Winter Hair - The link between Dryness and Breakage
It’s true that as the weather gets colder, you need to alter your skincare regimen. But did you know that you also need to adjust your hair care routine? During the winter months, plunging temperatures may leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. There are several steps to take in order to ensure that your hair is getting the nourishment it needs when it is most vulnerable to breakage. We explain why this occurs and share some tips for maintaining healthy hair all season long.
Why Do We Get Dry Hair In Winter?
The reason why hair becomes more brittle during winter is due to the lack of humidity. Hair, like skin, can often feel very dry in the wintertime, mainly due to the lack of humidity leaving it feeling really damaged. In addition, curly-haired folks are more likely to suffer damage since it takes longer for natural, moisturizing oils to travel down the hair shaft. Overusing hair tools and not properly conditioning hair during the cold winter months adds to this breakage cycle. Moisture is essential to hair elasticity and without it, hair will snap off.
What Does Hair Breakage Look Like?
Observe the hair you're shedding. Are there broken strands? Normal shed hairs tend to be about the length of your hair, with a tiny little white bulb at the end. You lose around 50 to 100 hairs a day — this is normal. But if you're noticing that shed hair is shorter and your strands feel drier and more brittle than usual, you may be dealing with breakage. Is there a lot of hair of varying lengths on your pillow when you wake up in the morning? This is an indicator for breakage also, as the strands snap while you move in your sleep. You may also notice that your hair feels drier and frizzier than normal. Healthy hair should be well moisturized with an intact, shiny cuticular layer. It should be shiny and smooth, with good elasticity. Make sure you watch out for baby hairs around your hairline too. If you notice more baby hairs in that area than usual and they look different from the rest of your hair, that could be broken hair. Broken hair will have varying lengths and a drier texture than healthy new growth or baby hairs.
How Can You Stop Hair Breakage?
Use A Hair Mask
During the winter, indoor heating and dry air can take a toll on strands. To combat seasonal dryness, try working a hydrating hair mask into your routine. A hair mask is simply a nourishing formula that you apply to your hair and leave in for an extended period of time before washing it out. They are designed to deeply penetrate and moisturize at every later of the hair.
Here’s how to amplify the effects of your TO112 Collagen Hair Mask or TO112 Mega Moisture Hair Mask: First, wash your hair and towel it dry. Then apply the mask from mid-lengths to ends and massage it into your hair follicles. Next, contain your hair by clipping it in a butterfly clip or using a shower cap and let the mask sit for at 20 minutes or leave it in overnight. After this step, simply rinse out the hair mask and air dry for best results!
Change Up Your Conditioning Routine
The best way to fight dry air and cold weather is to use a thicker, heavier conditioner like TO112 Dry Conditioner on the ends of your hair. This will help prevent your hair from getting dry, brittle and breaking easily. If you want to make sure your hair stays smooth and frizz-free, you should use a leave-in conditioner like TO112 Anti-Breakage Detangler. Intense moisturizers like this can give anyone's hair the boost it needs during this time of the year, especially if you style it regularly. If you have tons of winter static, adding a little bit of oil to your routine will help, try TO112 Hair Serum. If you have thicker hair, you can use this type of oil on damp or dry hair; if your hair is on the finer side, just add a touch to dry hair to prevent frizz but reduce that heavy-handed, weighed-down feel.
Opt For Protective Hairstyles
During winter, try wearing protective hairstyles like braids and buns. Any protective style can be helpful for dry hair as long as the style is not damaging and is worn in a way that leaves hair loose or styled in a way that is not too tight. If you’re wearing a bun make sure it's loose so it isn’t pulling at your hair follicles and opt for a silk or satin scrunchie instead of an elastic hair tie.
Choose The Right Hair Accessories
When you step out of the shower, it’s a natural response to rub a towel on your skin and hair. However, this rubbing motion actually damages your hair when it’s most vulnerable (after being wet). Instead of rubbing water out of your hair, wrap your hair in an ultra absorbent towel to absorb excess water. Instead of using a microfiber towel, try using a bamboo towel like our TO112 Bamboo Hair Wrap. It won't cause friction that can damage your hair like terrycloth and microfibre can.
Hats or scarves are a great option for protecting hair from wind damage, but it's important that the material is breathable so that your scalp can breathe and prevent dry skin. Consider materials like satin lined hats or a silk scarves.
Bedtime hair care is critical for healthy, strong hair. Cover your hair in a silk or satin cap to protect it from friction caused by tossing and turning. Sleeping on a silk pillowcase like TO112 Restore Silk Pillowcase can help reduce breakage due to the slicker nature of the fibers; they're much gentler on your strands (and skin!).
It's best to avoid using heat on your hair in the winter. If you do need to use heat, take protective measures with a heat protectant like the TO112 Ultimate Hair Cream before drying or styling, which is made with tamanu and pomegranate oils, camellia extract, and provides 8 key benefits including anti-breakage, heat protection, weightless moisture, brilliant shine, natural UV protection, smooth polish, light hold and added strength. Always blow-dry your hair directing the airflow down the shaft to keep the cuticle closed.
When should I cut off my breakage?
If your hair is severely damaged, consider booking an appointment with a professional hairstylist to get it cut. Unfortunately, once hair breaks or splits, there's no way to fully repair it. You can temporarily bandage the ends of your strands with various products, but the damage has been done and you should probably get it cut as soon as possible. You can't repair the ends, but if you leave the breakage alone, it will start to split newer growth as well. Cutting off the ends as soon as possible will help prevent the breakage from traveling up the strand and damaging newer growth.