Hair care is always important, but for a lot of people, it’s harder to keep hair healthy in the winter. There are two reasons for that, and they are both because of the weather. Cold air is hard on hair. So is dry hair, and cold air tends to be dry.
With a few easy tips, you can overcome these problems and have healthier hair throughout the year.
Cool it off
This will sound counterintuitive, but hair often gets exposed to more heat during the winter. When it’s cold outside, it’s easy to take a long, hot shower. You’ll want to style your hair while it’s still warm, or you might even opt for a hairdryer to get rid of the moisture in a warm way.
Here’s the problem. Too much heat will embrittle your hair and cause damage. Even in a shower, where there’s tons of moisture, warm water can lead to dry hair. It can break down some of the naturally occurring oils that provide the protective, moisturizing layer that is so important.
If you take the edge off the heat of your shower, it’s good for your hair. If you style it at room temperature, that’s good, too. Any time you can get by without heat drying your hair, that’s the best.
Warm it up
We just told you to cool off your hair, and now we’re saying the opposite. What’s up with that?!
Well, the winter is full of very cold air for most people (you can largely ignore this if you live in Florida or Hawaii). Hot air might be bad for your hair, but so is cold air. When the air gets cold enough, it tends to sap moisture out of everything. Cold air is notoriously dry, and that’s hard on your hair.
So, the idea is to protect your hair from very cold weather. Typically, anything below 50℉ can cause hardship for your hair. When you’re outside, consider wearing a hat where you can. If you can’t wear a hat, try not to spend as much time outdoors.
You don’t need to completely redesign your life around this idea, but as much as possible, shielding your hair from cold weather goes a long way.
Dry it off
This whole list is a rollercoaster! After all this talk about how dry hair is bad, we’re now telling you to dry out your hair.
It’s like this. You definitely want to keep your hair moisturized, and we’ll cover some ways to do that in a bit. What you don’t want is to have dripping wet hair all the time, especially before you go out into the cold air.
Styling your hair while it’s wet is ok if that’s what you’re after. The important thing to remember is that wet hair can and will freeze in very cold temperatures. If it’s above freezing outside, the wet hair will dry out and get cold and end up extra dry. That’s not ideal, but freezing is a lot worse.
Very few things will harm your hair more than literally freezing it, so make sure your hair is dry before you go out. If you can’t get it completely dry, cover it with a hat so it doesn’t freeze. It will probably mess up your style, but at least your hair will be ok.
Now, with all of this said, you still want to avoid heat drying your hair as much as possible. If you absolutely have to choose, a session with a blow dryer will cause less damage than literally frozen hair.
Wash it less
The theme of cold weather hair care is to avoid excess dryness. Washing your hair is an important part of this. You definitely need to keep your hair and scalp clean, but shampoos are designed to break up grease and oils in your hair. If you wash your hair a little less often, you can help push back against the slew of things trying to make your scalp dry every winter. We don’t mean go down to washing once a month. We mean washing four or five times a week versus seven.
If you can’t cut out hair washes enough, experiment with dry shampoo. It doesn’t strip away as much oil which allows you to have clean hair with less of the downside.
Also, use conditioner. You should deep condition once a week to really hydrate your hair. And, very important, you want to condition it after every time you use shampoo. Don’t make the fatal mistake of skipping conditioning altogether. Conditioner will minimize the dryness brought about by shampoo and keep your hair healthy.
Naturally, one of the easiest ways to do this is to use a moisturizing 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner combo.
Why does everything always come back to diet? Sorry, your mom was right.
A healthy diet provides the nutrients that your hair needs to stay healthy. This means you want a lot of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids in your daily eats. Normal healthy foods do all of this just fine. Multivitamin supplements don’t hurt — especially if it’s hard to get some fruits and veggies in the peak of winter.
If you take care of your hair during the winter, it will be easier to have a gorgeous mane to show off when the seasons turn warm again. It doesn’t take a ton of effort. Instead, you just need to think about how your daily life is impacting hair health and account for how cold weather makes a difference. If you do that, you’ll be set, hair-wise, this winter and every winter moving forward.
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