Winter Hair Care Advice

Blonde girl wearing a pink turtleneck sweater
We all know that cold weather, wind and snow can play havoc on the skin, but few people realize that the hair can also be just as badly damaged by the cold and winter precipitation. Here are some tips to keep your hair healthy and undamaged by winter’s cold claws.
Don’t go outside with wet hair.
Most of us were warned as children that if we go outside with wet hair during the winter months we would catch pneumonia. Well, medical science has debunked that old wives’ tale, but if you go outside with damp hair in freezing weather, there is a very good chance that your hair could freeze. Freezing water causes it to expand, and if your hair has absorbed moisture and that moisture freezes, when it expands it will lead to damaged hair.
In the winter, to make sure your hair is protected, always be sure and dry the hair thoroughly before you go outside. Be sure to use a protein-rich moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and an extra leave-in conditioner before using a blow-dryer on the hair, but dry the hair completely.
Choose a style compatible with the needs of the weather.
In the winter months, select a hairstyle that you can wear and still be able to keep yourself warm. A full-volume curly style may not be the best choice if you live in a part of the world where you need a hat to stay warm when you’re outside. Winter may not be the best season for a super-short gamine cut.
Scarves are your friends.
One of the roughest aspects of winter as it applies to the hair is the clothing. Hooded jackets, woolen caps, ear muffs, these all play merry havoc with your hairstyling. In some cases, they even lead to damaged hair, or static and fly-away strands.
Combat this problem by using a silk or satin scarf as a barrier between your hair and the hat, hood or muffs. Simply wrap your hair in the scarf before you put on the winter gear. The fabric of the scarf will protect your hair from the roughness of the winter wool and will negate the static charge normally generated in the winter.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
Most people think that summer is the season that leads to the most dry hair symptoms. They are wrong. While you are exposing your hair to heat and sunlight in the summer months, your body is perspiring and your sebaceous glands are working overtime to lubricate and keep the hair moisturized. In the winter, you are repeatedly going from a cold, damp exterior environment to a heated environment where the air has been stripped of all moisture by any one of the heating methods available today.
You need to make sure to keep your hair protected from the leeching effects of the heated interiors you will be spending so much time in. Use a leave in conditioner, and/or an anti-frizz serum to make certain the hair is sealed against the loss of moisture.
Static Control
Aside from wool winter wear, the hair can build up a static charge during the winter months just from walking across a carpeted floor. Keep a small can of hairspray with you and apply a light misting when you notice the static building. The hairspray will negate the static charge and will help keep your hair smooth and tamed in the coldest winter weather.
The sweaters and natural fiber clothing prevalent in the winter months will exacerbate the static problem. You can combat the static build up in clothing by using an anti-static spray or the easier solution of extra fabric softener sheets in the clothing dryer.
These are simple tips that can make a big difference in your hair during the winter. Don’t let the cold weather get the better of you. A little planning and preparation and you can make sure that your hair looks great whether it’s 80-degrees outside, or 8 below.
Stacy - Hair Stylist     ©
Photo: Istock