How To Care For Dehydrated Winter Hair
You don’t need us to tell you that the chilly winter weather tends to wreak havoc on your hair. As the temperatures dip, the majority of hair types battle static, dullness, and an overwhelming feeling of dryness. This can not only make your hair uncooperative, but it can also lead to split ends, hair fall and dry, itchy scalp. And once the dehydration descends on your strands, it can seem nearly impossible to replenish that necessary moisture.
Luckily, not all is lost. Here we discuss why hair gets dry in the winter, the steps you can take to avoid this, and This winter will be the one when you finally win the battle against brittle hair, we promise.
Why Our Hair Gets Dry in the Winter
You know that humidity that makes your curls extra voluminous in the summer? Dry winter air has the opposite effect. We experience dry hair in the winter as a result of the dry, cold air outside, compounded by the dry heat indoors. The low humidity, combined with extreme temperature changes, dehydrate the hair shaft while whipping winds and friction from beanies and other winter clothing add insult to injury.
In addition, those long, hot showers that we all love to take in the winter are an additional culprit. Prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, can damage the skin and scalp barrier and even disrupt the balance of bacteria around the hair follicles. Much like with the naturally occurring bacteria elsewhere in your body, when the bacteria on your scalp are out of balance, it can affect the quality of hair produced by the follicles.
Different hair types also experience dryness differently. Chemically processed hair, as well as curly or wavy hair, will experience dryness due to environmental conditions. That’s because chemically processed hair already has a compromised shaft through which hydration seeps out. As for wavy and curly hair, the nature of their hair textures means that natural oils don’t reach the lower part of the hair shaft as easily.
Thin hair, on the other hand, can be more prone to breakage as when your hair is dehydrated, it’s more brittle, which means it’s more likely to break.
What You Can Do About It
The easiest way to avoid or cure brittle, dehydrated hair? Give your product stash a makeover. During different times of the year, you should be switching out your shampoo, conditioner, and masks, as well as your styling products. In the colder months, you want to lean more towards moisture, repair, oils, and serums. Much like your skin, your hair can benefit from more intensive reparative treatments such as the Leave In Conditioner, Ultimate Repair and Intense Hydrate lines by REF, as well as the Well-Being, and Nou Nou lines by Davines, or the Atlantis and Dallas lines from R+Co. All of these products add moisture, strengthen, and protect without weighing the hair down.
Swapping out harsh cleansers that use surfactants to create a lather is also recommended. Surfactants, like sulfates, are actually overachievers when it comes to cleansing your hair, stripping the hair and scalp of healthy oils while irritating your scalp. All of this leads to damaged, dull, dry hair. We suggest substituting with a gentle cleanser, like the Dede Shampoo by Davines. This shampoo doesn’t have any of those harsh, drying detergents and instead gently cleanses while helping to balance your hair and scalp’s healthy pH.
In the winter months we also strongly recommend weekly hair and scalp masks. Designed to treat a variety of hair care concerns, all with a common denominator: addressing the needs of the moment with immediate results. Whether you’re looking for shine, repair, recovery, purifying, moisture, volume, repair or some combination of these, as masks can be combined specific to your needs. They function to infuse the hair shaft with much needed nutrients to leave your hair shinny, smooth, and strong. These ingredients include natural oils, lipids, and conditioning agents that will leave your hair healthier from root to tip.
Here at PLEIJ Salon we offer Hair Masks as part of our Repair and Reconstructive Services and as 30 minute treatments which include Micro Mist Steam Therapy for enhanced penetration into the cortex of the hair enhancing the effects of the mask and resulting in longer lasting hair color/perm, phenomenal shine, smoothness and hydration.
It’s also a good idea to avoid pulling your hair back when wet. Hygral fatigue is a new, groundbreaking concept that has recently come to light. The general concept is the longer your hair is wet, the more the hair actually swells. Swollen, wet hair is especially prone to damage and breakage. While it may seem that drying your hair is the key to avoiding this, you have to be cautious about the type of hair dryer you’re using. You want something with a wide air stream that controls the air temperature to protect the hair and prevent heat damage – the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is optimal.
Now when it comes to styling products, some Columbus and Central Ohio hair stylists will recommend that you switch up your products for seasonal purposes for much the same reasons, in the Fall and Winter to seal in hydration, and to protect the hair from the sun and humidity in the Spring and Summer. Your shampoos, conditioners, and masks largely address these concerns. Rather, the appropriate time to consider switching up your hair styling products would be after a change to your cut and/or style, a chemical treatment, or a lifestyle or health change that has impacted the physical characteristics of your hair.
We also recommend supplementing with biotin, as a deficiency can show up as brittle hair or hair loss. We specifically recommend Pure Encapsulations Hair / Skin / Nails Ultra but encourage you to talk to your doctor before using any supplement.
Dry, brittle hair doesn’t have to be a winter reality. Below, shop some of the products that can keep your strands tip-top this season no matter how frigid it feels outside.
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