Experts warn that this winter could bring unexpected damage: hair loss.
Dermatologists explain that cold, dry air saps the scalp’s moisture and natural oils, causing hair to break in unusually high amounts.
Additionally, freezing temperatures damage cuticles, the protective sheath that surrounds each strand of hair.
“Dry hair and dry scalp together can cause breakage, thinning and hair loss,” said Abbas Kanani of Online Pharmacy Chemist Click. Sun.
“The scalp can become more prone to dehydration in cold weather and dry indoor heat.”
Freezing temperatures damage individual hair strands, making them stiff and more likely to break.
What’s more, low levels of vitamin D, which is absorbed from the sun through the skin and is necessary for hair growth, can aggravate the problem.
Kanani said: “The body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on the skin when we are outdoors, but between October and early March we do not produce enough vitamin D from sunlight.
‘It is rarer, but deficiency hair loss is possible.
“Deficiencies in vitamins A, B, C, D and E, as well as iron and zinc, have been associated with hair loss.”
But there are a number of preventive measures you can take to keep shedding to a minimum.
A golden rule is to never leave the house with wet hair during the winter: it is a recipe for hair loss.
First, never brave the elements with wet hair.
When temperatures drop below freezing, the water molecules in your hair freeze and expand, making breakage more likely. And to begin with, wet hair is more fragile than dry hair.
Stylists recommend leave-in products to hydrate the scalp during the colder months because they protect hair from roots to ends.
Hair experts also recommend not over-washing: Damaged hair should be washed about twice a week.
If it is more frequent, the hair loses its moisture and natural oils.
And when you wash your hair, try not to use too hot water.
High temperatures can dry out the scalp even more.
Said Dr. Jaishree Sharad, a cosmetic dermatologist in India. Fashion: ‘The ideal temperature for a shower is lukewarm, not hot. The recommended temperature range for a shower is between 37°C and 40°C (98°F to 104°F). The length of a shower should typically be between 5 and 15 minutes, as longer showers can strip moisture from your skin, leaving it dehydrated and dull.
Stylists also recommend that people avoid heat styling or use tools with low temperature settings.
Anabel Kingsley, hair and scalp specialist and president of hair products brand Philip Kingsley, told DailyMail.com: ‘It’s not just about the heat of the appliance, it’s about how far you hold the hair dryer, how long you hold the dryer anywhere.
“If you hold the dryer on one area of your hair for a full minute, it will be really damaging.”
And think twice before donning a warm wool hat before braving the elements this winter.
A 2001 report published in the International Journal of Dermatology suggested that wearing tight-fitting hats could accelerate hair loss. Silk scarves and wool blends are gentler on hair and reduce friction and breakage.