Tips to keep hair healthy during cooler months
During the colder months of the year, our hair can tend to suffer a bit. Hair thrives when it has a proper protein/moisture balance and the cold winter weather can throw off that balance and tip the scales, resulting in drier hair that is more prone to breakage. There are a few quick and easy changes we can implement into our routine that can really benefit to keep our hair healthy and help it adjust during the seasonal transition. Keep reading for some tips and tricks that we can incorporate to keep those locks flourishing all winter long!
What is hair made of?
Hair is a protein that our bodies create, surprisingly, for the unusual purpose of protection. Our bodies have evolved to produce hair as a barrier to assist in combating daily stressors that otherwise would be in direct contact with our skin, nostrils and eyes. Amazingly, the hair on our head innately grows longer than anywhere else on our bodies and this is the hair that most of us are the most concerned with. Today, this hair we use for expression and styling is made up of dead skin cells so keeping it well nourished is essential for maintaining its optimal wellbeing.
How cold weather wrecks our hair
There are multiple reasons that the cold weather can be our hair’s worst enemy.
- Leaving the house with wet hair allows hair follicles to shrink and dry hair out in cooler temperatures
- Scalp issues such as dandruff or flaking
- Rough fabrics on sweaters and jackets that rub against hair and cause damage
- Hotter temperatures inside that create less humidity
Ways to combat poor hair health in winter
· Protein/Moisture balance
Balanced protein and moisture levels are essential for the health and wellness of our hair. If our hair has too much protein, it becomes brittle and breaks easily upon handling. If our hair has too much moisture, it becomes gummy and stretches which causes limp hair. The sweet spot is right in the middle. A good rule of thumb is to do a regular protein treatment to ensure the protein level remains sufficient, and conditioning regularly to even out that protein that has been deposited. If your hair ever tips too far in one direction, you can implement the appropriate component to get your strands back on track.
· Use moisturizing hair products
Using moisturizing products assist our hair in retaining moisture throughout the day. The ingredients in our hair products are important as they determine the effectiveness of the product. The first 3 ingredients are what the product is mostly made up of. The first ingredient of a moisturizing hair product should be water or contain a substance that is heavily water based. By having water being the basis of the product, you can ensure that the product will actually moisturize the hair and not just sit on top. A pro tip: Warm your products before application for better penetration and add a light oil afterwards to seal in all that moisture!
· Deep condition with steam
Deep conditioning our hair is crucial, especially as temperatures start to drop. Traditional deep conditioning methods involve leaving the product in for extended amounts of time or intensifying it with heat. Adding steam instead of heat levels up moisture levels like no other. The steam more efficiently opens up the hair follicles and allows the products to penetrate more deeply than with dry heat or time alone. The best (and most inexpensive) way to steam your hair is to apply your conditioner as soon as you get in the shower and allow the steam from the hot water to do its job. If you would like to take this up a notch, you can purchase a hair steamer to sit under. Trust me, you wont regret it!
· Use satin lined hoods and scarves
Most of the clothing items that keep us warm and cozy in the winter are the worst for our hair. The reason is because the warmer materials like cotton and polyester that trap in heat, are rough and very harsh on our delicate strands. In the colder months when we are constantly bundled up, our hair can tend to repeatedly rub against these harsh materials all day long. This constant friction causes breakage and contributes to drier than normal hair. A way to combat this is to purchase satin lined hoods and scarves. The material is slick and gentle on our hair so we don’t have to worry about the friction causing breakage. Win win!
Just because the weather is changing, it doesn’t mean that our hair has to suffer. We can easily enjoy mother nature’s gift and keep a head of healthy hair on our heads. Winter is actually an amazing time to establish a solid hair care regimen that we can sustain year round. Incorporating even one of these tips will make a massive impact on our hair after summer. When all else fails, remember that a trained hairstylist, like at one of our Salons, can always assist you in getting back on track. Happy hairing!