As we quickly descend into fall the days get shorter and temperatures get colder. For many, this time of year means holidays and time spent with families. However, our hair may not be as excited for the upcoming months as we are. Winter brings chilly, dry air that wreaks havoc on our hair. We’ve all felt it: the dry, brittle hair that splits, frizzes, and falls out come the 1st of December. Fear not, with a just little bit of extra tender love and care, we can help our hair weather winter looking better than ever.
Why Winter is Hard on Hair
In winter, your typical haircare routine just isn’t going to cut it. When cooler weather sets in, many adjust their skincare routine, adding moisturizers to minimize ill effects. Many overlook the toll winter weather takes on their hair. Just like our skin, winter weather can bring about dry hair. This makes our hair appear dull, frizzy, and become brittle. You may also find your hair splitting like crazy during the winter. This can be especially devastating for women trying to grow out their luscious locks. Many may also find increased shedding and hair loss during the winter months.
There are a few key factors that contribute to our loss of hair health in winter. These include:
1. Colder temperatures and drier air
Both contribute to our hair drying out. Just like our skin, our hair can become very dehydrated in winter. This causes it to become brittle and break away much easier. For many, that means dull hair, dry texture, and split ends.
A windy day will compound the drying and damaging effects of the already brutal air. Wind will make our hair dry out faster and the disruption from blowing around will increase the breakage we experience.
3. Decreased water intake
As the weather gets cooler, many of us tend not to drink as much water. Being dehydrated will over time cause your scalp and hair to dry out.
When the snow starts flying, a warm, knit ski cap becomes essential. A winter hat will push down and rub on your head throughout the day, tangling and pulling at your delicate strands of hair. However, it’s very important to cover your head, so be sure to wear a hat even if you are worried about damaging your hair in frigid temperatures.
5. Central heating
Our indoor heating systems pump hot, dry air into our homes during the winter. This is the perfect storm for hair to lose moisture, become brittle, and break.
6. Less sun exposure
Sun and vitamin D are critical to our hair health. A little bit of time spent in the sun every day adds a healthy sheen to hair. However, in the winter the cooler temperatures chase many inside and less daylight means less time spent in the sun.
7. Hotter showers
Nothing feels better after a chilly day than stepping into a steamy, hot shower. While many tend to crack up the dial a little in the winter, hot showers are bad for skin and hair. Hot water actually has a drying effect so opting for a warm shower is always better.
Even just a few of these factors can compound to create the dry, brittle, splitting hair we’ve all come to recognize come winter. With just a few extra steps to our daily routine, we can preserve our hair health throughout the winter.
Winter Haircare Routine
A few adjustments to your winter haircare routine will go a long way to ensuring you have lustrous, healthy hair throughout the winter months. Here are our top tips for preserving hair health in winter. Give some a try and see if they help you.
Use a hair moisturizer
The biggest hurdle to overcome during winter months is keeping your hair moisturized. Luckily, today there are many products designed to hydrate hair. Everything from moisturizing shampoos to leave-in conditioners and hair masks are on the market. The best part of all these options is that you get to choose something that fits best into your current routine. We recommend choosing a leave-in conditioner, hair mask, or serum designed specifically for moisturizing your hair type for the best results.
Sleep on a silk pillowcase
Many of us suffer from static and frizz in winter. A silk or satin pillowcase will help minimize frizz and tangling at night so you can wake up with your hair looking its best. Trying to minimize the times we touch our hair throughout the day will also help keep hair from frizzing.
Get trims more often
Cool dry winter air leads to more breakage and split ends throughout the season. Once an end splits, the split will continue to move up the strand, leading to more damage over time. Frequent, regular trims will help minimize the damage of winter split ends and keep your hair looking fresh.
Braid your hair before going out
Wind, hats, and tangles contribute to a lot of winter hair breakage. Putting your hair in a braid, ponytail, bun or any updo of choice will prevent tangles and damage from the physical stress winter puts on our hair.
Use a hair serum for extra shine
If it’s a special occasion and you looking for a little bit of extra shine, a hair serum will give you an extra-healthy look. While hair naturally looks shinier in the summer, winter often makes our hair look dull and drab. A hair serum derived from a blend of natural oils and vitamins will add a glossy sheen while improving hair health.
While it can be easy to get lazy in winter, staying on top of our health is an important factor in keeping our hair looking great. Our hair is an external reflection of our inner health, so keep your insides in mind as you work to improve your hair.
With many winter-hair struggles coming from a lack of moisture, it’s important to drink water plentifully and often. While our hair may not directly benefit from our current hydration, our scalp and new hair growth will. Many people often feel less thirsty in the cooler months and therefore drink less water. Try to keep tabs on how much you drink in a day and be sure to hydrate often.
What we put into our bodies will have a huge impact on the long-term health of our hair. With winter comes holidays and the many holiday desserts that have become tradition for many. While it is okay to indulge during the holiday season, try to add some healthy alternatives to your diet as well. Swap a beef meal out with fish, eat a salad instead of pasta. These small changes will go a long way to improving winter hair health.
It can be very hard to feel motivated to work out on a chilly winter day, but exercise is extremely important to our internal health and, in turn, the health of our hair. On nice days go for a walk around the block, shovel snow, buy a gym membership, or give at-home yoga a try.
We hope these winter haircare tips help you look and feel your best this winter season.
What is your favorite (or least favorite!) thing about winter? Let us know in the comments below!