Winter hair woes.
December 23, 2009 7:24 PM   Subscribe

I have long, fine, mostly straight (female) hair that becomes dry, limp and majorly staticky during East Coast winters. My normal hair routine involves moisturizing shampoo, conditioner at the tips, volumizing mousse when my hair is wet, and blow drying upside down with a bristly brush. Sometimes I use some light hairspray to keep it in place. Initially it looks and feels great. But by the end of the day, it is totally dead and full of static. I keep a dryer sheet in my bag to smooth out the static throughout the day but this isn't much of a long-term solution and it doesn't fix the limpness. Advise me please? Any product suggestions? Thanks in advance!
posted by blackcatcuriouser to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I live in SoCal, so my weather woes are a bit different, except the high humidity/static part.

I've been using Garnier Nutrisse moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. It has extra oils in it, and I haven't had much static frizzies this year.

There is also some sprays by companies such as Bed Head that help combat frizzies.

The limpness you have could be either the dryer sheet, or the shampoo is TOO moisturizing.

Also, I can't use anything with silicones like Dimethicone, it dries my hair out a LOT!
posted by Jinx of the 2nd Law at 7:38 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Can you eliminate the blow drying? My thin hair is much drier and frizzier on days when I blow dry.
posted by amyms at 7:49 PM on December 23, 2009

I have the same problem. I use Infusium 23 Leave In treatment and find that it really doesn't weigh my hair down. Just don't use too much. If you use the leave in you only need to use your regular conditioner once a week. The rinse out stuff actually weighs hair down worse than the leave in.

I'm probably not going to describe this correctly, but here goes: My stylist cuts my hair with a razor under the top layers. Having the short hairs under that top layer gives it volume. Talk to your stylist, maybe they know what I'm talking about. I know it sounds counterproductive to actually have less hair, but it does help.

Try to do without the blow dry. If you have to blow dry, try towel drying first then blow dry only until most of the moisture is gone. Leave your hair slightly damp and then use the Infusium. I've found that on days that I have to blow dry this method gives me the best results.
posted by TooFewShoes at 8:02 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

It seems like I've been talking about the "curly girl" routine a lot lately.

Google it (there's a lot of information) and stop washing your hair. You'll have better body, shine, manageability, and reduced frizz.
posted by cmoj at 8:04 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

When it comes to hair, I've unfortunately found that in the winter I can either have moisture or volume. If you want moisture, then cut out the blowdrying and don't wash your hair every day. Alternate shampooing+conditioning with just conditioning. And don't apply conditioner to just the tips. You don't need to go all the way up to your roots, but I apply it up to my ears.

If you need the volume that comes with blow drying, use more conditioner and try an anti-frizz serum. Just a little dab will do you.
posted by pintapicasso at 8:10 PM on December 23, 2009

I nth the not washing your hair, at least not every day. I live in New Mexico, so my straight hair has to deal with desert conditions. I've taken to washing my hair with shampoo every two or three days, and using a very heavy conditioner. Also, I never blow dry, since it's dry enough here that my hair will dry on its own within 30 minutes. If you NEED to blow dry, try just flipping your hair over and getting the bottom, as the top will dry faster on its own.
posted by lexicakes at 8:26 PM on December 23, 2009

Yep, don't wash with shampoo every day. I like in New England and have long, relatively thin, straight hair. Most of what I do has been said already, but if you have issues with not washing your hair everyday, try just washing the scalp...It helps me keep the hair around my face not-greasy while not drying out the rest. Blow drying tends to give me nice full hair for a couple hours but falls flat quick. Try just showering at night and air-drying--I sleep with my hair wrapped in a towel and fix any weirdness from sleeping on wet hair in the morning with spray. I have a feeling that exposure to winter weather isn't helpful either, but haven't found a really good solution to wind and cold damage yet that doesn't involve a hat.
posted by supernaturelle at 8:46 PM on December 23, 2009

I think we might have similar hair. Mine is very static-y and super baby fine. I have tried several variations of no-shampoo and it just doesn't work for me. My hair never reaches a point where it slows down oil production, and it leaves my hair nasty and limp.

The only thing that works for me is keeping my hair shoulder length or shorter, and conditioning ALL of my hair and rinsing out only about half of it (but I try not to let the conditioner touch my scalp). The shorter hair length creates more volume and allows me to condition all of my hair without leaving it limp; the all-over conditioner reduces most of the static.

For super temporary static control, I sometimes use lotion! Just apply a small amount to your hand, rub your palms together briefly, and gently rub your hands over the surface of your hair.
posted by peep at 9:52 PM on December 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have baby-fine hair and have had similar problems to the ones you describe over the years. Cutting my hair short (Louise Brooks-style bob or shorter) has solved most of them. Also, Infusium is great, but go very light on it.
posted by immlass at 9:59 PM on December 23, 2009

For super temporary static control, I sometimes use lotion! Just apply a small amount to your hand, rub your palms together briefly, and gently rub your hands over the surface of your hair.

I've done this too. Even super-cheap lotions (Suave, Vaseline) work wonders in a pinch.
posted by amyms at 10:08 PM on December 23, 2009

I have your same problem, and can't live without blow drying. I sparingly use sulfate-free shampoo and occasionally deep condition, but now that my hair is color treated too, there's really no wrangling it. Which is why just today I got it hacked down to shoulder length out of sheer frustration. (RIP Long and Beautiful, maybe we'll reunite in spring...) But for adding fluffyness and ridding fly-aways, 5 minutes with the deep conditioner from Redken's All Soft line has gotten along great with my hair in past. If you do experiment with products, be sure to stick with something for at least 2 weeks to try it, and give your hair time to recoup! And wow, I would have never thought to use dryer sheets!
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:13 AM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

When my hair feels limp, adding in a pinch of baking soda when shampooing perks it right up. Supposedly this helps old residue rinse away.
posted by bunji at 12:41 AM on December 24, 2009

Using a regular hairdryer dries out your hair as much as it dries it off; using an ionic hairdryer is much gentler on the natural moisture in your hair.
posted by DrGail at 6:35 AM on December 24, 2009

Best answer: I can't recommend Aveda's Pure Abundance Hair Potion enough.

I have fine hair that is prone to fly-away-y limpness and static; I started using this a few years ago and it changed everything. I went from having hair that was kind of sucky to hair that I actually quite like - although, my hair is not long, but just below chin length, so this product would be better for that, but might help you out. It can go on when your hair is wet or dry (I only use it when my hair is wet and then blow dry, but it lasts all day for me).
posted by urbanlenny at 7:21 AM on December 24, 2009 [2 favorites]

Hair spray is the answer to your static problems. It will eliminate the static-y cling (also works great on your static-y clothing).

For volume, you wanna blow dry your hair in the opposite direction to which it falls. Use a round brush and don't just flip it upside-down. Blow-drying upside-down just gives you a temporary frizz masquerading as volume.

Wash your hair every other day and use very little conditioner, as it will weigh your hair down and make it harder to get the volume you're looking for. Keep a comb in your shower and comb your conditioner all the way through your hair.
posted by word_virus at 8:03 AM on December 24, 2009

I just spray Static Guard on my hair, like hairspray and then style as normal.Stops the static fly-aways.
posted by bryghtrose at 12:14 PM on December 24, 2009

I've been using nioxin shampoo and conditioner with better than usual results, using redkin anti-snap, and then any sort of drug store shine/antri-frizz oil on roots to hold things together.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 9:46 PM on December 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

I use Giovanni leave-in conditioner in the winter. I live in NM also, and this seems to kill the static problem for me. It doesn't seem to weigh down my hair, since it isn't applied at the roots.
posted by annsunny at 3:11 PM on January 15, 2010

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