Winter woes: your ultimate cold weather hair routine

If you live in a place where winter weather exists, then you're likely all too familiar with the effects that dry and cold winter air conditions can have on your hair. We're talking dryness, static, frizz, and general lack of that luscious, smooth, shiny summer hair.

More often than not, the exposure to the harsh cold elements and constant transition to heated indoors can zap our hair of its moisture, leading to dull hair that's more susceptible to damage. Not only are your precious hair strands at risk of breakage due to the dry, cold winter air, but scalp dryness, dandruff, can rear its ugly head during these drier months.

So, how do you take care of your hair, minimize these harsh winter effects and prevent damage? We've put together our favorite winter hair care tips and tricks below so you can achieve healthy hair this winter.

Winter hair care

1. Moisturize your hair and scalp with hair oil

During the colder months, indoor heating tends to zap a lot of moisture out and dry the hair out, sometimes leaving a dry, flaky scalp. Using a leave-in conditioner or add hair oil to your winter hair care routine to combat dryness effectively. Apply few drops of a nourishing hair oil at the ends every day to help replenish your hair during the winter with the moisture that it needs, preventing it from breakage, and leaving it soft and shiny. Some of our favorite hair oils include Argan oil and jojoba oil

If you suffer from dandruff due to a dry, flaky scalp during the winter months, apply a heavier oil treatment such as coconut oil or castor oil directly to the scalp. Let the oil sink in for 20-30 minutes to deeply moisturize the scalp, then wash your hair as usual. 

2. Combat static hair with a dryer sheet

A key sign that your hair is suffering from winter dryness is those fine strands of hair lifting from the head, much like a science experiment gone wrong. To avoid a static party on your head, a simple tip for dry hair is to carry a regular anti-static laundry dryer sheet with you in your bag. Lightly swipe it over the fly-aways and enjoy your instant, static-free hairdo. 

Of course, this is just a quick fix, and it is always best to combat the root of the problem when caring for your hair in the winter—in this case, dryness. Therefore, condition your hair regularly, and lock in that moisture with leave-in conditioner.

Winter hair care

3. Avoid frequent hair washes

If you're guilty of washing your hair every day, it's time to make a change to your winter hair care routine. Over washing your hair will strip it of its vital natural oils that keep the hair moisturized and protected, which are more important than ever during the colder months.

Try to extend the period between your washes as much as possible until you find the perfect time period for your hair—if you usually wash your hair every other day, try every two days. If you find your hair is still lacking moisture, try every three days. To help this transition process, use dry shampoo between washes to keep your hair smelling and looking fresh.

Another tip for dry hair? If your roots aren't too oily, wash your hair with conditioner only and skip the shampoo altogether.

4. Avoid heat styling

It's no secret that heat styling is a major culprit for dry, damaged hair. When your hair is already in a fragile state during the colder months, heat styling simply amplifies the problem, sucking moisture from hair strands. Embrace your natural hair texture and opt to air dry instead of hair dry whenever possible, using a few drops of hair oil to tame frizz. As well, store your curling iron away for the winter, and opt for heatless curls and waves or use the colder months as an opportunity to experiment with twists, buns, and ponytails. 

Winter hair care

5. Dry your hair before rushing out the door

Although this may be a regular habit for you in the warmer months, it is especially important to ensure that your hair is fully dry before rushing out the door in the winter. Cold hair expands the hair shaft, making the hair more prone to breakage, as well as leading to fading color faster. Give your hair that extra time in the winter to air dry before sauntering out for the day, or better yet, modify your winter hair care routine to wash and care for your hair at night, so you can avoid blow drying your hair when you're in a rush in the morning.

If you absolutely must leave the house with wet hair, be sure to protect your hair from the weather by tucking it underneath your scarf or hat. The less exposure to winter weather elements, the better.

6. Commit to a weekly deep conditioning hair mask

Just like a weekly face mask is essential for healthy, radiant skin, weekly hair treatment masks can make a world of a difference when dealing with dry, damaged hair. Not only can they reverse the effects of dryness, but are an excellent preventative measure to ensure that your hair is protected and at an optimal level of health, year round. Hair masks are quick yet highly potent, effective ways to provide your hair with tons of health benefits in less than 20 minutes. Think of hair masks like high powered hair conditioners, giving your hair benefits like softening and hydrating, boosting growth, adding shine, and even fighting off scalp infections. While hair companies offer different types of hair masks for a variety of hair problems, you can also go straight to your kitchen cabinets and mix up a hair mask right at home. 

Winter hair care

If you find that your hair is still too dry during the winter even with weekly treatments, you may want to go the extra mile and hydrate your hair overnight with a hair oil or serum. Similar to a night cream for your skin, an overnight treatment will work itself deep into the hair strands, hydrating from within. An easy, affordable overnight treatment is coconut oil, which you can apply to your scalp and hair from root to tip. Be sure to apply the oil to dry hair, as the oil passes through the dry hair more easily than wet hair. Lay down a towel on your pillow before calling it a night to avoid a mess, then wash your hair in the morning. You should see instant results. 

7. Go darker for the fall and winter

Leave that platinum blonde shade where it belongs—in the summer—and embrace darker hues in the winter. Not only are darker hair colors trendier for the fall and winter, but this will also limit the number of times your hair needs to be bleached throughout the colder months—a process which is notorious for stripping the hair of its moisture. If your ultimate winter hair goal is to combat dryness and achieve shiny, healthy hair, those full head bleaches aren't doing you any favors! 

As an alternative to dyeing your hair, try a hair glaze. This is a great way to tone your hair and warm the color up, without the permanency of traditional dyes. Hair glazes sit on top of the cuticle and coat the hair with added pigment, boosting your natural hair color while adding beautiful shine and gloss. As well, give color depositing shampoos a try if you feel that your hair color is fading quickly. These products act as a stain for your hair and are very temporary, but are a great solution for those times you just can't make it to the hair salon.

8. Opt For Silk

We all love to brace ourselves against the winter element with our beloved, warm wool hats and scarves. But did you know that they are actually known for causing breakage and static hair? Fitted hats can trap oils at the roots, leave the ends dry and prone to damage.

Solution: wrap your hair in a silk scarf before putting on your fave cozy hat. It will protect your hair from frizz and static, and reduce that dreaded hat hair. 

Since silk is naturally hypoallergenic, it is known to prevent thinning, knotted hair, and split ends by stimulates hydration. While cotton and wool may feel soft to the touch, its weave actually grips and tugs at individual strands, causing damage and breakage. That's why we also recommend sleeping on a silk pillowcase at night.

Winter hair care

9. Use dry shampoo for limp hair

Speaking of hat hair, there's nothing worse than styling a fresh 'do in the morning, only to take your hat off to a crushed style and limp, sad winter hair. This is especially an issue for those with oilier hair. To revive your style, carry a small bottle of dry shampoo with you, apply a small amount at the roots, and zhuzh your hair. Dry shampoo opens up the hair shaft, keeping hair fuller, and bringing back life to your hairstyle.

10. Stay hydrated

Did you know that a single strand of hair is made up of 25% water?

Hydration starts from within, and drinking enough water helps energize and encourage hair growth from root to tip. It also stimulates a healthier scalp, preventing scalp problems like dryness, itchiness, or dandruff during the winter. Have you ever noticed that your skin looks dull and tired when you haven't drank enough water? Your hair is the same way! Staying hydrated helps prevent split ends and brittle hair, fostering shiny, radiant hair. 

Does your hair care routine change during the winter months? Do you have any tips to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!

Products used in this tutorial:

Ombre Blonde

Length: 20" inches

View product
Posted by
Azra Kassam

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