Winter in Chicago? Let’s just say, it’s not everyone’s favorite time of year. But even if your kids don’t mind the freezing temps and LOVE the gigantic amounts of snow, their hair may not. Need help with static, frizz, dry itchy scalp and the dreaded HAT HEAD? Look no further. Here at KidSnips, we can’t fix winter, but we do have some easy fixes for kids’ winter hair.
As a parent, you try to make sure your kids are protected from winter’s worst with a good coat and snow pants and hat and scarf, right? Well, guess what? Their hair needs protection from the elements and some extra care too during this season. Here are five of the winter-related hair complaints you may hear about from your kids and teens – and what you can do about them.
1. “Help, my hair is flyaway and staticky!”
Ok, let’s be honest, static electricity is kinda cool. Have you ever rubbed a balloon on your head to make your hair stand straight up…? It’s AWESOME! And if you haven’t, check out this science article for kids.
However, even though “Science Experiment Hair” may be fun occasionally, static hair – on a daily basis, like every time you run a brush through it or take off a hat… not so much.
One thing that can make staticky hair – or “flyaways” as we sometimes call it, a pretty regular occurrence in winter are split ends. A good cut can immediately get rid of those.
Another thing – and it’s a biggie – is the lack of humidity in the air in winter. But the solution may be simpler than you imagine…get more moisture in the hair.
First, get a good humidifier and crank it up. Also, get some good, kid-friendly leave-in conditioner or hair gel … and put a little dab on every day. At KidSnips our stylists love Johnny B styling balm, especially for short hair. Original Sprout leave-in conditioner is also a favorite. It brings back moisture to the hair while also making it ultra-soft. And it’s not too heavy or greasy. Along with helping with the flyaways – it also helps with detangling and split ends too. Bonus: the two main ingredients of this natural vegan product, rosemary and calendula, are also known to help repel lice.
2. “Help, my hair is frizzing out!”
No, you’re not just imagining it. Hair can be much frizzier in the winter. Again, the problem is lack of humidity in the air, combined with differences in temperatures – super cold outside and toasty warm inside is a combo that makes hair dry, frizzy and harder to manage. Combination hair that is straight and curly can be frustrating to control as well.
What’s the solution? Again, a good humidifier helps. Also, you might try washing hair in lukewarm water, which helps close the cuticles of hair strands, keeping the moisture in. And be sure to use a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner – one that’s full of natural ingredients versus chemicals – check out our full selection at KidSnips. One of our favorites? Glop & Glam Pomegranate Perfection Moisturizing Curl Cream – it’s great at adding moisture and helping control frizz.
And finally, avoid the hair dryer as much as possible. Of course, you don’t want to send your kids outside with wet hair in the morning…icicles WILL form in Chicago’s cold…we’ve seen it happen! So, if you do need to use a hair dryer you might want to invest in an ionic hair dryer. They use less heat and the negative ion technology dries hair faster making it less frizzy.
3. “Help, my head itches…make it stop!”
If your child starts scratching their head constantly and whining about the itchies, your first thought may be that they have dandruff. And that could be. But in winter especially, the dryness in the air, can also lead to a dry, itchy scalp and flakes that aren’t snowflakes. So how do you know whether it’s dandruff or dry scalp? Look at the flakes. If the flakes are large and yellow or white, it’s probably dandruff. If you’re seeing smaller, white or transparent flakes that’s probably dry scalp. (And if you have any doubts, be sure to book an appointment for a cut at KidSnips – your stylist can give you their expert opinion).
There are a few things you can do for a dry scalp in winter. You might want to stop by KidSnips and pick up some Malibu C Scalp Wellness® Shampoo and Conditioner. You probably think of Malibu Wellness when it comes to swim shampoo and conditioner, but their gentle, 100% vegan scalp shampoo and conditioner is designed to soothe and moisturize dry scalp. Plus, it smells really good because it includes spearmint oil.
You might also want to try applying an oil treatment to your child’s scalp 1-2 times a week. You could try products like Moroccan oil or coconut oil, which are both good for restoring moisture. Put on a little amount in small sections until the entire scalp is covered, then give your child a 5-10 minute scalp massage to help the oil get fully into the skin.
4. “Help, my hat messes up my hair so bad!”
We’ve all been there. Your kid’s hair has been brushed and styled and then you put on a hat to keep them warm on the way to school and send them out the door. But when they take off that hat? Who knows what messy disaster awaits. But you can’t send them out without a hat, right? So, what can you do to help? It might be time to brush up on your braiding skills. Braids keep flattened, flyaway or just plain goofy looking hair from happening. Dutch braids are popular these days along with French braids and it might be just the right time for a “Frozen” braid – a look based on the movie from several years ago. Come to think of it, when it’s freezing outside, Frozen might be a good movie to watch with the kiddies again. Check out this Frozen braid tutorial. Hair braiding not up your alley? Book an appointment at KidSnips. We do all kinds of braids and can even add a little pop of temporary color to make your child’s braid even more fun.
5. “Help, my hair is so boring!”
Speaking of pops of color…nothing perks us up in the middle of the gray of Chicago’s winters like a little color…except perhaps a trip to somewhere warm and bright and beachy. But since we can’t all live on an island paradise from January through March, adding some temporary color to your kid’s hair may be just the ticket. Color has been scientifically proven to brighten up spirits… and we have all kinds of temporary color options, from hair chalk to neon hair gel to color spray in super bright colors. All our chalks, gels, and sprays can be applied by one of our pro stylists or you can purchase our kid-friendly options at KidSnips and bring them home to do the color yourself.
Whatever the winter throws at you this year (and at your kid’s hair) no worries – since KidSnips is a locally owned and operated kid’s salon, started by a couple Chicago moms, not part of some national chain, we TOTALLY get it. We’ve lived through a lot of below zero/4-feet-of-snow-on-the-ground/slush-for-days kinds of winters and we’re here for you. So, be sure to stop by soon!