Nine expert tips for surviving winter hair
Silken, lustrous tresses in winter? Yes, it’s possible!.
Chilly days are not the best for beauty. Chapped lips, cracked heels, flaky skin are common complaints. Adding to your list of woes is misbehaving hair; frizz, static, dullness and split ends. Problem is, even if you love your hair, it doesn’t always love you back! Check out some common seasonal woes and how you can get your tresses to behave themselves.
The best thing you can do is get a smoothing keratin treatment when it’s cold and dry. Hair stylist Teresa Chen says smoothing treatments are great to tackle weather extremes. “They work well both in winter when it’s very dry as well as in the summer when humidity levels are highest,” she says. If you don’t want to spend big bucks on a salon session, opt for the Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy 3- Piece Starter Kit that contains a shampoo, conditioner and serum infused with a blend of Coconut Oils, Keratin, Proteins, Avocado Oil and Cocoa Butter. “Always use a sulfate-free shampoo if you’re tackling frizz,” adds stylist Ambika Bhavnani, “and use a weekly deep conditioning mask to keep hair silken smooth.” Nykaa suggests Kerastase New Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Concentrate, Just Herbs Silky Strength Aloevera-Wheatgerm Moisturising Shampoo and Argan Oil and Avocado infused L’Oreal Professionnel Mythic Oil Nourishing Masque.
“Static occurs when hair picks up electrical charge from dry air,” explains salon owner Ahlan Cheng. You face it more in cold weather because the air is dryer. Solution? “Switch to a more hydrating shampoo and conditioner. The use a tourmaline or ionic hair dryer like Elchim Cocoon 3900 Diffuser Hair Dryer instead of a regular dryer that tends to leave hair even more parched,” she adds. Some more anti-static tips: Use a light hairspray to keep static under control and avoid plastic combs and brushes. Nykaa recommendations: Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Shampoo, Organix Hydrating Macadamia Oil Conditioner andToni&Guy Glamour: Moisturising Shine Spray.
Dull, drab color
Dry, cold air can rough up your cuticles, taking away its natural sheen. “To make it worse, using hot styling tools and coloring your hair can make strands even drier,” says Chen. That doesn’t mean you have to stop styling or coloring, just change up your hair care routine. If you shampoo daily start using a shampoo like Pantene Pro-V Silky Smooth Care Shampoo + with ingredients like Vitamin B5 and Panthenol to add back moisture. Blow-drying regularly? “First mist your brush with a nourishing heat-protectant spray like FX Flat Iron Heat Memory Spray to ward off dryness,” says Chen. She also advises girls who like to color their locks to switch to a formula like L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Hair Color that actually adds moisture while you color. Chen adds that if your global color has started looking dull and drab you can liven it up by getting highlights and lowlights added to keep strands looking naturally sun-kissed all year long.
Flaky scalp woes
Weather changes cause the scalp to go into overdrive. “In winter, the low ambient humidity can dry out your scalp, causing dandruff, itching and flaking. If this happens, switch to a specially formulated shampoo that contains zinc or sulfur that work as antibacterial agents to prevent bacterial buildup and eliminate flakes,” says Chen. Dandruff doesn’t necessarily reveal itself in flaking. “If your hair suddenly starts looking limp and flat, it could be because of dandruff,” says Bhavnani. This is because dandruff flakes trap oil at the roots so strands feel straggly and limp. “Red bumps on your neck, arms and legs could also be indicative of dandruff,” dermatologist Dr. Jaishree Sharad points out. If you suspect you have dandruff try Head & Shoulders Anti Dandruff Lemon Fresh Shampoo, FarmaVita 515 Phytopeeling Maschera and Aroma Magic Anti Dandruff Serum.
Brittle strands and split ends
Your hair is thirsty! “There’s only one solution, hydrate and then hydrate some more,” says Chen When strands are dry they split and break off but you can prevent this by using a moisturizing serum like Bottega Di Lungavita Balsamo Spray regularly and getting a trim every six to eight weeks. Dr. Sharad adds that diet plays an important role in hair health and eating a protein rich diet can go a long way in strengthening tresses. “Eat eggs, almonds, leafy greens, sprouts and low-fat dairy to get your fill of proteins, calcium and iron, the building blocks of hair,” she says.
Use cold water
No matter how comforting it is to take a hot, hot shower in the winter, it’s the worst thing you can do to your hair. “Rinse out your shampoo and conditioner with cold water because this is the best way to maintain shine and close cuticles,” says Cheng. This is especially true if you have colored tresses because hot water releases color from hair and opens up the cuticles.
Start oiling your locks
Grandma was right! Using a non-greasy oil formula is as beneficial as an expensive in-salon treatment. “I recommend that all my clients who have very dry hair, oil their strands at least once a week,” says Cheng. She recommends leaving the oil in at least for eight hours to give it enough time to penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen hair over time. Bhavnani adds, “Chemical treatments, excessive shampooing, blow drying and ironing strips strands of natural oils. Sure conditioners help but they only coat the outer cuticles of the hair but oils actually penetrate the entire strand strengthening it over time.” Nykaa suggests Parachute Advansed Jasmine Hair Oil, Roots Professional MorocVita Oil and Iraya Keshavardhak Taila (Nourishing Hair Oil).
Give strands a vitamin boost
Sure you try and eat healthy but it’s not easy to get all the nutrients your tresses need, especially if you’re a vegetarian. “It’s a good idea to take Biotin and B complex. Both vitamins are necessary for thick, healthy tresses,” says nutritionist Naini Setalvad. Nykaa recommends Nature’s Bounty Super Potency Biotin 5000 mcg and Natrol Complete Balance AM/PM.
Get a good brush
Using the wrong brush can tear hair and cause breakages. “It’s a good idea to use a natural bristle brush,” says Chen. These brushes smooth out hair without causing minute tears. Plus they give gorgeous shine by distributing hair oils evenly from root to tip. Nykas suggests Divo Asanti Natural Bristle Round Brush and Kent AHP12 Pure Bristle Extra Large Paddle Brush – White. Combing out wet hair is a no-no whatever the weather but if you absolutely must, always opt for a specially designed brush like Tangle Teezer The Original Detangling Brush-Pink that reduces hair breakage and splitting.
Who said beautiful hair was impossible in the winter?