Fight the frizz and stop the static: winter hair care tips

UK Trichologist explains why our barnets go barmy and how to keep hair hydrated

Dry hands, chapped lips and red cheeks are our skin’s way of telling us the cold weather is taking its toll. However, our hair and scalp doesn’t grab our attention as quickly as our flaky complexion, yet bears the burden of the chill just as much.

I asked Iain Sallis, the UK’s only hospital-based trichologist why our hair suffers in winter, and the best ways to care for our hair.

How can we tell if the cold weather is affecting our hair?

The winter months have a double impact on the hair. Firstly, the weather is very cold and dry, and because our hair cannot tell us how dry it is, we have to find out by how it feels and how it reacts. So if your hair feels dryer or goes static, you need to increase your hair’s moisture content.

The second impact comes from inside our homes. In centrally heated rooms the moisture content is very low and so the moisture is expelled from the hair causing it to dry and frizz, which aggravates the drying effect of the harsh winter wind,” says Iain.

But why does our hair freak out like this? 

Hair is hygroscopic (wait, don’t click off, it’s simple). This means hair always wants to make its moisture content equal to its surroundings. So in a dry atmosphere like a centrally heated room, the hair will expel moisture until it is the same dryness as the room, and in a damp atmosphere like an indoor swimming pool, it will absorb the moisture.

This is the chemistry that explains why Monica Geller’s hair went like this…


So what can we do to help it?

When a hat just won’t do or your highlights are flaunting fresh, pre-shampoo treatments rather than post-shampoo treatments are a simple solution. They’re enriched with different types of oils (avocado, castor, sunflower, almond, olive), all of which are too heavy if used after shampooing.

Laying off the bleach and straighteners will also help, along with styling products rich in oils and proteins.

For a cheap treatment, try Iain’s protein packed, barnet boosting recipe:

In a blender, whisk:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 3oz plain yoghurt
  • 1/2oz Olive oil
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz purified water
  • 1 ripe avocado (peeled and stoned)

Set for an hour or two in the fridge. Apply prior to shampooing and leave on for 3-5 minutes.


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