7 Simple Tips For Maintaining Healthy Hair During The Winter

Full Width Featured Image with Sidebar

Written by Sophie Mara

Updated: February 20, 2024

Winter Hair3
image via @braidsbyelin

Spring might be in our sights, but, for now, the cold weather continues to wreak havoc on our hair. We’re talking snow days, rough winds, temperatures dropping below zero, and the heater blasting on high (guilty). It’s a recipe for breakage and your hair deserves better.

Luckily, we’ve done our research and are ready to share our findings on how to successfully combat the cold. Say goodbye to uncontrollable frizz, split ends, and constant tangling, these tips are about to transform your tresses into the smooth and silky mane you remember. 

#1. Invest In A Moisturizing Shampoo & Conditioner

The first and arguably most important step in any good haircare routine is all about finding that hero shampoo and conditioner combo. One that leaves your hair feeling healthier and stronger with every single wash. That can be a challenge at the best of times, it’s especially tricky when it’s below freezing outside. 

To help your hair and scalp get all the extra nutrients they need, time upping the moisturizing ingredients in your haircare with the arrival of colder weather. Look for formulas rich in nourishing oils that are both kind and soothing to your hair.

Argan oil, Macadamia oil, coconut oil, and olive oil are a great place to start. Aloe Vera and Shae butter will also improve softness and shine. Bonus points if you find a sulfate-free set.

Why? Sulfates are added to shampoo to create a lathering effect. Annoyingly, these sudsy formulas are known to dry out the hair and diminish the effects of those moisturizing ingredients. Sulfate-free is kinder, and gentler, and lends itself perfectly to dry, brittle tresses that need a little extra nourishment this time of year.

#2. Wash Your Hair Less Often

Hair Washing
image via @hairlossclinics

Whether you’re a wash your hair in the shower every morning type of person, or a once/twice a weeker, there’s always room to lessen the number of times you reach for your shampoo. As you’ve likely noticed, your hair becomes significantly dryer in cold weather.

That’s because cold air contains a lot less moisture than warm air meaning less moisture reaches your locks. It can also have the same drying effect on your scalp which may mean you notice dry, flaking skin (dandruff) when temperatures plummet. 

So, give your hair extra time between washes. It’ll allow those natural oils within your scalp to resurface and filter their way down the strands to naturally nourish your locks for a healthier feel and appearance.

#3. Resist Super Hot Showers

The draw of a steamy shower is almost irresistible when you’re shivering from the cold, so we hate to say it, but too-hot water can really harm your hair on wash days. Hot water causes your hair follicles to quickly open up, the heat then begins to destroy the keratin bonds which are what keep your hair strong and healthy.

Simply lowering the water temperature to lukewarm when washing your hair can stop this from happening and will leave keratin and your natural hair oils intact to combat cold weather dryness. 

#4. Indulge In A Weekly Hair Mask 

Rather than seeing these extra haircare steps as a chore, treat them as an excuse to relax and pamper yourself. Just as you might with a luxury scent or indulgent bath product, take time to select a hair mask that brings you joy. Look for gentle scents you know you love and top it off with nourishing ingredients designed to moisturize the hair and reduce brittleness. 

The key to getting the best result from your hair mask is knowing when to apply it. As shampooing causes the hair follicles to temporarily open up, slathering on your hair mask directly after you’ve rinsed the shampoo means your hair will have maximum absorption and can happily drink in all of those moisturizing ingredients. 

Once you’ve left the mask on for the time specified, rinse it out, and reach for your conditioner. A double dose of moisture may seem controversial, but is often necessary to achieve the results we want so don’t skip this step unless you feel your hair really can’t take it.

#5. Don’t Forget To Treat Your Scalp

Hair Oiling
image via @ahi.clinic

If you want truly healthy, strong-looking looks from root to tip, you’ll need to start at the source. Our hair grows from the scalp after all so neglecting it is like expecting luscious grass to grow from dry soil. Whether or not you’re noticing a flaky scalp or areas of dry skin, if your hair is feeling more brittle than usual it’s worth adding this step into your hair-wash routine. 

Before stepping into the shower, try adding a few drops of soothing tea tree oil or hydrating coconut oil to your scalp. Move your hair to the side, creating access to different areas of the skin.

Gently massage the oil into your scalp and hair roots using your fingertips for around 15 minutes. For extra moisturization, do this the night before you plan to wash your hair and sleep with the oil in. Otherwise, leaving it on even for an hour before will improve its benefits.

#6. Wear A Hat… Just, Not All The Time

Winter Hat
image via @sweet_turns

Since it’s the winter weather making our hair misbehave, it stands to reason that minimizing contact between our precious locks and the cold will improve our hair health. And, that’s true, to an extent.

Wearing a hat outside can be beneficial for many reasons. It stops your hair from blowing around in the wind and becoming tangled. It keeps the hair a little warmer so the strands don’t get quite so chilled. It’s a good idea, but, make sure you’re not wearing a hat all of the time. 

Falling into the habit of leaving your hat on indoors can actually be quite detrimental to your hair health. Especially when your hat is made from the usual wintery fabrics like wool and cotton which are surprisingly quite drying. 

The solution? Minimize hat-wearing time, or opt for a hat with a silk lining that’ll be infinitely kinder to your hair and maintain its moisture levels. 

#7. Back Away From The Heat Tools

We hardly need to explain that extreme temperatures harm the health of your hair. This is especially true when you’re already fighting against wind, rain, and snow. 

That said, we know you can’t exactly leave the house with wet hair and even at home, it’s pretty uncomfortable. Instead, when you hop out of the shower, pat your hair dry as much as you can with a soft, clean towel.

Then, if and when you do blow out your hair or use heat tools for styling, set them to a lower temperature and always, always, use a heat protectant. Your hair will be thanking you for it from now until spring.


Related Hair Ideas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}