Baby, it’s cold outside! While sweater weather calls for sipping on hot chocolate and bundling up by the fireplace as the fallen leaves get winded or the drizzling snow trickles down – A perfect evening can quickly turn into a fiasco – for your hair. From “hat head”, to dandruff and dry, itchy scalp, unruly flyaways and frizzy, brittle hair - not to mention dry split ends, your hair goes through a lot when cold weather sets in. Just like your skin, your hair also deserves that extra dose of attention on those blustery days. Keep your tresses in tip-top shape no matter what the environment throws your way. Below are 7 hair care tips to get you through the cold season and keep your hair looking luscious, without feeling like you’re having a five-month long “bad hair” day.
1. “Cool Down” on the Hot Water
Who doesn’t love a hot steamy shower when the heat finally gives way to cold weather? While it can certainly rejuvenate you after a long busy day, your hair could be telling you otherwise. Hot water can actually strip your scalp of its natural oils and dry up your hair shaft (and skin!). We recommend bathing in warm or lukewarm water and shortening your shower sessions. And, if you’re feeling extra bold, switch to cool water at the end to help seal the hair follicles and lock in moisture! Cut back on frequent hair washes, as it can alter the PH on your skin, especially if your hair is prone to dryness. Give your scalp’s natural oils a chance to replenish your dry hair. If your hair is oily, consider applying a natural dry shampoo with absorbing ingredients like clay and rice powders to refresh and remove any excess oil.
2. Double Up on the Hair Nourishing and Hair Moisturizing
Restore moisture during cooler months by giving your dry or fine hair a deep conditioning hair treatment every week. Applying an overnight hair mask mask does wonders for your strands: it will help replenish and restore the moisture in your dry scalp, which gets depleted due to temperature changes from dry heat indoors and cold air. While your hair is still damp, we recommend coating your hair with a natural, lightweight oil like argan or jojoba before blow-drying your hair. The sealant coats your hair to prevent it from being in direct contact with heating products or extreme weather conditions. Apply a small amount on damp hair, focusing on the ends rather than the roots to avoid that “greasy” sensation. If you find your hair to be greasy after applying an oil serum, using an ultra-hydrating shampoo and conditioner should suffice. Avoid using the same products year-round; Instead, adapt your daily hair care routine to the season and changing needs of your hair. Use more oil-based, higher concentrated moisturizers during cold months, and more lightweight options during the summer.
You Have Static or Fine Hair?
You may want to use a shampoo and conditioner for dry hair that have richer consistencies to keep hair hydrated and healthy throughout the harsh and dry cold months. You can lightly dampen your hair with water when you experience flyaways and using a light oil at the ends to help with the static. The latter occurs when the air gets dry because your hair loses electrons and builds up a positive charge, causing each individual strand to “lift”. Using a humidifier to moisten the air in your room before bedtime can also dramatically reduce static.
You Have Dry Hair?
Look for natural shampoo and conditioner that contain ultra-nourishing and protective ingredients like shea butter, coconut, grapeseed or almond oil, and quinoa and jojoba. These natural ingredients deeply penetrate and coat the hair follicle, soften hair texture, and offer vital nourishment without weighing your hair down or leaving a greasy feeling.
3. Protect Your Hair with Natural Hair Care Products
Dry scalp and brittle hair is not only caused by dry cold weather, but can be exacerbated by the types of shampoos you use. Silicon, parabens, allergens and other irritants found in common hair care products can actually weigh down your hair and worsen hair damage*. So next time you head down the beauty aisle, opt for natural hair care products. Choose moisturizing shampoos and conditioners that defend against environmental damage, and aim for natural and hypoallergenic ingredients that will not cause dry itchy scalp, swelling of the skin, or accentuate your dandruff. Allergens found in some mainstream hair care products such as Methylisothiazolinone (MIT), a preservative that is irritating for the skin, can cause your scalp to become over sensitive, dry and itchy, especially if you have sensitive skin. In addition, certain components of essential oils like limonene, linalool and eugenol (found in certain shampoos) have also been linked to causing allergic reactions for some people*.
4. Give your Colored Hair Extra Tender Loving Care
We all know that color-treated hair deserves extra care, especially during fall and winter time. Keep your dyed locks looking bright and glossy with a nurturing color protection shampoo and conditioner. The effects of a dry, cold temperature can affect the vibrancy of your hair color, leaving it limp and dull. Prevent and protect your colored hair with products specifically designed for colored hair to revitalize your locks and restore shine. Avocado oil, as well as pomegranate and moringa extracts are known for their smoothing and protective properties, helping keep your colored hair glowing and vibrant for longer, from roots to ends.
5. Wear a Hat to Keep your Hair Protected
We all want to show off our beautiful, voluminous locks every day of the year, but the reality is that extreme changes in temperature can wreak havoc on your hair. Although no woman wants the dreaded, flat “hat hair”, we suggest covering your mane with a hat or wrapping your hair in a scarf to prevent extreme weather to come into direct contact with your hair strands, which can weaken them and cause further breakage. Keep in mind certain fabrics can worsen hair static such as wool, acrylic or harsh fabrics, so make sure you opt for fleece or cotton hats, or wear a silk scarf underneath your wool hat. The cold can make your hair feel very brittle: avoid walking out the door with damp hair, as this is when the cuticles are open and hair tends to frizz or go static and literally freeze like icicles!
6. Make Some Changes To Your After- Shower Hair Routine
Hair is more susceptible to breakage when it’s wet. After showering, try not to rub your hair dry; instead, gently press the water out with a soft, microfiber towel. Comb your hair softly with a wide-tooth comb when it’s damp, working from the ends upwards. We recommend using a soft brush and waiting until your hair is 80% air-dry before combing and blow drying, as harsh bristles on a hairbrush can tear up your hair follicles. Avoid using styling products - especially hairspray - as they may contain many ingredients of concern according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), and aggravate symptoms of dryness and itchiness. Apply nourishing hair products and oils that are hair EWG Verified™ to give your locks the nourishment they need, while protecting them from blow-drying and heat styling.
7. Avoid Overheating Your Hair
Heated styling tools can add insult to injury because we tend to use them more during the cooler months. Although blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons and hot rollers make your hair go from dull to va-va-voom - they’re also a big part of why they may be dry. Fact: Some flat and curling irons heat up to 450 degrees (That’s twice the temperature at which water boils!). Make sure to adjust the temperature settings on your styling tools to avoid damaging your hair, especially in the case of flat irons and rollers, which come in direct contact with dry hair. Be creative and try making updos such as braids, buns, twists, and ponytails to give your hair some “time off” from heating and styling products. *According to EWG
Look for the EWG VERIFIED seal to identify non-toxic beauty and body care brands!