Living in the desert means being accustomed to extreme temperatures, and that doesn’t mean just in the summer. Las Vegas gets pretty chilly during winter, and just as the heat can damage your hair, dry, cold weather can wreak havoc, too. It’s cooling down in Vegas, and an itchy scalp, dry ends and weak or brittle hair can be a sign that your mane needs some extra TLC. Keep reading to find out how to give your hair the love and attention it needs, especially during the chilly season.
“Wintertime is harsher on our hair than summertime,” explains Danielle Green, owner of Radically Curly salon. “We spend more time indoors or in our cars with the heater on, which dries out our hair even more in the dry climate. A good remedy for winter hair care is to create a weekly regimen, which includes deep-conditioning or overnight hair masks to offset the dryness.”
Another winter woe? Dandruff and an itchy scalp. “We see many more cases of flaky, itchy scalps in winter than any other season,” hair specialist Anabel Kingsley told digital magazine Bustle in 2019. “A flaky scalp can cause extra hair fall, so it is important to address any scalp irritation ASAP.”
Ingredients that can soothe a dry scalp include zinc pyrithione (the magic ingredient in Head & Shoulders), salicylic acid, piroctone olamine, climbazole, coal tar, tea tree, myrtle, neem, apple cider vinegar and dandelion, some of which can be found in products like Davines’ Naturaltech purifying shampoo, Oribe’s Serene Scalp anti-dandruff shampoo and Sachajuan’s Scalp shampoo and conditioner.
Another way to treat dandruff is to use an exfoliating scalp treatment or a dandruff-targeted mask, like the Kristen Ess scalp detoxifying bubble mask or Klorane’s Scalp SOS Serum with peony.
Healthy, moisturized hair starts at the scalp, so if you’re noticing irritation, consider ditching products with heavy fragrance, parabens and sulfates. If your scalp isn’t responding to targeted products, it might be time to pay a visit to the dermatologist to determine if there’s a larger issue at hand, like psoriasis or eczema.
Static is another nasty issue during the winter, and while an anti-frizz serum can help, you might be better off investing in a humidifier for your bedroom, which adds moisture into the air (and, inevitably, your hair) while you sleep.
If you prefer to go the homeopathic route, an apple cider vinegar rinse can help with hair buildup, while a DIY mask of egg, mayonnaise and olive oil can help to lock in shine when hair is looking particularly dull.
Prefer to spend the extra dollar on a name brand? Olaplex’s Holiday Hair Fix kit is a cost-effective way to try a cult-favorite line of hair care products, and the IGK Offline 3-Minute Hydration Hair Mask is routinely recommended among beauty bloggers and hair enthusiasts alike.
Of course, one way to keep hair in tip-top shape during the winter months is to get it cut regularly, depending on your hair type. Green says, “Curly hair holds its shape very well when cut properly,” and that based on the desired length, curly styles can usually wait anywhere between two to six months for a return visit, whereas naturally straight hair might need a maintenance trim sooner.
Textured hair requires some special care
According to Danielle Green, owner of Radically Curly salon, cosmetology has been historically segregated, “causing a gap in education” that leads to a division in the beauty and hair industry, especially in regard to race and people with various hair textures. For that reason, Green created a Change.org petition to create an all-encompassing curriculum that would include curly and textured hair in all cosmetology schools.
For the past decade, Green has made it her life’s work to change the narrative about textured hair, and to “unite the industry, our schools, manufacturers and distributors to provide more textured and curly hair education with diversity, inclusion and representation.” We spoke to Green about how to maintain curly and textured style, no matter the time of year.
• Stay hydrated. Yes, it’s cooler out, but the desert is the desert. Your body and hair will thank you, even in the winter.
• Create a weekly hair care regimen. Deep-condition or use an overnight hair mask one to two times a week, or book a consultation with a stylist to start a regimen that’s right for your hair type and hair concerns.
• Keep heat styling to a minimum. If your hair is curly, consider having it professionally straightened rather than doing it at home.
• Prolong the length of your hairstyle. Cover straightened hair with a silk head wrap overnight to keep the style longer. If a retouch is needed, spot-treat sections on low heat and always use a heat protectant.
• Trim it! Have your hair trimmed, shaped or cut every two to six months for the healthiest results.
• Be picky about your oils. Coconut oil can weigh down hair. Instead, opt for almond, amla, argan or sunflower seed oils, which can be used as an overnight treatment. Just don’t forget to cleanse and condition the following morning. –Leslie Ventura
This story appeared in Las Vegas Weekly.