Avoid winter hair damage thanks to these easy steps.
You’ve gone to great, well… lengths to keep your hair in pristine condition throughout summer. And now winter is about to arrive in a great gust of rain and chilly wind that you’ll counteract by turning up the heat indoors—a drying combination which doesn’t bode well for your poor hair.
To avoid breakage, flyaways and general brittleness, we teamed up with StyleHQ.co.nz and Silver Bullet’s creative director Damian Jones to put together these 10 easy tips—along with the key products to stock up on this winter.
1. Avoid long, hot showers.
As winter’s bitter cold creeps in, you may be tempted to turn the heat up in your shower. But hot water can actually damage your skin and scalp, stripping it of its natural oils and moisture and causing dryness and flakiness. Ensure water is lukewarm when you’re washing your hair and try to keep your showers to 10 minutes or less.
2. Wash your hair less, use nourishing shampoo and conditioners and prolong hair in between washes with dry shampoo.
Just like your skin, your hair is susceptible to the elements all year round. In particular, winter can dry out your hair, so focusing on nourishing and protecting your hair should be as important as your skincare routine.
“Turning to nature at a time like this can be the perfect solution,” says Damian. He recommends using shampoos and conditioners containing Marula or Argan oil to replenish the moisture you lose. “It will be heaven for your follicles and strands,” he adds.
SHOP (L-R): TIGI Copyright Custom Care Moisture Shampoo, $37; Oribe Gold Lust Restore & Repair Shampoo, $79; Theorie Pure Restoring Conditioner, $33; R+Co Atlantis Moisturising Conditioner, $49; Macadamia Volumising Dry Shampoo, $25; – all available from StyleHQ.co.nz.
3. Use a weekly treatment or masque to replenish hair.
We sometimes lose our pep during winter, and your hair is much the same. A moisturising hair mask or treatment once a week will not only feel like a luxury pick-me-up when you’re feeling flat, but your hair will also feel replenished.
Damian recommends applying the treatment to the problem areas first – usually the mid-lengths and ends. “You can assess this by simply feeling your hair—the smooth areas are healthy and the slightly rougher areas are the ones which need your attention,” he says.
If you find it hard to make time for a treatment, see it as a part of your self-care routine; pop on your comfiest loungewear, push play on your favourite movie and let the treatment work its magic. Damian says if you want to go that extra mile, to “wrap your treatment-covered hair up in a towel, as the gentle heat from your head will encourage absorption.”
SHOP (L-R): Theorie Argan Oil Ultimate Reform Hair Treatment Mask, $51; TIGI Copyright Custom Care Repair Booster (added to any TIGI Copyright Custom Care Conditioner), $37; Oribe Signature Moisture Masque, $98; BaByliss Pro Argan Treatment Oil, $80; TIGI Catwalk Oatmeal and Honey Intense Nourishing Hair Treatment, $24.99; – all available from StyleHQ.co.nz.
4. Dry hair thoroughly with a high quality hairdryer before heading outside. Use a heat protection spray or mist.
Our lives are so busy these days and we can sometimes be tempted to leave the house with wet hair—but during the colder months, this is a definite no-no. That’s because your wet hair can swell in the cold, making it more prone to breakage. And nobody wants that!
Try to let your hair air dry as much as possible indoors, then blast it with a high quality hairdryer to remove all the moisture before you head outdoors. Don’t forget to use a heat protection spray!
SHOP (L-R): Parlux 385 Power Light Ceramic and Ionic Hair Dryer, $290; Fanola Styling Tools Thermo Force, $26; Parlux Alyon Air Ionizer Tech Hair Dryer, $338; Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray, $95; – all available from StyleHQ.co.nz.
5. Trim hair regularly.
Nothing says ‘damage’ like split ends. Reduce the risk of getting them in the first place by getting your hair regularly trimmed and in doing so, keep brittle ends at bay.
6. Use an oil such as Argan oil to add nourishment to hair.
Winter is the time to go gung-ho on the hair oils, to add nourishment and protection to the hair. Damian is keen on both Argan and Marula, which have “incredible restorative properties whilst offering nourishment and protection from the elements and free radicals.”
SHOP (L-R): 12Reasons Argan Oil Hair Serum, $22; TIGI Copyright Custom Create Colour Lustre Oil, $32; BaByliss Pro Argan Treatment Oil, $28; Nth Degree Smoothing Argan Oil and Keratin Hair Serum, $36; Oribe Gold Lust Nourishing Oil, $79; – all available from StyleHQ.co.nz.
7. Adjust your diet and drink lots of water.
Not only will eating a healthy diet boost your immune system in winter, but by adding in foods rich in natural oils and vitamins such as meat, fish, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, you’ll reap the benefits for your scalp and hair too. Drink lots of water to keep hydrated – if you’re dehydrated, one of the first signs of dehydration will be lacklustre hair.
8. Be mindful of which hot tools you are using—and how often you’re using them.
Try to limit your use of hot tools during winter, as heat styling can dry your hair out further. If you style your hair every day, try to do it every other day. If it’s usually a few times a week, see if you can get by with just once a week.
Likewise, take note of the tools you are using. If you frequently use a straightening iron, try a hot brush instead to smooth hair with less friction. If you most often use a tong, try heated rollers.
Damian says whatever our preference, the key lies in the protection we give our hair. “You wouldn’t lay in the sun without sunscreen, so before you tame your tresses with heated tools make sure it’s coated in a quality heat protection spray, mist or oil,” he says.
SHOP (L-R): Silver Bullet Titanium 220 IR Euphoria Infrared Hair Straightener, $210; Silver Bullet Hybrid Luxe Straightening Brush, $130; BaByliss Pro Ceramic Conical Black 25-13mm, $99; – all available from StyleHQ.co.nz.
9. Cover up with a hat when you’re outside in the wind and rain to keep it away from harsh elements
Use a hat or scarf to keep your hair away from the elements. But be warned: some fabrics such as wool or cotton can cause split ends and breakage, especially around the hair line. If you can, line your winter hats with a smooth textured fabric such as silk or satin to avoid friction.
10. Avoid breakage by using a detangling brush and use a soft scrunchie or twirly hairtie.
Try to avoid brushing your hair with a normal brush or comb when it’s wet, as this is a prime time for breakage. In this instance, use a proper detangling brush such as this one by Wet Brush.
Also avoid using hairties with metal joins, which can catch your hair. Instead use a soft scrunchie or twirly hairtie to avoid pulling and breaking your hair – you’ll also circumvent the dreaded ponytail ‘kink’ this way.
* This article is brought to you in partnership with StyleHQ.co.nz.