Fall is a time of beauty and change. The air feels fresh and crisp and the leaves explode in a riot of color. It’s a time for soft sweaters and cozy socks. A time for warm mugs clasped in cold fingers and for snuggling under a pile of blankets and enjoying the roar of a fire.
All of this beauty and change also requires a change to our beauty routines. Believe it or not, the shift in the weather causes a chain reaction in our hair. If we want to counter balance some of the more negative effects—like increased hair loss and frizz—we have to make some adjustments in how we care for our hair.
In this article, we address some of the most common issues that you may encounter with the change in seasons. We will talk about how to identify and understand what is happening to your hair and offer some strategies to counteract the “autumn effect”. Consider this your official roadmap to crafting a fall haircare regime that will preserve your hair’s health through the changing season.
As invigorating as a crisp autumn breeze feels, a dip in temperatures means more than remembering to grab a jacket on your way out the door. When we transition from summer to fall, the air loses a few degrees and a LOT of moisture. As a result, you may find yourself reaching for hand lotion a little more often than usual.
Our skin reacts to moisture levels in the air, as well as the moisture level in our bodies. And while often overlooked, your scalp is no exception. Drier air in fall typically results in drier skin for your scalp. While the first signs of this may be a few flakes and a lot of annoying itches, if left untreated that dryness can result in increased hair loss.
All new hair growth comes from the follicle. The hair follicle sits below the scalp and is responsible for creating new hair cells. Most of the hair that we see is actually made up of old cells that have been pushed out from the hair follicle in order to make room for that new growth. If the health of the scalp is compromised, it begins to affect the follicles. When this occurs, not only can the follicles not produce new cells, but eventually the hair begins to die at the root and fall out.
The best way to combat this is by including scalp care into your daily hair regimen. Our Product Rx lists specific recommendations to improve and maintain your scalp’s best health. One more important thing to note: if you use a combination of products on a daily basis, you may want to include a clarifying shampoo —like milk_shake Deep Cleansing Shampoo—once a week or as needed to remove product buildup.
milk_shake Product Rx
For Optimal Scalp Health
- Energizing Blend Shampoo & Conditioner (for Fine/Thinning Hair)
- Normalizing Blend Shampoo & Energizing Blend Conditioner (For Oily Scalps)
- Purifying Blend Shampoo & Energizing Blend Conditioner (For Dandruff)
While increased dryness in the scalp can definitely impact your hair’s overall healthy, the balance of nutrients in the hair shaft is just as important. Specifically, the amount of protein and moisture present in your hair can have a lot to do with how it reacts to a lack of moisture in the air. If static and frizz are your number one hair pet-peeves in the cooler months, then you will want to read ahead to take preventative measures.
Your hair is comprised of a unique blend of proteins and lipids. When this blend is out of balance, it causes all kinds of problems—from frizz to breakage. Just as it impacts your scalp health, fall’s dip in temperature and humidity often results in an overall lack of moisture present in your hair. If your hair is looking dull, is easily tangled and you notice a drastic increase in split ends—it’s likely you need a moisture boost.
On the other end of the hair health spectrum is protein imbalance. This is less commonly understood than dryness and the two are often confused. While increased breakage (when hair shed from the strand and hair loss (when hair sheds from the follicle) can indicate a protein imbalance, they can also be results of other conditions.
Luckily, there are other indicators of low protein levels that are more reliable. For example, if you begin to notice a decrease in volume or if your hair starts to feel slightly tacky of “gummy”. Additionally, hair that is low on protein will look limp and and a bit stringy.
For those of us who prefer a slightly more “scientific approach”, there is the Wet Strand Test—an easy way to see if your hair has either too much or too little protein.
How to do the Wet Strand Test
Step 1. Take about 10 strands of hair and pull them taught between your fingers.
Step 2. Mist hair with water
Step 3. Pull the strands tight, and then loosen. If the hair bounces back to its original length, it has plenty of protein. If it breaks, it could benefit from a little protein boost.
milk_shake Product Rx
For Hair that needs Moisture
Note: The hyaluronic acid technology makes it weightless, so these products are ideal for all hair types
For Hair that needs Protein
- Integrity nourishing muru muru butter Pre-shampoo treatment (1x/week)
- Integrity Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner
- Integrity Nourishing Intensive Treatment (1-2x/week)
- Integrity Leave-in
While most of us focus on what fresh new hair color best fits our new autumnal mood, something we might want to consider is how the changes in the season impact that color change. Any change in our hair’s makeup impacts how color is retained in the hair. The healthier our hair is before we make that big Fall color change, the tighter it can hold onto color.
By focusing on creating and maintaining an ideal protein/moisture balance before and after your color change, you will be ensuring longer lasting, more vibrant color.
milk_shake Product RX
For color-treated hair
- Color Maintainer Shampoo & Conditioner
- Deep Color Maintainer Balm (1 X week)
- Leave-in conditioner (for fine- Normal hair) or
- Whipped Cream (for Normal or Coarse hair)
So while you’re busy admiring the vibrant foliage, shaking your sweaters out of storage and upping your pumpkin spice intake, be sure to take a little time to consider a change in your haircare routine. After all, a little change can do you good.