Adjusting skin care routines for the period of the year that is dry, cold and characterised by unpredictable weather is standard practice for many, but maybe not so much for hair. With a little bit of special attention and a few logical changes, you can save yourself from unnecessary hair issues in the coming winter months.
Dry and warm
In cold weather your hair can take longer to dry. Take the time to allow it to properly dry out before you turn hot tools on it like straighteners and curling wands. Doing this on wet hair can severely damage the strand as water makes your hair more elastic and vulnerable to damage. The inner structure can be weakened by the hot steam that comes from the water in your hair heating up.
Wait until your hair is around 70 percent dry before turning a hair dryer or hot tool on it. If you hear a sizzle when the plate of your straightener comes into contact with your hair, put it down and try to wait it out.
Colder, less humid days means your hair produces less oil. This means you shouldn’t need to wash it as frequently as in summer. If you continue to wash your hair as often, natural oils will be stripped away and your hair will dry out. Make a conscious seasonal adjustment to combat this.
If your go-to style is having hair out, reconsider. Dry winter air combined with heaters and wind will suck moisture out of your hair. Consider styles that will keep hair contained like low buns, braids and plaits.
Frizz might be something you associate with the humid summer months but if you’re not careful you could be creating frizzy fluffy hair yourself. Stepping out of the shower and immediately wanting to be warm and dry might tempt you to give your hair a rough once-over with the towel. Instead pat it dry then wrap your hair up with the towel and gently squeeze it over the wet hair.
Ever taken your coat, scarf or jumper on and off throughout the day and ended up with a knotted mess at the back of you hair? You’ve been experiencing coat hair. Knots will rough up the hair cuticle, making it even rougher and frizzier. Anti-static sprays will deal with this and many are formulated to condition the hair at the same time (hopefully preventing it from happening again).
A moisture injection from a mask or treatment can be exactly what hair needs in winter but be wary of overdoing it. Hair that is overloaded with product will become seriously lackluster so think about using a hair cleanser. Look for products with the word ‘clarifying’ in the name. They’re made to lift residual buildup from your strands, giving your hair a reboot and a fresh base to look after.