How To Prevent Your Hair From Becoming A Static Mess This Winter

Now you've done it. You've tempted fate. You've put a sweater over your head. You've pulled a comb through your hair. Or maybe you've done nothing more than enter a room where the dry air is converging with gusts of heat to create a super-charged environment. Your hair has become infused with electricity and is standing on end, seemingly controlled by some alien force that is now dictating its erratic movements. Look in the mirror, if you dare, but you may be tempted to look up in search of that spaceship that is apparently at the control panel, making a static mess of your hair.

In fact, you can't blame aliens for this natural occurrence. It's a simple matter of your hair picking up an electrical charge from the dry air. And when objects with the same charge repel each other, just as magnets do, they stand up and move away from each other, Hairstory explains. Low humidity levels and indoor heat are willing accomplices to this hair-raising phenomenon, Jupiter says. So is hair that's dry to begin with.

You can retake control of this force field by being proactive in two ways: by being selective about the hair products you use as well as some ancillary tools that work alongside them. That will put your staticky mess on borrowed time.

Reconsider the hair products you use

You may be able to tame your staticky hair simply by changing the type of shampoo and conditioner you use, especially if you're not using moisturizing products already, Healthline says. Alternatively, using a deep conditioner or a leave-in conditioner on your hair several times a week may counteract flyaways, too, All Things Hair says. 

If you suspect that your hair is in particularly poor shape or would benefit from a return to the basics, reconsider how often you shampoo your hair in the first place. Washing it every day may be too often in the winter, depriving it of natural oils that offset static electricity. Redken touts the benefits of using hair oils, which will seal in oil and calm frizz at the same time. It could be just what your hair needs to survive the winter unscathed.

You can give your hair an even greater advantage by using a serum on your hair before using a blow dryer or other heated styling product. As you already know, heat and static are practically partners in crime during the winter. A serum lays down the law to static before it even has the chance to act up.

Choice of tools matters

Sometimes, hair responds overwhelmingly well to the addition (or deletion) of one step; it can make all the difference. Such might be the case if you purchase an ionic hair dryer, which Good Housekeeping describes as one that "cleverly breaks down positively charged water molecules by producing negatively charged ions." Since the dryer can run at a lower temperature, hair sustains less damage and ends up with less frizz.

Wide-toothed combs are generally less damaging to hair than brushes. But if you're not ready to part company with having a brush in your collection, then at least make the switch to a boar-bristled brush, All Things Hair says. It excels at distributing hair oils, which can dampen the firepower of staticky hair.

Expanding the use of hair spray is a highly efficient way to prevent your hair from becoming a staticky mess this winter. Instead of squirting spray when you want to set a style in place, try wetting a comb or brush and then taming your wayward mane. You may relish this hair suggestion almost as much as the "dryer sheet workover" that many people consider suspect until they experience it for themselves. Simply run a lubricant-loaded dryer sheet through your hair several times to deflate static — a last-resort tactic you should need only if making changes in your hair products or tools has left you cold this winter.