During the summer months we are aware of the damage the hot sun, salty seawater and chlorine in our holiday pool can do to our hair. We’re encouraged to wear a sun hat and take extra care. But what about how to avoid winter hair damage?
Now that we’re into the grip of winter…what impact does that have on our hair. Are we more susceptible to damaged hair and hair loss during the winter?
Avoiding dry, brittle hair
It’s true to say that warm air holds much more moisture than cold air, so as the temperature drops, so does the moisture.
Leading NYC-based dermatologist Dr Whitney Bowe, has been quoted as saying that her patients experience dry hair in the winter as a result of the dry, cold air outside, compounded by the dry heat indoors. The low humidity, combined with extreme temperature changes, can be very drying to the hair shaft.
So it’s just as important during the winter months to nourish and hydrate your hair to keep it healthy. Dry hair can look dull and lifeless, as without enough moisture there can be a lack of shine.
Dr Bowe also warns against those long, hot showers that we all love to take in the winter. “They can be very drying, as well,” she explains. “Prolonged exposure to water, especially hot water, can damage the skin and scalp barrier and even disrupt the balance of bacteria around the hair follicles.” Much like with the naturally occurring bacteria elsewhere in your body, when the bacteria on your scalp are out of balance, it can affect the quality of hair that grows out of the follicles.
She also explains that thin hair, can be more prone to breakage. And when your hair is dehydrated, it’s more brittle.
So take care when you’re pulling your winter hats on and off as your hair can easily break!
Time to protect your hair and scalp
So it’s time to protect your hair from the winter weather and indoor radiators too, and focus on the health of your hair from the inside out and the outside in. Take supplements to provide your follicles with the specific blend of nutrition that your hair needs to grow healthily. And focus on adding moisture to your hair and keeping your scalp healthy with kind and gentle shampoo and conditioner and leave in treatments.
Natural regulation of the hair growth cycle
Some good news is that a six-year study from the University Hospital of Zurich https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19407435 found that people actually lose the least amount of hair in winter. Research has shown the body to produce more melatonin in the winter (known for making us more drowsy in the dark winter months) but which helps to regulate the natural hair growth cycle and therefore to protect the hair from excess shedding. It has been suggested that this natural regulation of the hair cycle is what spurs longer, warmer winter coats in mammels…so there’s hope when it comes to avoiding damaged hair and hair loss during the winter.
What are your tips for good hair days throughout the winter season?Let us know in the comments.