You’ve probably heard a lot about the damaging effects of the harsh winter weather on your skin, but a lot of people fail to pick up on the damage it also does to hair until it’s too late. It’s not just the outside temperatures that damage your hair. Cranking up the central heating inside does it too and can lead to it becoming dry and brittle. Although the weather (in summer too) will always have some kind of impact on the condition of your hair – whether it causes it to become drier, frizzier or oilier – there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to make sure that the change is minimal. Eating a balanced diet, using gentle products and avoiding heated stylers are the easiest ways to keep your hair in great condition, but it’s really not necessary to make drastic changes to your lifestyle if you don’t want to as there are plenty of simpler remedies out there too.
Have it cut regularly
If you have long hair then the idea of a haircut is probably terrifying as you’ll imagine having inches of dead ends being cut off and being left with nothing more than a shoulder-length bob. Although this could be the case if your hair is in particularly bad shape and you refuse to have your hair cut more than once every two years, if you have it trimmed regularly – especially through autumn and winter – and use a deep conditioning treatment, then you can prevent winter damage before it’s even begun.
Have a collection of conditioners
Rather than using the same hair products each time you wash your hair, consider alternating a few – this is especially important for conditioners. As well as your regular conditioner, you should also use a deep, moisturising conditioner or even a leave-in conditioner. A lot of people love the feeling that comes with a rich conditioner and therefore get rid of their day to day one altogether; however it’s not advisable to do this as it can provide your hair with too much moisture, weighing it down and causing it to look limp.
Avoid harsh chemicals
A lot of hair products contain harsh chemicals in order to make your hair look sleek and shiny but they also damage and weaken the hair. It’s not just chemical filled hair products that are the problem though. If you have coloured hair or regularly have any kind of salon styling treatment then, despite it being a professional treatment, it’ll cause damage to your hair. Natural hair is always going to be in much better condition than hair that’s frequently styled and coloured. If you want your hair to remain in good condition through the winter then it’s a good idea to revert to your natural colour or at least reduce the number of heated appliances you use to style your hair on a daily basis.
Cover up your head
As daft as it might sound, doing something as simple as making yourself more comfortable in the cold weather by putting on a hat and scarf will not only make you warmer, it’ll also benefit your hair too. The best thing about winter is the fact that when you’re outside, everyone knows your main concern is keeping warm, so you can try out a few new styles and no one will bat an eyelid.
Use a deep conditioner at least once a week
You really should make an effort to use a deep conditioner on your hair throughout the year, but it’s particularly important during the winter, when your hair is more susceptible to damage. A deep conditioner will provide your hair with the moisture that it craves. The cold winter temperatures suck the moisture from your locks and if it’s not restored, it’ll quickly turn dry and start to break. Treating your hair to a deep conditioning will therefore not only prevent breakages but it’ll help maintain the silky smoothness that’s so easy to achieve during the summer.
Seal your cuticles
When your hair becomes dry, it causes the cuticles to lift which makes it look dull and damaged. A lot of people are surprised to find out that taking a hot bath or shower actually pulls moisture from your hair and skin, leaving them even drier. In theory, there’s a really easy way to stop this from happening. However, in practice, considering it’s the middle of winter, it might be a little more difficult. Rather than jumping out of a red hot shower as soon as you’ve washed off the conditioner, spend thirty seconds or so under cold water to rinse your hair and it’ll help to seal your cuticles and therefore enable your hair to retain moisture.
If you use a hair dryer on your hair then it’s also good to put it on the coolest setting for a while – when your hair’s nearly dry – as this will help to smooth the cuticles and keep them down.
Use serum protection
A lot of people avoid using serums as they think they’ll cause their hair to become greasy. However, they’re actually a great form of protection and it’s a product that’s worth spending a little more money on. You can apply serum to wet or dry hair. If you apply it to wet hair before you blow dry then it’ll help to make it smooth and shiny, whereas if you apply a serum to dry hair then it’ll help to flatten flyaways and keep it looking great throughout the day.
Heat protection is a must
Although everyone knows that you shouldn’t use heated styling products if you want your hair to remain in great condition, a lot of people refuse to leave the house if their hair hasn’t been styled properly. So if you insist on using them, make sure you use a good quality heat protection spray beforehand. Take a look at these top heat protection products and make sure you start using them on a daily basis.
Good nutrition isn’t only important for your skin and wellbeing, it’s also really important for healthy hair. Although it’s great to use hair products that contain a lot of vitamins and minerals, this can only do so much good and if you want to really strengthen your hair then it’s important to make sure you consume key vitamins in your diet. Vitamins A, C, E and various B vitamins are great for your hair and are found in fruit, vegetables and foods that contain good fats like nuts. If you pack some of these into your diet, you’ll not only boost your health but also your hair’s health too.
Lots of water
Just as it’s advisable to drink lots of water in order to keep your skin looking healthy, it’s a great way to keep your hair healthy too. Not only does drinking lots of water throughout the day make you look and feel better, it’s a great way to lose weight too.
Remember your scalp
It’s not just your hair you need to protect during the winter, you need to make sure you pay a little extra attention to your scalp too. Moisturising shampoos and conditioners are not only great for your hair, they also prevent annoying, scalp conditions like dandruff. It’s important to remember that if your scalp isn’t healthy then your hair won’t be either, so if you want to ensure your hair remains looking long, lush and healthy, massage a deep conditioner into your scalp at least once every week.