We adjust our skin care routines during the winter but tend to neglect our hair. As the cold weather keeps us indoors, dry indoor heat messes with our skin and turns our hair brittle. Curly hair suffers more since it takes longer for the natural oils to travel down from the scalp to the tips. Master hairstylist and owner of Studio Savvy Salon Deena Von Yokes shares with Martha Stewart that the lack of moisture makes hair less elastic and makes it more prone to snapping and breaking. To keep your hair healthy this winter, here are some tips from hair experts.
Less humidity causes skin to get dry and flaky and that includes the scalp. Jon Reyman, owner of Spoke & Weal Salons, tells Self that a very dry scalp can smother hair growth. In the winter, he recommends shampooing less to let natural hair oils come through. You can also switch to sulfate-free shampoos as those are much gentler on scalp and hair. If you are prone to dandruff, he suggests Aveda Scalp Remedy Dandruff Solution and adds that it also works well for those with fine and oily hair as it cleanses without weighing the hair down.
Von Yokes emphasizes the need for more moisture in the winter. The colder and dryer the air is, the dryer hair will also get. She suggests going for a thicker and richer conditioner to avoid brittle hair. Prevention suggests dermatologist approved OGX Hydrate & Defrizz + Kukui Oil Hair Conditioner, Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner and It's a 10 Miracle Deep Conditioner Plus Keratin. Rachel Zipperian, the senior scientist at Hair Food, also recommends applying a leave-in conditioner for extra hydration and to combat static. As for thick and curly air, argan oil can do wonders.
For seasonal dryness, hydrating hair masks will protect hair from frigid temperatures. Rachel Warnock, the lead herbalist and founder of Vedic Botanicals, recommends pure coconut oil. Apply it on your scalp, massage it into your hair follicles and work your way down to the ends. Cover with a shower cap and leave it on for at least four hours. Even better, sleep with the cap on and shampoo in the morning. You can also try combining sesame and olive oil together for this hair masking method. Cosmopolitan also suggests Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask, Cantu Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque (best for curly and coily hair) and Ouidad Ultra-Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask.
Cold dry air coupled with constant heat styling can result in split ends or breakage. If you can't avoid it, make sure to use heat protectants like L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray, CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray or Sun Bum Heat Protector Spray.
To guard hair strands in the winter, go for braids, buns, and twists. You should also avoid going outside with wet hair as the hair shaft can expand and break. Ron Williams, national educator for Phytospecific also reminds Self that cotton, wool, and other coarse fabrics can cause split ends and breakage especially if you have curly hair. He suggests lining your hats with old silk or satin fabrics. You can also use silk scarves when you brave the outdoors.
Related article: The Best Hair Oils to Use in the Winter For Every Type of Hair
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