Caring For Your Hair in Winter
It’s not just your skin that needs a little extra TLC during the winter months, exposure to harsh cold elements, blustery winds and indoor heating can wreak havoc on our hair and lead to winter woes that tend to rear their ugly heads. We’re talking dryness, split ends, dandruff, static, and a general lack of smooth, shiny locks.
With a new season on our doorstep, now is the best time to take action to give your tresses an extra dose of attention to prevent dull, damaged hair. We’ve put together our favourite winter haircare tips and tricks to keep your crowning glory in tip-shape and condition throughout the cooler months.
The Dry Hair Myth
“Dry” hair needs moisture, right? Well, not always. A common mistake made when it comes to haircare concerns is confusing dry and damaged hair, which should be treated very differently. Due to this, you might end up using a product for dry hair on your damaged hair type, and be disappointed when you don’t get the desired results.
While dry and damaged hair may look and feel very similar (dullness, coarse texture, frizz, etc), dry hair needs moisture, while damaged hair needs protein. So the big question is, how can you tell the difference between dry hair and damaged hair?
Dry vs Damaged Hair
A hair stylist will be able to diagnose your hair’s condition in proper detail, but a general way to distinguish the difference is that damaged hair breaks easily when pulled and has visible split ends. It also gets tangled easily and you might even notice random broken frizzy strands on top of your head. Dry hair, on the other hand, feels rough and coarse, and is often accompanied by dry flakes on the scalp.
To test for dry hair, take a clean hair strand free of conditioner or serum, and put it in a glass of water. After a few minutes, check if it floats or sank to the bottom. If it sinks fast, you most likely have porous and dry hair. To test if your hair is damaged, take a strand of hair that has fallen out and gently pull it from both ends to see if it stretches. If it doesn’t stretch at all, or stretches a little before breaking, it’s damaged. If it stretches but doesn’t return to its original shape and stays the way you stretched it, it’s dry.
Shampoo Less Often
It’s actually water that causes dryness during the washing process, even if you’re using a hydrating shampoo. Cut down on washing your hair to avoid losing hydrating and disrupting the natural oil balance in your hair. Plaques of skin can smother the scalp, not only causing itch and flakes, but smothering growth as well. Cleansing less often also minimises the amount of heat styling in your haircare routine.
Lock in Extra Moisture
No matter what hair type you have, blasts of dry cold air are never good for your tresses. Natural, curly, wavy, relaxed, and coiled hair is extra sensitive to cold weather, and tends to become brittle leading to breakage, and split ends. Switch up your products and choose an oil-based moisturiser that will evaporate more slowly to protect textured hair. A hair oil not only offers intense hydration, something we all need in the winter, but also helps to repair any existing damage by helping to strengthen your hair and seal cuticles.
Commit to Hair Treatments
All hair textures should have some TLC during the winter months with a hair treatment every 5 to 7 washes, to replace lost moisture and keep strands supported. Use a treatment for your hair type or slather your normal condition on and take 30 minutes for the moisture to penetrate into the hair shaft.
The same way your skin loves a good night cream, your hair will benefit immensely from a good night treatment. Apply a serum on dry hair right before bed, and be sure to designate an old pillowcase as “hydration nights” can get a bit messy! Those with curls, relaxed and textured strands can hydrate with a light oil high in omega fatty acids and cover hair with a silk scarf to avoid friction and keep moisture levels intact.
Static hair is a common winter issue and these floating, fine strands of static hair are a key sign of dryness. Combat this with a good quality leave-in conditioner.
Don’t go Outside with Damp Hair
It’s super important to make sure your hair is dry before stepping outside into the cold. Anything that is cold expands, and it’s no different with your wet hair shaft when you walk outside with damp hair. Hair is most fragile when it’s wet, and this puts you at risk for breakage and makes your colour fade faster.
The lighter your hair dye, the more damaging it is to your hair. Winter is the perfect time to go a little darker to reduce the amount of chemical stress on your mane.
Reduce Heat Styling
Heat styling can cause breakage and split ends, so try and reduce the amount of styling in winter and opt for braids, buns, twists and classic ponytails instead. When you do need to use a hair dryer or straightening, remember to always use a heat protectant.
Here’s to a Fresh New Season
Now that you know the best winter haircare tips, stock up on a wide range of professional hair products and treatments to keep your locks healthy and nourished during the winter months!
Be sure to take advantage of our month-end sale with up to 35% off selected haircare products! Valid until 30 April 2021.