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Winterizing Your Hair Care

Experts say harsh winter weather and a change in temperatures can be hair's No. 1 enemy. Here's why -- and what to do.


"You should always apply product beginning 2 inches away from the scalp and pull it through the hair to the ends," he says.

If your hair is very fine, thin, and flyaway, Harris says avoid the conditioning pack -- it's just too heavy even for severely damaged hair. Instead, he says, use a regular conditioner every time you wash your hair, supplemented with a light conditioning leave-in spray.

"But it has to be very light or it will weigh down fine hair and make it flat and limp," says Harris.

Chavez suggests the new "dry oil" sprays. These mostly-silicone based products go on dry so they don't weight hair down, but still offer a layer of protection against the elements.

Both Harris and Chavez also suggest supplementing your store-bought products with all-natural treatments of vegetable oil. Harris' choice is safflower while Chavez prefers olive oil.

In either case, they say simply put a few drops of the oil in the palm of your hand, rub until skin "glistens," then starting at the bottom and working upwards, run your fingers through your hair.

"You can do this after you dry your hair, or between washings -- when you come in from the cold or anytime your hair looks very dry -- it really works," says Harris.

Another tip: Chavez says every time you put on hand cream, touch the ends of your hair and scrunch to help deposit a bit more moisture where it's needed most.

Static Cling and Other Hair Styling Snafus

As anyone who's ever tried to pull socks out of a clothes dryer can tell you, static electricity can be a powerful force. But sticky socks are the least of your problems when compared with what static can do to your hair.

The remedy is the same one you use on your laundry: a fabric softening dryer sheet like Bounce!

"Just rub it lightly on your hair and it will remove the static," says Chavez.

Slightly more conventional is using a natural boar bristle hairbrush with a wooden handle, which Harris says can also reduce static.

When it comes to styling winter hair, a few quick product switches may be all you need to combat most problems. For Harris, it starts with substituting a hair cream for your usual styling gel.

"Styling creams now trump the gel market because they add moisture to the hair, make it more pliable, and give it better elasticity so it's less likely to break -- all extremely important in winter," he says.

In fact, when choosing any winter hair styling products including holding sprays, Harris says avoid high alcohol content, which can be drying to hair. Likewise he says avoid putting fragrance directly on your hair since its alcohol content can also cause your tresses to look and feel dry and brittle.

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