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A lot of people love winter because of the holiday feels and the warm cups of hot chocolate.
However, although the chilly season is an enjoyable one, it can be tough on your hair. This is because the air outside and inside your home becomes dry, making your hair staticky, frizzy, and hard to manage.
The winter weather can bring down your hair health. The good news is that you can protect your hair, regardless of the season by simply following the right hair care regimen. (1)
How to Prevent Hair Dryness in Winter
Follow these tips to keep hair dryness at bay during the winter.
1. Avoid heat styling
According to dermatologists, limiting how often you heat style your hair is important, especially in winter. Thus, avoid frequently straightening your hair with a hot iron or drying it with a blow-dryer.
Studies have also shown that heat styling can cause hair damage and can lead to roughness, dryness, and loss of hair color. As the temperature of styling products increases, the hair surface tends to become more damaged and lose moisture. (2)
2. Brush your hair gently
It is very important to take it easy on your hair, especially when brushing it. Avoid brushing your hair when it is wet because wet hair is fragile and breaks easily. Dry your hair before you brush it.
Hair tends to become drier than normal in winter, so make sure you’re gentle when you brush it. Use a wide-toothed brush and start by detangling the ends. You can slowly move up while holding your hair firmly. (3)
3. Don’t bleach your hair
Bleaching or lightening your hair is not good at all for your hair health. This is because bleach can penetrate the hair strands and break down the proteins that give your hair its color.
It can take a long time for your hair to recover from the damage and even longer during winter when your hair is very dry. (4)
4. Oil your hair
If you want to maintain strong, silky, and shiny hair even during winter, you should moisturize your hair with oil. Experts share that you must care for your hair and oil your scalp just as you would care for your dry and undernourished skin.
Massage your scalp gently with oil and leave it for a few hours. Oiling the hair during winter is essential to lock the moisture in the scalp and hair.
Oils good for hair health include: (5)
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
- Coconut oil
- Castor oil
5. Wash your hair correctly
Bathing with hot water is something many people look forward to every day during winter, but it strips moisture from your hair. Most medical professionals and dermatologists stand against the use of hot water to wash your hair.
So, use lukewarm water to wash your hair as this will not make your hair dry or brittle.
Applying a sufficient amount of conditioner to your hair after shampooing can help you face your winter horror of unhealthy hair by preventing frizziness and dryness. It also helps in reducing hair breakage. Conditioner is a must and should not be skipped, especially in winter. (5)(6)
Note: Conditioners should be applied to the strands and not the scalp.
6. Follow a healthy diet
Diet influences all of your body functions and your overall health, including your hair health. If your diet is deficient in certain food groups or nutrients, your hair will be negatively affected.
According to Dr. Wilma Bergfeld, MD, adding iron, vitamin D, vitamin C, and sometimes vitamin A to your diet is very important for healthy hair.
Also, you can always consume seasonal fruits and veggies. Berries are considered to be the best fruit for your hair because they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. (1)
Increasing your intake of foods rich in omega fatty acids is also beneficial in avoiding dry and frizzy hair and keeping them beautiful. Foods rich in omega fatty acids include: (5)
Note: If you decide to take nutrient supplementation, do it only after discussing it with your doctor.
7. Stay stress-free
The winter season can be stressful as shorter days and longer nights may hinder your regular schedule. Also, the festivities may come in between your regular healthy habits and diets.
This stress can have a negative impact on your hair and even lead to hair loss. So, taking extra steps to manage your stress is very important. (7)
8. Keep your hair tied
With winter comes a great responsibility to control frizzy hair that is prone to damage from static. So, ensure you always tie your hair whenever you’re going out in the cold wind.
Also, it is important that your hair is tied correctly. Certain hairstyles can be bad and damaging for your hair. Pulling your hair back or tying a bun too tightly can cause breakage.
If you want to tie a bun or braid your hair, make sure you’re twisting the strands gently. Unnecessarily pulling and twisting your hair can put stress on your hair. (1)(8)
9. Keep your hair covered
Wearing a beanie or cap to protect your hair from chilly wind and dry hair can be helpful in maintaining your health during this cold season. Moreover, protecting the crown of your head with a hat or a scarf helps keep the moisture locked in your tresses and prevents breakage.
So, to safeguard your hair from harm while going out in winter, always cover your hair. However, do not wear a woolen cap directly as this can be bad for your hair. (5) Go for a silk/satin cap instead.
DIY Mask for Winter Hair Care
Yogurt + coconut oil + avocado mask
The biggest hair battle you’ll have to fight in the winter dry and lifeless hair. The best way to promote hair health during the cold months is by adding a hair mask to your hair care regimen. One such simple DIY mask is a yogurt, coconut oil, and avocado mask.
Avocados are rich in fatty acids and proteins that maintain the well-being of your hair, while coconut oil deeply moisturizes dry hair and promotes scalp health. Yogurt is known to hydrate and nourish the hair, giving you shiny and bouncy strands. (9)
Note: Always do a patch test before applying the mask. Avoid using it if you are allergic to any of the ingredients.
Here’s how you can make it:
- Mix yogurt and mashed avocados in a bowl.
- Melt some coconut oil and add it to the mixture.
- Blend all of the ingredients together.
- Apply the mask to the roots and the entire length of your hair.
- Leave the mask on for 15–20 minutes and wash your hair as usual.
Most-Asked Questions About Hair Care During Winter
Should I apply hot oil in winter?
Yes! Hot oil penetrates your scalp in a much better way than other hair care products such as shampoo, room-temperature oil, or conditioner. Hot oiling ensures that the oil is absorbed deeply into your scalp and hair, thus supplying them with proper nourishment. (6)
I can’t wash my hair daily, so how can I condition them without washing them?
It is not a surprise that conditioning your hair is a must in winter. If you have very dry and frizzy hair and you can’t shampoo them often, you can simply use leave-in conditioners that can be directly applied to dry hair without washing them first.
Does wet hair in cold weather cause sinus headaches?
Yes. Wet hair in winter may be a causal factor of sinus headaches. This is because your brain gets cooled very easily when the skin of your head is exposed to hypothermia caused by wet hair in cold weather. (10)
As the winter season approaches, many people start to get worried about hair health. The chilly and dry air with the cold temperature can be a challenge in maintaining soft and moisturized hair. It can strip away moisture from the strands of your hair, making them rough and dry.
Incorporate the above-mentioned tips to not let the cold winter air compromise your hair health.
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