We come with excellent news: winter 2020-21 could be extremely beneficial for everyone’s hair. Rather than constant temperature change that used to damage our hair in winter months, increased time indoors this winter season can turn into a big advantage and put you on a path of hair transformation in time for spring and summer 2021.
Changes in temperature dictate a special approach to your hair care, but since we will be spending more time indoors, more attention is necessary to counteract dry air effects from central heating. In addition, it also means you can give more love and attention to at-home treatment masks, tools and techniques.
There is no need to prep your hair for Christmas party this year, too which make your hair sigh with relief, as it is taking its much deserved rest!
1. Temperature change in winter
The tricky thing in winter season is the continuous change in temperature and variation in moisture levels. On one side – it’s cold outdoors and raining a lot, while indoor heating makes air warm but dry. To strengthen your hair strands against such changes, regular oiling routine will lock natural moisture within your strands and help your hair withstand variation of temperatures and humidity. Especially good idea is to oil your hair ends right after you wash it – so the oil gets absorbed into the hair shaft, rather than staying on the surface, if you put the oil only once the hair is dry.
(Not sure which oil to use? Find out by taking our hair oil quiz below.)
2. Humidity, indoor heating and hair
Indoor heating dries out hair strands, so investing into a humidifier is a good idea. If you want to take your winter hair care to the next level, worth considering getting an aroma-lamp where you can add a few drops of essential oil to calm your inner senses too.
Dry air creates hair frizz by making hair cuticles stand up like a brush making them vulnerable to losing moisture. Lost moisture = increase hair brittleness. Droplets from humidifier will “calm” your hair cuticles, which will pay for itself as your expense for deep conditioning masks will reduce, too. Plus, some essential oils will manage those cortisol levels that is directly linked to hair growth!
3. A note on hats and hair care
The “hat hair” is less of a problem this year – since we are more confined to being at home, but hats are great to protect your strands against changes in temperature if you do go outside. Opt for those with silk or satin lining to reduce hair friction against thicker wool or acrylic fibres.
Generally speaking, the less friction your hair experience (against the fabric of your jumper, your hat or your scarf) – the better it is for your strands. It is time to embrace – protective hairstyles.
4. Protective hairstyles are key in cold weather
Whether when going to sleep or going outside, our hair gets a lot of friction by rubbing either against each other, our pillows, or against our coats, jumper and hats. To minimise the frizz consider wearing your hair in a protective style: think braids, or hair clips during daytime. Ponytails and unsupported hair buns do not protect your hair – in fact they cause more damage than you think. They pull on the roots of your hair, which weakens them; and the hair left loose – will rub off against your jumper and the hat. It’s better to learn a few braided styles for daytime and get a silk pillowcase for night. Just make sure you’re not braiding your hair too tightly when going to bed.
(Bonus: wearing your hair in protective hairstyles makes it less greasy – so you will be needing to wash your hair less, too.)
5. Stay away from heating tools in colder months
Luckily, as you don’t need to be outside and look “presentable” this winter as often – you can cut down on heating tools. Your hair is already vulnerable to the changes in weather and the challenges of dry heated air indoors, so you really must go easy on the heating tools. Heating tools wick out all the moisture and burn your hair cuticles further making them susceptible to breakage. If you follow our advice above with protective hairstyles – wearing your hair in a braid will make it last longer between the washes and make it wavy, too. In addition, you can explore hair rollers or try the TikTok famous dressing gown curling technique. Using a belt from your dressing gown, wrap your hair around it on both sides and leave overnight for morning waves! No such thing for hair straightening though…
To speed up drying time for your hair – consider using microfibre towel for hair.
6. Silicones and sulfates in winter hair routine
Silicones wrap your strands in a plastic-like film: accountable to the instant smooth shine and feel, that also improves manageability. But silicones can create product build up, which weighs down your hair, and over longer usage “suffocate” your hair strand leading to hair thinning.
Sulfates in shampoos act as surfactant – i.e. they break through the layer of grease and oil that may have accummulated on your hair. Sulfates are also supposed to clear out those non-soluble silicones from your hair. Unfortunately, they also dry out and strip hair of its natural moisture. Consider products with gentler surfactants or none at all.
Stay away from products containing non-soluble silicones and if possible – no silicones at all. Rather, follow up with natural oil on your strands: grapeseed works well for both, humid and dry environments, you just need to know your hair porosity to know how and when to apply it.
7. Supplements and nutrition for hair care
Summer with its abundance of fruits and vegetables is over, so you want to to support your immune system during colder days. Consider supplements, especially vitamin C and zinc to help your body produce more collagen and fight inflammation. Your hair and immune system will thank you for that. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, ensure you consume sufficient amount of iron and B vitamins during winter time, too.
As a general rule of thumb, fresh produce which is in season will contain more nutrients since there is less need to speed up their ripening. Focusing your nutrition to be from a local farmers market or a veggie box – might not only help you in your quest for more sustainable living, but also feed your hair nutrients it desperately needs in colder times.
8. Scalp blood flow and hair growth in winter
That time you used to spend commuting, in winter 2021 you can spend masking your hair and scalp. In winter, hair growth naturally slows down, being the lowest in January-February (and the highest being in July). To help support hair growing function during these month focus on scalp blood flow. A variety of tools available to you:
- Consider inversion method use warm oil to massage your scalp and improve blood flow.
- A dermaroller to your scalp that can support collagen production in hair roots
- A mask for your scalp to improve and support blood flow to your hair follicles (you can shop for our signature hair growth mask below to help support your hair in winter!)
Good blood flow in scalp strengthens your hair roots during colder seasons so you meet spring in full flair and great hair.
Have you got any cold weather hair tips? Share with us below!
How your heater can affect your hair according to a stylist, Bustle.com, (1)
Effect of vitamin C and its derivatives on collagen synthesis and cross‐linking by normal human fibroblasts, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, (2)
Seasonal changes in human hair growth, British Journal of Dermatology (3)