Cold Weather: How Does it Affect Your Hair and What Can You Do About It?
Winter is quickly approaching, and for many of us here in Kansas and Nebraska, that means it’s time to prepare for a frigid and snowy few months! If you’re like many women in the area, you may also find yourself slathering on the moisturizer this time of year as cool, dry weather can leave your skin cracked, damaged, and begging for hydration. It’s no secret that winter weather can be relentless on our skin, but have you ever noticed the effects it can have on your hair?
How Does Cold Weather Impact Your Hair?
Most women have experienced first-hand the effects of hot and humid weather conditions on our hair (ugh… frizz!), but what a lot of gals fail to realize is that winter weather can be just as damaging. For example, cold and dry air can actually cause the cuticle of the hair strand to lift ever so slightly. As a result, moisture doesn’t stand a chance of staying locked into the hair shaft. This explains why many women find themselves battling breakage and frustrating frizz during this frigid time of year. How annoying!
In addition to your hair being zapped of moisture during the dry winter months, high winds—which are common during these crazy Kansas and Nebraska winters—can damage hair. This is especially true for you girls out there with thick, curly, or long hair. When exposed to high winds, hair becomes more easily snagged and tangled. When you go to brush and de-tangle your hair, the yanking action of the brush can cause further breakage and split ends. It’s a seemingly never-ending cycle… and incredibly frustrating.
The dryness and breakage that comes along with winter weather also isn’t doing your hair color any favors either, especially if you have color-treated hair. Many women find that their color-treated locks lose vibrancy and shine during these harsh, unforgiving months.
And of course, let’s not forget the unpleasant effect dry, cold air can have in terms of static! If you’ve ever brushed your hair out in the morning, only to have it stand on end as if you’d just rubbed a balloon all over it, then you know what we’re talking about. It’s that combination of dryness and tangles that creates the perfect conditions for hair static—a look that’s never attractive.
How Can You Protect Your Hair From Cold Weather?
Okay, so now that we’ve established that cool temperatures, dryness, and wind are your hair’s biggest enemies during the winter months, it’s time to review a few simple yet super effective steps you can take to protect your hair and keep it looking amazing.
Step 1: Moisturize
One of the best things you can do to protect your hair this winter is to hit it with an extra dose of moisture. If your hair is prone to breakage and split ends this time of year, now is a great time to switch to a moisturizing shampoo and an excellent leave-in conditioner. A moisturizing shampoo will not only nourish your hair, but will also preserve some of the natural oils your scalp produces to moisturize your hair and keep it healthy. A leave-in conditioner will help to add nourishment to your locks long after you’ve stepped out of the shower.
Step 2: Get Regular Trims
Let’s face the ugly truth, ladies: Split ends are going to happen. It’s just a fact of life. No matter how much you care for your hair or what products you use, you’re going to eventually end up with some breakage. This is where taking the time to have your hair regularly trimmed can make all the difference in keeping your hair looking healthy and full of life. Typically, you should have your hair trimmed every six to eight weeks, but during the harsh winter months, we recommend going no more than six weeks in between trims.
Afraid of going too short at your next trim? It’s all about using the right lingo. Tell your hair stylist you want a “dusting” rather than a trim. With a dusting, your stylist will remove just enough hair to get rid of those dead ends and leave your hair looking healthy.
Step 3: Keep Travel-Size Products Handy
During the unpredictable months of winter here in Kansas and Nebraska, you could leave your house with the most beautifully styled hair and not make it to your car before the wind has left it looking like a bird’s nest. This is why it’s such a good idea to keep travel-sized versions of your favorite styling products in your purse at all times. At the very least, we recommend keeping a small bottle of hairspray and smoothing cream or serum with you at all times. This way, you can tame those pesky fly-aways and spray hair back into place even on the windiest of days.
Keeping a small bottle of smoothing hair serum, such as Moroccan argon oil, can also be useful on dry winter days. A little bit of this serum goes a long way in adding shine and smoothness to your hair, while protecting it from damage at the same time. Just be sure to keep these travel-size bottles in a durable zipper bag. The last thing you want is for product to leak all over your purse.
Step 4: Protect Hair From Heat Damage
You shouldn’t have to worry about heat damaging your hair during the winter, right? Wrong! If your hair is still exposed to the sun, and you’re still using heat-based styling tools (such as hair dryers, straighteners, and curling irons), then you still need to take the necessary precautions to protect your hair from heat damage. This is perhaps even more true during the winter, believe it or not, because your hair is also being exposed to so many other damaging elements.
So, what steps can you take to protect your hair from heat damage? Start by using a heat-protecting spray every time you blow dry, straighten, or curl your hair with a styling tool. Also, consider giving your hair a break from heat-based styling every once in a while. We’ll be the first to say that nothing looks better than a professional blow-out and style, but on days when you’re planning on staying in the house, a cute braid or a messy bun can get the job done just as well.
Step 5: Use a Color-Restoring Shampoo/Conditioner
Last but not least, if you find that your hair color suffers from dullness during the winter months, consider switching to a color-restoring shampoo and conditioner during this time of year. These products work by depositing a small amount of color to the hair each time you wash, which helps your hair maintain its vibrant color all winter long. You can find color-restoring shampoos for blonde, brunette, black, and even red hair, so experiment with some different brands and see what works best for you.
Step 6: Win the Battle Against Static
Okay, so this is going to sound ridiculous, but trust us—it really does work. If you’re having trouble with static this winter, grab a box of unscented dryer/fabric softener sheets. They don’t just keep static out of your clothes, they have the same effect on your hair! Simply grab a sheet, rub it gently from the roots to the ends of your hair (after brushing), and enjoy static-free style. Of course, static can build up throughout the day, so we also recommend keeping a few of these dryer sheets in your wallet or purse so you can use them as needed. Some say you can also use hairspray to fight static, but we’ve found that dryer sheets work much better and have the added benefit of not adding any unnecessary product to your hair.
Get the Look You Want at Our Blow Dry Bar
No matter what winter hair woes you face this season, you can find the remedy you need at our Overland Park and Omaha Primp and Blow locations. Here, we specialize in luxurious blowouts, updos, and even dry styles to get your hair looking great, and help you feel your absolute best. Whether you’re looking to wow others for a special occasion or simply feel like treating yourself, we can help. And for those dreaded winter hair problems, we’ve got all kinds of solutions. From reparative hair masks and scalp massages to any number of our combo packages, our friendly and professional staff can help transform your locks. We even offer membership packages, makeup services, extensions, and false eyelash application to complete your look!
Don’t suffer another winter day with dull, damaged, lifeless hair. Follow our winter hair care tips and schedule an appointment (walk-ins also welcome!) by contacting your local Primp and Blow location today.