Your hair and scalp experience more stress and irritation than usual during the cold months of winter. Without proper care and protection, the elements will take a toll on your skin and may affect hair growth. Freezing air dries out the surface of our skin, leaving a layer of dead skin that suffocates pores. There are countless products on the market made to protect against dry skin and other winter-related problems, but just following these simple winter scalp care tips will make a difference this season.
- Don’t over shower. This is valid year-round, but it’s even more critical this time of year. Shampooing and washing with hot water every day will put a massive strain on your skin and hair. Showering less frequently will allow your scalp’s natural oils to prevent dryness and nurture the growing hair. Hot water strips these oils out each time you wash with it, so consider getting used to lukewarm temperature.
- Do exfoliate. Shampoos containing an ingredient called salicylic acid are effective at clearing away excess dead skin cells and oil. This keeps the pores on your scalp clean and boosts the cell turnover process and promotes healthy hair growth. A buildup of dead skin cells causes issues, most commonly dandruff. This buildup also clogs pores and irritates the scalp, which you are already susceptible to in the winter.
- Don’t use heat styling tools. Heat applied to dried out hair and split ends only leads to breakage and permanent damage. If necessary, there are heat protective products available, like hair masks or leave-in conditioners. Leave-in conditioner also helps reduce static that so often plagues us in the winter. Consider allowing your wet hair to air dry rather than using a hot blow-dryer, which causes further dryness and leads to breakage.
- Do give your hair a rest from lighteners and harsh chemicals. There is no faster way to worsen damage and breakage than by bleaching your hair. Stick to demi or semi-permanent dyes this season. Most of all, leave your roots alone until the weather is kinder. This will give healthy hair time to grow without stress when it needs it most. Chemical straighteners or curlers keep the hair shafts from locking in moisture. Consider trading harsh, chemically damaging products for gentler treatments or professional application.
- Don’t leave the house with wet hair. Water expands when it freezes, and that is precisely what happens to your wet hair shafts. This causes hair color to fade and ends to split. You can save your wallet and hair a lot of stress by sacrificing the time to dry it thoroughly before going out into freezing weather.
- Do protect your hair with a covering. The winter’s cold, dry wind is your hair’s worst enemy. Wrapping it up in a scarf or wearing a hat will control static and keep your head warm, but the friction of certain materials against human hair can lead to split ends. To avoid this, wear silk or satin-lined hats instead. One last thing to keep in mind when wearing a winter hat is the heat it generates on your scalp. This heat produces sweat, which irritates hair follicles and pores. When this damage is repeated over time, hair growth can be stunted.
There are so many winter scalp care techniques you can perform to improve your overall hair health. Interested in more tips and tricks for better hair and scalp health? Check out some more resources and blogs on our Blogs page.