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Embracing Winter Static: Why Flyaways Are Not the Enemy

If winter’s chill makes your hair stand on end, there’s more at work than a tingle down your spine. Thanks to a perfect storm of dry air and friction-causing, neck-grazing sweaters, scarves, and coats, a surplus of electrons cling to us, building up positive or negative charges that cause each strand of hair to actually repel the others. Any number of moisture-sealing creams, lotions, and oils will set your situation back to normal—but why fight it?

“Flyaways aren’t your enemy,” says l hairstylist Jennifer. If you take the glass-half-full approach, the seasonal shift has provided you with the built-in wispy benefits of starchy dry shampoo or piece-y effects of salt spray. This means there are less steps standing between you and your artfully unkempt waves or evening-ready messy knot. Think of Brigitte Bardot’s lawless strands or Suki Waterhouse’s rough-and-tumble volume—minus the backcombing and aerosol hairspray.

Perhaps no one better embodies the look than French actress Lou Doillon, who posts selfies of her electrified strands and fuzzy knits, silk pajamas, and cozy sweater-coats on Instagram. It’s enough to make you want to rub your head against a balloon. “If you’re wearing your hair straight, static gives it a more bedhead-y look.” And Jennifer notes that you’ll see more static with a hotter shower, warmer blow-dry, or by easing up on your deep conditioning routine.

Those with extra-fine strands who find that blow-drying or slipping into a turtleneck has left them looking like, in Jennifer's words, “a science experiment,” in this case can smooth down erratic static with a lightweight cream likeLiving Proof’s Night Cap), or simply by pulling hair back into a lifted ponytail. “That little roughness around the hairline can be quite modern.” In other words, why beat it, when it looks so good to join it?

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