September 16, 2019 | 62° F

Bad hair day? How to fight hat hair, dry scalp and other winter-inflicted mishaps

Photo by Pxhere |

Winter, also known as the season of parched tresses, scaly scalps, hat hair and static-y stress, is here. This beautifully chilly time of year really takes a toll on your locks. Hair care experts are here for you, though, and they’ve paved a stress-free path to a thriving mane. Their knowledge is accessible throughout the Internet, but we’ve condensed it for you. So don’t let the snowy season take your tresses hostage, that would be a silly thing to do. Follow these tips.

Add time between shampoos

If you’re a serial shampooer and you love to scrub soap into your locks every day, stop that immediately. In doing this, you’re stripping your scalp of natural oils, according to Stuart Gavert, a colorist at the Peter Coppola Salon in New York City and Gavert Atelier Salon in Beverly Hills, California. At the most, you should be lathering every other day. The key is to separate your washes with a little extra length, but you can still give your hair a nice rinse and conditioning treatment in between. In between washes, opt for spraying your roots with a dry shampoo to combat excess oil. Can’t keep away from your everyday rituals? Work the tiniest amount of a moisturizing shampoo into your hair. 

Tame a scaly scalp with oils

Winter is notorious for drying out everything you love, including your scalp, but you don’t have to let it. Fight the flakes and itchiness pre-shower by massaging that skin with a few drops of your choice oil — olive, jojoba or tea tree. Another tip is to take a cooler, shorter shower. This will keep you clear of hot water, which will leave your scalp looking and feeling parched.

Condition once a week

A little weekly pamper never killed anybody, and it will give your hair the moisture it needs in the winter. Slather on your favorite conditioner that’s tailored to your hair type, and work it into your cold weather hair care routine. Good choices will include a hyper-moisturizing godsend infused with oils like aloe, jojoba and avocado. Shea butter is a good ingredient to look for, as well.

“Lock” in the moisture

When you do indulge in shampoo, treat your wet, possibly conditioned, post-shower hair to a snack. Mist your delicate strands with a leave-in-conditioner to keep the winter weather from breaking them. Good budget-friendly choices include Biolage Fortifying Leave-In Treatment, $13, and Pantene Detangle Light Spray Conditioner, $4.30.

Fight the fly-aways

Nobody likes a static-y ‘do that can’t stay put. Dry air is an unavoidable consequence of winter, so the best you can do is find a good way to combat it. To promptly settle your fly-aways, carry an unscented dryer sheet with you. A quick mist of hairspray or a light amount of hand cream will also help do the job.

No more hat hair

Sometimes the choice to wear a cute hat as a way to keep warm can majorly backfire and bring on insults and insecurity. Banish the insults and the static electricity by making a wintertime switch from wool and acrylic to cotton-only hats. 

Winter can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It is possible to cure your wintertime blues with a whole lot of simple hair care.

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