It’s the most wonderful time of the year… but maybe not for your hair! Even though you might not be battling scorching hot temperatures and an absurd amount of frizz, the cold air can cause quite a bit of damage to the hair too! When our hair is exposed to chilly weather, it can often result in the follicles lifting up ever so slightly. And even though we might not see any significant impacts of this occurrence, it can prevent any amounts of moisture from remaining within the hair shaft (1). When our hair loses moisture, our strands’ risks of becoming dehydrated significantly increases. Once our hair becomes dry, we are prone to breakage. So even though our hair may not be exposed to extreme UV indexes and high humidity, the harsh cold air can be equally problematic.
Here are 11 easy tricks to keep your hair healthy, moisturized, and happy all winter long!
1. Weekly hair masks
Deep conditioners can be life-savers for your hair. When your hair is wet, the follicles are opening, meaning that moisturizing ingredients can penetrate the hair shaft as much as possible. Pro tip: Wear a shower cap after applying a mask and let it sit for the remainder of your shower. This trick will create extra heat for the conditioner to work even better.
2. Wear a hat
Harsh cold weather can cause a ton of damage to the healthiest of hair - and even more so if it’s windy. Cover up your hair as much as possible with hats, hoods, and scarves.
3. Use a sulfate-free shampoo
Sulfates can dry out the hair if used too often. But if your hair type requires a clarifying shampoo, try to find one with mild cleansing agents.
4. Don’t wash every day
Our scalp naturally produces oils that are essential for the health of our hair. By shampooing our strands daily, we can risk stripping our hair of these oils. Instead, try washing your hair no more than two or three times weekly.
5. Use oils before shampoo
When you coat the hair with something occlusive, it can prevent harsh surfactants from penetrating already-dried hair strands. If you don’t have any hair-friendly oils on hand, you can also perform this trick with a conditioner
6. Avoid dyes and chemical treatments
Hair dye and chemical treatments cause short and long-term damage to the hair. Try to avoid causing more stress on your strands during a time of year when mother nature keeps dropping the temperature.
7. Use leave-in conditioners
The moisture treatments don’t have to be limited to the shower. Use a thick, occlusive product to lock in hydration while your hair is still wet. Adding a leave-in conditioner to damp hair will help lock in hydration.
8. Opt for a silk pillowcase
Satin or silk pillowcases protect your hair from damage while you sleep. Learn all about why they’re better than other fabrics here.
9. Eliminate hot tools
Though we realize it immediately or not, straighteners and curling irons practically fry our hair. Find heat-free styles and products to embrace your natural hair pattern, and leave the tools for special occasions.
10. If you must use hot tools, use a heat protectant spray
It’s better than nothing, right!
11. Nurture your locks from the inside
Natural beauty truly begins with how you take care of your body. Be mindful of foods rich in good-for-your-hair vitamins. Or, make things really simple and implement a biotin supplement into your daily routine.