Fabulous Winter Hair!
Baby, it’s cold outside! But here’s a thought to keep you warm: With a few easy tweaks to your daily hair care regimen, you can have beautiful shiny locks on even the chilliest days.
Make no mistake, winter is trying on our tresses. “There’s no getting around it -- winter means dry flyaways,” says Dr. Jessica Krant, a dermatologist in New York City. “The cold, dry air outside and overheated rooms inside definitely makes hair dryer.”
That’s not all: Dry air also causes negative ions to build up on our hair and clothing. Touch a metal doorknob when you’ve just come in from the cold and you might feel a little shock. Take a look in the mirror, and you’ll experience a second shock: All those negative ions are causing your hair to stand on end.
The best defense against static-y hair is moisture. “Water molecules neutralize the buildup of negative ions,” says Krant. Her advice: Shampoo your hair less frequently (say twice or three times a week instead of daily) and switch to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
Here are some other expert tips on how to have hot-looking hair even in winter:
1. Safeguard your hair against heat.
Always apply a heat-protective product before using any hot styling tool -- blow dryer, flatiron or curling iron. “I recommend using a heat protector year round, but it’s especially important in winter,” says Julia Papworth, a Hollywood stylist who has worked with celebs like Cameron Diaz, Rashida Jones and Sarah Silverman. “Because your hair is already dry, hot tools can cause even more damage.”
In a pinch, a mist of light-hold hairspray will offer some protection. “You just want to be sure there’s something between the heat and your hair,” says Papworth.
2. Shampoo the roots; condition the ends.
Shampoo and condition your hair strategically, advises Cheng Tan, who created the “lived-in” hair look for the Rodarte runway show during the recent New York Fashion Week. Apply shampoo only to your roots -- that’s where the oil is -- and conditioner to the bottom two-thirds of your hair. (Hair is healthier at the roots.) “Picture your hair in a ponytail,” says Tan. “Condition what’s on top and shampoo what’s left in the pony.”
3. Add a dry shampoo to your product regimen.
Used every other day, it will help stretch the time between washings, says Tan. Plus, applied to clean hair, dry shampoo can make a blow dry last longer. Cutting down on the frequency of shampoo and the use of hot tools is a winter win-win.
4. Prevent hat hair.
Choose hats that don’t fit too snugly. A loose beanie will keep you warm and stylish. Another strategy: Pile you hair into a loose high bun before you put on your hat, suggests Papworth. When you take off the hat, undo the bun and run your fingers through your hair to pump up the volume. Short hair? Refresh you locks with a quick blast of dry shampoo. (Keep a travel-size bottle in your purse or office desk drawer.)
5. Switch to a silk pillowcase.
Cotton pillowcases absorb moisture, which is a good thing during steamy summer nights but a beauty sleep no-no when your locks are already dry. Silk or satin, says Tan, will do a better job of helping your hair retain moisture during the winter months.
Shelley Levitt, managing editor of The Style Glossy, is a former West Coast editor of Self and senior writer at People.