The winter is mean in more ways than one: Not only does it destroy pretty booties with salty sidewalks and leave your lips feeling like sandpaper, but you can also thank Jack Frost for lackluster hair. So how can you put shine back into your winter hair? You don't have to live with dull strands just because the elements are hellbent on making it a little harder to have shampoo commercial-inspired locks.
The harsh winds and dry air can make almost everyone's hair feel like straw, but that's only if you don't take action. Instead, why not go on the defense and pump some life back into it? Hairstylists have some great tactics to get through the last leg of winter on a defiant note.
From playing kitchen beautician and rummaging through the ingredients you have at home, to paying extra close attention to what is inside your shampoo and conditioner bottles, we can get through this together.
1. Play Kitchen Beautician
Dryness is just a part of winter, so you need to be proactive when it comes to battling it. If your hair feels like hay, it doesn't have to stay that way for long.
"Hair tends to be dryer in winter months. The heat in our homes, the outdoor elements, they all contribute to lackluster hair. It's during these months where we really need to focus on treating our hair with in-salon and at home treatments," Meredith Morris, stylist, colorist, and owner of MAVEN Beverly Hill, shares in an email to Bustle. "Coconut oil and olive oil are both kitchen ingredients that can quench thirsty hair and revive it back to having shine."
2. Use Shampoo Less Than You Do During The Summer
"First, you need to always use conditioner when in the shower. Secondly, slow down on shampoos. Shampooing hair less frequently will leave your hair feeling less stripped," Morris points out.
3. Slow Down On Dry Shampoos
Whether it's to blast your bangs because of a little greasiness or to add texture before your curl your hair, ease up on the dry shampoo during the nippier seasons.
"Dry shampoo is great for absorbing oil, but in the winter your hair is producing less oil and you need those natural oils to keep your dryer ends protected," Jordan Morris, hair stylist at milk + honey in Austin, shares in an email interview with Bustle.
While you can definitely give your hair a spritz if it's looking dirty, the point here is to not reach for it as liberally as you might during the summer.
4. Don't Use Argan Oil As A Permanent Band-Aid
While argan oil definitely hits hair with a heavy dose of shine, there is something as too much of a good thing.
"I have found that while products that contain this are great in small doses to smooth or gloss ends, over time they can create a barrier that prevents conditioner from penetrating and moisturizing," Jordan Morris points out.
5. Skip The Protein
Shampoo and conditioner bottles boast a lot of miracle fix-it solutions on their labels, but what you need to specifically look for is any product that offers a boost in moisture. So it's best if you skip the protein until spring swings back around.
"Often people will buy products targeting repair when what they really need is moisture. Repair products are often made for people who have chemical damage and hot tool damage. Protein can further dry out strands so opt for products that have moisturizing as a key word," Jordan Morris recommends.
6. Make Deep Conditioning A Part Of Your Routine
This is no longer a step you can indulge in once a week — if you feel like your hair is turning brittle, make deep conditioning part of your shower routine.
"Deep condition every time you wash. If your strands are feeling dry then you should be just fine to use a mask in loo of a normal conditioner. Your hair will thank you," Jordan Morris says.
7. Avoid Certain Ingredients
We now know that anything with protein or repair promises needs to be earmarked for warmer months, but what else should you skip over while you try to beat the dryness back? "Stay away from products that say 'daily' or 'clarifying,' and back off from products that contain mint and tea tree oil," Jordan Morris advises.
While it can be hard battling hat hair and having to deal with unruly hairdos, you can at least keep the dryness at bay. Don't worry, we're half way done with this rough season!