The freezing temperature and dry air during winter takes a toll on the body, especially exposed areas such as the skin and hair. That’s why adjusting your skincare routine for winter is probably already on your to-do list. But you should also add tweaking your hair care to the list.
In chilly weather, your hair is more prone to breakage and split ends, not just because of the cold but also because of indoor heaters. Here are 7 simple steps to protect your hair from winter damage.
How to prevent winter hair damage
1. Wear a hat lined with silk or satin.
Covering your head during winter is essential to keep your hair safe from moisture-stripping snow, wind, and rain. However, choosing just any hat is not a wise idea. Cotton, wool, and other coarse fabrics tend to cause hair breakage and split ends, especially for those with curly hair. To prevent damage, line your hat with silk or satin. You can sew the silk or satin lining into any hat of yours.
Worried about dry hair under your hat? An oil-based moisturizer can help you. Dry oil sprays can also help with reducing static electricity under your hat.
2. Cut down on heat styling— but don’t step outside with wet hair.
Blow drying your hair robs it of much-needed moisture during the winter months, increasing the chances of hair breakage. The best way to dry your hair is to air dry it. That doesn’t mean you should go out with damp hair if you’re short on time, though. Leaving your house in winter with a wet head can cause your hair to freeze and break. A possible solution is to wash your hair at night to allow the strands to dry naturally.
Curling or straightening your hair is also not advisable. As an alternative, give your hair some time off from your heat styling routine by trying braids and buns, which are known as protective hairstyles.
3. Watch out for hair-damaging style trends.
Speaking of protective hairstyles, make sure that you don’t tie your hair in a way that is more harmful than good. First of all, never use rubber bands for tying your hair. Always opt for natural fabric bands. Second, avoid pulling your hair back tightly to prevent breakage. When braiding your hair or putting it in a bun, twist the strands gently and choose looser styles. Gorgeous hairstyles should not require you to sacrifice healthy hair.
4. Modify your shampooing and conditioning habits.
Shampooing your hair every day is not recommended in winter because it removes natural oils from your tresses. Switch things up by washing your hair every other day, but feel free to extend time between washes if you notice that your hair is still dry.
Also, make sure to choose the best hair care products for the winter. For conditioners, switch to an oil-based one so that you can lock in extra moisture in your hair. It is also good to use a leave-in conditioner to avoid static. Keeping your hair moisturized is a must during winter. So, conditioners and other hydrating products are your best friends.
5. Apply oil or serum and leave overnight.
An overnight oil or serum works for your hair the same way that an overnight moisturizing cream works for your skin. If you’re worried about the mess a night serum can leave on your pillowcase, you can use an old pillowcase on hair hydration nights. Plus, you can cover hair with a sleep bonnet or silk scarf to avoid friction. Don’t forget to pick a hair oil that is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like baobab oil for best results.
6. Schedule weekly hair treatments.
Dry, damaged hair will receive a moisture boost from a weekly hair mask. A hair mask can reverse the effects of dryness while making sure your hair is soft and shiny. Hair masks take just 20 minutes to work their magic.
Deep conditioning once a week is another treatment you can easily do at home. Just slather conditioner on your hair and wait for 30 minutes for the moisture to penetrate the hair shafts.
7. Have your hair trimmed regularly but avoid color treatments.
Since split ends are very common in the winter, regular trimming is helpful. Get your hair trimmed every four to eight weeks to maintain hair health and keep your locks looking great. It is advisable to just cut a half inch off the bottom to reduce the chances of developing dry, split ends.
Color treatments, especially those that involve bleaching and lightening, should be avoided because they break down the fatty acids and proteins to remove your hair’s pigment. It often takes a longer time for your hair to recover in winter. If color treatments are unavoidable, leave at least eight weeks between each treatment.
The number one for taking care of your hair in winter is to keep it moisturized and safe from harsh chemicals and heat. You’ll get your best winter hair if you wear silk- or satin-lined hats, avoid heat styling, take care when styling, change your shampoo and conditioner habits, use oil and hair masks, and get a regular trim.