It happens ever year...the cold, dry arctic blasts bring frigid air and introduce that time of year we all have to deal with hard-to-manage dry, winter hair.
The lack of humidity, increased static from shedding and replacing clothing, and the dryness of conditioned in-door air makes controlling our hair difficult at best.
So, what is happening and what can be done?
By nature and physics, cold air is less dense that warmer air. It contains less water vapor and humidity and tends to dry-out our scalp and hair. This, combined with static created by taking on and off coats, hats, and scarves leads to fly-away, low moisture content, and an increase of damage from styling appliances like flat irons and blow dryers.
So, what can be done - here's our tips for controlling "winter hair"
- Use a moisturizing shampoo - If your hair is naturally on the dry side, you may have already learned this trick. If not, you might consider for the winter. Moisturizing shampoos provide additional hydration to the follicle shaft (and scalp). The added moisture helps support the hair's shaft and improves thickness. This helps with control and resists dryness.
- Avoid blow drying - Yes, I know, this is a big one, but allowing your hair to air-dry after combing with a wide-toothed comb can help a lot. The heat and dryness from a dryer makes it more difficult to style.
- Use a leave-in conditioner - Available as lotions or sprays, a leave-in will provide daily conditioning while helping provide control and help lock-in hydration.
- Gels & Mousse - If you use styling aids, light-hold gels can help provide control - generally better than hairspray. It may not work for all hairstyles - especially men - but the added control provides a bit of stiffness that helps fight static electricity.
- Flat Irons - While this might seem somewhat contradictory, a good flat iron can help a lot if it works for your style. Newer, better models have tourmaline-infused plates and anti-static properties. When used with a thermal protector, you can help avoid heat damage and improve smoothness and control.
- Styling - If you have long hair, you might consider pulling your hair back - in a ponytail or a bun. It might not be your preferred style, but it might be the best option during cold weather.
Low humidity, cold air and winding environments wreak havoc on the natural state of moisture content in our hair - making it difficult to control. These tips have helped - I hope they work well for you too!
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