Hair and Freezing Temperatures

Hair in winter weather with freezing temepratures
Photo via Syda Productions/Canva
Q: I have been growing my hair out and now it is too long to cover it with a hat. What will happen when it freezes this winter? Will it cause breakage and split ends? What about the combination of snow on my hair and very low temperatures? Is there any product I can use to avoid damage?
A: Just like any other aspect of our lives, the way we care for our hair should adjust to account for the seasons. And winter, with its freezing temperatures and wet snowfall, and the moisture-leeching heat of the indoors, brings its own complications.
The constant changes from icy, wet outdoor environments to dry, heated interiors can rob your hair of moisture and leave it brittle and prone to damage. So, to deal with these problems, here are a few things you'll want to add to your routine:
First, deep-conditioning hair masks are a must to help combat the ravages of harsh winter weather. Also, they help protect the hair by keeping it pliable and hydrated. Look for products that offer protein and panthenol (synthesized vitamin B5) and you'll be happiest. These help to keep the hair smooth and soft.
Second, if you have fine hair (or if static is often a problem for you) you should try an anti-static spray. These will help you keep your hair from the "shocking" reactions common in winter. They help you keep your hair smooth and controlled.
Another tool essential for winter hair is a scarf. Particularly if your hair is too long for a hat, a scarf can be used to keep your hair covered when you're out in the elements. A good silk or synthetic fiber scarf tied to form a snood can keep the hair confined and snug against the head/back helping to keep it warmer, protect it from the wind and keeping your hairstyle looking great.
Finally, try washing your hair less frequently during the winter months to avoid stripping away too much of the natural oils. Instead, use a waterless shampoo (available in dry, spray-on formulas for oily/straight hair types and foam-mousse formulas for dry/curly hair) to extend the life of your hairstyle between washings. By keeping the hair's natural protectants in play during the winter, you'll find that your hair copes with the elements a lot better.
See also:
Winter hair care advice
How to get rid of static hair
Winter hair product must-haves
What makes hair break more in the fall and winter?