How to combat your winter hair trouble

COLD temperatures can have a detrimental effect on all hair types. This includes going from contrasting conditions in heated indoor spaces to wintery weather outside.

To prevent split ends, breakage, dry scalp, and other issues caused by colder environmental changes, it is important to adjust your haircare routine. With that in mind, Eastern Eye got celebrity hairdresser and resident expert Dimple Sanghani to give her top tips.

Packaging: Understanding the ingredients in haircare products is important. Beware of sulphates and chemicals, as these can strip the hair’s natural oils. Fatty acids in products can help nourish and retain moisture, so look for a really rich conditioner with these in it.

Nutrients: As well as looking closely at the ingredients in products treat your hair scalp from the inside out by making sure you are eating enough protein, omega 3, and vitamins A, C and E.

Oils: When winter wreaks havoc on your hair, restore moisture with an oil-based hair treatment. Do a deep conditioning mask or hot oil treatment regularly. There are also some great oils that can treat the ends and add a little boost of shine. They can even be left as a nourishing mask overnight. Choose a lightweight leave-in formula with argan, coconut, almond or olive oil to instantly revitalise dry, damaged hair. Nourishing hair oils help replenish moisture and protect your hair.

Cuts: Trimming your hair every six to eight weeks is a good way to maintain hair health and keep your locks looking fresh. Take a half inch off the bottom to reduce the chances of developing dry, split ends.

Temperature: Even though a steamy shower might be just what you’re looking for when the temperature is below freezing, hot water can zap moisture from your hair, making it brittle and more vulnerable to breaking. Wash your hair with lukewarm water and follow with a cool rinse instead. Even when showering, turn down the temperature when possible.

Drying: Don’t leave the house with wet hair as it’s more vulnerable to damage than dry locks. Walking outside in winter with a wet head can cause hair to freeze and break. While air drying is recommended in warmer weather, it’s better to blow dry your hair than go outdoors with a saturated mane in winter.

Avoid heat styling: Allowing your hair to air dry indoors during winter is best. Blow drying draws moisture out of your hair, increasing the chance of breakage. Heat-free drying helps keep your hair shiny and healthy. Short on time? Try taking your shower in the evening so your tresses can dry naturally overnight. Embrace your natural hair and air-dry whenever possible. When your hair is already delicate in the colder months, heat styling amplifies the issue and sucks the moisture right out of your strands. Refrain from straightening or curling your hair during the winter. Use this time to explore new styles like twists, braids, and buns.

Deep condition: Moisturising is the name of the game for winter hair care. Use a leave-in conditioner weekly to replenish moisture and combat the effects of hot styling tools, indoor heating, and winter winds. Static hair is a common occurrence when your hair is subject to cold weather. Keeping hair hydrated with a leave-in conditioner will help protect it. You may also want to try lightly swiping a dryer sheet over the fly-aways to rid your hair of static.

Avoid overwashing: If you’re someone who washes your hair every day, it’s time to switch things up. Overwashing your hair will strip it of natural oils that help to keep it moisturised and protected. This is especially bad in the winter when those oils are much needed. Try extending the time between your washes as much as possible. If you typically wash your hair daily, then perhaps do it every other day. If your hair is still very dry, try every three days.

Another way to help extend the time between washes is to use dry shampoo. Dry shampoo opens up the hair shaft and brings life back to your hairstyle. It will also keep your hair smelling and looking fresh.

Hats: It is important to cover your hair during the winter months to shield it from the moisture-robbing dry air, snow, wind, and rain. This is not the time to worry about dreaded hat hair. The elements dry your hair out, making it more prone to breakage. Wool, cotton, and other fabrics can cause breakage as well, so make sure your hat is lined with silk or satin to help prevent damage. Fight static electricity under your hat by using a dry oil spray. Dry oils are weightless and contain natural oils that moisturise hair, bringing back its shine.

Massage: While showering, really massaging the scalp boosts the circulation to keep hair healthy and encourage growth.

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