Summer is a time we usually make an extra effort to protect our hair and give it increased attention due to exposure to sun, saltwater and that infamous Long Island humidity. Winter, however, offers its own particular challenges to healthy hair, but there are ways to make sure your hair looks its best throughout this season.? Icy winter wind, snow and rain, not to mention indoor heating (especially forced hot air), can combine to create brittle and dry hair. Here are some “winterizing” tips to safeguard and nourish your hair.
When out in the elements, whether skiing or just walking to the car, wear a weatherproof hat. An extra special touch would be to add a silk or satin lining, which is gentle on hair and helps prevent split ends. To avoid “hat head,” put long hair in a ponytail and tuck into the hat or push short hair back against the style. When the hat comes off, you will have extra fullness and bounce. And never go outside with wet hair! When out and about in dicey weather, always carry an umbrella everywhere for added protection, and keep some frizz serum in your bag for emergencies.
Look for, and use, a protecting shampoo that replenishes; it is best not to wash your hair more than every other day if you can. Over-washing can dry hair, so can very hot water. Try to get used to warm or cool water to wash and rinse. Use a rich conditioner every time you wash your hair. Conditioners with essential fatty acids and humectants not only moisturize, but also help attract and hold moisture in the hair.
Definitely avoid hot styling tools, but if you can’t, be sure to use a leave-in conditioning styling product. Two of my favorites are Moroccan Oil Styling Cream and Simply Smooth’s Extend Keratin Calming Balm. For very fine hair, use a regular conditioner after every shampoo and a light leave-in conditioning product, like Infusium 23 or Ouidad Moisture Lock. For very thick hair, use a heavy conditioning hair pack, like K-Pak Revitalux, twice a week. Be sure to begin about an inch or two away from the roots, as this type of hair holds the natural oils close to the scalp.
A great technique to avoid torn hairs (never brush wet hair) is to first use your fingers and then a wide-toothed comb after conditioner in the shower to gently remove tangles. Then squeeze the moisture out of your hair, rather than rubbing your head, with a thick towel.
Whenever you use hand cream, run your fingers through the ends of your hair for a little extra moisture there. And don’t forget beauty comes from within. Drink plenty of water.
Many of these tips are great for year-round care, but during winter, especially if this year is anything like the last, you will find the truth in that old saying, “Prevention is worth a pound of cure!”