Winter is a tricky time for your hair. Plummeting temperatures, abrasive winds and high humidity mist combined with hydration-zapping indoor heating mean hair can become dry, dull and frizzy.
However, with some simple at-home routine switch-ups and some additional treatments, you can ensure your hair stays healthy right through to spring. We quizzed two hairdressing experts for their top tips.
Think Monica Geller hair moments are only reserved for tropical holidays? Think again. Snowy or misty weather comes with a humidity warning and can lead to frizz. Tackling frizz takes a two-pronged approach — both at the salon and at home. Sam Burnett, founder and creative director of Hare & Bone, recommends a keratin hair treatment, aka a Brazilian blowout. “This service leaves hair smooth and frizz-free for up to five months,” he told us. The bonus? The hair’s improved condition means less maintenance and heated tools daily which in turn help make the weather impact more bearable.
Frizz can also be managed in your bathroom with the right arsenal of products. Burnett recommends a keratin-based controlling shampoo and conditioner to combat frizz at the source. “Silk proteins will hydrate your hair and offer temporary frizz control benefits to lock out the pesky moisture,” he says. Complement this with a keratin oil and anti-humidity finishing spray to bolster your hair’s protective barrier.
Lock in Moisture With a Mask
Transitioning from harsh cold weather to indoor heating can play havoc with your hair’s hydration levels. “I advise my clients to use a nourishing treatment mask in replacement of their conditioner on alternate washes,” Anita Rice, co-founder of Buller & Rice, says. “I suggest leaving overnight and rinsing out in the morning,” she added.
Amp up the Hydration
“Winter weather can strip the hair, making it brittle leading to damage and split ends,” Burnett says. For those with fine hair, this can be even more noticeable. This means it is time to switch to strengthening shampoo and conditioner formulas. “Add a hydrating cream before blow drying to help prevent additional hydration loss,” Burnett states. Rice also suggests incorporating a lightweight hair oil into your routine for the winter months — simply comb through hair when it is wet.
Combat Color Fade
Winter can be bad news for those with vibrantly hued hair. “Chilly winds cause hair to dry out, opening the cuticles and causing color fade,” Burnett said. This can be rectified by color-saving salon treatments such as toners or glazes. At home, protect your hair before stepping out into the elements. “Remember to add a drop of smoothing cream or a light keratin oil to the mid-lengths and ends to protect your hair from the winter weather,” Burnett suggests.
Prioritize Scalp Care
The scalp often gets forgotten — especially during the winter. “Transitioning from hot to cold causes the main issues,” Burnett described. “When the body is hot the scalp releases more sweat to cool you down but when it gets cold, the scalp tightens up to retain the moisture. This can lead to dry skin conditions like psoriasis or scalp tension which can lead to headaches, flaky scalp and follicular construction,” he explains. As a result, this can cause the hair to thin and go more brittle. Do not panic, a little scalp care will solve the situation. “Massage your scalp when washing and conditioning your hair to increase blood flow and boost scalp health,” he suggests. Try acid serums for the scalp. Glycolic acid exfoliates the surface of the scalp, removing hair follicle-clogging debris and styling product build-up. Plus, never leave the house with wet hair. This will only exacerbate the issue further.
Extend Your Blowout
Make your blowout go the distance with a few handy hacks. “Sleep on a satin pillowcase to avoid friction and use a shower cap while washing to keep any moisture out,” Rice suggested. “On your final days, use dry shampoo to absorb any excess oil and keep your ‘do look fresh for that bit longer.”
Winter Hair Kit
The products to stock up on now.
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Editor’s note: This article has been updated since its original publication in February 2020.