How Cold Weather Impacts Your Scalp

December 28, 2021 | Written by Denise Farnsworth

The winter season is one of the most challenging times for your scalp. The dry air combined with cold temperatures can wreak havoc on your hair follicles, causing itchy scalps and flaky skin that you’ll be itching to scratch. Luckily, you can do a few things to protect your scalp during this time so that you don’t have to worry about what will happen next.

How Does Winter Affect Your Scalp?

Before you can best take care of your scalp, you should first understand how winter and cold weather affect your scalp.

Dry, Flaking Skin

The most common symptom in winter is dry, flaking skin. In addition, your hair will become more brittle, and your scalp will begin to overcompensate for the lack of moisture in the air by producing more oil than usual.

This can lead to an excess buildup of oils on your scalp that is very itchy when combined with the cold, dry weather outside. The lack of moisture in the air can also be amplified because many people run their heat high in the winter, which leads to even drier skin.

Dull Hair

The dry air can also cause your hair to become dull and brittle. While everyone is used to the shine of their hair after using shampoo, the winter season is when you will notice a lack of luster in your hair.


In addition to dull hair, the winter season can also cause frizzing when combined with dry air. The dryness in the air will make your hair curl and come out of its natural shape, leading to a lot of frustration during this time of year if you do not know what you’re doing.

Your hair may end up looking like a mess after going outside for a few minutes too long without paying attention to how cold it is.

Split Ends

Finally, the cold temperatures outside combined with the dry air can wreak havoc on your hair. Split ends are a common problem that many people experience during the wintertime because of the damage to their hair. If you haven’t cut your hair recently, now is the time to do it before things get any worse.

How Do You Maintain a Healthy Scalp in the Winter?

If you’re wondering how to maintain a healthy scalp in the winter, then there are a few things that you can do.

Use the Right Products

One thing that you can do is to use the right products in your hair. Using moisturizing shampoo and conditioner will be the best options because they are specifically designed to fight dryness, excess oil production, and itchiness that results from the cold weather. In addition, you can use a leave-in treatment that works well for your hair type.

The best leave-in treatments will include moisturizing ingredients that reduce scalp irritation and balance scalp pH. These ingredients are especially good for people with coarse or brutal hair because they make it more manageable and easy to style.

Use a Humidifier

Another thing you can do is to use a humidifier in your house. Doing this provides moisture to the air, which will make it less dry and help your skin and hair. You can either use it only at night or keep it running for a few hours throughout the day to prevent you from having dry skin and hair.

Eat Healthily

One of the best ways that you can protect your scalp is by eating healthy. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function correctly and produce the oils that you need to keep your skin healthy.

Getting the proper nutrients will be beneficial for this time of year, especially if you have a hard time eating healthy during other times. You’ll want to make sure that you get enough protein, iron, and complex carbs in your diet as well.

Take Supplements

If you’re struggling with getting the nutrients you need, there is no shame in taking supplements. Vitamin deficiencies are expected during the winter because it can be challenging to eat healthily. Taking vitamin D is especially helpful for the winter season, as many people do not spend enough time outside to get the proper amount of sunlight.

Watch How You Shower

One of the most important things you can do is make sure that you watch how you shower. Using hot water by itself will make your skin and hair dry and itchy. Therefore, you need to consider using lukewarm or cold water instead.

These temperatures will close the pores on your skin and keep moisture in, preventing itching and flaking. Also, try not to use soaps when you bathe because they are not moisturizing at all. You should avoid soap for your scalp because it can be way too drying for this area of your body when combined with the winter season’s colder temperatures.

Know How Often to Wash Your Hair

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to over-wash your hair during the wintertime. Over-washing will lead to more dryness, which results in more damage to your hair. Therefore, try to only wash your hair about once per week or every ten days. Many brands have hair quizzes to help you determine the right wash schedule for your hair.

You can use dry shampoo between washes if it gets too greasy and you need some freshening up (just be sure the dry shampoo is made with ingredients that do not irritate your scalp).

Be Consistent

Finally, you’ll want to be consistent with your skin and hair care routine. If possible, try to use the same products that you typically use daily. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to change your entire routine during this time of year because many of the products might not work due to the cold weather. Therefore, make sure that you are loyal to your usual routine if at all possible.

Take Care of Your Scalp in the Winter

Protecting your scalp is essential for maintaining healthy hair. The cold winter months can be harsh on both your skin and hair, so it is crucial to take the proper steps to prevent damage. Try using moisturizing products that are designed for this season of the year.

You should also invest in a humidifier or two for your house if you are concerned about dryness during this time of year. Finally, make sure you eat healthily and stick with the same routine that you typically follow.

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Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Hair Loss

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