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Winter can be a harsh time for hair. The cold, dry outdoor air and strong winds in winter can all strip away moisture from your hair. Heated indoor environments with low humidity levels compound the problem. All of this leaves hair dry, frizzy, brittle, and prone to breakage.
The drop in temperature also triggers scalp problems, particularly dandruff, flakiness, and itching.
The winter hair care tips listed below address the challenges that winter poses to hair health. As you’ll see below, caring for your hair in winter doesn’t have to involve complicated or expensive treatments.
Incorporating these simple yet effective tips into your winter hair care routine will keep your hair looking healthy and beautiful throughout the winter season.
Because caring for hair involves multiple aspects, I’ve broken down the winter hair care tips into 6 sections:
1. Winter hair-washing tips
2. Condition hair correctly in winter
3. Optimum heat levels for winter hair care
4. Pamper hair with hair oils
5. Hydration and nutrition for healthy hair in winter
6. Outdoor hair care tips
Winter Hair Washing Tips
1. Avoid Over-Washing Hair
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the winter is to wash your hair too often. Shampooing strips away natural oils from your hair, which are essential for keeping it hydrated.
In the winter, when your hair is already dry, washing it too often can make it even drier and more brittle.
Aim to wash your hair no more than two or three times a week depending on your activity levels.
If your hair is very dry, can get away with shampooing just once a week.
If you’re concerned about oil or grease at the top of your head in between shampoo days, spray a little dry shampoo and see the difference it makes.
2. Switch Over To A Gentler Shampoo
If you’re struggling with dry hair in the winter, you should definitely switch over to a gentler, nutrient-rich alternative.
The best shampoo for winter is one that is sulfate-free and formulated with extra moisturizer.
Sulfate tends to strip the natural oils from your hair. Sulfate-free shampoos are formulated to clean without stripping essential oils from hair.
Just like your skin, your hair also needs as much moisture as you can get during the harsher winter weather.
A gentler shampoo along with less frequent washing are the two simplest yet the most effective winter hair care tips.
3. Dry Your Hair Gently & Naturally
The last tip for shampooing your hair during the winter is actually related to what you do after your hair is washed and conditioned.
After you get out of the shower or bath, dab your hair gently with a towel to soak up the excess water.
Then wrap your hair like a turban with a dry wet towel or a cotton t-shirt to absorb the remaining water.
Remove the towel after a few minutes and let your hair air-dry.
Never rub your hair vigorously in all directions when it’s wet. Wet hair is more elastic and will break easily. Rubbing your hair will also increase static and frizziness – two things you definitely want to avoid.
How To Condition Hair Correctly In Winter
4. Condition Hair After Washing
During winter, the need for proper conditioning becomes even more crucial.
Conditioner acts as a barrier, sealing moisture into the hair shaft. This is especially important in winter when the air tends to be dry.
The dry winter air contributes to static, making hair frizzier, and at higher risk of breaking while combing or brushing.
A good conditioner helps to smooth the hair cuticle and hair shaft, reducing frizz, making it easier to detangle, and reducing the risk of breakage.
Conditioner creates a protective layer on the hair, acting as a shield against harsh winter elements such as wind, snow, and cold temperatures. This added protection minimizes damage and keeps your hair looking and feeling its best.
Look for a conditioner that is rich in emollients and humectants to provide intense hydration.
5. Use a Deep Conditioning Treatment
Winter hair demands extra care, and deep conditioning should be a weekly ritual. Treat your hair to a nourishing deep conditioning treatment to replenish lost moisture.
There are a variety of deep conditioning treatments, from hot hair oil treatments to homemade hair masks that have the same consistency as a conditioner.
A hot oil massage is one of the best ways to care for your hair in winter. When massaged into the scalp, hot oil deep within the hair follicles to repair them and help keep them soft and strong throughout the winter season.
DIY hair masks with ingredients like honey, avocado, and olive oil can provide an extra boost of hydration and leave your hair looking luscious.
Deep conditioning using a hot oil treatment or a hair mask is a great way to give your hair an extra boost of moisture.
Apply the deep conditioner to your hair and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before rinsing it out.
Optimum Heat Levels For Winter Hair Care
6. Avoid Washing Hair With Very Hot Water
When you’re already dealing with excessive winter dryness from the cold winds and lack of humidity, the last thing you want to do is lose moisture during your regular haircare routine.
Very hot water strips hair of its natural oils, leaving it looking and feeling drier and frizzier.
Use cool or lukewarm water to rinse your hair while shampooing and conditioning.
7. Avoid Excessive Heat Styling
If you must use heat styling tools, make sure to use a heat protectant spray first.
Limit the use of heat styling tools during winter. Heat styling tools such as blow dryers and curling irons can contribute to dryness and damage.
Instead, opt for heat-free styling methods such as braiding or twisting your hair while it’s damp to achieve beautiful waves without compromising its health.
8. Style Hack If You Can’t Avoid Heat Styling Tools
Style your hair once with a heating styling tool, whether it’s a flat iron or curling wand, then leave it alone for 2-3 days. Since you are washing your hair less often anyway, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The important thing is to choose any one heat styling tool and use it on a light setting for a few minutes only. Using multiple tools for too long can be really hard on your dry winter hair.
If you have straight or wavy hair and like to have curls, use the curling wand on the first day when your hair is dry, but don’t brush it out. Loosen the curls a bit with your fingers, but leave them mostly alone.
This allows you to hold onto your curls for a little more often, so by the 3rd day, your hair will retain some waves.
9. Use An Ionic Hair Dryer To Dry Hair
If you need to rush out of the house in the morning but don’t want to leave the house with wet hair, switch to an ionic hair dryer with a diffuser. This will reduce the frizz and keep your hair from getting too dry.
It’s much better than using a hair dryer, which will only damage your hair.
Pamper Hair With Hair Oils
10. Choose Deep-Nourishing Hair Oils
Natural oils are rich in nutrients that strengthen hair strands and follicles, reduce dryness, frizz, and breakage, condition hair, and overall improve hair health.
These are the best hair oils to use in winter:
Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is rich in vitamin E, which reduces frizz and dryness, repairs damage, and puts the shine back into your hair. What makes coconut oil the best oil for hair is how well it moisturizes. Moreover, it nourishes, softens, and repairs hair, without weighing it down.
Argan Oil: Argan oil is loaded with nutrients that also help to repair your hair while making it silky and shiny. It contains the essential acids omega-3 and omega-9, as well as vitamin E and important antioxidants your hair needs to be as healthy as possible during winter.
Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil is loaded with nutrients, including vitamin E, as well as vitamins A and D. What makes this jojoba great for use in winter is that it works for all hair types, without leaving hair greasy or weighed down.
Avocado Oil: Rich in healthy fats, proteins, and vitamins B3, E, A, and D, avocado oil is especially effective for reducing static and frizz and preventing hair breakage in winter.
Using oil for hair is very easy. Heat the hair oil of your choice to room temperature and massage the warm oil into your scalp. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes and wash off with warm water.
Consider making a hair mask with your choice of hair oil and other healthy ingredients.
If you want to use these healthy oils in your hair but prefer to buy products in-store, look for conditioners and deep conditioning treatments with argan oil on the label.
Best Winter Hair Styles
11. Protective Winter Hair Styling
In windy and snowy conditions, opt for hairstyles that keep your hair protected. Now is the time to experiment with different hairstyles.
Styles like braids, buns, or ponytails can help prevent tangles and minimize exposure to the elements. They also help retain moisture and reduce exposure to the cold, dry air.
Use hair-friendly accessories like silk scrunchies. Avoid tying your hair too tight though as this can cause unnecessary stress on the hair shaft.
12. Accessorize With Hats, Beanies, And Scarves
Wearing a hat, beanie or scarf adds a style factor while also keeping you warm and protecting your hair.
Choose silk or satin-lined accessories to prevent friction and breakage. Additionally, ensure your hair is adequately dry before putting on a hat to prevent a damp environment that can lead to scalp issues.
Hydration And Nutrition For Healthy Hair In Winter
13. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is crucial for both your overall health and the health of your hair.
Ideally, you should be drinking the recommended eight glasses of water every day for healthy skin and hair and overall well-being. Keep forgetting to drink water? These 12 tips to stay hydrated and healthy will help.
If you find the thought of drinking plain water boring, check out these ideas for how to stay hydrated without drinking water. These were written for summer hydration but the same tips can be used all year long. Just switch out the summer foods for more seasonal food.
For external hydration, use a leave-in conditioner to keep your hair moisturized throughout the day.
14. Nutrition and Supplements for Winter Hair Health
Incorporate foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E into your diet to promote healthy hair growth. Consider supplements like biotin or omega-3 fatty acids if you struggle to meet your nutritional needs through food alone. A well-balanced diet positively impacts the overall health and appearance of your hair.
Tips For Specific Hair Types
Curly hair: Curly hair is already naturally dry, so it is especially important to protect it from the elements in the winter. Use a leave-in conditioner or hair oil to help keep your curls hydrated, and avoid heat styling as much as possible.
Dry hair: If you have dry hair, you may want to wash your hair even less often than two or three times a week. You may also want to consider using a dry shampoo to help absorb oil and extend the time between washes.
Damaged hair: If your hair is damaged, you may need to deep condition your hair more often than once a week. You may also want to use a protein treatment to help repair your hair.
Following these tips can help you keep your hair healthy and looking its best all winter long.
Pamper your hair with DIY masks using natural ingredients.
For example, a mask made from mashed avocado, honey, and coconut oil can provide intense hydration, leaving your hair soft and manageable. Apply the mask to damp hair, leave it on for 20-30 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
Combat an itchy and dry scalp with natural remedies. Tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties, making it an excellent choice for alleviating scalp irritation. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil, and gently massage it into your scalp.
See Your Hair Stylist
If you want beautiful, soft hair in the winter without using a lot of extra products, then see your stylist first in the beginning of the season. They can address any concerns with your hair, and many stylists provide natural alternatives to the products they recommend.
You really want to get your hair trimmed at the beginning of each season, and possibly once in the middle and end of the season as well.
These frequent sessions will keep your hair in good condition, reduce breakage, and get rid of those split ends as well. During the winter season, it is good to have these treatments done about every 6-8 weeks throughout the season.
Incorporating these winter hair care tips into your routine can make a significant difference in the health and appearance of your tresses during the colder months.
Remember, a little extra care goes a long way in ensuring your hair stays vibrant and beautiful even when the winter winds are blowing.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.