Winter Hair Care Advice

Blonde girl wearing a pink turtleneck sweater
Photo: Istock
We all know that cold weather, wind, and snow can wreak 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 grip.
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 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 to 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 l ive 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 pixie cut.
Scarves are your friends.
One of the toughest aspects of winter when it comes to hair is the clothing. Hooded jackets, woolen hats, ear muffs – they all wreak havoc on your hairstyle. In some cases, they even lead to damaged hair or static and flyaway 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 putting on winter gear. The fabric of the scarf will protect your hair from the roughness of winter wool and will prevent the static charge normally generated in the winter.
Woman with long red hair in the snow
Photo: Mirida/Canva
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 perspires, and your sebaceous glands work overtime to lubricate and keep the hair moisturized. In the winter, you repeatedly go from a cold, damp exterior environment to a heated environment where the air has been stripped of all moisture by any of the heating methods available today.
You need to ensure that your hair is protected from the leaching 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 sure the hair is sealed against the loss of moisture.
Static Control
Aside from wool winter wear, 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 static building. The hairspray will neutralize the static charge and help keep your hair smooth and tamed in the coldest winter weather.
The sweaters and natural fiber clothing common in the winter months will worsen the static problem. Combat static buildup in clothing by using an anti-static spray or the easier solution of extra fabric softener sheets in the 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 best of you. With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure your hair looks great whether it's hot or freezing outside.