THE IN-TRAY

Frizz, tangles and static: your winter hair FAQs answered by a trichologist

As the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “The only constant in life is change.” And with a mop and beard as luscious as his, one could assume he was talking about his hair as the seasons changed.

Drier ends, amplified frizz, general dullness and static are just some of the inconvenient norms that affect our hair come wintertime – with a little consideration, however, they can be almost entirely avoided. To get a pro on the case, we reached out to Chelcey Salinger (an International Association of Trichologists-certified expert!) with our most-asked winter hair questions on how to keep your lengths full, healthy, smooth and shiny during the cooler months.

Why does my hair become ‘static-y’ in winter, and how can I stop it from happening?

“Hair is more static in winter because, normally, there is less moisture in the atmosphere and, therefore, less moisture in your hair,” Salinger explains. “Static is then commonly created by the action of your brush or comb gliding down the cuticle (outside) of the hair, which causes friction.”

Her tip to reduce it? Simple – just ensure you’re giving your hair a deep, hydrating condition after each wash.

Our favourite conditioners for winter include Oribe’s Signature Conditioner, Bumble and bumble Super Rich Conditioner and Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Ultra Rich Conditioner and the OLAPLEX No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner.

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My hair gets super knotted in winter – either from the wind or having my hair tucked into my jacket or scarf. Do you have any tips to reduce tangling?

“Conditioning your hair after shampooing is key because conditioners help to close the cuticle of the hair. A leave-in conditioner is an especially good addition for extra hydration and smoothing,” says Salinger.

“Under magnification, the cuticle can appear a little rough and scaly, and a conditioning product will help to smooth the ‘scales’ of the cuticle, making it less likely to tangle on itself,” she adds.

Our current go-to leave-in conditioners are Briogeo’s Farewell Frizz™ Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner, Gisou’s Honey Infused Leave-In Conditioner, the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Oil in Cream and the Living Proof No Frizz Vanishing Oil.

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Is seasonal fallout a thing? I’ve been noticing more hair in the shower and on my brush than usual...

“Seasonal hair loss is not a recognised condition,” notes the trichologist, “but it could be explained by someone having low vitamin D levels in winter. Vitamin D is essential to hair growth and the main way we get vitamin D is through sunlight exposure. If vitamin D levels become too low in the body, you may experience hair shedding.”

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I find it much harder to get my hair looking shiny in winter. Why does it go dull, and what can help to bring back the shine?

“Conditioning the hair should always bring back the shine! Hair goes dull because the cuticle is dry or damaged which, in turn, affects the reflection of light from the cuticle. Closing and smoothing the cuticle will improve reflection of light so the hair is shinier,” advises Salinger.

If your hair is looking a little dull and unpolished, a deep conditioning mask is your best friend. Our winter favourites include the Living Proof Perfect hair Day™ Weightless Mask, Briogeo’s Don’t Despair, Repair!™ Deep Conditioning Hair Mask, the Sol De Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment and the Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset Extreme Repair Mask.

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