Holidays, hot cocoa, and warm fireplaces – a lot of good things come along when temperatures drop.
Unfortunately, hair doesn’t always agree with the cold season, and even the most lustrous of tresses can become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. A lack of moisture in the air outside, combined with the drying effects of heaters inside, can do some major damage to your scalp and hair strands.
7 Winter Hair Care Tips
So, to keep your tresses in tip-top shape during the colder season, follow these winter hair care tips:
1. Shampoo and Condition With Care
Shampooing and conditioning might seem like a no-brainer, but a few tweaks can help your hair survive the winter months with a little more vibrancy.
To avoid stripping your hair of healthy, natural oils – don’t wash with hot water. Use lukewarm water instead. After shampooing, make sure your conditioner has ample time to penetrate the hair shaft to absorb maximum moisture. Then – rinse with cold water. It sounds a little unpleasant given the already cool temperatures outside, but cold water helps seal in moisture and leaves locks looking shiny and lustrous.
2. Use a Leave-In Conditioner
Regular conditioning will help restore moisture, but a leave-in conditioner will help lock that moisture in. A leave-in conditioner will also protect hair and help keep the hair cuticle smooth and frizz-free.
For thick, coarse, or curly hair, look for an extra-moisturizing leave-in conditioner. If your hair is on the fine side, look for something a little more lightweight that won’t weigh hair down.
3. Use a Hair Mask Once a Week
Your hair wages a two-front battle in the winter. Not only are your tresses fighting cold, windy air outside, they’re also fighting the drying effects of a heater running full-time inside. It can all add up to brittle, thirsty strands. Indulge in a hair mask once a week for a major moisture-replenishing treatment.
To add some much-needed hydration to your locks, try this super simple coconut oil and honey hair mask.
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Your Hair
Coconut oil has a lot of nutrients that keep hair moisturized and protected. First of all, it’s rich in lauric acid – an essential fatty acid that has the ability to penetrate deep into the hair shaft.
Coconut oil helps restore moisture and helps prevent hair protein loss.1 And preventing protein loss in the winter months is essential – the stronger your hair is, the more likely it will be able to withstand the harsh elements.
Coconut oil is also a good source of vitamin E – an antioxidant that can protect your hair from free radical stress.2 And honey? Well it doesn’t just soothe a sore throat when you get a winter cold. It also soothes damaged, dry strands with its natural conditioning properties.3
Instructions for coconut oil and honey hair mask:
- Combine 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan.
- Heat up on the stove until warm. Make sure it’s not too hot.
- Apply the mixture to damp hair, being sure to massage in. Pay special attention to the ends of hair, where dryness and damage is often more prevalent.
- Cover with a shower cap, and leave the mixture on for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Rinse out, and shampoo and condition as usual.
4. Pay Special Attention To Your Scalp
Do you find yourself scratching your head a little more often in the winter? That’s because the lack of moisture in the air during the winter months can do a number on your scalp. Without enough hydration, dead skin cells tend to build up, leading to a scalp that’s dry, itchy, and irritated. Worst of all? All that scalp irritation may lead to flakiness.
The good news is that keeping your scalp well-moisturized can do a lot to keep the flakes at bay (and your favorite black sweater flake-free).
For a scalp pick-me-up, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil with a teaspoon of lemon juice. Massage the mixture into your scalp. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes, then rinse out. Follow up with shampoo and conditioner as usual.
5. Blow Dry the Right Way
Be extra gentle with hairstyling during the cold, dry season – when hair is more vulnerable to breakage. Before blow-drying, spritz on a generous amount of heat protectant spray. Then, blow dry on a cool setting. If you do use heat, try to hold the dryer about 15 centimeters away from your head. Move the dryer continuously, so that you don’t focus heat on one section of hair for too long.4
6. For Silky Hair, Use Silk!
Cold temperatures often require slipping on a cozy hat to keep warm. But wool, cotton, and other coarse fabrics can act like velcro on your hair. Each time you remove your hat, you wind up pulling on your hair. This can lead to split ends and breakage. To avoid this, line your hat with a silk scarf before putting it on. The slippery texture will help keep your hair breakage-free.
7. Get Regular Trims
Even the most diligently protected hair is prone to split ends in the winter. To minimize damage and keep hair healthy, get a trim about every 6 to 8 weeks. It’ll give your hair bounce and diminish the look of frizz.
Here’s to Healthy Winter Hair
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean your hair and scalp have to suffer. To keep hair healthy, inject more moisture into your hair care routine, and take these winter hair care steps to protect your your locks from unnecessary damage.