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The guide to winter hair care: The Elements and Your Hair

As the seasons change and winter sets in, it's essential to understand how the elements can affect the health and appearance of your hair. From freezing temperatures to dry indoor air, winter brings a host of challenges that can leave your strands feeling dry, brittle, and lacklustre. But before we get carried away, do you know what these elements we speak of are? In this article, we'll define ‘the elements’, we’ll explore their impact on your hair during the winter months, and give tips for keeping your locks healthy and hydrated. Sounds good? Let’s get into it.  


What are “the elements”? 


When you hear the term ‘elements’ tossed around, it is literally referring to the natural elements or forces that surround us. Forces like air, water, earth, and fire, these are the elements. Each element plays a unique role in shaping our environment and can have a profound impact on the condition of our hair. 


So let’s unpack each element. 



During the winter, the air becomes colder and drier, leading to decreased humidity levels both indoors and outdoors. This lack of moisture in the air can cause your hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage. Additionally, exposure to cold, windy conditions can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dehydrated. 


But the outside air is not the only problem. In Winter, everyone is trying to snuggle up in front of a heater. The problem is, heaters strip the air of its moisture, further exacerbating moisture loss and leaving your hair feeling dry and brittle. 



While water is essential for hydrating your body and hair, excessive exposure to water during the winter can have negative effects on your strands. Cold water can cause the cuticles of your hair to contract, making them a lot more susceptible to damage and breakage. 



The earth element represents the ground beneath our feet and the natural environment around us. During the winter, the earth becomes colder and less fertile, which can impact the health of your hair. Cold temperatures can slow down blood circulation to the scalp, resulting in reduced hair growth and potential hair loss. Additionally, exposure to harsh environmental pollutants, such as road salt and pollutants from car exhaust, can damage your hair and scalp, leading to irritation and dryness. 



While fire may not seem directly related to winter, heaters and heat styling tools can have a significant impact on your hair during the colder months. Excessive heat from heating systems and styling tools can strip your hair of its natural oils, leading to dryness, breakage, and split ends.  


You cannot use heat styling tools in Winter like you would in Summer because your hair is just not in the season for it. A lot of heat in Winter = A lot less moisture and elasticity in your hair.  


Now let’s talk about tips to care for your hair in Winter and safeguard against the elements.  



  1. To combat the effects of Air & Earth - Hydrate. Drink plenty of water and use hydrating hair care products to keep your hair moisturised and nourished.  


  1. To combat the effects of Air, Fire & Earth - Protect. Wear hats, scarves, or hoodies when going outdoors to shield your hair from the cold wind and harsh weather conditions. 


  1. To combat the effects of Air & Water - Moisturise. Use deep conditioning treatments and leave-in conditioners regularly to replenish moisture and prevent dryness and breakage. 

  1. To combat the effects of Fire - Limit Heat Styling. Minimise the use of heat styling tools and opt for heat-free styling methods to prevent further damage and moisture loss. 


And lastly, to combat the effects of Winter - Nourish! Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients to support healthy hair growth and maintenance. 


Now that you understand the impact of the elements on your hair, you can take proactive steps to protect and nourish your crown to keep it looking and feeling healthy all winter long. 


Love MPL, your hair doctor. 



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