The frigid winter can really do a number on your hair – especially when the same head of hair is subjected to the of the in-home environment afterward. Vacillating between these two extremes ultimately induces more dehydration in your scalp; the resulting dryness causes ends to break more easily. It is for this reason that you must incorporate different hair care routines once the cold months hit, so as to preserve the fullness of your locks. Follow these same tips if you plan to travel somewhere cold, as you might during your next holiday vacation!
To this end, the following tips are recommended by top hair care experts and should have your locks looking and feeling as fresh and well-maintained as they do in springtime.
- Moisturization is Key: Since the air is cold and dry, you will need to take extra methods in order to keep it moisturized. A common method used by hair salons and spa treatments is the hydrating mask; by using one of these each week, you can lock in the oils that your scalp naturally produces to keep your hair follicles well-lubricated. Additionally, a humidifier in the home is a worthwhile investment.
- Eschew Serums in Favor of Creams: If you use gel and serums throughout the year, consider tanking them this fall and winter; as the temperature drops, serums will tend to freeze and cause breakage. Creams have the opposite effect since they don’t freeze, and will protect your hair from becoming stiffened.
- Electricity Is No Good: For your hair, that is. In this case, we’re talking about static electricity; to keep free electrons from damaging your hair follicles, invest in silk-lining for your electricity-inducing scarves and wool hats during the winter. If you’re concerned about hat-hair, a vial of shampoo can save you from the roots on up.
- Wash Hair Conservatively: Instead of washing your hair 5 days or more per week; keep it to just 2-3 during the winter months. Remember; it is when hair is wet that the greatest amount of damage can occur – you definitely don’t want your hair drying in the cold air.
- Use the Right Shampoos: This means, specifically, avoid shampoo that has sulfates in the ingredients. The problem with sulfates is that they chemically react with oils in your hair, and then cause them to precipitate out – which exposes your hair to damage when the air is especially cold. Go for shampoo brands that specifically state that they don’t use sulfates.
- What Conditioner Do You Use?: A conditioner is just as important as shampoo, so choose wisely. Some of the ingredients that you want to look for include panthenol, a humectant, and soy protein along with fatty acids. Generally, the thicker and fuller the conditioner, the more moisture-retaining compounds it has – which is a great attribute for hair maintenance.
- Incorporate Vitamin E Into Your Hair Care Routine: This wonderful nutrient is precisely that – nutritious for your hair environment. There are plenty of oils on the market with the “contains Vitamin E” sticker front and center; take advantage of the way it bolsters essential oils to help protect your hair from breakage and split ends.
- Take Care When Washing: Earlier, you saw that it’s important to minimize the number of times you wash your hair during the winter. When you do wash it, make sure to use lukewarm water in order to maintain a moist environment (hot air desiccates the hair). If you’re really committed, then you can use cold water on the ends to seal your hair cuticles.
- Trimming Your Hair: This is an essential part of hair care during the winter months. Of course, you should trim year-round; but when November through February hits, do it as often as you see dry ends manifest themselves.
- Eat Healthy Foods: What you eat translates to hair health as well as body health. Your diet should ideally contain Vitamins A, C, and E for best results. Minerals such as selenium and iron, as well as natural oils, work wonders on for revitalizing your hair and overall health. You can find all of these in foods such as fish, almonds (and other nuts), cereals and leafy green vegetables. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Take Care With Hairstyles: This means, basically, avoid certain hair-dos; such as ponytails or tight twists. As your hair becomes drier in the cold months, these styles will increase the potential for breakage. This doesn’t mean you cannot ever wear a ponytail in the winter-time; just make sure to erect it in different parts of your hair to minimize pressure in any single area.
- Argan Oil and Heat Protection: There are sprays on the market that protect your hair from the heat of your indoor, central air system during the winter. Consider investing in one or more of these as discerned by their effectiveness for your particular, unique hair. Argan Oil is excellent for round-the-clock moisturization.