Winter is here in full force - the time for cozy sweaters (and all the trendy winter accessories that go with them), and spending time inside vegging on the couch with a snuggly blanket.
But it also means going from cold (or wet) weather outside to dry heat inside… over and over. And all those external elements can do a number on your skin and hair. In fact, all the extra heat, friction, and stress that comes with winter can actually affect the structure of your hair. Yikes!
If you’re dealing with dullness, extreme dryness, split ends and breakage, or more frizz than normal, you’re not alone. Thankfully, with a little TLC you can mend your hair and stay gorgeous — so you can look amazing in all those frost-filled Instagram opportunities!
First, let’s get into what causes the most common winter hair woes…
Dehydration, Inside and Out
You probably already know that staying hydrated on the inside can help your hair and skin stay healthy and beautiful. But while it’s easy to remember to drink when you’re sweatin’ it out in the humid summer season, winter dehydration can sneak up on you. Like we mentioned earlier, going from one air temperature extreme to another can dry you out quicker, so it’s important to stay hydrated, first and foremost.
If your hair is feeling extra dry or damaged, try cutting back on heat styling, and treat yourself to at-home hair masks and nourishing conditioning products at least once a week. If you can, cut back on shampooing, too! Over-washing can leave your scalp and hair parched, especially combined with the cold air outside and dry heat indoors. Invest in a great dry shampoo to zap oil in its track — our Miracle Dry Shampoo and Conditioner is a great pick, as it combines the power of a dry shampoo with the hydrating properties of a leave-in conditioner.
More Than Just Hat Hair
Hats, headbands, and scarves are a great way to add a little flair to your outfit — as well as protect your strands from the elements. But the long-term effects are more than just that disheveled “hat hair” look. If you’re moving around and getting your heart rate up, wearing a hat can actually trap and build up sweat along your hairline. This can lead to scalp irritation, and even dandruff for some.
If it’s cold enough to warrant a hat, select looser hat styles (no skull caps!) and pay attention to the fabric — natural fibers like cotton, cashmere, and wool are best if you want to avoid frizz.
Too Hot to Handle
Getting up in the morning can be oh-so-tough when the mornings are dark, but what’s better than stepping into a steamy, luxurious shower to wake you up? Well, here’s the thing: while it might feel relaxing in the moment, hot water can dry out hair and irritate your scalp in the long-term.
This also goes for your hot tools. Cold weather can lead to brittle locks, and your chances of breakage and split ends go up exponentially. Play it safe by limiting your use of hot tools — and if you must, make sure you’re using a quality heat protectant before you style, and look for tools that are ceramic and/or ionically charged. (Ceramic plates penetrate your hair shaft quicker and evenly, while ionically-charged tools neutralize the electric charges to prevent damage.)
With those causes in mind, now let’s take a look at some additional tips specific to your hair type.
Winter Hair Care for Fine Hair
- Fine hair can be particularly susceptible to flyaways as your hair gets dehydrated this time of the year. Combat this by keeping hydrated with a conditioning treatment once a week.
- If your fine hair tends to get frizzy in the winter, use a lightweight styling cream or serum to coat hair and prevent static charges. Finish with some light-hold hairspray, like our Miracle Finishing Spray.
- To avoid flat hat hair, use a volumizing spray before blow-drying to create a bouncy foundation. Pop a travel-size spray into your purse and duck into the restroom for a quick spritz once you’re ready to take your hat off!
- Don’t be afraid to switch to a richer shampoo and conditioner to keep your fine hair hydrated. As with any hair product, just take some time to experiment and find out what works for your specific hair types and needs.
Winter Hair Care for Natural, Coarse, or Curly Hair
- We know, we know — drying coarse and natural hair can take forever. But whatever you do, try not to leave the house while your hair is still wet or damp. Your hair can actually freeze if it’s cold enough — which can leave you vulnerable to breakage. If possible, shower at night and experiment with the best overnight air-dry strategy, or set your alarm early enough to allow yourself time for a diffuser dry before stepping out.
- Let your deep conditioner sit. Coarse and/or natural hair will need a bit more TLC than other hair types — so when you apply your weekly hair mask or deep conditioner, be prepared to let it soak in for around 20 minutes.
- Wear silk — for all occasions! During the day, if you opt for a hat make sure it’s lined with silk to avoid snagging your strands and causing extra frizz. For night: hair is prone to breakage even more so in the winter, so invest in either a high-quality silk scarf, or a silk or satin pillowcase.
- If cold weather weren’t enough of a problem, high winds and stormy conditions can also wreak havoc for us thick and curly-haired gals. Be extra-gentle when you de-tangle. You may even want to select a more protective style, like braids, buns, or cornrows.
Winter Hair Care for Color-Treated Hair
- Color-treated hair is already prone to dryness and dullness, so you’ll need to pay extra attention to your routine. Same with the other hair types, it’s beneficial to use a deep conditioner once a week.
- Try a product line that caters to color-treated hair specifically, like our Blonde Collection. This line was designed to address the special needs of blondes, enhancing highlights and refreshing golden hues with a gentle cleansing. Bonus: it protects against fading and retains color — especially helpful in the harsh winter months.
- Skip the platinum look, if possible — it can be extra drying! Opt for a dirtier blonde in the winter, or use a demi-permanent color to touch up your roots until the spring hits.
Winter Hair Care for Everyone
- Preventative care is the name of the game. Cold winter temperatures can lead to a loss in moisture, so invest in a weekly ultra-hydrating treatment to combat the temps. Try our Miracle Hair Mask, which was developed to respond to the demands of today's color treated, heat styled, and otherwise processed hair.
- Dryness and dullness often go hand-in-hand. While you’re nursing your hair back to health, there’s no shame in upping your style game to ensure gorgeous locks. Grab our Miracle Shine Spray, which adds brilliant shine, strength, and protection in just a spritz.
- Opt for sulfate-free shampoos. Sulfates can strip your hair of its natural oils, which you definitely don’t want to do in the winter! No matter your hair type, a sulfate-free, keratin-enriched formula will help you stay healthy and hydrated.
- Frizz can show up for every hair type, and it’s a sign of a lack of moisture. Try a hair oil, like our Miracle Dry Oil Spray, to combat the frizz. It can also work for static, which tends to build up more in the winter due to low or lack of humidity in the air.
- Use a leave-in conditioner, like any of our Miracle Leave-In Products. It’s an added support system for your hair in these trying, drying months!
Ready to find the right shampoos, leave-in conditioners, and more for your hair care needs? Shop all It's a 10 products here!