Whether you spend all winter with your hair tucked away in hats and protective styles or blowouts and wash and go’s you want to be sure you’re giving your hair the best care possible. Sure it’s no longer subject to the damage that comes with the heat in the summer, chlorine, saltwater, sun exposure and so on but there still the damage that comes with the cold. From breakage causing cold and dryness to dreaded hat hair, there’s a lot that winter weather can do to our hair.
Winter Hair Care Tips
For some guidance on how we can avoid damage and use this time to restore our hair, we reached out to Yureesh Hooker, director of education at Broome Street Society. Read on to see how you can repair and restore your hair this winter.
Avoid Breakage and Heat (If You Can…)
With the heat and humidity long gone, you might have gone back to heat styling your hair. Whether your go-to tool is a blow dryer, flat iron or curling wand, your hair is not immune to the heat damage but you don’t have to avoid them altogether. “Keep your hair’s exposure to heat at a minimum,” Hooker says. “Try to keep ‘touch-ups’ with hot tools (curling irons, flat irons, etc.) to a minimum, and use a low heat setting on your blow dryer. If you do use hot tools, be sure to prepare your hair first by utilizing a leave-in conditioner and a heat protectant to retain your hair’s moisture.”
Even if you avoid the heat, regular styling can cause damage to already dry hair. “During the winter months when hair tends to be dry, combing it can cause breakage,” Hooker explains. “Comb with your fingers, wide-tooth comb with large teeth, or a brush that has its teeth spread far apart to minimize pulling and stress on your hair.”
Moisturize Your Hair
Just like your skin, your hair will need a little extra moisture in the winter. Excess shampooing can strip the hair of natural oils so Hooker advises shampooing your hair no more than once a week. “Moisture is the key for your scalp as well as your hair,” she says. In addition to washing your hair less, add in a few extra moisturizing treatments and maximize their effects with an extra trick. He continues: “If your hair gets extremely dry deep conditioners and hot oil treatments can definitely save the day. Leave them in for 15 plus minutes and wrap in a slightly damp, hot towel if applying at home. The heat will open up the hair cuticle allowing the conditioning elements to penetrate the hair strand. This mimics the steamer that one sits under at the salon.”
Prevent Future Hair Damage
Be sure to make regular salon visits to trim off the split and damaged ends for healthier hair. While trims are essential year-round Hooker explains they’re especially important when your hair is drier and that “getting rid of dry ends will be essential in preventing dryness from moving into damage.”
So how can you avoid dryness? “Let your natural texture shine through by letting your hair air dry whenever possible, just be sure that your hair is actually dry before leaving the house. Wet hair and cold weather do not mix well together and will result in dryness and damage.” So you may want to avoid those quick morning shampoos in favor of washing your hair when you have plenty of time to let it dry fully or to blow dry.
Of course, we still have to leave the house no matter how cold it is or how much we’d like to stay home, so we also asked about avoiding hat hair. “First thing, be sure to pick a hat-friendly style. Styles with a lot of volume will be crushed, and for the most part, will not be able to be successfully fluffed back up,” he says. Noted. So what styles will work? “Styles that are more head-hugging, or don’t have a lot of volume at the root, will work best. Stay away from any tight hair clips or ponytail elastics. Anything that is too tight on the hair will have significantly more of a damaging effect in the winter weather.” You can also opt for silk-lined hats to prevent frizz.
A Few Winter Hair Care Products to Get You Started…
This ten-minute treatment is worth the splurge. The ingredient list is a delicious blend of Oribe’s Signature Complex (Watermelon, Lychee, and Edelweiss), Murumuru and Mango Seed Butters, Coconut and Sweet Almond Oil, and vitamin-rich extract that will keep your hair healthy and hydrated in these colder winter months while helping to prevent breakage. Plus, it smells great!
If you don’t want to splurge on hydrating products, the Manuka Honey & Yogurt line from Shea Moisture is for you. The key ingredients, honey, yogurt, and mafura oil soften, nourish and moisturize.
If you have to heat style your hair be sure you’re using a heat protectant like this treatment that works with any hot tools and prevents heat damage up to 450 degrees.
You have to keep warm, might as well do it in style. This beanie is lined with silk to prevent frizz and damage to your hair.