Cold Weather Hair Care

I love my hair. I mean, sometimes I get really annoyed with it-- it's super thick and I have a ton of it so I usually can't do anything cute with it-- but for the most part I love how long and shiny it is. I love that I've been able to keep it as healthy as I have for as long as I have, and really, it's a great companion in life. It keeps my ears warm. It balances out my face (which is rather large, to be frank). It makes whooshing noises. When it is windy out, it makes me feel more exhilarated or powerful. It sometimes makes me look really, really cool in photos. It's its own living being in some ways, because it has this natural soft wave to it, and I never really know what it's going to look like in the morning. I like to think of myself as a mythical creature a lot, and I think my hair really contributes to this fantasy :)

Today I thought I'd share my hair routine for cold weather, since the colder air does things to it and can be damaging! The name of the game in hair care is moisture, and this is especially important in the fall when dry air comes rolling in. Dry hair dulls, frizzes or flies away, and breaks. These tips are also really easy to follow, because I am super un-fussy about my hair, so even the laziest of people can follow through!

Use paraben free shampoo and conditioner. Parabens are chemicals that are known to mess with your endocrine system (which deals with hormones) and have been linked to cancers including breast cancer. They are used primarily for killing bacteria, but they harm other cells as well, including those that make up your skin-- unfortunately they're a part of most shampoo formulas and many conditioners. Currently I'm using the Herbal Essences Naked line which has no parabens or dyes.

Water down your shampoo. I do this year-round but it's especially good to do this in the drier months because shampoo dries your hair out by stripping it of its natural oils in the cleaning process. The amount of shampoo you actually need to clean you hair is very little actually, and in fact, many people ditch shampoo altogether and wash only with conditioner (which does have cleaning agents as well!)

Don't dry with heat. Heat can damage your hair, so avoid styling it with heat products. If you can, avoid drying it with heat products as well, and opt for a good towel dry + air dry instead. I like showering at night before bed, so I'll typically towel dry and then write some emails while I wait for my hair to dry enough for a comfortable sleep.

Use a leave in conditioner. In addition to conditioning in the shower, every morning I spritz a leave-in conditioner spray on my hair and brush it through. I prefer a spray version as opposed to a mousse because mousses are much too heavy for my hair, and I typically avoid styling it anyway. I'm currently using Aveeno Nourish + Condition Leave In Treatment. I apply this to the entire length of my hair, then brush it through.

Spritz a little hair oil for added shine and moisture. The wind can be totally brutal, so in the fall and winter it's important to really raise your moisture game. I really loved Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum back with I was using it, but right now that kind of luxury is out of my price range. Now I use Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Sheen, which is also fantastic, but not as heavy-duty. The Monoi Oil is developed to repair really damaged hair, whereas the Black Vanilla line is more about everyday health. Since the oil is a bit heavier than the leave-in conditioner, I avoid applying this near my roots since my scalp already naturally produces oils to keep my hair healthy. Instead I focus more on the shaft of the hair and the ends which are most susceptible to breaking or splitting.

Use a hair mask once a week to replenish nutrients. Hair masks are like heavy duty conditioners that you let set in over 10+ minutes. I'm currently using Hair Food's Apricot Honey Hair Mask which you can get at Target! Once a week I apply it to my hair towards the root and comb through, then I let it set while I continue my shower. Then I rinse with cool water (for shine). I likely won't be using this as often in the warmer months, but in the cold, dry months, I love it!

Do you have any tricks for keeping your hair healthy and stylish in the cold months?

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