When you’ve got super-fine strands that are also Shirley Temple-curly, but so fine that the curls instantly frizz, and you’ve experienced so many hormonal fluctuations from pregnancy and childbirth that you’ve probably lost a good 1/3 of a mane that wasn’t so thick and lustrous to begin with, the reality is that every day is a bad hair day.
Unless you make it your mission to start caring for said hair as lovingly as you would your fourth child. Nourishing it. Playing with it. Gently swaddling it in the most precious of fabrics.
Welcome to my relationship with my hair all year round. But since the winter months can be harsh even if you’re not follicularly-challenged, perhaps you, too, should consider giving your hair a little hygge (the word literally means HUG) and cultivating a cozier, more intimate relationship. This is how I do it.
Play it cool(er)
Deep, relaxing soaks in the tub and long, hot showers may be good for your soul but they’re bad—very bad!—for your hair. Keep that water lukewarm, and don’t dawdle in there to avoid further dehydrating your hair and scalp.
Give it some time to relax
Washing, rinsing, toweling, combing, brushing, styling—it’s a lot of stress for those already compromised winter strands. Instead of doing it all on the daily, aim to go through the whole wash/dry/tug-with-a-brush/heat-style process only 2-3 times a week if possible. This is no easy task if your hair is fine (I can relate to second-day limpness and third-day grossness). That’s where this next part comes in.
Teach it new tricks
In the same way my kids needed my encouragement, guidance, and patience when they were learning to crawl, walk, and ride a bike, you and your hair need some QT together to unlock (hahaha) its full potential. Sit in front of the mirror and re-binge your favorite episodes of Arrested Development (or watch YouTube hair how-to videos) while you experiment with different ways to extend your style or blowout. My favorites are the bun donut, good for your hair ties, or a new kind of heat styler.
Keep it hydrated
Hair is more dehydrated in winter, so you definitely need to switch to a more hydrating shampoo, right? And slather on the creamy conditioner? That depends.
If you have dry hair but an oily scalp, would you still want a hydrating shampoo? If your hair goes limp when over-conditioned, would you be better off with a dry conditioner spray? These are important questions and you need custom answers. Head to an expert. Your stylist should be able advise as to which products will work best for you, from regular shampoos to once-weekly hair masks (another winter must).
Buy it nice things
You and your hair deserve to bond over a good shopping spree. Start by purchasing the right winter-friendly tools like a static-free or metal comb for smoother, less electrically-charged strands, plus an ionic hair dryer to reduce harsh drying time. To take a welcome break from heat styling altogether, invest in a silk pillowcase, said to be great for hair prone to breakage and to promote shine.
This one is less a beauty how-to but possibly the most important tip of all. Give yourself the time and space to be inspired. Spend a comfy Sunday afternoon combing (I didn’t mean it that time, I swear) through coffee-table books like Hair: Fashion and Fantasy or Country Music Hair. Laugh or cry through a hair-centric movie like Steel Magnolias or Edward Scissorhands. Make a playlist of your favorite ’80s hair bands and whip, thrash, repeat.