BY: Melynda Fitt, Ph.D.
Is your hair feeling stressed, dry, and brittle during the cold winter months? Are you struggling with hat hair, static, flatness and dryness? You aren’t alone!
The extreme changes in air temperature as we move from indoors to out can stress our hair and zap its natural moisture, leaving it prone to breakage and flyaways. The lower humidity levels in the cold winter air contribute to the hair troubles, too.
We can make it even worse because we heat style more frequently in the winter to avoid damp hair in cold weather. All that heat takes a toll on our tresses and leaves our hair lifeless and dull. To help prevent some of the cold weather damage (which can save you money at the salon later on), try these seven tips:
1. Switch up Your Products
During this time of year, more so than any other, our hair needs more moisture. Lots of it. These cold winter months are the perfect time to switch up your hair care and add in a more hydrating shampoo or maybe a rich conditioning masque.
2. Dial Down the Heat
In addition to changing up products, you might want to consider dialing down the heat on your heat tools. Try drying your hair with the lowest heat setting on your hair dryer, turn down the temp on your straightener. Or maybe skip the heat all together on the weekends. If you love those soft beachy waves, opt for heatless overnight curls by braiding your hair in big, soft braids before bed. However, don’t go out with damp hair! The cold air may expand the hair shaft, which can cause your color to fade and leave you prone to breakage.
3. Tame the Flyaways
Static in hair is a sure sign of stressed hair that needs more moisture. Instead of using a dryer sheet to control the static, one pump of a lightweight leave-in conditioner can be smoothed over the ends and top of your hair to help reign in the flyaways.
4. Ditch the Plastic & Opt for Natural
Plastic combs and styling tools can increase the static electricity build up in hair. However, using a wooden comb prevents the electric charge from being transferred from the comb to your hair. A wide toothed wooden comb is even better than one with small, fine teeth. Metal combs are excellent choices, too, as they conduct the electricity away from the hair shaft.
5. Line Your Hats with Silk
Did you know that wool, cotton, and other coarse fabrics can cause split ends and breakage, especially if you have curls or natural-textured hair. No need to break the bank to do this - you can go the DIY route to create the silk or satin lining by using an old fabric from a thrifted silk shirt or scarf. Lining your hats will also help those with smooth textured hair prolong their blowouts - you can also loosely wrap a silk scarf around your hair before putting on a hat. When you get to your destination, remove the hat and scarf and your blowout will be intact.
6. Sidestep Hat Head with Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoos help expand the hair shaft, making it fuller and more robust. A good dry shampoo can help build up the style and add volume, especially for those with oily hair that tends to go limp.
7. Try an Overnight Oil Treatment
Overnight oil treatments can help restore a healthy balance to a dry, itchy, and stressed scalp. Stacey Williamson, a professional session stylist in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia says, “Using a hair oil is particularly important to smooth and soften dry ends and help soothe a dry, flaky scalp. My favorite oil right now is Rejuveniqe Oil Intensive. The most amazing thing about this all-natural oil is that it absorbs into the hair strand, leaving it soft and manageable instead of sitting on top of the hair strand leaving it feeling slick and greasy.”
To do an overnight oil treatment, apply drops of a hair-quality hair oil your fingertips then massage into your scalp. Repeat the process until the scalp feels greasy. Rub more drops of oil into your strands with your fingers and finger comb it into your strands. Once the oil is worked into your strands, brush until your hair looks greasy, but not saturated and definitely not dripping. Do this 15 minutes before going to bed you are using a hair oil that absorbs into the hair shaft or cover with a shower cap before going to bed. This will help prevent the transfer of the oil to your pillowcase. Wash as usual in the morning.
Melynda Fitt, Ph.D., is a former stylist who has a passion for health & wellness, intentional happiness, beaches and gorgeous hair. You can find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/me