Winter is a rough season all around: You have to fight hat hair, your lips turn into sand paper, and your hair can become a brittle mess. While that's enough to make you want to wave the white flag of surrender, you can still keep your hair hydrated through even the coldest of spells and meanest of blizzards. Just because everything is dead and grey around you doesn't mean your hair has to suffer the
Granted, this whole process isn't going to be ideal for the lazy beauty lover out there. While you might just be able to air dry your hair during the summer and slather on a serum during those days you remember to, the winter is a whole other ball game. You're going to have to stock up on a few choice products if you want your locks to stop looking like a stack of hay every time you take off your hat, but it'll be well worth it. Below are nine tips on how to keep your hair hydrated during the brutal winter, straight from hair stylists' mouths. Prepare yourself for the silky strands that will follow.
1. Cut Back On The Heat Styling
Help your hair fight through these dry winter months by cutting back on your heat styling routine. You don't necessarily need to put the straightener away till spring — just ease back a little to give your hair a break while it's especially dry. And if you absolutely can't do that, then at least lower the temperature a bit.
"Chill out on the heat styling, literally. Check your hot tools and drop that temperature. Our hair is more susceptible to being brittle in the colder months and needs very minimal heat to be styled. Start by decreasing the temperature by 25 percent, and go from there," Jaymi Van Horne, a hairstylist at Toronto's Good Day Hairshop and with over 10 years experience, explains in an email interview with Bustle. While you might not be putting away the tools totally, that shift in temperature will help.
2. Opt For Baths
"Fewer showers, more baths! A bath will not only help you warm up but can be the perfect opportunity to give your hair that mask you keep forgetting," Van Horne shares. "My go-to is Good Day Hairshop's Boys Tears Conditioning Mask which I rinse with cool water after a 10-20 minute soak (dim lighting and a juicy book are optional.)" You'll see a noticeable difference in your tresses, and you'll finally get to catch up with those books piling up on your nightstand.
3. Don't Wash Your Hair As Often
During those hot sweaty months between June and August, it makes sense that you wash your hair a couple times a week. From all the perspiring, swimming, and general running around, those strands need an extra scrub or two. But during the winter, you're not engaging in the same activities so you don't need the same strict routine.
"Most people wash their hair out of habit and during the winter months, over-washing is a huge no, no. I find that the cold air outside mixed with the dry heat indoors leaves out scalp and strands very parched with very little reason to maintain the shampoo routine we did over the summer. Skip the shampoo for an extra day or two, and your hair will thank you," Van Horne confirms. Stock up on dry shampoo if you feel like your hair gets oily quickly.
4. Skip The Post-Workout Suds
Don't worry, you don't have to walk around with a sopping hairdo! Instead, skip the shampoo after your workout shower and focus on conditioner instead. "If you exercise you can absolutely shower but rather than shampooing, rinse and condition. The over washing of hair is one of the biggest reasons hair becomes dry and dehydrated," Meredith Morris, stylist, colorist, and owner of MAVEN Beverly Hill, shares in an email interview with Bustle. You'll be clean, but you won't further strip your hair.
5. Use Leftover Products On Your Ends
Instead of tossing that nearly empty face moisturizer in the bin, use those last few drops in your hair instead. "During winter I like to use any leftover products from my face and body moisturizing routine on the ends of my hair. Rosehip seed oil, coconut oil, hell...I'll even use the leftover avocado from my smoothie/face mask. As long as it's relatively natural, anything that can be used to moisturize the skin can also be used to moisturize the hair," Van Horne points out. It's definitely better than tossing it in the trash.
6. Keep Up With Your Haircuts
While it might seem annoying snipping your hair every month while you're trying to grow it out, Morris points out it'll help you save length in the long run. "Dry hair tends to be brittle and likely to break on the ends. Staying current with bimonthly haircuts will keep the ends clean and healthy which will allow your hair to continue growth in a well maintained way, preventing you from having to do a major chop in the spring." So book those haircuts and shave off those brittle ends!
7. If You Have Colored Hair, Definitely Do Weekly Masks
Davines MOMO conditioner, $34, Amazon
"A great mask to be used weekly is a vital investment. After all, your hair is your one accessory that is always with you, so it's worth the money for quality products with high end ingredients," Morris points out. "My favorite deep hydrating mask is Davines MOMO conditioner. It's sole focus is on dry and dehydrated hair. I like to soak hair in this wonderful conditioner and let it penetrate for a half hour, absorbing all of its glory."
8. Try Some Simple Home Remedies
You don't have to spend big dollars when it comes to keeping your hair hydrated through cold-snaps and polar vortexes. You can also grab some ingredients from your kitchen that will help your dehydrated strands seal in some moisture.
"Coconut oil and olive oil are inexpensive and right in your kitchen," Morris points out. "You can take these oils, soak them throughout the mid shaft and ends of your hair and let soak for a half hour. For an even deeper treatment you can wrap them in plastic wrap and and cover with a towel turban. The heat will allow the oils to really work some magic."
9. Don't Even Try Skipping Conditioner
There's one simple truth that all dehydrated strands have to acknowledge. "Always use a conditioner," Morris says. "Conditioner is not meant for the scalp it is meant for the actual hair so think of it has a hydration system for the hair. It's like moisturizing your skin. It's a non negotiable, it's a must."
Follow these steps and you won't suffer dry, brittle hair that seems to come part and parcel with winter. Keep those strands luxurious and soft, no matter how mean the weather gets!
Images: Bustle; Amazon (1)