My 10 Winter Hair Care Tips
1 - Condition, condition, condition!
During the winter months, you should give your hair a little extra nourishment. Treat your hair once a week to a deep conditioning treatment to help replace the moisture that is being lost due to the cold winter air and dry heat from your central heating. As well as this deep condition, remember to use a moisturising conditioner after shampooing. If you have greasy roots with dry ends, concentrate on your tips and make sure you do not condition your roots.
When it comes to the type of conditioner and shampoo to use, try to avoid those with high concentrations of unnatural ingredients – parabens, SLS, additives etc. Instead, opt for something more natural with nourishing ingredients like argan oil, rosemary oil or even coconut oil.
2 - Natural remedies for dry ends
As I’ve mentioned, natural oils like olive oil, coconut oil and argan oil all make great natural conditioning treatments. They moisturise hair instantly, providing extra nourishment for dry ends. To treat your tips, apply a small amount to the ends of your hair using your fingertips. You can either leave in or wash out after 5 – 45 minutes with a gentle shampoo.
3 - Wash your hair less often
This may be a little tough, especially if, like me, you have naturally greasy roots, but try to wash your hair less frequently as too much shampooing can strip away moisture from your hair. Leaving it for two or three days will help prevent your hair from drying out too much.
4 - Take care when washing hair
When you do wash your hair, avoid washing it in hot water. As I have mentioned before, hot water not only dries out the skin but your hair too, so turn the temperature down on your shower. Lukewarm or cool water is best, with a blast of cold water at the end to help close and seal the hair cuticles.
5 - Cool down your appliances
This may be hard, especially if you are like me and love your ‘hair gadgets’, but try to limit your use of hair dryers and other heated appliances. You may think your hair looks great when you use your straighteners, but they dry hair out even more in winter. If you can’t avoid them altogether, use a low heat and try not to use them for too long on your ends. If you have your hair dryer on its highest setting, try coming down a notch. It may take a little longer to dry, but your hair will thank you for it.
If you can’t avoid your heated appliances, the best way to keep your hair in great shape is to use a good quality heat protection spray. If you’re unsure about the best one, as I mentioned earlier, oils such as argan oil can be great for your hair and have natural protective properties. You could try adding a little argan oil to damp hair, using a wide-toothed comb to make sure it’s distributed evenly – this should help to protect your hair against damage and frizz!
6 - Comb, don’t brush
Avoid brushing your hair when wet, to stop breakage. Your hair is at its weakest when wet so it’s best to use a wide-toothed comb after washing and if you use a brush to blow dry your hair, use a vented one. Try to avoid using a brush until your hair is almost dry. That’s why hairdressers always blast your hair (with a low heat) until it is 80% dry, and then style it.
7 - Wear a hat
I really LOVE wearing hats in winter. They are my favourite winter accessory, but as well as making my outfit look great, they also serve to protect your hair from the cold and wind.
The only problem is that dreaded ‘hat hair’ that ruins your look when you eventually take your hat off. The solution is to make sure your hat is not too tight, your hair is completely dry before putting a hat on and avoid wearing woolly hats which tend to make hair static.
8 - Get it cut
One of the most effective ways to keep your hair healthy during the winter months is to get rid of those dry ends with regular trims. It is recommended to get a trim every six to eight weeks. As well as cutting away your dry ends, regular trims are also great for hair growth and help to give natural curls some extra bounce.
9 - Itchy & scratchy scalp
During the winter months, we often find that our scalps become dry, itchy and flaky. Not only can this become uncomfortable, but it is also an embarrassing problem and one which you will want to get rid of quickly.
Avoid shampoos that include the ingredient sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) as this is a known irritant. Instead explore natural shampoos, such as Neem Shampoo. This shampoo contains Neem leaf tincture, ideal to soothe a dry, itchy scalp and is suitable for everyday use by the whole family.
10 - Put some moisture back in the air
Using a humidifier can benefit not only your dry skin but your hair too. It helps by adding much-needed moisture back into the air, which cuts down on static and replenishes your dry hair.
As I have said before, humidifiers can be costly, so remember the simple trick I mentioned in my last blog post. Put a bowl of water on or near your radiator to help replace the moisture that has been lost. As it heats up, the water will evaporate into the air, increasing moisture.
(Originally published 09/01/2015, updated 15/01/2019)