In our country, most of us live for the cosy winters. The hot chocolate, the warm blankets, and of course, any excuse to pull out the sweaters and boots. While the weather outside may not be all that frightful, it is rather scary for your skin and hair. The cold air causes the cuticle to lift up and open, resulting in frizz. Throw in the lack of moisture in the air and you have yourself brittle and weak locks that break at the drop of a hat. How do you prevent this, you ask? Tweak your haircare routine to suit the weather and stop making these six mistakes that may be ruining your winter mane.
Not conditioning enough
The first rule of thumb when dealing with winter hair is to condition generously. The dry air often strips your hair off its natural oils, making it rough and lifeless. Hydration and moisturisation is key. Conditioning your hair helps restore the lost moisture, resulting in smoother and softer locks. Make sure you apply a nourishing conditioner and treat your hair to a good mask and leave-in-treatment once a week. Always use a hair serum to protect your strands from any damage when you step out.
Over-shampooing your ends
Shampooing is great, over-shampooing, however, isn’t! The chemicals in your shampoo can often strip off the natural oils and moisture from your hair, resulting in a dry and flaky scalp, as well as brittle and weak strands. Over-washing can also hamper your scalp’s natural sebum production, causing your scalp to dry out and your oil glands to overproduce. This leaves you with an overly greasy scalp. Therefore, it is important to strike a balance—make sure you gently massage the shampoo into your scalp and lengths of the hair. No scrubbing, no rubbing, no scratching.
Stepping out with wet hair
Have the habit of stepping outside after a shower? Break it! Going outside with wet hair is damaging for your mane. When wet hair is exposed to cold weather (especially freezing temperatures), the water content expands and causes the hair cuticle to lift, causing breakage. If you choose to air dry, it’s best to wash your hair the previous night, so that it dries before you head out the next morning. You can also use a blow dryer, provided you use a heat protectant before.
Hot, hot, showers
Winter and hot showers go hand-in-hand. While they are rather therapeutic, they can dry out your skin, scalp, and hair. Avoid using very hot water while you shower—opt for warm or moderately hot water, as the high temperatures can result in dehydration, frizziness, and also weak and brittle strands.
Ignoring your scalp
Remember, good hair days are always rooted in your scalp! With so much focus on conditioning your dry and brittle ends, we often tend to forget the scalp. The cold air during winter also takes away moisture from your scalp, which triggers issues such as flakiness and dandruff. A good ol’ oil massage once a week and a detox once a month will help restore your hair’s natural oil levels and also aid in product buildup removal.
Over styling your hair
The cold winter weather brings with it reasons to step out—parties, date nights and a very busy social calendar. This calls for styling––waves, curls, straightened hair…the works. Unfortunately, excessive styling during this period can be detrimental to your hair as it causes cuticle damage. Whether it’s the heated tools or the heavy chemicals present in styling products, the two stir up quite the mess for your mane. While avoiding styled hair completely might be an extreme (an almost impossible) option, make sure to opt for heatless styles, whenever you can—think soft braids, loose buns or ponytails. And whenever you do use heat, ensure the use of a heat protectant to prevent damage.