Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cold Weather and Extremes in Temperature Can Affect Hair Health

by Melissa L. White
Licensed Hair Stylist
Certified Hair Extension Artist
Certified Brazilian Blowout Stylist
This past summer, I wrote on how hot weather can affect the behavior and health of your hair, but did you know that extreme cold affects your hair as well? Last summer unleashed extreme heat over much of the country, and just this week, much of the Northern states have been socked with cold temperatures that have not been seen in several years.

Cold Dry Air Is Hard On Hair!

Right now there is a major Arctic cold front making it's way across the upper states and into New England. Having lived in New England much of my early life, I got used to half a year or more of cold temperatures. It was "normal", and you found ways to deal with it. Now, having lived in Texas for the past eight or nine years, I have much more difficulty dealing with cold. And, I notice that my hair does too! 
Chilly weather can wreak havoc on even the healthiest hair and skin and is especially damaging when there is wind with the cold. Winter air brings dryness.  We all know that it can suck the moisture out of our skin and lips, but many women overlook that it can be extremely drying to our hair as well. It can actually zap nutrients from your hair, giving you dry, brittle hair - even for those who wear hair extensions. If your hair becomes dry enough, you might find yourself with a bad case of dandruff. Add to this wearing hats, scarves, earmuffs, turtlenecks and other things that interfere with our hair and our hair styles, and you've got a recipe for disaster! Think static - that especially troublesome winter standby. It can hit unexpectedly, be persistent, and can ruin your "look" in an instant.
There are steps you can take to minimize cold's effects on your hair. Try these basics:
  • Dry your hair thoroughly before you leave the house
  • Wear low maintenance styles including up-do's, braids, buns or ponytails
  • Keep hair hydrated
  • Deep condition your hair - ask your stylist for one that best for you
  • Splurge on a hot oil treatment once a month at your salon
  • Try the Brazilian Blowout
We've all heard the saying, "Don't go out with wet hair or you'll catch your death of cold," but there's much more to it than the risk of developing a sneeze. Cold dry air actually pulls moisture out of your hair! Completely drying your hair will help keep hair manageable and less prone to static, frizz and dryness. Remember how your lips become much more dry and chapped when you spend time licking them to keep them moisturized? Your hair also becomes more dried out and brittle in the cold. It's best to dry your hair once, thoroughly, then style it with protective products that will help seal the moisture in, and the cold out. Avoid glycerin products and heavy gels and opt for products better suited for cold weather.
After you've styled your hair, leave your hair alone! Wearing your hair up, or in a style where you won't spend time touching it or running your fingers through it will help minimize the stress to your hair. You'll notice less dryness, less shedding, less split-ends and less static if you can keep your hands away from your hair. We're lucky that buns are very popular this season, and braids, ponytails and any type of up-do is perfectly acceptable and fashionable.
Keeping your hair hydrated doesn't mean keeping it wet. Although there are a few hydrating sprays which deliver a thin film of moisturizing conditioners, some can weigh down your hair. It's best to try to go a little longer between shampoos. A good dry shampoo can get you through an extra day or two during cold snaps. Remember to comb through your hair each night to distribute natural oils from your scalp down the entire hair shaft. This is great in helping to prevent static, just don't be walking across a rug when you do it!
Conditioners and treatments can be tricky. Not everyone is blessed with "perfect" hair, and products you purchase in the store aren't always formulated well for your specific hair, which can leave you with a sticky mess or limp locks that you can't do anything with!  I recommend you seek advice from your professional stylist who knows your hair. He/she can suggest products that you can use at home that will actually deliver protection and style. It's worth the effort and expense.

Consider the Brazilian Blowout, which can help to seal your hair cuticle, minimize static, as well as smooth your hair. Women who use the Brazilian Blowout seem to have an easier time with winter cold weather. Their hair dries faster, requires less product and styles easily. Their new Volume aftercare products allow you to wear "big" hair styles with control.
If you wear hair extensions, you'll want to have a talk with your stylist. Let them know if you see an increase in split-ends on your extensions, or if your hair has become excessively dry or brittle. Quality hair extensions should not "stress" any faster than normal healthy hair. Hair selected for the best brand hair extensions tends to be high quality hair, and should remain in good shape through the season. That said, you still want to take preventive steps to ensure that your investment stays looking great. Your stylist can recommend products to use during the cold season that will work great for you and help your hair extensions last.
Extensions of Yourself - We're In The HEAT in Texas - What Can You Do To Help Your Hair?
Extensions of Yourself - Popularity of Brazilian Blowout Soars - Best Cold-Weather Skin Tips - Good Hair Care in Cold Weather - Hair Tips for Cold Weather

Melissa White is an experienced, licensed hair extension artist and stylist whose passion is to bring out the natural beauty in everyone by enhancing their own individual features with the use of exquisite hair extensions. Melissa has over 10 years of extensive training with the industries top hair extension companies in the newest techniques. Originally from Boston, Melissa has been in San Antonio for the past 8 years. She believes that everyone should be able to access and afford the hair of their dreams . . . thus the creation of Extensions of Yourself, San Antonio's first salon which specializes exclusively in quality hair extensions. Melissa is a Certified Brazilian Blowout stylist who has used Brazilian Blowout on her clients for several years.