“A Winter Coat…For Your Hair”
by Trichologist, Dr. Kari Williams
Women expect to put away bronzers and bathing suits when summer comes to an end. But how many of us expect to discard our hair products too?
If you didn’t, it’s a good time to start because some products can’t protect your hair from the frigid climate. Continued use of those products may mean dry, brittle hair that’s susceptible to breakage.
During those sweltering summer months, your sebaceous glands are working over time to protect the hair from unforgiving temperatures. That means your hair needs lighter products with less oil and more water. Conversely, in the winter, the body naturally constricts to keep heat in. Whether your hair is straight, curly or tightly coiled, it will need a winter coat. Your hair will need additional moisture and lubrication.
Frigid temperatures will cause hair to dry and become brittle. But, polar temperatures aren’t your hair’s only threat in winter. Our home and workplace have been stripped of moisture due to the many heating methods we use to stay warm. To offset the negative effects of dry heat, use products to lubricate your hair and maintain its moisture so that it doesn’t become brittle and break off.
For people with more course textured hair, warning- your hair is naturally dry. Protect your hair during the winter by using deep conditioners infused with protein. Make sure you lubricate the ends of your hair and scalp with oil based pomades that add shine to prevent breakage. And whatever you do, avoid waging chemical warfare on your hair by mixing product lines.
Another way to protect your hair from harsh winter zephyrs is to change your style. Try adding some double strand twists, flat twists, braids or styling you hair back into a bun for a winter coat hairdo. Big Afro wearers should consider scaling back the size of their afro with these styles as well.
For straighter textures and women transitioning, it is equally important to maintain moisture in the hair. My Rx is to keep your hair as smooth as mink by using anti-frizz serums and light moisture rich creams to protect the hair against dryness.
These products are also good when using a blow dryer to help seal in moisture. In addition, styling the hair back will help to keep the ends protected from frizz and breakage.
My last words of caution for all textures: Do not leave the house with wet hair, especially in freezing temperatures. Water expands when it freezes. If your hair is wet it can cause breakage. Protect your precious tresses by accessorizing with hats and scarves.
Wool and cotton scarves are popular winter fashion accessories, but protect your hair by first wrapping it in a silk or satin scarf. Wool and cotton garments have fibers that can cause frizz and static that catches onto the ends of your hair and cause breakage. They also absorb moisture from the hair. So, if your hair is already suffering during the winter months, these items will not help.
So as you gear up for next season’s new fashion trends, make it a safe winter for your hair too by protecting it with easy styles and richer products that act as a winter coat.