As the cold air and shorter days signal the arrival of winter, you may find that your hair care needs are changing. You’ve most likely noticed that your hair requires extra TLC during the colder months. The season boasts an array of challenges for the appearance and health of our hair, from frigid winds, to dry indoor air caused by indoor heating. The best approach to your hair care in winter is one that takes into account the low temperatures, lack of moisture and drop in humidity. This has a massive impact on our hair, so it’s vital that we tailor our hair care to suit the surrounding conditions.
Different Needs During Different Seasons
There are distinct differences in temperature and humidity levels in the different seasons, and our hair reacts accordingly. For example, long, hot summer days can cause an increase in oil production by our scalps, brought on by the heat and our body’s cooling sweat production. In winter we have the opposite effect, where our hair may be more dry and brittle, because there is less moisture in the air and therefore it becomes more prone to breakage. Additionally, during the winter we are more likely to remain indoors with the heating on, which also causes our hair to become drier.
This makes it essential for us to adjust our hair care products and routines as the seasons change. We can do this by swapping out our shampoo and conditioner products, increasing the frequency of deep-conditioning hair treatments in the winter, or by washing hair more often in summer to deal with the excess oils. The different seasons also have an effect on the structure of our hair. Therefore, additional styling products may also be used for the different needs of each season.
Healthy Diet, Healthy Hair
Your diet has a big say in the health of your hair. Maintaining a balanced diet ensures that your hair gets all the necessary proteins, vitamins and minerals to support its growth and encourage shine. However, it’s not just the food we eat that affects our hair. Drinking enough water is just as important to maintain luscious locks. With the cold being so prominent, we may find it more difficult to remember to drink an adequate amount of water during the day.
In winter, we still need to drink at least 2 liters (8 glasses) of water a day, but this can be difficult to remember when our body is not making us feel thirsty. Water encourages healthy hair growth from root to tip, it also supports scalp health and hair growth at the follicle level, so its importance – especially in winter – cannot be ignored.
Styling And Drying Safely In Colder Months
As we’ve mentioned, your hair’s biggest enemy during winter is the dryness that is lurking around every corner. Therefore, you should consider giving your hair a deep-conditioning treatment at least once a week. This will help keep your hair hydrated, retain moisture for longer periods and also lead to a softer, shinier appearance. Wearing a beanie in winter can also aid in keeping your hair healthy. Not just a fashion statement, you say? Beanies have the ability to protect our hair from the dry conditions and additionally assist in retaining the moisture in our hair.
Furthermore, your should avoid heat-styling during winter. When using a hair straightener or blow-dryer to style your hair, it’s vital that you apply a heat protectant or hair oil before using these tools on your hair. Also, allow your hair to air-dry as often as you can during winter, even if it takes longer. This allows it to retain moisture for longer periods and therefore appear softer and healthier.
Finally, avoid washing your hair too frequently. In hotter weather, your hair produces more oil, but in the cold months you may notice your scalp doesn’t produce nearly as much oil. Washing your hair too often in winter will strip it of its natural oils before your hair and scalp have had the chance to absorb these nourishing oils.
Different Hair Types Have Different Needs
It’s important to remember that no two people are the same, and we all have different needs. Hair care is no stranger to this concept, and what works for one person may not work for another. Different hair types are bound to react differently to the cold. Therefore, tailoring your approach to winter hair care to match your hair type. This is a big step in ensuring your hair stays healthy and happy despite the cold!
Straight hair has a naturally-limp texture and therefore it’s at even more risk of dryness and static than other hair types. The main weapon in your arsenal if you have straight hair is to do everything you can to lock in the precious moisture! Using lightweight products that don’t weigh your hair down and swapping out your clarifying shampoo for one that provides extra hydration are good starts. You should also apply a hair oil or serum which will help to seal the moisture into your locks. This helps keep your hair appearing sleek and nourished. Be sure not to forget about that weekly deep-conditioning treatment!
Curly And Wavy Hair
More than anything, the cold air affects curly and wavy hair by decreasing the texture and tightness of your curls. This leads to less definition and frizziness. By locking in moisture with a weekly deep-conditioning treatment and scrunching your hair when drying it can help minimize the frizz-factor. Increasing the moisture is essential in helping your locks hold their shape without appearing limp and dull. When styling curly and wavy hair, stay away from heat curlers and rather opt for heatless curlers, which provide the same effect without the damage and loss of moisture.
If your hair is prone to oiliness, then you may find some relief in the colder months of the year! However, that’s not to say that there aren’t any hair care changes you need to make. Consider using a dry shampoo in winter to help soak up the excess oil and dirt without the need for a proper hair wash. In summer, you may be washing your hair 3 times a week if your hair is excessively oily. However, in winter the air is drier and this isn’t necessary. Washing your hair too often will strip the moisture from your hair and lead to locks that appear dull and lifeless. Consider washing your hair far less frequently than you would in summer.
You should always avoid using products that contain potentially-harmful chemicals such as parabens, sulfates and synthetic fragrances… However, in winter, avoiding these products becomes even more important, because they may weigh hair down and strip it. When you’re looking for products to buy for winter hair care, consider a hydrating shampoo and conditioner.
Ingredients that are naturally-derived such as aloe vera, shea butter, and jojoba are extremely nourishing. They will become very valuable to your hair during the hair-drying months. Additionally, you could purchase a humidifier for your bedroom which helps retain the moisture in your environment, alleviating your hair drying out overnight! Furthermore, hair serums, deep-conditioning treatments and anti-frizz products are all great companions for winter hair care!
Bedtime Hair Rituals
DIY Winter Hair Mask
For winter hair care, try this easy DIY recipe for a hair mask with naturally-derived ingredients! You’ll need:
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of honey
1/2 a ripe avocado
Add the avocado to a blender. Once the avocado is smooth, blend in the coconut oil, honey, and egg yolk to give it a creamy texture.
Apply the mask after lightly dampening your hair. Pay special attention to the ends as you gently massage it into your scalp and hair. To deeply moisturize your hair, cover with a shower cap or warm towel and keep it on for 30 minutes to an hour. Rinse with lukewarm water and a light sulfate-free shampoo, do not use hot water! As you style as usual, you’ll find that your hair is softer, more hydrated, and less prone to breakage.
Nourishing Carrier Oils
Adding plant-based oils such as almond, jojoba or avocado to your conditioning treatments will increase nourishment and hydration. Before you go to bed, you should also apply a few drops of these nourishing carrier oils to your hair. They will help to protect your hair from the drying effects of indoor heating. These oils are full of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids that can be extremely beneficial for your hair. By massaging these plant-based oils into your hair before bed, you can enjoy your sleep while these oils work their magic!
Wrap Your Hair In A Towel Or T-Shirt
If you’ve just washed your hair and you’re about to get your beauty sleep, consider scrunching your hair dry as opposed to rubbing it dry. The friction caused by rubbing your hair with a towel can lead to frizziness and increased risk of breakage. Additionally, you can wrap your hair in an old cotton t-shirt and sleep with it on. This will help your hair to retain moisture and will add definition and texture to your locks. When you wake up in the morning you can expect hair that appears thicker, vibrant and bouncy.
Essential Oils For Winter Hair Wellness
Essential oils are fast becoming a crowd favorite when it comes to DIY hair care, and during the winter months they can be extremely beneficial for your hair. Lavender essential oil is not only great for calming and soothing a dry and itchy scalp, but it smells heavenly! The aromatherapeutic properties of lavender can help to uplift your spirits on those cold, gloomy days. Peppermint is another essential oil that has soothing benefits. Using peppermint essential oil, or products that contain it, can give you a rejuvenating experience.
When it comes to hair health, rosemary essential oil is the king of them all! This powerful extract can enhance hair health by improving shine and blood circulation to the scalp. While most of the evidence is anecdotal, it may even promote hair growth! Be sure to remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated and pottent, and must be diluted before being used topically!
As we journey through the winter months, it’s crucial to adapt our hair care routines for the season. In the realm of winter hair care, the key word is hydration! Make use of the tips and guidance shared in this article! You’ll effortlessly conquer winter-related hair challenges and keep your locks looking fabulous all year long. So, don’t forget to harness the potential of natural remedies, don cozy beanies, and customize your hair care routine to suit your unique needs this winter!
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