This is the season to winterize your hair. Dry frizzy hair happens during the winter due to the constant change from cold outdoors to heated indoors. We will discuss preparing a winter regimen and ways to maintain moisture in the hair without causing excessive drying which may lead to split ends, breakage, and loss of length.
- Drink plenty of water. Water evaporates from your skin and hair at an increased rate during the winter due to heat/furnaces.
- Wash hair weekly or biweekly to remove debris and product build up which can lock out moisture.
- After washing hair, seal in moisture with a light oil, such as argan or coconut oil. Make sure to pay special attention to the ends which have received the most wear and tear on the entire length of your hair.
- Apply a light cream or light-weight non-oily hair lotion daily to add moisture back into the hair. Lotions and cream contain a higher water content compared to oil and grease. Also avoid alcohol-based products during the winter which can further pull water out of the hair.
- Take a chemical vacation (from coloring and other chemical processes) if possible (relaxers should be continued every 6-9 weeks to prevent increased breakage at the line of transition). Chemically-treated hair deserves extra TLC as the pH and chemical structure of the hair has changed. Bleaches, alcohols, peroxides are ingredients to avoid during the winter as they can make the hair brittle and cause split ends.
- Performing deep conditioners under hooded caps bimonthly or protein treatments once monthly are optimal and will help baseline moisture.
- Add water back to the hair. If you don’t want to add product that will leave residue on the hair try spraying plain water (can add lavender and a drop of your favorite oil or a drop of glycerin which helps with slippage and prevents tangles) on the hair. This is also a nice way to put moisture (which plainly is water) back into the hair midweek without having to wash.
- Try to not add products to the scalp which can coat the scalp and allow a yeast, Malasezzia, to flourish and cause dandruff. If you find yourself having to co-wash more often to retain moisture, it may mean you have to incorporate moisture using a daily regimen to maintain moisture from wash to wash.
- Your salon may offer the service of steaming the hair which can help open the cuticles and allow moisture back into the hair prior to adding products and styling. If you’re low on funds you can just sit in a bathroom with the shower steaming or hold your head over a sink or tub of hot water. There are also home steamers you can purchase for use.
- Wear protective styles such as ponytails, buns, braids, pinups, etc to prevent the ends from being traumatized and subsequently forming split ends.
- Protect thermally-treated styles by apply leave-in conditioners, use thermal protectant sprays (allow it to dry first), and try to curl, press, or straighten hair once weekly. The frequent use of heat further dries hair out further (think of it like making a grilled cheese without butter. If you throw the butter-less sandwich back on the grill it will burn). Also try to run as few passes through the hair with the iron as possible.
- You can pin-curl or re-twist between heated treatments to help maintain curly styles or wrap the hair to prolong straight styles.
- Sleep on a satin/silk pillowcase or use a satin bonnet or hair wrap. This keeps the moisture in the hair and prevents hairs from snagging on the fibers in pillowcases.
- If you are wear hats, try to find ones with a liner or wear a satin bonnet or scarf to prevent the hat material from pulling out moisture from the hair.
- Seal split ends that may occur with a thicker hair balm to allow the pieces to adhere to one another until you can get a trim. You can trim individual ends if you have a few. Otherwise, rely on your hair professional for routine trims.
Protect your strands from the elements of nature. Maintaining the moisture content at an equilibrium during the winter will allow you a smooth transition of healthy shiny hair into the summer.
Have you found any regimens that help keep winter dryness from your tresses? Share below.