Winter: for our hair this means drastic temperature changes, jumping between dry indoor heating and freezing and often windy outdoors coupled with rain, sleet or snow. Fizz. Dryness. Chafing from scarves and coats.
Here are some tips to care for your hair this winter, if you live in a colder climate:
* Fix your indoor air moisture
If the air at your home or workplace is too dry, it will make your hair static-y. Try humidifying it by hanging those little water containers on the heater (no idea what they are called) or even just a wet towel. (If you´re not sure what the humidity is, a hygrometer can be bough cheap in a gardening store.) In the car, don´t turn up the heating to maximum.
* Protect your hair from the cold
The cold harms the hair roots and can make the hair weaker and grow slower. My personal trick to avoid "cap hair" is to use ear-muffs and my coat hood. The hood protects all of my hair, and the muffs keep my ears as warm as if I was wearing a cap. If you prefer caps, get one from a natural material that allows the scalp to breathe, best one with satin or silk lining (you can DIY this).
* Don´t go out with wet hair
Have you ever put a closed bottle of water into the freezer, and had it break (or swell) ? That´s because liquids increase in volume when frozen. Don´t let your hair be the broken bottle.
* Don´t overdo it with the hair dryer (or curler or straightener) or hot water
I know I know, I just said you can´t go out with wet hair. Still, a lot of us tend to overdo it with the dryer in the winter. Personally I wash my hair after I come home, and let it air dry. If you must use a hair dryer, get an ionising one use the cool setting. Dry only till the hair is 80% dry, then let it air dry.
* Don´t shampoo too often
Many people´s scalp gets oilier due to heating, caps and heavy winter food, but shampooing it too often will dry the hair out even more. If you must wash the hair very often, try alternating shampoo washing with conditioner washing.
* Condition more
Hair in the winter needs a lot of conditioning. Try products with more emollients than humectants. Humectants are ok in conditioners but ineffective in leave-ins: (they work by pulling moisture from more to less and the winter air tends to be dry, whether indoors our out). Emolients will hold in the moisture and prevent the hair from drying out. Winter is a great time to use oils for deep conditioning. My personal favourite is a few drops of jojoba oil as a leave-in moisturiser, and extra virgin olive oil as a conditioner. Avoid coconut oil, it solidifies at lower temperatures and can make hair crunchy.
* Protective Hairstyles
Tying up hair protects is from friction from scarves, hats and jackets. It´s also easier to protect from the cold. Try French or English braids. Or quick buns that can be pulled down when you arrive at your destination.
* Anti Static
Conditioner-Only washing is my best tip for cutting down static. And non-plastic combs. Other tips: dryer sheets rubbed on hair (no idea if they are good for the hair though). A very light coat of jojoba oil. Or a basic lotion: rub it into your hands until mostly absorbed and then run your hands through your hair. Or aloe vera gel.
* Nutritious Diet
In the winter we tend to eat less healthy, and drink less water. For the sake of your hair try to stay hydrated (drink half of your body wight in ounces). Include flax seed, sunflower seeds and seaweed in your diet. Add some plant fats. For a quick nutritive fix try sprouts.
I follow all of my rules except wearing my hair up. Also, my home tends to be too humid, so my hair doesn´t dry out much. How about you ? How does your hair care change in the winter ? Does our hair behave better now, or in the summer ?