As if the below-zero temperatures, slushy, salt-covered sidewalks and dry skin weren’t trying enough, winter can also wreak havoc on your hair — and we’re not just talking about hat head.
The season’s harsh weather can leave any type of hair prone to breakage “because it’s too cold outside and too hot inside,” says Corine Sim, Hair Stylist and Vice President of Marketing at Chatters Hair Salons. The change in temperature can rob your luscious locks of their moisture, resulting in hair that’s frizzy and brittle. And when that hair meets other winter elements like high winds, you can quickly end up with tangled, static-ridden strands — not such a good look.
If you want to look and feel as fierce as Mother Nature this season, try these six stylist-approved tips for healthy winter hair.
Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase
It might sound like something from a fairy tale, but a silk pillowcase is a sure-fire way to keep your hair healthy long-term. Silk is gentler than fabrics like cotton, which can tug at your hair, leading to bed head and frizz. Purchasing a new pillowcase is usually enough, but if you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, you might want to invest in a silk- or satin-lined toque, too.
Wash Your Hair Less Often (and in Cooler Water)
AG Hair’s Simply Dry Shampoo ($28), chatters.ca
No matter what season it is, if you’re washing your hair every day, your stylist has surely told you to stop. Limit yourself to just once or twice a week if possible or follow Sim’s advice and reach for some dry shampoo, like AG HAIR’s Simply Dry Shampoo. It works for every hair type and colour and is part of Chatters’ BOGO 50% off deal, available until February 28th. Ingredients like natural rice and tapioca starch help soak up the excess oil and dirt, leaving your hair revitalized without the dryness that accompanies frequent washing.
On the coldest winter days, all you want to do is stay in the shower to soak in every bit of heat — but try to avoid washing your hair with really hot water. It can cause dryness and damage to both your hair and your scalp, leading to weakened follicles.
Try Hair Masks and Oil Treatments
JOICO’s K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock Instant Shine & Repair Treatment ($36.65), chatters.ca
If you can’t splurge on a new pillowcase or forgo washing your hair, try a nutrient-rich hair mask or treatment. If you have colour-treated hair, the JOICO K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock Instant Shine & Repair Treatment will revive your hue and repair breakage and split ends. It’s a worthwhile option for women with any type of hair, and Chatters Salons are giving the 140-mililitre size away as a free gift during the month of February when you book an appointment for a colour service. Those prone to throwing their tresses in a top knot, ponytail or braids should consider the RedKen All Soft Argan-6 Oil. When applied to damp or dry hair, this leave-in product makes use of nutrients like omega-6 to help eliminate frizz and minimize breakage, leaving it healthy and soft to the touch.
Avoid Heat-Heavy Styling Routines
Mizani 25 Miracle Milk ($21.71), chatters.ca
It should come as no surprise that using flat irons, curling irons and blow dryers too often can lead to damaged hair, especially in the winter when it’s already in such a fragile state. As often as possible, allow your hair to air dry, says Sim. Embrace a more natural style with a leave-in conditioner like Mizani 25 Miracle Milk, which contains sustainably sourced coconut oil and fennel seed extract. It provides 25 amazing benefits for your hair, such as smoothing, preventing split ends, detangling, controlling flyaways and adding shine. If you still need to tame your strands with a blow dryer or styling iron, this product will also shield them from the heat.
Avoid Heat-Heavy Styling Routines
ABBA Moisture Shampoo ($22.48), chatters.ca
When you do need to wash your hair, try a product like ABBA Moisture Shampoo, which is made with olive and peppermint oils to gently cleanse, hydrate and strengthen hair, adding softness and eliminating flyaways. If you’re a sucker for stick-straight locks or beachy, curler-made waves, you can rely on Keratin Complex Infusion to lock in your hair’s natural moisture even after styling.
Go to the Dark Side
One of the quickest ways to end up with crispy, dry ends and hair that’s prone to breakage is to add colour — and specifically bleach. “Go to the dark side,” says Sim, who suggests blondes consider becoming brunettes in wintertime. Sure, lightening your hair can add serious dimension, but the constant over-processing leads directly to breakage and, in some instances, the only solution is a dramatic chop. So save your length and switch shades!
If you and your hair are going through a rough patch this winter, talk to your stylist about what kinds of products and practices you should incorporate into your routine. The solution to healthy, happy winter hair could be as easy as introducing a moisture-trapping warrior into your hair-care arsenal, or forgoing the shampoo a few times a week. If all else fails, book a plane ticket to warmer climates. Right now, when you purchase three or more travel items at Chatters, you’ll receive a free airline-friendly Travel Happy Bag — your hair will thank you.
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