Winter Hair Care 101

by December 30, 2020

woman with product in hair

Stocksy

Winter is officially here, and along with it, snow days, hot beverages, cozy time by the fire...and dry times ahead for your hair. Sure, there's a lot to love about the weather turning colder, but we're sure there are some parts you could do without...namely dry hair and skin. But fear not—we've compiled tips to help weatherproof and moisturize your hair when the temps drop.
 
BRING ON THE BRRR...
A thermostat set to high may make your home feel cozy, but it's a sure way to zap moisture from the air...and your hair. Other than resisting the urge to set your thermostat to 80, there are a few things you can do to help dry hair stay moisturized even in the bone-dry indoors...
 

3 MOISTURIZING TIPS FOR WINTER HAIR

  1. Turn down the heat while you sleep. Simply lowering your thermostat while you sleep will make the air much less drying on skin and hair, and give you the perfect reason to get your coziest, hygge-approved comforter out of storage.

  2. Use a humidifier. Placing a humidifier on your nightstand while you sleep will not only help keep moisture in the air, but will also help you breathe easier through cold and flu season. The added moisture will make your skin feel less dry and add humidity to hair, making both skin and hair more receptive to moisturizers and conditioners.

  3. Rinse with cooler water. A steaming hot shower might be appealing when it's cold outside, but the hotter the water, the more drying for skin and hair. While we'd never expect you to shower with icy cold water, keep water temperatures warm rather than hot, and rinse shampoo and conditioner from hair with the coolest water you can stand. Cold water effectively shocks your hair cuticle closed, leaving hair feeling healthier, shinier, and stronger. Conversely, hot water strips moisture from hair, leading to frizz. New year, new way to moisturize.

 

JUMP START A NEW ROUTINE

Just like you get your sweaters, leather boots, and velvet tops out—and pack away your flip flops—your hair needs its own wardrobe change to get ready for winter.
 

YOUR WINTER HAIR CARE CHEAT SHEET

  1. Introduce your hair to natural oils. As the temps drop, it's the perfect time to begin using products that pack moisturizing natural ingredients. Make sure your hair products are sulfate-free and contain moisturizing ingredients like keratin, argan oil and mongongo oil to help moisturize and keep dry, frizzy hair at bay.

  2. Wash less often. The mornings are staying darker later, so now's the time to sleep in a few extra minutes and skip your daily shampoo and conditioner. Save your strands by going an extra day between washing your hair...with a little dry shampoo (no one will ever know).

  3. Use a leave-in conditioner or hair mask. This will help keep your dry hair nourished and moisturized all day.

  4. Kick your heat styling habits. If you're a blow dryer every day, curling iron every night kind of person, cutting back on heat styling can be hard. But heat styling really does zap moisture from your hair, so it’s worth giving it a shot. If you can't make air drying happen, try to limit your use of hot tools to once or twice per week (your strands will thank you). Whenever you do use heat tools, be sure to prep your hair with products that nourish and protect your hair from environmental stressors.

  5. Throw in the towel. When you step out of the shower, reach for a microfiber cloth towel instead of your standby terry cloth. The microfiber option is less harsh on the hair cuticle, helps keep your scalp less dry, and absorbs excess moisture quicker than typical cotton towels. That means a faster blow dry for you, which means less heat for your hair...and fewer split ends.

  6. Getting a haircut at the beginning of each season gives strands a fresh start. You'll shed off damaged ends and encourage your hair to grow in more neatly. So if you’re able to safely schedule a trim, go for it!

 

REFRESH YOUR COLOR

A change in season is also the perfect time to change up your look. Now that you've got a fresh cut, moisturized hair, and a new routine...consider changing up your hair color for a truly fresh start. Take your natural color a shade darker, warm up with hints of red and gold, or boost color with a gloss treatment. Or moisturize and add a pop of color with our Color Therapy color-depositing hair mask.
 
While embracing your new winter hair care routine for cold weather, remember to drink a lot of water to help keep your body hydrated and simultaneously moisturize dry hair. Upping your water intake will not only help you feel better, but will also make your skin and hair feel softer to the touch. Indulge in foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, kale, walnuts, tuna, and spinach...also known as nature’s hair moisturizers. Whenever possible, don’t reach for that second cup of coffee, as caffeine can dehydrate you. Try herbal tea instead (so cozy and seasonal). And although you might think avocado is best in the summer (hello, guacamole), it's also a superfood for your hair any time of year. The natural oils in avocados promote hair health, packing your hair with moisture and fortifying with extra strength. You can even use leftover avocado as a natural, hydrating hair mask.
 

8 WAYS TO PROTECT & MOISTURIZE CURLY HAIR IN WINTER

Got curly hair or natural hair? Winter can be especially hard on your curls...here’s how to keep them in tip-top shape all winter long.
  1. Yes, filler. Because curly hair is very porous, conditioner helps to fill the “holes” and lock in moisture. New year’s resolution: ban dryness from your curls and moisturize as much as possible in 2021.

  2. Ban the brush. While styling, combs and brushes are a no-no. In the shower, however, all curl types can use a wide-tooth comb to go through their curls for detangling purposes.

  3. Lock it down. Now it’s time to lock in the curl pattern. Keep hair as wet as possible and create 3-5 sections (depending on hair length) to apply styling gels or anti-frizz cremes.

  4. Don’t forget the ends. The ends and tips of our hair can be particularly exposed during winter months, creating more split ends. Make sure your ends receive extra moisturizing when you shower and style.

  5. Bye bye dry. For all hair types, color-treated or not, it’s best to stay away from blow-drying and heat tools. Air-dry for the win!

  6. Hit refresh. All curls and waves can benefit from a “spritz” of refreshing spray throughout the day. It’ll help tame your fly-aways, too. You can find water-based sprays in beauty stores and drugstores...or even make your own using an empty spray bottle.

  7. Sleep tight. Sleep with a satin pillowcase. All curls can benefit from this non-drying option. Or, wrap your curls in a silk scarf or satin bonnet instead.

  8. Cover up. When venturing into the great outdoors and the dry, cold elements, be sure to protect your curls with a crocheted hat or loose scarf. Don’t allow curls to be “pressed” down onto your scalp. Attempt to pile curls, not flatten them.

 

With all these tips for nourished, shiny hair—plus your favorite seasonal warm drink in hand—this cold weather is about to feel a whole lot cozier. Here’s to a happy new year...and happy winter hair.

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