Every season poses unique challenges to our hair and skin, but none are quite as harsh as winter. The constant exposure to cold, dry air, wind and rain can result in hair becoming dehydrated, which can lead to split ends, breakage and unruliness. And it’s not just the time spent outdoors that poses problems: dry indoor heating from heaters and fireplaces can cause further dehydration, leaving you stuck in an endless cycle of moving between extreme temperatures.
Going into winter, it is important to make a couple of small habitual changes, and to incorporate a few extra moisture-boosting hair care products in your regime.
Shampoo less frequently
Our scalps produce a natural oil that travels from the follicle down the hair shaft. This oil moisturises and nourishes hair while protecting it from dryness, and every time we shampoo, we remove this oil from our hair. Try to wash your hair less frequently as the weather cools down to allow the hair’s natural oil to do its job. Use a good quality dry shampoo to stretch the time between your wash days, and ensure you’re using a hydrating shampoo that’s gentle on the hair. We recommend Colab’s range of Dry Shampoos (R94.99) which effectively absorb oil instantly and refreshes roots without a white residue.
Blow dry with care
Typically, our hair is exposed to heat styling more frequently during winter because we’re less likely to let wet hair air dry in the cold. If you use a hairdryer to dry your hair after every wash, you’ll need to invest in heat protection product to protect your strands from dryness and breakage. Hold your hairdryer as far away from your hair as possible and apply the lowest heat setting. Try a multipurpose product like Hask Monoi Coconut Oil 5-In-1 Leave-In Spray (R190.00). It detangles, hydrates, controls frizz, softens and provides thermal protection.
Protect with a hat
Don’t underestimate the power of physical protection from the elements. Wearing a hat or beanie when outdoors won’t just keep you warm, but it will also protect your hair from cold air and wind. But take care – the friction from coarse fabrics like wool or cotton can lead to breakage. Experts suggest lining your hat or beanie with silk or satin (an old square scarf works wonders!).
Focus on hydrating and moisturising formulas
That lightweight shampoo and conditioner you used every day in the peak of summer is not going to cut it during winter. Switch to a hydrating shampoo and conditioner that preserves the hair’s moisture levels while cleansing and conditioning. Try:
Marc Anthony Hydra Lock Shampoo (R165.00) is enriched with jojoba oil micro-pearls and quinoa protein, which cleanse your hair leaving just the right amount of moisture without weighing hair down. Follow with Marc Anthony Hydra Lock Conditioner (R165.00), which offers hair a burst of hydration, locking in moisture and leaving it soft and shiny with a lightweight finish.
Hask Monoi Oil Nourishing Shampoo (R180.00) nourishes and feeds hair with every wash. It helps replace lost moisture in hair that’s dry, damaged or colour-treated, leaving it stronger and looking healthier. Follow with Hask Monoi Oil Nourishing Conditioner (R180.00), which feeds dry and damaged hair to restore much-needed moisture. Its ultra-restorative formulation means hair is expertly cared for with every use and left looking healthier and shinier.
Treat with oils
Oils help to regenerate dry hair, restore shine and provide much-needed moisture. They’re also convenient and easy to use, as most oils can be applied to wet hair directly after your wash, and also to dry hair when it needs a pick-me-up. Apply oil to the mid-lengths and ends of your hair as these are the areas that will need the added moisture most. Try Hask Argan Oil From Morocco Repairing Shine Hair Oil (R190.00). A weightless conditioning treatment, it helps repair and smooth out hair using nourishing Argan oil and keratin. To reap the benefits of coconut oil, try OGX Coconut Miracle Penetrating Oil (R150.00). This ultra-moisturising formula is designed repair, soften and revive damaged hair.
Commit to weekly masks and treatments
Hair masks and treatments go a long way to protect and restore the hair, but they’re not a once-off solution and consistency is key. For best results, apply your chosen mask once a week throughout the winter months and be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Leave the product on for the full amount of time recommended (even if it feels like a long time) to reap maximum benefits. Try Marc Anthony Apple Miracle Treatment (R200.00). This conditioning treatment contains apple stem cells, biotin and grape seed oil that revive dull, damaged, slow-growing hair. This multi-tasker replenishes nutrients and protects against heat and breakage.
Consider a leave-in conditioner
Did you know that a leave-in conditioner does not just provide extra moisture and nourishment, but it also helps combat static (one of the signs of dryness, by the way!)? Lock in the moisture your hair gained from your regular conditioner by applying a leave-in conditioner afterwards. We recommend Umberto Giannini Banana Butter Repair and Restore Leave-In Conditioner (R150.00). Specially formulated to restore the bounce, shine and manageability to thirsty curls, this silicone-free repairing and moisturising leave-in conditioner is your wonder product to repair, strengthen and de-frizz naturally curly hair without weighing it down.