When the Leaves Change, So Should Your Hair Care Routine
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on October 16, 2018 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Hair Care Tips
Summer is officially over. Gone are the days of lounging in shorts and bathing suits, reading a book by the pool and taking sunny vacations. Colder weather, cozy sweaters and the holidays are upon us. A lot of changes need to happen during fall. You’ll probably switch out your wardrobe, send kids back to school and turn on your furnace. But have you considered that your beauty routine requires some changes, too?
Fall weather tends to be much drier, colder and potentially damaging to your hair. Plus, long summer days spent in the pool or in the sea may have had lasting effects on your hair and scalp that should be addressed with the changing of the leaves. Don’t let your hair suffer by using the same sort of products and routines you did in summer. Change things up for your fall hair care routine.
The effects of cold weather on hair
One of the biggest problems hair faces during fall is the lack of moisture. Summer was full of humidity, but cooler fall temps are much drier, meaning your hair will be drier as a result. Dry hair can become impossible to manage, getting more brittle, dull and lifeless. Additionally, cold air can make the cuticle of your hair lift up, allowing existing moisture to seep out and causing frustrating frizz.
Winds also tend to pick up during fall and winter, blowing through towns more easily because of the lack of foliage. Thus, wind can cause your locks to get tangled more easily. This is particularly stressful for people with curly hair, because attempting to brush through tangles can lead to even more breakage, split ends and pain.
Keeping your locks healthy during fall
Because the transition from summer to fall weather can be a little drastic, you should be prepared to make changes to your hair care routine to help your hair adjust.
- Load up on conditioner: Dry air means dry hair. However, this is nothing a little extra conditioner can’t fix! You may have held off on conditioner to avoid greasiness in summer but applying conditioner during your showers in fall can help lock in moisture to prevent brittle, breakable hair.
- Use a weekly hair mask: Using more conditioner is a good way to lock in temporary moisture, but really dry hair might need some extra help. Applying a thick hair mask can re-invigorate your hair and leave it feeling silky smooth. This is great for right after summer ends, to help restore moisture and reverse damage from the sun, and during the cold fall and winter months when air is the driest.
- Use a heat protector: Nobody wants to go outside with a full head of wet hair when the weather gets chilly, so hair dryers are likely to be in full-force. Unfortunately, this also means that your locks will be subjected to much more heat damage that they were during summer. Purchase a heat protectant cream or spray and use it every time you blow dry your hair or use a heat styling tool to prevent drying out your hair and causing breakage.
- Switch up your style: In summer, ponytails and messy buns were the look of choice, since they kept your hair off your face when it was hot. Not only do these styles not work well in fall, when hats become a necessity, but wearing the same style over and over can actually put stress on your hair and scalp. Traction alopecia, a type of hair loss caused by excessive pulling of the hair, might occur if you’re constantly pulling your hair back. Additionally, hair ties repeatedly placed in the same spot can cause breakage. Instead, try out some new braiding techniques or let your hair flow down.
- Add a supplement: You may already be adding some vitamins and supplements to your fall health routine to stave off colds and maintain levels of vitamin D. You might want to consider adding another supplement to the mix. Biotin is a key component of your overall wellbeing and can also help strengthen your hair, giving it an extra layer of protection during the colder seasons.
Your summer to fall hair care routine doesn’t have to change dramatically for you to see dramatic results. Simply adding a few extra hair masks per month, paying attention to your hair style and taking a vitamin every day can leave you with healthier hair that stands strong against the harsh cold weather of fall.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan