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Why Hair Care Should Change with the Seasons

January 11, 2022

6 Min read

Just as you swap wardrobes as a new season arrives, you should also evolve your hair care. Think about it. You wouldn’t wear flip flops in a snowstorm because they don’t offer the protection you need. For the same reason, using a too-light conditioner when the air is cold and drying won’t give your hair the care it requires. Here, how seasonal changes impact your strands, and what tweaks you can make to your regimen to help your hair adapt.

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Then, when you add sun to the mix (no matter the season), hair experiences a new set of problems, particularly due to UV exposure. These shifting environmental factors need to be top of mind as you navigate the seasons in the quest for cooperative, perfectly balanced hair.

To learn about seasonal hair care and the priorities that evolve with the calendar year, we spoke to Greg Cassese of Cutler Salon in NYC, where he is the Director of Education, Cutting Department. Here are some tips on keeping your hair balanced year round, despite primary environmental obstacles.

When it’s cold and dry

When the air is dry, it pulls moisture from any possible source—including your skin and hair. That’s why we get such chapped knuckles and parched hair in the colder months. 

Cassese helped us identify the best dry hair products to resuscitate and fortify dehydrated strands: This begins with a  sulfate-free shampoo followed by conditioner.. From there, you want to add a weekly deep-conditioning hair mask, heat-styling protectants, and possibly a leave-in conditioner or hair oil.

When we create  customized hair care products at Prose, we take into account the environmental factors of where you live (as well as what time of year it is). So, when it’s February and your home is in Minneapolis, we’d likely load up your formulas with extra-hydrating additives, such as hyaluronic acid, and a medley of oils like argan, sacha, and jojoba. A lack of moisture can also weaken hair because it makes strands more brittle and apt to snap. Thus, wintertime formulas at Prose may also include strand-strengthening ingredients like silk proteins, and a cocktail of collagen and lilac.

When it’s warm and humid

When it is humid, you can feel the moisture in the air, so it’s your hair strands’ turn to pull in the excess water, as opposed to the problem you experience in cold, dry months. (This is especially a problem if your hair is very porous, be it naturally so or due to chemical processing or frequent heat styling. As hair takes in the moisture from humid air, everything begins to expand, resulting in the headache we all know as frizz. Worse yet, damp air may also increase moisture on the scalp and create a breeding ground for bacteria. 

First things first, you should consider smaller intervals between shampoos. “Humidity and heat can put a lot of wear and tear on your hair,” Cassese says. “I usually recommend washing with shampoo every other day or two, since our hair can get more sweaty and oily than usual.”

As for combating  unwanted frizz, choose hair care products with ingredients that smooth and close the hair’s cuticle (its outermost, protective layer). Doing this will make it more difficult for your strands to take in extra water, which in turn prevents your hair from frizzing uncontrollably. 

Formulas that contain hair-repair ingredients also mitigate unwanted frizz because they reinforce weak spots along each strand) and minimize how much moisture can sneak in. Some of the most effective strand-strengtheners include collagen, lilac and hyaluronic acid, which work together to repair damaged and weakened hair, and keep out unwanted water. 

To minimize the inflammatory impact of bacteria on the scalp, be sure to use a shampoo formulated to deep-clean scalp skin.. Cassese advocates for pre-shampoo scalp treatments in this case, since they “reduce excessive oils and [help] remove flakes and bacteria build-up.” At Prose, this is what our own custom pre-wash scalp masks aim to do

When it’s extra sunny

Just as your skin needs defense against harmful UV rays (and year round, no less), your hair also requires defense against sun damage. Many of us perceive hair as a shield for our scalps, and while that’s true, you’ve got to also protect the strands themselves against direct UV hits. 

 First, wear a hat whenever possible, especially during the sun’s most direct hours of the day (between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.) . While it’s impractical to tell you not to go outdoors at the brightest part of the day, just note that this is also when you need to up your sun defense strategy. One way to do this is to use hair care products that counter the negative effects of the sun. 

Cassese recommends a couple approaches. “First, applying a lightweight leave-in conditioning spray when you know you’re going to be exposed to the sun. Oil can also be a good moisture keeper for the days you are in the sun for a long period of time. Most times when we’re in the sun, our hair isn’t styled so even if the oil weighs your hair down a little bit, it will act as a sunscreen for your delicate strands.” It’s an effective defense against the sun’s heat and UV damage, just as it is against a blow dryer’s intense heat. 

When we’re designing formulas for a client in a sunny climate, we’ll often infuse it with wheat and soy amino acids plus arginine to minimize the drying effects of heat; coconut and karanja oils to provide an extra protective (and hydrating) layer, and oat lipid and sunflower seed extract to shield your hair color and minimize oxidation and fading.

One behavior to track on sunny days is how much time your hair is exposed to salt water or chlorine water. “Chlorine and salt water can be really drying on the hair also,” Cassese notes. “Be sure to use conditioner often and a leave-in spray after. The more moisture the better!”

He ends with a pro tip: “Don’t tie your hair back when it’s wet, either. Let it dry completely before you put it up or else your ponytail holders will cause breakage.”

Wrap up

As the seasons change, so should your haircare. Prose makes it easy by updating your product formulas for you, so there’s no changes to be made on your end. Just order your Prose as usual and it will be tailored to help you combat the weather whether it’s dry, humid, sunny, and everything in between.

ONLY GOOD HAIR DAYS

What does your hair need to thrive? Take the consultation to find your formulas.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

Comments [14]

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  1. I would like to reorder, but if possible would like to make my formula even stronger against frizz. I would also like to add oil to my order, but I don’t seem to be able to do that. please let me know how to make these changes.

    1. It looks like YOU need to go through the process of RE-ordering. One of the steps include a questonaire aimed to help you tweak your formula. Hope this helps.

      1. Thanks so much for reaching out and for your interest in Prose, Katie! At the moment, Prose is only available in the United States. That being said, we hear you and we’ve noted your interest. We’re quickly expanding, so please stay tuned ❤️

    1. Hi Jane! I hope you’re loving your Prose so far! The only styling product we currently have is our custom hair oil, however, our R&D team is always working on new and exciting projects. Keep an eye out!

  2. I used my products for the first time today. My scAlp and hair feel DIFFERENT Good DIFFERENT ‼️ I feel lighter, cleAner and HEALTHIER. Thanks, i hope it CONTINUES,

    1. Hi Donna! That’s amazing! We’re so glad to hear that you’re already having happy hair days after just one use. What a great way to start off our week, thank you for sharing!

  3. I just used used my PRODUCTS fOr the fiRst tIme and my head hOnestly feels REFRESHED. Any tips on styling? One thing i Was not crazy about was the scent. I would chNge in the fUture to a different scent. HoPing this product is all that it promises to be.

  4. Hi first time using and love your products. I’m woundering about same fragrance hair spray? Also samples of new fragrances Im a senior and still keep trying. Thank you judith

    1. Great question, Shirley! While your fragrance doesn’t automatically change with the seasons, you can always change your preferred fragrance by heading into your consultation and making a different selection. If you have any questions, just let us know.

  5. I wish the team would care about itchy, flaky scalp as well while preparing the products. i ordered twice from prose and ended up with big chunks of dandruff all over my scalp! I am so disappointed. Really wanted to like prose.