It’s almost getting to be that time of year again — winter. With it comes snow, holidays spent with family and oh: dry and unruly hair. In an effort to make bad hair days a thing of winter’s past, we dug around to find out just why our hair behaves badly and what we can do to make it happy and healthy.
Why is my Hair Dry and Uncooperative?
For starters, “Most of the time hair isn’t dehydrated–just over-washed,” says Dana Haines, master stylist at Designers Den, who has been a hairstylist for seventeen years. “You can rinse and condition without washing. Shampoo is a cleanser, so think of it that way; it dries things out. You don’t have to clean your hair every day, but always moisturize.”
Before you pick up the shampoo bottle in the morning, ask yourself if you’ve shampooed within the past twenty-four hours. If you have and you haven’t sweat a ton (i.e. your hair isn’t actually dirty), chances are you don’t need to shampoo.
Hair dryness is also influenced largely by the type of hair you have. Curly hair needs much more moisture than straight hair, especially if it’s thick. Infusing additional moisture into the hair with a weekly masque can help make especially dry hair more shiny and manageable.
“I like to put about two tablespoons of olive oil in my hair once a week to give it shine and an extra moisture boost,” says Carli Anselmi, a sophomore with naturally curly, thick hair. Natural oils are great to use as masques when used sparingly, because they infuse the hair with natural fats that give it moisture.
“Mayo is a great masque. It’s probably the best home remedy you can use, but I would only use it sparingly because it is a bit extreme,” Haines says, “But it’s great because you’ve got proteins from the eggs and mayo has a lot of oil in it naturally which really gives the hair a lot of moisture.”
What About Weighed Down Hair?
Hair can be oily or weighed down by too much product residue. If you’re a frequent user of hairspray, hair wax or other hair products, your hair could be storing excess product residue. Applying a paste of baking soda and water to hair will help remove excess hair products and clarify the hair, according to Haines.
How Can I Make my Hair Look Its Best?
It’s crucial to apply a finishing product to protect against elements out of your control (like moisture in the air) in order to maintain a hairstyle. Hair oils are very popular, but it’s important to note that while they act as a decent repellent for outside moisture, they are not a miracle product.
Oils will not provide very much moisture or hold. Silicone-based hair products are the best for repelling outside moisture, according to Haines, and adding a silicone-based finishing product such as a wax, pomade or spray can seal in hair’s moisture and repel against outside moisture, making your hair smoother for longer.
Photo by Tyler Hankins