As temps begin to plummet and we (reluctantly) say goodbye to those gorgeous, warm-weather days, it’s time to start modifying your hair & skin care routines accordingly. Let’s be honest: it can feel like that cold, winter air is the enemy. 

The cold, howling wind can really do a number on your hair and skin – and undo all of that diligent pampering you did over the summer. But believe it or not, there are some easy ways to help offset the effects of winter weather on your skin and hair. 

Here are ten tips to help dodge dry, scratchy skin and keep your hair happy, healthy, and shiny all winter long.

Why Winter Wreaks Havoc on Your Hair & Skin

There are two factors that can affect your hair and skin in winter: temperature and moisture (i.e., ambient humidity). While you fight frizz in the summer, winter is a whole ‘nother beast. The battle for luscious, smooth locks can feel neverending. We just can’t seem to catch a break!

Indeed, there’s some science behind why the winter weather can do a number on your hair and skin. Unlike the warmer months, winter air is much dryer – and it has the opposite effect on your hair. It can dry it out and leave you with flat, lifeless hair. In fact, the effects can go all the way down to your roots and leave you with a dry, flaky scalp.

Colder temps require your body to work harder to keep you warm. As a result, it’s easier to get dehydrated. Oh, and you might find yourself craving comfort foods to replenish those lost calories. Junk food + dehydration can be the winning combo for lackluster winter skin. 

The good news is that you’re not doomed to deal with winter hair and skin. Instead, use these 10 easy tips for keeping that healthy, summer glow all winter long.

10 Tips for Nourishing Winter Hair & Skin

  1. Don’t Skip on the SPF

Think you can leave the SPF behind once winter hits? Think again. Wearing SPF is just as important throughout the colder months. Even when the sun is behind those dreary, winter clouds, it can still damage your skin. 

If you live in an area that gets regular snowfall, SPF is a must. Snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s powerful rays. Sunburn on the ski slopes? Yep, it’s a thing. 

  1. Turn Down the Water Temp

Raise your hand if you’re one of those people who likes to turn the shower temp up until it’s just about cooking your skin. Hot showers in the winter can dry you out even more, so dermatologists generally recommend cooler water to help keep your skin looking flawless.

As the hot water covers your skin, it will strip away the healthy oils that keep your skin naturally moisturized. Opt for a lukewarm shower to help keep your skin and hair moisturized and healthy.

  1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Hydration is always essential for healthy hair and skin. In the winter months, it’s even more critical. You should aim for at least 64 ounces of water per day – at a minimum. Note that this number can change based on your activity level or if you’re spending extended periods of time outside in the cold weather.

  1. Layer Up

One easy way to protect your hair and skin is by layering up whenever you head outside. An insulated coat, hat, and gloves can protect you from harsh, dry air and the blinding winter sun.

  1. Nourish from the Inside Out

Though it can be tempting to turn to your favorite comfort foods, you can help battle the effects of winter on your hair and skin by nourishing them from the inside out. Diet is just as important as products when it comes to keeping your hair and skin feeling fresh.

Try incorporating more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty foods into your diet. These natural oils can help keep your skin (and scalp) hydrated all season long. Foods like nuts, seeds, and fatty fishes are just what the doctor ordered.

  1. Humidifiers Are Your Friend

Humidity may be the enemy in spring and summer, but in winter, you should make it your new BFF. Using a humidifier in your bedroom, office, or even living room can help combat the effects of dry, winter air while you’re indoors. It’ll help keep your skin hydrated and may even help you sleep better at night.

  1. Put Down the Styling Tools

When you’re struggling to keep your hair moisturized, the last thing it needs is more heat. When you can, opt for natural styles that reduce (or eliminate) heat styling. Or, keep it low maintenance with braids or overnight curling techniques (like rollers or a scarf)

But we realize that some days just call for a curling iron. You can help prevent styling damage by investing in a high-quality heat protectant. Problem solved!

  1. Switch Up Your Products

Fun fact: the products that you use for summer months might not cut it when it comes to combating dry winter air. Those lightweight, oil-absorbing products that you use in the summer months won’t give you the level of protection and moisturization you need in cold weather.

Swapping out your products seasonally is an easy way to combat cold winter air. Switch your lightweight moisturizer for something with a little more oomph. Bonus points if it’s got SPF in it, too. Same goes for your hair. During the winter, you might need to increase the frequency of your bi-weekly moisturizing mask.

  1. Don’t Linger in Damp or Sweaty Clothes

Trapping moisture against your skin is the quickest way to irritate your skin. It’s true; not all moisture is good moisture. If you get caught in a cold drizzle or you’re just coming from the gym, you should change into dry clothes as soon as possible. This can help prevent any skin or scalp irritations from damp clothing.

  1. Modify Your Cleansing Schedule

Your winter wash habits will probably look a little bit different than your summer routine. That’s normal – and it helps keep your hair and skin happy.

You might discover that your summer cleansers and shampoos are drying out your skin and hair. Try switching to oil or cream-based cleansers for your face. You might also reduce the frequency that you exfoliate. Adding in extra rich moisturizers at night will help reset your skin while you sleep.

Experiment with how long you can go between hair washes. There may be a chance that you can go an extra day before needing to shampoo again. When you do, make sure to add in extra conditioning if you feel like your hair needs it.

Conclusion: Fight Off Winter Hair & Skin Issues with Help from the Experts

Though it can be more of a challenge to keep your hair & skin happy throughout winter, it’s not impossible. There are easy ways to combat the dry air and winter sun by modifying your skin and hair care routines. A few simple changes can make all the difference when it comes to keeping your hair and skin looking fresh and radiant, no matter the time of year.

Need a little bit of a moisture boost? Reserve your consultation with one of our Tribe experts and give your hair and skin the TLC they deserve.

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