Winter: the most hair-drying time of the year. Winter hair problems are real and are a major inconvenience when you are trying to have healthy, luscious locks.
Just like your skin goes through transformations when the seasons change, the changing environmental factors impact your hair too.
This winter get into a cold-weather hair routine that includes habits and products that will specifically protect your hair from the cold temperatures. Our all-encompassing winter hair care guide is here to help you take care of your locks this season!
Common Winter Hair Problems & How to Deal with Them
Just like you have to protect your hair in the summer from the sun and chlorine, you also need to protect your hair from the cold temperatures during the winter season. Every season brings out good and bad things in your hair, and the best way to combat these problems is to plan ahead.
Knowing the changes your hair will face and preparing for it will keep your hair looking and feeling soft, smooth, and healthy. This winter, prepare to protect your hair from these common winter hair problems:
What causes static hair?
Static hair happens in the winter because the moisture in the air is not as high as it is in the summer. The dry air causes your hair to pick up more electric charge.
Static hair is the result of electricity, atoms, and a lot of scientific terminology that we wont get into. Long story short, our hair is made up of atoms that when rubbed together against other atoms, gets charged with electricity, thus making our hair static.
How to fix static hair
To fix static hair, there are a few things you can do.
- Use a metal comb.
Switching out your plastic hair brushes and combs for metal ones will help reduce static, as plastic tends to help more static charge than metal does.
- Use an ionic hairdryer
An ionic hairdryer blows out the negatively charged ions, which work against the positively charged water molecules in your hair to reduce static electricity. Negative ions also do not open up the hair shaft, leading to smoother, shiner hair.
- Use a dryer sheet or hand cream for a quick fix
The purpose of a dryer sheet is to reduce static when drying clothes, and you can use them for your static hair as well! If you find yourself taking off your coat and dealing with a staticky head of hair, simply run a dryer sheet over your hair for instant smoothness. Alternatively you can take a tiny drop of hand cream and apply it over your hair to flatten flyaways.
- Switch to a microfiber towel
Microfiber towels have smaller loops in between fibers. This leads to less pulling and snagging as you dry your hair. This in turn, leads to smoother, less staticky hair.
- Use a bit of hairspray
If you’re styling your hair and you notice the extreme amount of flyaways, use this trick: spritz a little bit of alcohol-free hairspray onto a metal comb and slowly brush over the flyaways to smooth them down.
- Wear more natural fabrics
Synthetic fabrics are known for holding static electrical charge, which leads to staticky hair. Instead, opt for organic, natural fabrics like silk, cotton, or wool to minimize your frizz.
What causes dry hair?
Dry hair occurs when your hair lacks moisture. One of the leading causes of dry hair is the cold air. This is because as the weather gets colder, the air gets drier. Dry air strips your hair of moisture and causes your hair to turn dull and brittle, causing split ends.
How to fix dry hair
There are a lot of ways to fix dry hair. To hold your hair’s moisture, don’t use heating products as frequently, refrain from over-washing it, and stick to hair products that are for moisturizing and have natural hydrating ingredients. The reality is that there are so many hair products that are packed with drying ingredients such as alcohols, so make sure you are researching and checking the ingredients of the hair products you’re using. Here are a few ways to fix dry hair during the wintertime!
- Use a silk pillowcase
Just like the microfiber towel we suggested, silk pillowcases have smaller fibers compared to cotton, thus leading to less snagging and pulling on your hair while you sleep. Another advantage to using a silk pillowcase is also smoother skin over time and reduced potential for wrinkles due to the smoother fabric.
- Apply a hair mask at least once a week
Hair masks are the best because they are quick, and they are the easiest way to infuse moisture in your hair. It doesn’t matter if its store bought or DIY, use a hair mask at least once a week to keep your hair moisturized and hydrated throughout the winter months.
- Try double conditioning
Double conditioning is exactly what it sounds like – you wash your hair, condition, rinse, and then condition again. You could either use the same conditioner or use a deep conditioner – more on the links of a hair mask. This will give your hair that extra hydration it needs to get through the winter.
- Stay hydrated
Moisture starts from within, so make sure you are drinking extra water throughout the winter months.
- Use a humidifier
Why is it that its easier to keep your hair and skin hydrated in the summertime? Its because the air holds more moisture and its much more humid. Since the winter is colder and dryer, you could invest in a humidifier for your bedroom to help mimic that humid summer hair, leading to more naturally moisturized skin and hair.
- Is. More.
Remember, the less you do your hair, the more hydrated it will stay during the colder months. That means less heat styling, less washing, and less dyeing since all of those will lead to even worse dry hair.
What causes split ends?
Healthline defines split ends as when the ends of your hair become dry, brittle, and frayed. Split ends happen when the ends of your hair become dry, brittle, and frayed.
How to fix split ends
Luckily, there are some ways to get rid of split ends. To fix split ends you can get a haircut or, more practically, take precautions with heat protectant products before applying heat to your hair.
What causes hat hair?
Hat hair is caused when the hat on your head rubs against your hair and causes friction. This friction often manifests as frizz and static. Hats can also make your hair look flat as they stick to your head and reduce volume.
How to fix hat hair
To fix hat hair, you don’t need to forgo wearing a hat. Instead, you just have to be cautious of the material of your hat and strategically style your hair to avoid having hat hair.
- Go for silk-based hats
The fabric’s smooth texture will help reduce any hat-induced frizz or static by smoothing your hair cuticle.
- Make sure your hair is cooled down before throwing on a hat
Flat hair occurs when you wear a hat over hair that is still warm from styling it and hasn’t fully dried or cooled down yet. Be sure to cool your hair down completely and make sure your hair is dry before wearing a hat.
- Revive your roots
Once you take your hair off, give your hair a flip upside down to add some volume back into your roots. You can also use a teasing brush to tease the roots for an extra lift.
- Choose your hairstyle accordingly
Avoid getting those big voluminous blowouts if you know you’ll be wearing a hat. Instead, opt for sleeker hairstyles, beachy waves, or a side braid, which won’t be bothered when you put a hat on.
What causes tangles?
Tangles are caused by a plethora of things: unruly hair, not washing or brushing your hair properly, and just the general make up of your hair. In winter, however, your hair is so much more prone to tangling. This is due to the fact that the cold air dries and damages your hair, causing your hair’s cuticle to open up and tangle.
How to fix tangles
- Brush your hair throughout the day
This may sound simple, but sometimes the best solutions are the easiest! Keep a small brush in your purse, and simply brush your hair periodically throughout the day to keep the tangles away. Remember, even hair extensions can get tangled, so if you wear hair extensions, you will need to brush your hair even more frequently.
- Braid the undersection of your hair
If you’ve experienced hair tangling in the wintertime, its likely at the nape of your neck where high collars and scarves cause the most friction. To avoid this, try braiding the section of hair at the nape of your neck to keep it out of the way.
- Wear your hair up
You can simply avoid tangled hair around your neck by wearing your hair up in a high ponytail or a messy bun.
- Utilize detangling sprays
These open up your hair so that your tangles are easier to brush out. Use a small tooth comb that will help separate your tangled locks.
Itchy & Dry Scalp
What causes dry & itchy scalp?
Winter’s cold temperatures tend to dehydrate your hair, which causes dry and itchy scalp (also known as Scalp pruritus), as well as conditions like dandruff and Seborrheic dermatitis. Seborrheic dermatitis, in fact, is a condition often brought upon by seasonal changes.
How to fix dry scalp & itchy scalp
Fortunately, there are ways to treat dry and itchy scalp. One of the best ways to do this is to use products with silicone oil. Silicone oil helps to hydrate and balance your hair and your scalp to better protect you from the effects of cold air.
Itchy scalp, on the other hand, can be treated with products containing panthenol. Panthenol keeps your hair hydrated longer by binding moisture to your locks. Products with hyaluronic acid should have a similar effect.
If your dry or itchy scalp is starting to flake, consider a product with salicylic acid. Salicylic acid exfoliates the scalp to break down any build up and remove dead skin cells. Your black shirts will thank you. Ultimately, any products with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing ingredients should help relieve your dry or itchy scalp. Some other ways to combat a dry, itchy scalp include:
- Use a scalp scrub
Scalp scrubs are quickly gaining popularity as a powerful way to reset your scalp and get rid of those dry flakes.
- Use tea tree oil
After washing your hair, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to your scalp where you part your hair. Due to its anti-fungal properties, tea tree oil will help reduce those dry, flaky patches.
- Apply coconut oil to your scalp
Before washing your hair, apply a healthy amount of coconut oil all over your scalp and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Wash your hair as normal and watch your scalp become hydrated instantly.
- Stay hydrated
Again, hydration starts from within so be sure to drink enough water during colder months to reduce dryness.
What causes dandruff?
There are various factors that could cause dandruff including oily skin, insufficient shampooing, and general scalp sensitivity. Skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and Malassezia (a fungus that tends to feed on oils from the scalp) are also potential causes of dandruff.
The reality is that dandruff is bad both in the summer and winter. Winter’s cold air just enhances the issue by drying out the scalp. Dandruff is also more apparent this time of year because we wear darker clothes. Unfortunately, your cute black knit sweater will show dandruff more than the light-colored dresses you were rocking all spring.
How to fix dandruff
To fix dandruff, consider shampooing more often, exfoliate, and use products with oils to moisturize your scalp and reduce flaking. Also, consider the external factors like stress that can be causing your dandruff.
What causes frizz?
Frizz is caused by a lack of moisture in your hair — and we’ve all learned now that winter basically steals all the moisture from your hair. Humidity can make frizz worse in the summer, but ironically, it’s the lack of humidity in the winter that actually can bring upon frizz. Winter’s dry and cold air damages the hair cuticle, which causes frizz and stray hairs.
How to fix frizz
There are various ways you can tame frizzy hair. The easiest way, however, is being cautious of the products you use and how you use them. Use shampoos with nourishing ingredients like glycerin, and conditioner your hair without shampoo at least twice a week to really lock in moisture.
What causes flat hair?
We know how annoying flat hair can be. Unfortunately, the cold air is a leading cause of flat hair. This is because when the air removes the moisture out of your hair, it can leave your locks looking dull and lifeless.
How to fix flat hair
How do you fix flat hair when the winter’s harsh wind ravages your locks, leaving them limp and lifeless? It’s all in the products you use. Look for lightweight conditioners that won’t weigh down your hair, and volume-enhancing shampoo designed to give your hair some life.
It’s also important to not over wash. Shampoo your hair every other day because shampooing too often will dry your hair of the moisture it was able to retain.
Healthy Hair Tips to Avoid Winter Hair Problems
Protect Your Hair: Wear a hat and a scarf to protect your hair from the cold air and other environmental factors. Plus, with conductor hats and other stylish hats, there are so many ways you can protect your hair in style.
Stay Hydrated: A lot of the winter hair problems that occur are a result of the cold air removing moisture from the scalp. Keep your hair hydrated with different products ranging from leave-in conditioners to hair masks to lock in your hair’s moisture.
Regular Hair Cuts: People tend to cut their hair in the summer to keep it lightweight, but trimming your hair is just as important in the winter due to the split ends that commonly occur during this season.
Don’t Leave Your House with Wet Hair: If you go out in the cold with wet hair, the cold air can freeze strands of your hair, which leads to breakage. You can easily prevent this damage by taking the extra 10 minutes to dry your hair with a blow dryer or wash and style it the night before so that it has time to dry naturally
Ready to book your next appointment? Have any questions? Call Avalanche Salon and Spa today at (610) 489-2049!