Static hair in winter seems to be a staple beauty problem. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. There’s no reason why you can’t show off bouncy, well-styled strands – even in cold weather. All you need is a keener understanding of why hair static happens and how to better control factors that cause it.
Frizzy hair sticking up in every direction can happen to all hair types, but it appears those with dry hair or damaged hair are more prone to it. There’s always a need to put a premium on healthy hair – but especially so during the winter months. You want to avoid static hair and to make sure your hair and scalp weathers the season the best it can.
Read on for a quick science lesson on static cling, how it might affect your tresses, and how you can keep on sporting gorgeous hair in winter.
What Causes Static Hair?
Static hair is simply physics at play. The surface of your hair already contains electrons, but it tends to receive more when it receives friction from other negatively-charged surfaces: your hat, scarf, towel, or brush.
This build-up of electrical charges causes your hair strands to repel each other, resulting in those pesky flyaway hairs. This is all too common in the colder months, when the lower humidity levels and a lack of moisture in the air make it all too easy for that electric charge to transfer. Simply put, the dryer the conditions (and the hair), the more likely you’ll experience staticky hair.1
And while there’s not much you can do about the dry climate and colder temperatures, there are some factors that contribute to static hair that you can control: like how much friction your hair receives from towel-drying, brushing, or wearing scarves or hats.2
Read on to learn more about how to fix static hair stat — and how to tweak your cold weather hair care to avoid one of the most common winter hair problems.
Fast Fixes For Static Hair
It’s an all too common scene – you whip off your fuzzy hat or cozy scarf only to be greeted by staticky hair. “Mad scientist” isn’t a good look on anyone, so you need a quick fix. The goal at this point is to try to even out or balance the negative charges in your hair in the hopes of taming it. Or, at the very least, you want to smooth hair out and weigh down any wayward strands.
Here are some DIY solutions you can try using common items you may already have in your purse or home.
- Swap out plastic combs for metal ones. If your comb has plastic teeth, don’t use it to try and smooth your hair – it might make winter static worse. A metal comb is a better bet. Metal can conduct electricity, so a metal comb can (hopefully) transfer some of the excess charge away from your hair.
- Run a dryer sheet through your locks. This laundry room staple is a go-to static hair solution. Aside from running one through your locks, you can also try rubbing anti-static sheets on your hairbrush or pillowcase (or anything else the surface of your hair comes into prolonged contact with).
- Tame flyaways with moisturizer. That travel tube of facial moisturizer or even hand cream works on more than just dry winter skin. Apply a small amount on your fingertips and tamp down errant hair strands. The moisturizing properties of these products help reduce static.3
Winter Hair Care To Avoid Staticky Hair
Since dry, damaged, and brittle hair is prime ground for static, focus on infusing hair with extra moisture during the winter season.
Also, try to avoid further damage brought about by heat and environmental damage.
- Switch to moisturizing shampoo. Look for moisturizing ingredients in your shampoo, or try a hydrating shampoo. While you’re at it, supplement with an intensely hydrating conditioner. Read the ingredients on your hair product labels carefully – look for oils and compounds with moisturizing properties, and ditch products with alcohols and sulfates that contribute to dryness.
- Limit heat styling. Blow dryers, curling wands, and flat irons all sap essential moisture from your hair shaft. While they might make hair more manageable and presentable, it’s best to limit heat styling to avoid potential damage and frizz. Try dry shampoo and braided hairstyles to help extend the life of your hair between styling sessions.
- Consider ionic hair dryers instead. If you must blow dry your locks, try the newer wave of ionic dryers. This type of hair dryer may help balance out the charges of water molecules in wet hair, potentially helping smooth hair out while avoiding static. But regardless of what type of styling tool you use, it’s always smart to spray on a heat protectant or apply a leave-in conditioner to serve as a barrier.
- Use natural fibers for your winter head gear. Swap out polyester and nylon hats and headbands for winter. Stick to natural wool, cotton, and even silk for covering your hair, as these don’t conduct static as much as synthetic materials.4,5
The Secret To Healthy Hair In Winter
Hydration is key, not only to help you avoid static hair, but to make sure your hair looks its best even when the weather is wonky. Follow the tips above to reduce static on dry hair, and increase moisture in your hair to potentially stop static before it happens. Say goodbye to flat and frizzy hat hair, and hello to healthier, smoother locks — even in the coldest of temps.