Now that it is nearly winter, long hair care will change for some. As always, you must be gentle to keep it from harm. For some, this will require a little extra care. It also requires a little extra attention to the elements of the weather that can harm your hair. The two worst things that can come out of winter are the brutal cold and the blowing wind. The wind blowing through your hair may feel good, but strong winds can whip and tangle your hair. With cold comes dryness that will rob your hair of its much-needed moisture.
A strong wind will wreak havoc with long hair much more quickly than with short hair. And of course, the longer the hair, the easier it is to tangle or wrap around something. This adds extra stress to your hair, especially during the detangling process. Hair is more likely to be over-stretched while detangling than during any other aspect of normal hair care. (See TPP33, "Detangling Messy Hair")
The wind can also turn your hair into a whip. Using your hair as a whip may be good for keeping your man in line (ha ha), but whipping of the hair can cause split ends. Excellent methods of protection are braids, updos, and covering the hair with scarves or hoods, or even your coat.
Have you ever
heard of windburn? It can cause burns to your skin in much the same
way as the sun. The wind in any weather, but especially when it's
cold, can remove the moisture from your skin. Wind can also remove
moisture from your hair. The best way to avoid the harmful effects
of winter wind is to braid your hair and leave it under your coat whenever
it's windy. If you do not have time to braid your hair, tie the ends
with fabric-wrapped hair bands and make sure to leave it
under your coat.
Last, but not
least, wind can cause your hair to be caught or trapped. A strong gust
of wind can blow the full length of your hair in any direction around you
-- above you, to the side, in front of, or behind you. As many women
know, long hair can and will get caught on many things. A gust of
wind could blow your hair into a closing door. The force of the door
closing on your hair can cause permanent damage to the hair structure of
any strands of hair caught by the closing door. This is not a common
occurrence, but it is something to keep in mind. Once again, the
best way to prevent this is to braid your hair or tie down
the ends of your hair, and leave them under your coat. If your hair is longer than your coat, double-loop the braid up so that it is completely covered. Some women use their hair as a scarf in the winter, but that can pose some extra hazards.
Once the cold
of winter sets in, we switch from cooling with the air conditioner to heating
with the furnace. Although the furnace is a blessing, it can also
be harmful to your hair and skin. Some furnaces make the air very
dry. Once again, dryness that affects your skin can affect your hair,
removing your hair's vital moisture. Combined with the dehydration
from the brittle cold and the blowing wind, this additional moisture loss
can really damage your hair. To combat this
hair-drying wintertime threat, you may want to condition more often, or give your hair an oil treatment. Periodically check your hair for dryness.
of putting moisture back into your hair is to rehydrate the air in your
home. Purchasing a humidifier is the easiest solution. Humidifiers
come in many different sizes and prices. A similar way of defeating
household dryness is to set a pot of water on your stove and turn the burner
to the lowest possible setting to let the water steam into the air.
Consider adding some potpourri to the water. If you are in a dry
place where there is no stove, set an open pan of water by the
heater or heater vents. This will work, too, although not as effectively as a humidifier.
You may think that you are not outdoors enough during the winter for it to have an effect on you, but it does not take much to do some harm. So please take a few extra moments to braid your hair during windy times. Check you hair for dryness, and act quickly to minimize the harmful effects of "Old Man" Winter.
edited by Dave