The winter season brings with it thick sweaters, hot cocoa, and cozy nights by the fire. However, it also comes with some seasonal challenges for your hair. Dry air, cold temperatures, and indoor heating can leave your locks dehydrated, dull, and brittle. But with the right care and attention, you can keep your hair healthy and beautiful all winter long. Here are our best stylist-recommended tips to protect your hair during the colder months.
1. Hydration is Key: Winter air is dry, and indoor heating systems can further deplete moisture from your hair. Invest in a quality hydrating shampoo and conditioner and look for products that are sulfate-free, as sulfates can strip your hair of essential oils. We recommend Kerastase’s Nutritive line and Goldwell’s Rich Repair products to help soothe and soften thirsty locks.
2. Reduce Shower Temperature: Hot showers are certainly a comfort during chilly days and nights, but hot water can damage your hair by stripping away natural oils. Opt for lukewarm or cool water when washing your hair to prevent excessive dryness.
3. Frequent Conditioning: In addition to your regular conditioner, consider using a deep conditioning treatment once a week to give your hair a moisture boost. These treatments help replenish lost hydration and keep your hair manageable. Kérastase’s Nutritive Masquintense and Kerasilk’s Recovery Mask are both good options for deeply nourishing all hair types.
4. Limit Heat Styling: Heat styling tools like curling irons and straighteners can be harsh on your hair, so try to reduce the use of these tools during the winter. If you must use them, apply a heat protectant like Virtue’s Un-Frizz Cream or Oribe’s Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray to shield your hair from damage.
5. Protective Styling: Braids, buns, and updos can be your best friends during winter. They help to protect your hair from the elements and can keep it from drying out or becoming damaged. Bonus points if you spritz on some leave-in conditioner before putting your hair in a protective style! Virtue’s Purifying Leave-In Conditioner is a great option.
6. Regular Trims: Frequent haircuts can prevent the development of split ends, which are more common in dry winter air and can lead to extensive weakening and breakage of the hair shaft. Keep up with regular trims – we recommend every 6 to 8 weeks – to maintain the health, length, and fullness of your hair.
7. Satin Pillowcases: Swap your cotton pillowcase for a satin one. Satin is gentler on your hair and can help prevent overnight tangles and breakage. It’s also less likely to absorb moisture, which can help your hair retain both its natural oils and any products you apply.
8. Stay Hydrated: Healthy hair starts from the inside. Drinking enough water will help keep your hair (and skin) hydrated and looking its best, even in the driest of winters.
9. Cover Up: If you’re going out in extreme cold or snowy weather, we recommend you wear a hat or scarf to protect your hair from the cold and wind. Just like with pillowcases, there are satin-lined hat options that provide frizz-reducing protection during the frostiest days and nights.
10. Use a Humidifier: Indoor heating systems can make the air in your home very dry, which can rapidly draw out moisture from your hair. A humidifier adds water back into the air, benefiting not only your hair but also your skin!
Winter can be tough on your hair, but with a little extra care, you can keep your locks healthy and holiday-ready. Follow these tips and embrace the season with confidence, knowing your hair is protected and ready to shine!