If you grew up in New England like I did it’s not exactly news that winter sucks. If you’re new to brutal winters, it’s also probably not news that winter really sucks. Chapped lips, too many layers and mountains of snow lose any charm they may have had by mid-February. My skin may never recvoer. We’ve all heard how we need to change our skin care in winter due to dropping temperatures and dry air. But what about our hair routines? Even on the best days, my hair is as bushy as a horses’ mane! How can I possibly manage it on the worst? With the arctic blast showing no signs of slowing down, I set out to learn the basics of winter hair care.
If you can stand it, try to keep the thermostat down. Lack of moisture in the air is only exacerbated when we turn up the heat, “The number one complaint I hear from my clients in winter is an itchy scalp,” says celebrity stylist Patrice Vinci of Boston’s Patrice Vinci Salon, “because just like other skin your scalp gets dry from all the forced air.” She suggests fighting itchy scalp with daily fish oil supplements and a shampoo for sensitive skin, like the sulfate-free Illumai Vital Shampoo. “(Illumai) actually preserves and balances the skin’s natural oils instead of just removing them so it isn’t at all drying like most shampoos.” It may sound weird but keeping the skin on your head hydrated not only prevents issues like dandruff but also keeps hair well nourished and strong.
Another huge battle our hair faces in winter? Static electricity! Pulling all those cute hats on and off all day only makes things worse. To avoid looking like Helena Bonham Carter in the Harry Potter movies, dry hair with an old t-shirt instead of a towel before styling. Then try a product made with cetrimonium chloride like Oribe’s Cote d’Azure Hair Refresher. It helps to block static by adding positively charged molecules back to strands of hair to create a smooth surface. In between shampoos, tame morning flyaways by rubbing a dryer sheet over your pillowcases just before bed. I even keep a couple tucked into my bag for a quick fix!
Finally, go back to the basics. Keep up with regular trims to reduce split ends and keep them smooth with hair oil. “Oils and deep conditioners are always really good for your ends but especially this time of year! So sit under a dryer with your favorite conditioning mask,” instructs Patrice. At the very least, try not to shampoo too often and use an at home deep conditioner once a week. My mane already looks and feels healthier…even though it’s covered in snow!
How is your hair surviving this endless winter?