exposure to the wet, cold weather outside. Heat can lead to dryness and hair that feels brittle and vulnerable to breaking, so go easy on the water temperature gauge in the shower. Wash your hair in lukewarm water and follow up with a cool rinse. Avoid using heated styling tools such as straighteners or curling wands. Use a drop of hair oil to tame any frizz and forego the curls for easier style such as a loose ponytail or bun. Don’t pull your hair into too tight a style however, as this can lead to breakages as well. Be kind to your hair in winter and before you know it, the warmer climes of spring will be just around the corner.