During winter, many people will find that their hair takes a beating and becomes dry and brittle. Left unchecked, this leads to hair breakage resulting in lack-lustre hair. But what is it about winter that leads to these hair changes? The answer lies in the combination of the cold weather outdoors and the dry heat indoors, resulting in loss of moisture.
Perhaps the most important thing to mention is that winter affects all hair types, stripping the strands of moisture and leading to breakage. Just because the weather in the outdoors is grey and mean does not mean your hair too should remain frizzy and unkempt.
To care for your hair, there are measures that you need to take throughout the year, with emphasis during winter. Here’s how to keep your hair hydrated during the cold season. Of course these measures can be used during any other season in order to maintain healthy beautiful hair.
1. Go Easy on Styling with Heat Application:
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to cut back on heat styling during winter. The reason for this is that during winter, hair is more susceptible to breakage as it tends to be very brittle. Applying heat not only enhances the brittleness, but it also zaps moisture out of the strands.
This is the last thing that you need to happen. If it is not absolutely possible to do away with the heat styling tools, consider reducing the temperatures by at least 25% and work from that point. This may seem insignificant, but it will do your hair a lot of good. Reducing heat application is also recommended because it reduces the formation of split ends.
2. Shampoo Your Hair Less Often:
It may seem counterproductive to cut down on the number of times you shampoo your hair, but this simple rule could make the difference between dry frizzy hair and a moisturized healthy mane. This is remarkably different from summer when it is recommended that you wash your hair severally each week.
With the sweltering months of summer, sweat and residues accumulate on the scalp creating the need for frequent washing. In sharp contrast, winter has minimal activities, which is why you are advised against over-shampooing. It is important to make this adjustment because research shows many people shampoo their hair out of habit rather than out of necessity.
As a matter of fact, the cold outdoor air combined with the dry heat indoors means there is little need to over-wash. As a general guide, you may want to skip wash day for an additional couple of days.
NOTE: If you have a pre-existing condition that affects the scalp, you may want to check with your hair stylist. Alternatively, use dry shampoo to prevent your scalp from getting too oily
3. Add Regular Treatment to Keep the Hair Hydrated:
Alongside less frequent shampooing, it is important to carry out regular treatment. This is done to replace lost moisture as well as lock moisture onto the strands. This treatment is best done weekly, even without necessarily shampooing the hair.
Make sure to allow about half an hour for the moisture to penetrate the hair strand in order to hydrate the hair. This is especially important for those who work out frequently, and need to get rid of the sweat while maintaining hydrated hair.
If you love to work out, you can certainly use the treatment without washing using shampoo. This will clean the hair without stripping it of moisture, and is a simple way to hydrate dry winter hair.
4. Make Use of Simple Home Remedies:
Sometimes the answer to keeping your hair hydrated during winter lies in your pantry. Yes, some of your kitchen essentials make for an excellent solution for hair moisturization during the cold weather. The advantage of using these remedies is that they do not cost as much, and are pretty easy to prepare.
These range from organic oils to fruits and hair masks for moisturized hair. For oils, coconut and olive oil rank among the top options for taking care of hair naturally. These oils not only nourish the hair, but also add a natural sheen.
Apply the oils from the mid shaft to the hair ends and leave for about half an hour. If you want an even more intense form of treatment, how about wrapping the oiled hair strands in a plastic wrap and covering with a turban? The purpose of doing this is to allow the oil to penetrate the hair shaft with the heat application.
Avocado is an excellent fruit for use on dry winter hair. This creamy fruit is not only easy to prepare, it is also laden with nutrients which help restore the hair’s health and maintain its moisturization. Try out different combinations to find out what works best for your hair – the catch is in making sure the home remedies you use are not abrasive to the scalp, and that you do not have an allergic reaction against your preferred home remedy.
5. Consider Getting Your Hair Ends Trimmed:
It does feel counterproductive to cut your hair ends every so often when you are trying to grow it during the harsh winter season, but the truth is that this is one of the ways to deal with dry winter hair. The cold weather predisposes the hair’s ends to brittleness, and this makes it easy for the hair to break.
Staying up to date with hair trimming is one of the ways to keep the ends clean and strong. This has the advantage of allowing the hair to grow in a healthy manner. Best of all perhaps, it may help prevent the big chop at a later date. The golden rule is to snip off the ends and always maintain a moisturizing regimen using some of the ideas discussed above.
6. Swap Harsh Chemicals for Healthier Gentler Options:
Take a good look at some of the ingredients present in the hair products you use. Anything that contains ammonia, alcohol and peroxide will certainly dry your hair. Interestingly, a number of hair products meant to keep your hair in place and controlling your style have the unintended effect during winter.
To avoid this, consider using organic products that do not contain drying agents. Whether you would love to colour your hair, or style it, opt for organic hair products and remember to avoid heat styling.
7. Check What you put on Your Head:
Winter is the time when all the warm hats and boots come out to play, but did you know that woolen hats may contribute to dry hair? That is because wool is a bit coarse on the hair, which easily causes split ends and breakage.
To prevent this from happening, moisturize your hair as usual and before wearing the hat, line it with a silk scarf or satin lining. An easy way to do this is to get an old scarf and cut it to size before sewing it into the inner part of the hat.
The other reason why it is important to wear something on your head is that it represents one of the ways through which body heat is lost. By wearing your hat, you are able to contain and prevent loss of moisture from the hair and scalp. Needless to say, this is also a stylish way of keeping the cold at bay.
8. Take a Lot of Water:
It goes without saying that internal health manifests externally, and more often than not, hair speaks volumes about the overall state of one’s health. It is why drinking lots of water is recommended for maintaining hydrated hair. When the body is stripped of water, naturally the hair will remain dry.
In addition to this, make sure you eat a healthy balanced diet to provide your hair with the nutrients it needs to grow healthy. This is a long term solution to counter dry hair and overall, a great habit to take up.
These simple steps will help hydrate dry winter hair. If you have any concerns, it is key that you consult a professional hair specialist to determine the way forward.