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Hair Survival Guide For the Bitter Cold


The weather is steadily getting colder and Winter is approaching, which means the holidays are near. Between all the hustle and bustle of making groceries, gift shopping, parties, gift wrapping, traveling, cooking, and making room for incoming relatives, where does that leave your hair??

It’s no secret that the colder months, depending on where you live, can be brutal on the skin, leaving it dry, cracked, and itchy, but it can also be drying for your scalp. Here in Tennessee, the weather from mid October on has left our area a dry winter wonderland for the past 6 years or so (something I’m not used to, being that I’m from New Orleans, LA) so it has been imperative that my regimen change up along with the seasons.

Here’s a quick guide to help you cope:

1. Shampoo

If you shampoo once a week or more, this part is for you. If, however, you’re the type who shampoos biweekly, monthly, or not at all, skip to the next section. Of course, it’s important to keep your scalp clean, but cold weather tends to be extremely dry, stripping the moisture right out of your already chronically dry hair (thanks nature). Shampoo alone can strip your hair of natural oils so during the colder months, cut down shampooing to about every two weeks or as needed. Alternatively, you can co-wash or switch to ACV rinses to break up dirt on your scalp.

2. Deep Condition

In order to boost the moisture level of your hair, deep conditioning regularly is recommended to counteract the cold, dry air drawing the moisture out of your hair. Deep conditioning also helps to improve elasticity and strengthen the hair.

3. Moisturize

Moisturizing during cold weather is crucial. This is the time to consider using heavier moisturizers (thick creams and butters) and/or oils in order to lock in moisture. If you are going to use lighter moisturizers, you may have to moisturize more often, depending on how dry the weather is. Using humectants, products that draw moisture into the hair, is another good way to keep hair moisturize. The humectants will draw any moisture from the air into your hair.

4. Steam

Since your hair will be thirsting for moisture, take a shower without a shower cap to maximize the amount of steam getting to your hair. Alternatively, you can put on a shower cap and allow the extra body heat generated by the steamy shower to help moisturize your hair.

5. Clothing

Clothing brushing against the ends of our hair can cause breakage in any weather, but cold weather is bad enough all on its own without adding to the usual threats of breakage. Clothing items such as wool scarves, coats, and sweaters can brush against your hair and cause splits. If your hair is long enough to graze your shoulders, it would be beneficial to either wear your hair in a style that is off of your shoulders or put your hair up in a silk or satin scarf or bonnet and/or put a hat on. if you really can’t stand to put your hair up, opt for draping a silk or satin scarf around your neck or folding it into the collar of your coat instead of using a scarf of another material.

What do you do for your hair to combat the cold?