Hair static creeps up on you when you least expect it and leaves you looking like you just put your finger in an electrical outlet. If you’ve always wondered what’s to blame for hair static, look no further than a cold, dry winter and a lack of moisturizing products to tackle the problem before it starts.
“Static electricity in the hair is caused by a few main factors,” says Lisa Abbey, founder|CEO of 'On The Fly' and 'Strength x Beauty' hair care brands. “Low humidity in the air is a main factor, which is why it’s so common in fall and winter or dry climates. An absence of moisture in the hair also contributes to the amount of static you’ll have. Also, fine or thinning hair is more ‘lightweight’ and therefore more prone to static. Those with drier hair types and colored-treated hair typically also experience more static than those with healthy hair.”
The good news, however, is that there are a few things you can do to prevent hair static. Here are Abbey’s suggestions:
Hydrate your hair. “I always recommend clients with all hair types switch to a more hydrating shampoo in fall and winter and make sure they are using the proper conditioner – this is key to maintaining hair health in the colder climate and avoiding annoying static.” If your hair is thick, Abbey suggests a moisture-replenishing conditioner, to smooth the cuticle and “fill” dry spots that are prone to fly-aways. Those with fine or thinning hair need a protein barrier to plump and protect the hair cuticle, she says, while giving the hair weight.
Suggested products to try: On The Flys' Marshmallow Creme co-wash is paraben, sulfate and sodium chloride-free and super hydrating for both hair & skin. Strength x Beauty's Miraculous Intensive Deep Repair re-hydrates dry hair with just one use, and helps repairs damage over time.
Another option? “A leave-in conditioner can also help reduce static,” Abbey says. “Colored hair needs a little additional TLC this time of year–using a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment or a leave-in conditioner will help return elasticity to the hair and increase the hair’s ability to retain moisture.”
A quickie static 'hack': "On some hair types, spraying a little dry shampoo over the surface of your hair helps by weighing down those 'floaty' strands."
Stay away from silicone. Abbey recommends avoiding silicone oils and serums if you want to avoid hair static because they can be drying. Instead, use a more hydrating leave-in conditioner, detangler or blow-styling creme.
Switch up your hair tools. If you aren’t using an ionic blow dryer, you don’t know what you’re missing – they’re key to achieving the perfect, frizz-free blowout and can also help keep static at bay. Another crucial tip? “Don’t over-dry,” Abbey says. “Just like clothes in the laundry, over-drying increases static.” While you’re shopping for a new hairdryer, pick up a wood or ceramic hair brush, which Abbey says are less static-causing.
In a pinch, rub a little lotion through your hair. Moisturizing lotion is something we often tote in our purses, which makes this a more reasonable solution–a bit of lotion will weigh your hair down enough to get rid of static–but it will do so at the expense of your hair’s volume. This trick is definitely a last resort.
- Lisa Fogarty, Beauty Writer, SheFinds.com