Winter hair care routine: How your hair changes in cold weather
Whenever temperatures drop or rise, the change of season always has an impact on our hair. Just like humidity plays havoc, blustery breezes can leave strands in a struggling state… and then there are the factors you may not even think about – like woolly hats and scarves triggering breakage, frizz and static.
But don’t freak out just yet – a few tweaks to your hair care routine can make all the difference. Let us break it down for you.
RELATED: Eight hair oils to try this winter
How cold weather affects your hair
Just as you’re beginning to settle into your routine of bundling up with scarves and coats, you may notice a distinct change in your hair. From an upsurge in blow drying to the constant back and forth between heated rooms and the freezing outdoors, this can all take a toll on strands and scalp.
In winter there is less humidity in the air, causing your scalp to dry out and peel. Dandruff can have a knock-on effect to the rest of your hair, making it look dull and limp. When the scalp gets zapped of moisture, it can also lead to unpleasant itching.
Besides a flaky scalp, hats and scarfs trap heat and can tug on hair, causing you to lose any volume and create a tangled, frizzy mess in the process. Then there’s static – when your hair picks up an electrical charge from the cold, dry air.
While we can rock a truly effortless, heat-free hairstyle no problem during summer, we often rely on heat tools to give us a beautiful blow-out in winter, when the last thing we feel like doing is going outdoors, or to sleep, with wet hair. A heavy reliance on hot tools, sometimes used on damp hair – let’s face it – can leave hair weaker and more vulnerable to damage.
Sadly there is no limit to what can happen to your strands in winter – you’re also more likely to experience hair loss during the colder months.
Finally, the more obvious side effect: your mane will become super dry and brittle because of turbulent weather conditions.
So what exactly should you do to fight winter hair damage? We have the answers you need below.
Combat a dry, flaky scalp
It all starts with the scalp. These gentle cleansing and detoxifying formulas will help get things back on track.
Kerasilk Revitalize Exfoliating Pre-Wash, $41: Inspired by skin care rituals, this pre-wash treatment deeply cleanses the scalp to remove dead skin cells and purify pores.
Palmer’s Natural Fusions DIY Cocktail Kit for Healthy Scalp: Designed to be cocktailed into your favourite hair products, this set of oils help soothe an itchy, dry scalp, replenish moisture and protect new hair growth.
Reverse moisture loss
Excessive heat styling, as well as the harsh temperature drop, exasperate winter dryness, which means it’s vital to use a more hydrating shampoo and conditioner. To really up the ante, use a weekly deep conditioning mask to reverse the effects of dryness.
bh loves these hydrating shampoo and conditioners: Natural Instinct Daily Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner, $13.99 each; Nature Box Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner, $14.99 each; L'Oréal Paris Botanicals Safflower Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner, $17.99 each.
bh loves these deep conditioning masks: Sukin Replenishing Hair Masque, $21.99; Glow Lab Hair Mask, $16.99; The Body Shop Shea Butter Richly Replenishing Hair Mask, $44.95
Fight frizz and static
The best way to combat annoying static is to target the problem at its source, by loading the hair with the hydration necessary to fight it. To ensure strands stay protected out in the elements, use an anti-static crème or spray – the added moisture will eliminate the electric charge that causes static.
Another way to stop static is by using a natural boar bristle brush, as plastic versions can cause that annoying surge of electricity.
bh loves: ghd natural bristle radial brush, $44; Beauty Dust Co. Classic Paddle Brush - Boar Bristle, $39.99
What are your tips for combating the effects of winter hair damage?