Dry Climate Hurting Your Hair? Here Are Some Solutions
I love Colorado and have lived here for years. From skiing and hiking to the majestic scenery and breathtaking mountains, there’s a lot to love about the Centennial State. One of the things I don’t love, however, is the dry air. In fact, in my years working as a stylist in The Mile-High City, I’ve heard countless women complain about how the dry Colorado climate has negatively affected their hair.
You see, people tend to assume that those snow-capped peaks in the distance mean there’s plenty of moisture in the air to keep their hair healthy. However, Colorado is actually classified as a semi-arid climate, and most of the state receives less than 20 inches of rain per year! And, as all women with long hair know, dry climates mean dry hair, more frizz, and more difficult styling.
In the interest of promoting healthy hair in both my home-state and other dry areas of the world, I want to outline some tips that can help you protect and nurture your hair. This will help it look its best whether you live in down the street from my salon, in Arizona, or in Algeria. After that, I’ll take the time to highlight some of my favorite products when it comes to treating dry hair or maintaining healthy hair in a dry climate.
Let’s get started!
Top Tips for Treating (and Protecting) Your Dry Hair
1. Protect Your Hair From the Heat
If you use flat irons, curlers, and hair dryers on a regular basis, try not to overdo it with the heat. In dry environments, you’re already leaving your hair at risk of becoming brittle and evaporating all of the moisture out will only make things worse. You might also consider trying out hairstyles that don’t require heat, especially when winter hits. Good examples include a simple ponytail or braid. If you absolutely must use heat, try adding a thermal protective product to your hair first.
2. Be Generous with the Conditioner
Conditioner helps re-moisten your hair after its been thoroughly cleaned with shampoo. This forms a barrier between you and the unforgiving elements outside. Use it well and use it often. You’ll also want to be sure to towel dry your hair to ensure that it soaks in the product properly. If the weather is particularly dry, consider using a masque as well.
3. Minimize the Chemicals
From coloring to straightening and more, we tend to process our hair a lot in order to get the look we want. However, in a dry climate, all of this chemical exposure can contribute to your hair’s dry, brittle appearance. To avoid over-processing, see a stylist who is well-trained in coloring and highlighting, and make sure you choose the right coloring product. You’ll also want to look at straightening treatments that don’t contain chemicals.
4. Check for Products That Contain Glycerin
Many moisturizing hair products contain glycerin, a unique chemical that can draw water out of thin air (literally) and use it to moisturize your hair. You find glycerin in many products that tout their ability to keep your hair healthy and moisturized. However, there’s some science to this process that the companies aren’t telling you. For instance, when used in dry climates where there is no moisture, the glycerin will work in reverse and pull moisture from your hair instead!
5. Deep Condition Your Hair
A deep conditioning treatment might be in order when both cold and dry work together, as they do during Colorado’s winters. Deep conditioners use special processes and special ingredients, which can help reinvigorate your hair with natural oils while eliminating those split ends and brittle strands. Keep in mind that all products are different, so be sure to find the one that fits your specific hair type and goals.
6. Switch to Filtered Water
Aside from its dry climate, Colorado can throw your hair a 1-2 Punch thanks to its relatively hard water. This means that the water coming from your faucet and shower-head contains various minerals that can stick to your hair and build up over time. Switching to filtered water can be a great solution. If you’re not sure if you live in an area with hard water, check out this map or consider buying a hard water test.
7. Consider Clarification
When you have build-up of any kind on your hair, be it calcium from hard water or residue from various hair products, you can remove it by using a clarifying shampoo. Products like these will help you see a huge difference when used just once or twice a month. It’s also worth noting that if you like to swim, you have the potential to suffer from chlorine build-up on your hair. Use a sulfate-based clarifying shampoo to remove it.
The Best Products to Combat the Colorado Climate
All stylists eventually start to favor certain brands and products. As we work with more and more women, we begin to notice trends in the results we get, which leads to us trusting one type of product over another. Think of this section as your field guide to the best products to combat dry hair at every turn, from shampoos to conditioners to reconstructive treatments and more.
When it comes to hydrating shampoos, it’s hard to beat Moroccan Oil. Thanks to the inclusion of Argan Oil, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and other premium ingredients, you can now fight that dry air with a daily dose of nutrients.
Moroccan Oil’s counterpart for their one-of-a-kind hydrating shampoo is this high-quality conditioner. Designed to leave hair smoother and more manageable, this color-safe, sulfate-free, and paraben-free product uses the same oils and vitamins as its sister to keep your hair safe from frizz.
When it comes to reconstructive hair treatments, this amazing product from Olaplex is a must-have. In order to use this product properly, you just have to dampen your hair and apply from roots to ends. Leave it for a minimum of 10 minutes than rinse it out, shampoo and condition. It will strengthen and repair your hair bit by bit, making it look and feel much better.
This is probably my favorite leave-in conditioner, and I highly recommend it for those cold Colorado days. It contains steam-distilled water, a Japanese fatty-acid that helps retain color, and a variety of unique nutrients that can help reverse the stress that cold weather and chemicals have caused. Use it daily for the best results.
Another great leave-in conditioner from 12 Benefits, this one also helps protect against heat damage, which makes it perfect for post-shower styling. In addition it also accelerates blow dries and reduces hair stress from brushing and combing. If you want softer, more manageable hair in any climate, I highly recommend this one.
We’ve already mentioned how beneficial argan oil can be for your hair. Well, this unique oil blend takes that to the next level. It’s exclusive, highly-concentrated formula is perfect for color-treated hair, and works as a natural detangler, shine enhancer, and nourishing agent.
Though it might seem counterintuitive, dry shampoo is something that we all need to consider once in a while, even in a “dry” climate. Gold Lust from Oribe is one of my absolute favorites. Not only does it provide an instant clean, but it also helps absorb product build-up and restores your hair’s strength and softness.
As you can see, there are a number of techniques and products that you can utilize to keep your hair looking, feeling, and acting its best in dry climates. While some combination of these are sure to make a difference, keep in mind that nothing can compare to a one-on-one consultation with a skilled stylist. After all, there’s nothing like professional advice from someone that knows your hair.
Thanks for reading! Here’s to looking great every day (no matter the climate)!