Hair care varies according to your hair type, the condition of your hair, and outside factors like weather. Madison Reed is taking the guesswork out of what’s right for you! We’re combing through the advice out there about hair to sort out the best information for your life.
Get control over the flyaways, static, and split ends. As part of our Winter Care for Your Hair series, we’ve gathered smart strategies for taking care of straight hair during the winter months.
Don’t Freeze Up
Water is water, and it freezes in low temperatures. The same holds true for water when it’s in your hair. When you wash your hair, the water doesn’t just sit on top; it gets absorbed into each hair shaft. One thing we learned from Dr. Jan Hansen is that wet hair is temporarily weaker and more prone to damage. Now imagine your wet hair, weaker and more vulnerable to breakage, outside in the cold. The water inside each strand will freeze up if the temperature is low enough, and turn your hair into brittle icicles that could snap and break.
Make sure you dry your hair before leaving the house. Better yet, wash your hair at night before and give it time to dry naturally to avoid excessive heat styling.
On the Subject of Heat Styling…
Less is more for straight hair in the winter. Indoor heating during colder months contributes to the dryness that leads to flyaways and static. Instead of a flat iron, use smoothing products that also moisturize your hair. Instead of a hot curling iron, use spiral curlers while allowing hair to dry naturally. If you blow dry, invest in a ionizing dryer that helps lock moisture into your hair.
Of course, you’ll need less time and effort to style hair if you wash it less.
There are a lot of tips about washing straight hair less, but a common complaint is that the roots get oily when following this advice. Luckily, there’s a wide range of dry shampoos available. Make the most of your hair’s natural oils by gently combing down to distribute to lengths and ends. Then spot treat the roots with dry shampoo to absorb excess oil and add volume. If you color your hair, Madison Reed’s Root Touch Up acts as a dry shampoo with the added benefit of matching any roots or grays to your overall hair color.
If you don’t want to change how often you wash your hair, we have a few tweaks to improve your routine. Skip the shampoo entirely every other time you wash hair. Just use conditioner, focusing on the lengths and ends that dry out easily, and use a wide-toothed comb in the shower to detangle. This will help maintain and disperse your hair’s natural oils, which will keep your hair moisturized in a more even way.
Brush Less & in the Morning
Many of us grew up with the adage to brush our hair 100 times before going to bed, but we’ve learned a lot more about hair since then. Now we know that your hair’s natural oils accumulate on the roots while you’re sleeping at night. To distribute those oils to the rest of your hair, comb through your hair in the morning… but not 100 times!
Excessive brushing can break fine and damaged hair, and winter weather compounds those effects. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently ease out tangles, and then style your hair with your fingers. Smooth in a leave-in conditioner, thermal shield, or daily damage defense spray to finish.
When the Wind Blows…
A harsh, whipping wind can break or tangle straight hair. Keep it safe in a smooth ponytail or braids. If you want to leave your hair loose, cover your head while outside. A chic wide-brimmed hat or trendy knit cap is a great way to retain your body heat and protect your hair. Don’t worry about hair static, we have advice for that!
In the winter, static reaches shocking levels because the colder, drier air allows items around the home to build up an electric charge. If you’ve ever rubbed a balloon on your hair or touched an electricity ball, you’ve experienced how hair-raising that buildup can be!
Stop static scientifically. We’re already advocating combs over brushes, so maximize your benefits by using metal combs. Because metal conducts electricity, it will help dissipate static charge building up in your hair. You can also keep a dryer sheet in your bag and rub it gently over the top of your hair to stop static on the go. At night, rub a dryer sheet over your pillow to prevent static from building up while you snooze. Tossing extra dryer sheets into laundry will also reduce the static generated by your sweaters and jackets.
Regular haircuts are a must to keep straight hair healthy any time of year, but they are even more important in wintertime. Dry hair is more prone to split ends. The longer that split ends are allowed to go un-cut, the further they split up the hair shaft, causing extreme damage.
Ask your stylist to cut a quarter inch every six weeks. This may sound like a lot if you are growing your hair out, but it’s actually setting you up for lush, healthy hair that can grow longer. Worried about putting a dent in your wallet? Ask your salon or stylist if they offer complimentary trims between regular haircuts. Many places do, especially if you’re a regular. Just remember to tip your stylist for his or her time. It’s money well spent!
Read more on Straight Hair.
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