Each season brings its own unique challenges for maintaining and protecting your hair. During the colder months, the combination of cooler outside weather with dry indoor heat can cause considerable damage to your hair, resulting in split ends and breakage. Unfortunately, this can quickly happen to everyone – no matter your type of hair.
To help you maintain your hair throughout the year, there are a few necessary steps you should take. From using cold water when showering to preparing a home-made deep conditioning treatment, the foods that can keep your hair thick to how often you should be getting a trim, read on for how to maintain your hair during the colder months.
1. Less is more
If you want to protect your hair throughout the winter, then you need to employ a “less is more” philosophy. This means shampooing less to avoid developing an itchy, flaky scalp. Look for a mild shampoo that has no alcohol and avoid products that contain silicone (or its derivatives) and sulfate, as these chemicals will lead to drier hair.
If you are worried about decreasing your hair-washing schedule, don’t fret, that’s what dry shampoos are for! A high-quality dry shampoo will assist you in keeping your hair full on the days when you have skipped your whole shower routine. If your hair tends to get limp during the winter, invest in a spray or thickening tonic that works to add volume.
Additionally, limit your use of heated styling tools as the combination of extreme heat and dryness will lead to unwanted split ends and breakage. Instead, utilize protective hairstyles (braids, buns, twists, and ponytails) to give your hair a break from your usual heat routine.
That being said, you don’t want to go outside in the cold with wet hair – otherwise, your hair is going to expand. This increases the risk of your hair breaking and will also make your color fade faster.
2. Focus on hydration
Just as you (hopefully) utilize a night cream to keep your skin moisturized, you also want to use a night hair serum to help maintain moisture in your locks. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you apply a serum just before you go to sleep.
It is more beneficial to do it on dry hair as the serum can pass through the hair more easily than when it is wet. Sometimes the serum can soak into your pillowcase, so you may want to assign an old pillowcase for these hydration evenings.
If you have curls or more textured strands, then you want to be hydrating your locks regularly with a light oil that is high in omega fatty acids. If this is the case, wrap your hair in a silk scarf to avoid friction while you are sleeping. This extra layer will also help to maintain the ideal hair moisture levels. Whatever you use to nurture your hair, utilize a wide-tooth comb to ensure it brushes through.
3. Conditioner is your best friend
In the winter months, you want to be using a more intensive conditioner formula. Prior to wetting your hair, use a pre-wash conditioner, and then condition it every time you shampoo. If you find that your hair regularly gets too dry, you may also want to condition it in between shampoos as well.
On that note, while you are in the shower, you should refrain from using hot water as it is incredibly damaging to your hair strands. Try to get in the habit of using lukewarm water when you first jump in and then take down the temperature to cool when you are ready to rinse. By using cold water, you are helping to seal your hair cuticles which limits the amount of oils that can escape.
Additionally, once a week, treat your hair to a deep conditioning treatment with products that contain lots of antioxidants. If you want, you can make a deep conditioning treatment at home by mixing one egg yolk with five tablespoons of coconut oil, and then adding half of an avocado. All you have to do is mash and mix these ingredients together until the mixture attains a smooth consistency. Work it into your scalp before leaving it on for 20 minutes, and then rinse off your hair thoroughly with cold water.
4. Schedule those haircuts
No matter how diligent you are with your maintenance, you still need to book a regular trim at the best hair salon in Doha, Qatar (or wherever you are located). Seeing your hairstylist on a consistent basis will help you to prevent dry ends from getting worse and affecting the rest of your mane. Even if you want to maintain your current hair length, you should remove (at least) half an inch each month during the winter to stay on top of split ends. Alternatively, if you are looking to grow your hair, schedule your trim for every two to three months.
If you are a lady who likes to color her hair platinum, the winter is a good time to dial back. While platinum-colored hair can be a style statement (and can look fantastic), it also comes at a high cost to the health of your hair. Therefore, over the winter months, opt to keep your roots a little darker and utilize a semipermanent hue until summer returns. For similar reasons, if you like to have a little help in the length department, make sure to go for the least damaging hair extensions.
5. Pay attention to your diet
For the healthiest hair throughout the year, you want to be paying attention to what you put into your body. You can help to keep your hair hydrated by drinking your eight glasses of water a day. For thick, luscious locks, ensure you are eating enough healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados). You can do this by eating a balanced diet of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables that are rich in zinc (fish, turkey, soybeans) and vitamin A (apples, mangoes, bananas).
What do you do to ensure you maintain your hair during the colder months? Do you have any tips and tricks to share with other readers? Let us know in the comments below!
Hillary Kozma is the Owner/Managing Director/Creative Director of Kozma & Kozma Salon. Having built the foundation of her skills with an apprenticeship under a direct protege of Vidal Sassoon, Hillary and her husband opened Glow American Salon in Qatar in 2007 before expanding to Dubai as Kozma & Kozma in 2016. Hillary is hailed by the media as a “pioneer in her field” for introducing new talents, concepts, philosophies, and techniques to the Middle East.