Wintertime brings us great food, family we haven’t seen in a while, and unfortunately for quite a few of us—static-y, frizzy, dry hair. And guess what? Winter air does not discriminate. Curly, wavy, or straight—who hasn’t had their tresses start off perfectly okay in the morning, only to frizz up by day’s end?
What causes frizzy hair in winter?
Frizz is caused by our hair’s natural tendency to trade moisture with the air around it. When the hair’s moisture balance is off, you’ll experience frizziness. Extreme weather conditions always kick the hair’s moisture trade into high gear. In winter, too much moisture is pulled away from the hair, resulting in dry, brittle strands that are prone to puffing up.
And that’s not all. We are frequently changing environments in the cooler months—moving from dry, bitter, cold outdoor air to moisture-less, indoor heated air and back again before the day is out. Each environment works against our hair’s internal moisture balance by drawing more precious moisture away. Our winter garments also make the frizz situation worse—cotton scarves and knit caps keep us warm, but create friction with the hair that leads to even more fuzz.
How do you beat frizz?
The secret to eliminating frizz is to simply control your hair’s moisture balance as much as possible.
To restore your hair’s moisture balance, fifteen minutes of heated conditioning every seven to 10 days is recommended.
Step 2: Slowing the moisture trade
To prevent frizz, you’ll need to slow the moisture trade between your hair and the air around you. Sealing your hair with a light oil, butter, or silicone-based serum will keep your natural moisture in and stop the air around you from either taking your moisture (in dry, winter conditions) or giving you more moisture than you need (in humid conditions). Pretty simple!
Ultimately, the amount of frizz you’ll have to deal with depends on your hair type, your lifestyle, and where you live. It’s also good to remember that for some of us, a little frizz is just a part of life. Keeping your hair hydrated and sealing in that moisture with an adequate moisture-barrier will help keep the frizzies under control this winter.
Audrey Sivasothy is a Houston-based freelance writer, health scientist and industry authority on hair care. She is the author of Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repair and Reconditioning Manual and international bestseller, The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care. Her expertise has been adopted for cosmetology training courses and her books continue to maintain bestseller status across the globe.