Hair Breakage in Fall and Winter

Long hair and snow
Photo: Kinga/Shutterstock
Q: I have a hair question. What makes hair break more in the fall and winter? I have natural wavy hair, but I wear it straight. I fight the wave and frizz in the summer and the breakage in the winter.
Also, my scalp stays dry during cold weather. I hate to wear black because of the flaking. I need the name of a good conditioner that won't weigh my hair down. I do get my hair highlighted every 8 to 9 weeks.

A: Your question is a common one, actually. You see, seasonal changes in our environment affect our hair a lot more than we realize. If you think about it, it makes sense. The hair is one part of the body that is usually exposed to the environment no matter where we are - indoors or out.
That being said, it sounds like you need a good moisturizing conditioner with a protein complex to strengthen your hair. The moisturizer will also help to condition your scalp and relieve the dryness there. The dry scalp is probably worsened by the constant switch from outdoor coolness to the interior heated air which is much drier and results in dissipating the moisture from the scalp and hair.
Finally, contrary to what we were taught growing up, you don't have to shampoo your hair every day. You do, however, need to condition it every day, especially in the winter months when the hair is subjected to such temperature extremes and the dry air of heating systems. If you don't have time to use your "rinse through" conditioner in the shower, be sure to use a good conditioning spray that you can incorporate into your routine.
I would recommend the Pantene Beautiful Lengths line of products. I'd get the smaller bottle of shampoo with the larger conditioner. And remember to not skimp on the time you leave the conditioner on the hair. The hair needs this time to fully absorb the conditioning agents, and sometimes we get in a hurry and rush things. A few extra moments a day can make a world of difference. I hope this helps.
See also:
Winter hair care
Weather and your hair
Will freezing temperatures cause hair breakage and split ends?
What products are good for a flaky dry scalp in the winter?