Winter weather can be hard on your hair. Chilly temps present some unique challenges when it comes to taking care of your tresses, and it can be difficult to lock down a style that doesn’t add to the potential damage the cold can bring.
What you do to look after your hair will ultimately depend on its texture, density, and overall health, so always keep your own locks in mind when selecting products and styles. Luckily, there are plenty of actions everyone can take to protect their hair through the colder months, and a wealth of products and styles out there to make it easier, regardless of your hair type.
Watch How Often You Wash
It might seem like common sense to wash your hair as often as possible to keep it clean, but doing so without using high-quality, hydrating products can sometimes be more detrimental than beneficial. Constant washing can zap the moisture from your hair over time, and during the winter, moisturized hair is your best friend.
Dry hair is more prone to breakage, and with the cold weather already drying everything out, you don’t want to add to it by going out with brittle hair. Consider adjusting your shampoo schedule to a few times a week, depending on how active you are. (Obviously, if you’ve got a workout routine that makes you sweat on the regular, you’ll want to cleanse your hair more often to keep oils from building up.
If you do have to wash often, control the temperature of the water you use. Extra hot water can drain moisture from your hair, so a lukewarm wash and cooler rinse is best. You should also look for a high-quality shampoo specifically designed to help retain moisture.
Look for hydrating, nourishing ingredients within your hair care products. Brands like UNITE Hair, for example, produce high-quality professional-grade hair care products that are great for all hair types and easy to use. The brand is the ideal choice when you want high-performing products perfect for taking care of your hair during the dry winter months and beyond.
Adopt a Weekly Deep-Conditioning Routine
Conditioner is essential when the temperatures outside start to plummet. Using a conditioner every time you shampoo is great, especially if you’re already prone to dry or frizzy hair, but adding some deep conditioning in there is even better. Find a product you can apply once a week, leaving it on your hair for several minutes before rinsing it. Most products will give you an estimated time frame, but if your hair is extra dry, feel free to extend it by a few minutes.
Pro tip: Employ a shower cap while you wait out the clock. This will help lock in the heat from your head, opening up your hair follicles to allow better absorption of the product. Plus, you won’t risk getting conditioner in your eyes while you tackle the rest of your shower routine in the meantime.
Speaking of conditioner, another killer benefit is taming frizz. Winter, as we all know, is basically static electricity season—and nobody wants Einstein hair. Using a leave-in conditioner can help cut down on the effects of static electricity as you venture out into the winter wilds, which means less frizz and fewer flyaways.
Find a Compromise with Your Heat Styling Tools
The cardinal rule of hair care in the winter is never going out in cold temps with wet hair. Saturated strands freeze fast, and that leads to breakage, so you should always dry your hair before you leave the house. But wait! We all know too much heat can also damage hair—what are we to do?
Try switching up your routine. If you move the first half of your hair prep process to the night before, you’ll give your tresses time to air dry while you sleep. (Another pro tip: If you use a microfiber towel, old T-shirt, or have a silk pillowcase, you’ll minimize the frizz level that can sometimes come with air drying.)
Some of us just can’t go without a blow-dryer, though, so do what you can to get the most out of your blowout. You should definitely be using products with thermal protection, but also incorporating a volumizing spray is going to maximize the look of your style. UNITE Hair, for example, has products that feature thermal protection, and their volumizing spray adds body and texture without adding weight or leaving behind any residue.
So, what are you supposed to do if your hair falls flat mid-week? A dry shampoo is going to help reduce the appearance of oils in-between washes, but a hair texturizer will do a bit more than that. Choose one that offers a buildable, workable hold, and you’ll be able to add exactly the amount of texture and weightless volume you’re aiming for. Spritz a little in the morning on dry hair to give your hair a small boost for work, then add a bit more before you head out to happy hour. Who says you have to sacrifice style in the name of hair health?
Skip the Heat Routine Entirely
Maybe you really want to go that extra mile to keep your hair healthy until spring. Luckily, you don’t have to sport a boring style to do that. From low twists and buns to braids and high ponytails, there’s a look for every occasion that doesn’t require a long, heat-heavy routine to achieve. Give your hair a twist, wrap it around your finger at the nape of your neck, and secure it with a clip—just like that you’ve got a sensible, low-maintenance style for your morning meeting.
If you want a fun, night-out look that doesn’t involve standing in front of your bathroom mirror for hours with the blow-dryer, go braid crazy instead. Starting from the front of your hair, separate one-inch strands out, braid them, and secure them at the back of your head with bobby pins. You can mix in a braided bun for the very back strands, and voilá: DIY updo. Use the time you saved skipping the blow-dry to thank everyone for the inevitable compliments.
Whether you’re in the camp of high-maintenance hair care or prefer a quick and easy routine before you rush out the door, there are plenty of ways you can protect your tresses from the frigid temps. All it takes are the right, high-quality products and a little style variation to keep your hair looking hot all winter long.