As winter approaches the crisp and dry fall air gets more extreme. And because it’s cold outside, many of us turn to our hair dryers before heading to work or class. Not to mention pick up heated tools for holiday hairstyles. This is why a proper care and maintenance routine is vital for keeping your hair looking healthy during the winter.
Good news, you don’t have to sacrifice your style because of the dry air; just make a few easy adjustments to your routines. This includes changing out a wet shampoo for a dry one, and substitute a cotton towel for microfiber if your hair becomes too dry or brittle. Below you’ll find ways to adjust your hair routines so you can enjoy healthy and shiny hair all winter long.
Incorporate Dry Shampoos Into Your Hygiene Routine
There’s nothing like feeling hot water run over your body as you come in from the cold. Whether you were skiing, or coming back from class, it’s a way to warm up and decompress. Same with soaking in a hot tub.
When the sebum is gone, your hair becomes brittle and dry, making it more prone to breakage. And too much weighs your hair down making it look and feel greasy. This is why dry shampoos are essential in winter. Less washing and temptation to run hot water through it means less washing away sebum and drying out your scalp.
If you do take a shower, tuck your hair into a shower cap, or save the hot water for your body by using a hand held spout. And keep your hair out of the hot tub when taking a dip so you don’t need to wash it when you get out.
Use Hair Oils That Penetrate the Shaft
The cells in your hair are dead once they’ve left the follicle (you can learn more here), that means they cannot be repaired or recover from damage. But you can help lock moisture in, as long as the moisturizing ingredients can pass through the openings. Both coconut and argan oils have a small enough molecular weight to do this, and that makes them perfect for winter hair care routines.
If you don’t like hair oils because you have oily hair, you don’t have to worry if you avoid silicones. But we get it, we all have stigmas for certain products. Try a hair mask instead.
They have the same benefits as hair oils, and it’s more like going to a spa anyways. Add a facial mask for the full treatment since you’ll need to leave the mask on anyways and treat yourself to some well deserved “me time”.
Change Your Cotton Towels to Microfiber
Your towel choices matter too. If your hair is dry and brittle, cotton has more friction than some microfibers, so switch them out. You can use the soft and comfy cotton to dry and wrap your body, but use a microfiber towel designed for brittle hair to soak up excess water from your hair.
Use a Silk Pillow Case
Just like your towel, change out the comfy cotton for a smooth silk pillow case. The reduced friction as your hair runs across while you turn in your sleep reduces unwanted pulling on brittle strands. You can also try pulling your hair up in a silk scrunchie while you sleep for similar reasons.
Trim Your Hair Before the Cold Air Settles In
You cannot fix or repair split ends, they only continue to split. You can learn more about split ends here. The only way to keep them under control is to trim them when you notice them. And split ends are more common when your hair gets dry or brittle as the shaft splits and climbs. This is why trimming them before the cold air dries your hair more is vital as a preventative measure.
Turn Down Heated Tools
It’s no surprise that heated tools can dry out hair. Using a heat protectant before applying an iron or blow dryer is a good practice, and so is turning down the heat.
For thick hair, keep the irons between 200 and 300 degrees, and for thin or fine hair, under 250 when possible. And let your hair air dry as much as you can before using a hair dryer. If a hair dryer is needed, use a brush or wide toothed comb as there are less strokes needed to air it out, and less time under the heat. And keep your hair dryer to the cooler settings when possible.
And you can always try heatless hairstyle options like heatless curls.
Just because the winter air dries out hair, it does not mean you have to sacrifice your style. Making simple adjustments to your routines will let your hair look and feel healthy, while your style flourishes. If you found this guide helpful, subscribe to our blog for more just like it.