We hear all about dry skin at this time of year, but what about hair? With the cold weather outside and indoor heating blasting away indoors, winter can wreak havoc on your tresses, stripping it of its moisture. This can lead to dry, brittle strands, as well as split ends, static flyaways and breakage. Sounds ominous, but fear not! We’ve compiled a bevy of easy winter fixes to help you maintain a gorgeous mane all season long.
Shampooing actually dries out your hair, so at this time of year try washing it less frequently. If your hair or scalp starts to feel too oily, use a dry shampoo in between washings. A couple of our faves: Redken’s Dry Shampoo Paste 05 and Ka Pow Dry Shampoo by Cibu. Use it just at the roots to keep hair from drying out too much.
HAIR WASHING HABITS:
It may feel great to take a hot shower when it’s freezing cold outside, but believe us, your hair won’t thank you. Instead, wash your hair in lukewarm or (if you can stand it) cool or even cold water; it’s much gentler on the tresses and will prevent hair from drying out. In colder months, go for a more moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. For normal to dry hair, we suggest Hydrasource Shampoo and Conditioning Balm from Matrix. If your hair’s super-dry, up the ante with their Ultra-Hydrasource Shampoo and Conditioner. Paul Mitchell’s sulfate-free Moisturizing Lather Shampoo balances moisture and repairs brittle strands, while their Keratin Cream Rinse is rich in awapuhi ginger extract and—you guessed it—keratin to protect, strengthen and restore dry hair. (Paul Mitchell products sold in Hair Cuttery salons.)
Weekly deep conditioning treatments or hydrating hair masks are great for replenishing moisture and keep your hair from looking dull during these cold winter months. To restore softness, suppleness and shine, Redken’s All Soft Mega Hydramelt is a leave-in treatment that infuses your hair with moisture. Packed with keratin, silk protein and shea butter, AG Hair’s Reconstruct (sold in salons) is an intense restorative mask that repairs, smooths and strengthens dry, damaged and chemically treated hair.
A SPECIAL BRUSHING TRICK:
Try this for extra shine without weighing down your hair: After cleaning your hair brush, lightly spray an oil treatment, serum or mist onto the bristles and brush gently through your hair. Cibu’s Argan Oil Mist is a good choice for fine to medium hair; for coarser hair types try their Gloss Drops.
Low humidity outside plus manufactured heating indoors equals major flyaways and static, especially if you have finer hair. A leave-in conditioner, like The Conditioner from Paul Mitchell or Glossing Leave-In from It’s a 10 is our fix for reducing static, preventing dryness and giving your tresses a great silky feel.
CUT DOWN ON HEAVY HEAT:
Don’t leave the house with wet hair when it’s cold outside—it can encourage hair breakage. But do try to be extra careful when applying heat to your hair during the winter. Always, always use a heat protectant before you pick up that hair dryer. Two of our faves are from Redken: Pillow Proof Express Primer reduces blow dry time while protecting from heat up to 450 degrees, and One United detangles and prevents breakage as it protects. If you have time to let your hair air dry, forego the heat and (once it’s dry) put your hair up in a ponytail, bun or braids instead.
DON’T FORGET NUTRITION!
For strong, healthy hair, make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes foods rich in vitamins, minerals and protein. Sweet potatoes and dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale are filled with beta carotene, an antioxidant that helps protect against dry, dull hair. Oily fish (like salmon and mackerel), raw nuts, seeds, flax and avocado are packed with healthy fats and oils, which help keep hair shiny and prevent dry scalp and dandruff. Foods rich in vitamin C (think citrus, guava and kiwi) can protect hair from breakage. Biotin—a B vitamin found in egg yolks, soy and walnuts—supports healthy hair growth.