How Cold Weather Can Harm Your Hair And How To Prevent It
We all know what cold weather can do to our skin, but how many of us have stopped to wonder what it can do to our hair? We need to pay as much attention to it as we do our skin, which means as the temperature drops, our hair routine should change as well. But why is that?
For starters, cold air saps moisture and natural oils from our skin, including our scalp, which means our hair can actually start snapping off. This means hair loss, something none of us want to face. On top of that, freezing temperatures damages the cuticles. In case you are wondering, a hair cuticle is made up of protein-based flat hair cells that overlap like the shingles on a roof. It’s a protective layer of the hair that keeps it healthy. When it’s damaged, all sort of bad things can happen to your hair. When damaged cuticles pairs up with a dry scalp, your hair can start to break, thin and fall out. What’s more, thanks to indoor heating, your hair can even start to dry out, making the possibility of hair loss even more possible.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the lack of vitamin D you get in the fall and winter. When it’s cold outside you tend to spend more time inside, meaning you don’t get enough of sunlight. This sunlight gives your skin vitamin D, and helps with hair growth. Meaning the hair problems caused by cold weather increases. Typically we get less sunlight between the months of October and March, so it’s important to keep this in mind. If you have a deficiency in vitamins A,B,C and E, as well as iron and zinc, your likely hood of hair loss climbs as well.
As bad as all of this sound, there are some steps you can take to help prevent an unhealthy head of hair. The first of which is to remember never to go outside with wet hair. When you do, the water molecules in the hair freeze and expand, making them more likely to break. Wet hair is extremely fragile, and is much worse than dry hair. If you do go outside with wet hair, you can end up with uneven, split ends all over. The only way to fix that is to cut your hair shorter than you like to even things out.
If you hair does become damaged, you should avoid over-washing it. Damaged hair should only be washed about twice a week. Some signs of over-washing you should look out for include an increased number of split ends and excessive dandruff. You hair may also look less shiny due to washing out too many of your essential oils and more frizzy. Highlighted and dyed hair will also fade quicker if it is washed too often. During the winter these symptoms will only increase if you are over-washing your hair.
You can also start using some leave-in products that moisturize the scalp during the colder months. They can protect the hair from root to tip. These can include conditioners, hair sprays, hair masks, heat protection creams and even dry shampoos. Read the bottles closely to find out if they are the right option for you.