It’s a cold, snowy Winter Wonderland. Trees are frosted with ice, noses and cheeks are red and flushed, and hot cocoa packets are scattered about with tiny marshmallows. Love it or hate it, winter is a pretty intense season, especially for your hair.
But what makes winter so notoriously damaging to your locks, and what can you do to prevent this damage? We’ll cover everything you need to know about the top winter hair care tips to keep your hair looking healthy and feeling soft.
Why Your Hair is Brittle and Flat
Too much humidity is bad for your hair (as we outlined in our Summer Hair Care Tips article), but so is not enough. Dry air sucks the water out of the shaft of your hair, leaving your hair feeling like straw and brittle in the winter months.
In order to have healthy hair when the humidity percentage is too low, consider adding a humidifier to your home. These handy machines are filled with water that transforms into water vapor and raises the humidity in that room.
Hat season might as well be called static and breakage season. Though a fluffy beanie will keep your ears nice and toasty, the staticky hair not only looks bad but the friction from the rubbing causes tons of breakage towards the scalp that can leave your hair looking thin.
Keeping your hair shaft protected is as simple as using a hat that has a silk or satin-lined interior. This helps the cuticle glide against the hat with ease, reducing breakage. Or, if you’re crafty, do it yourself with a sheet of satin, a sewing needle, and some thread.
Overproduction of Sebum
Even though the air is dry, your scalp produces too much sebum (the natural oil that lubes your scalp and skin) to overcompensate for the lack of moisture. However, sebum has a very difficult time getting to the middle and ends of your hair, especially if you have long hair strands, so you’re left with an oily scalp and dry ends.
To combat this, most people just wash their hair more often. But washing your hair simply makes the problem worse since most shampoos dry your scalp and ends out, which leads to more oiliness and dryness at the same time.
It’s best to wash your hair and then apply dry shampoo before you go to bed to prevent next-day oiliness. You should not have to wash your hair more than once every other day or once every two days. Dry shampoo is your best friend!
Not all regions have this problem, but if you live in one that does, like the Midwest and parts of Florida and Texas, then invest in a showerhead filter. Hard water is bad for all hair types and causes extreme dryness and build-up due to the immense level of minerals, especially in cold weather.
If you’re unsure about mineral deposits in your water, check out your local city website.
How to Keep Your Hair Hydrated and Voluminous
Now, let’s focus on what you can do to keep your hair moisturized in the colder months. You might be surprised to see some of the items on this list!
Less Obvious Tips
Cool Down Your Shower
All you might want to do is relax and warm up with a hot shower. Unfortunately, heat is one of the worst things for hair in the winter (and in general). The heat opens up your hair cuticle, where it is susceptible to mineral damage and heat damage, and allows the water to evaporate from your hair.
You don’t need to shower in ice water, but lukewarm water protects your hair and allows new hair growth while preventing the cuticle from opening. If you really need a steaming hot shower, tie your hair up and tuck it into a shower cap and then lower the water temperature when it’s time to wash your mane.
Pro tip: Rinse your hair with cold water to seal the cuticle for shiny, healthy-looking hair.
Dry Your Hair Before Leaving the House
Depending on how cold your climate is, your hair might freeze when you walk out the door. Regardless of whether temperatures reach below freezing or not, prolonged cold is just as bad for your hair as heat since it causes strands to expand and potentially break.
If temperatures do reach below freezing, going outside with wet hair can do a lot of damage. Frozen hair strands are extremely brittle and will definitely break with a simple turn of the head, leading to hair loss and breakage.
Additionally, leaving your home with a wet head can be very detrimental to your health. You are much more likely to become hypothermic, which damages your skin, heart, and other systems in your body.
Just take the extra ten minutes to blow dry your hair before leaving to alleviate this issue. Be sure to use a protective heat spray, like our Argan Oil Heat Shield Protective Spray, to keep your hair safe from damage from heated styling tools.
Eat More Healthy Proteins
Considering your hair is made up of proteins, it shouldn’t be too surprising to find out that eating more protein can help strengthen your hair and make it grow faster. However, it depends on the type of protein you eat and what else is in the food.
Red meats, in general, contain a lot of protein, but there are other components in this food group that aren't great for your hair, so we recommend avoiding them.
Instead, healthy proteins like eggs, legumes, seeds, fatty fish, shrimp, and leafy vegetables are the way to go. These foods are also full of omegas that make your hair shiny, voluminous, and healthy.
Fix Your Lacking Hair Care Routine
The hair products that you do (or don’t) use on a daily or weekly basis has a huge impact on the overall health of your hair, especially in such a damaging season as winter. While you might want to treat and style your hair as usual, you probably need to make some changes to your hair care routine.
Stop Using the Wrong Shampoo Too Frequently
Shampoos that contain a high percentage of sulfates (detergents that cause the little bubbles) dry out your hair and cause the overproduction of sebum. While sulfates aren’t inherently a bad thing since they’re responsible for removing debris and grease, most mainstream shampoos simply contain too much of them.
Earlier, we mentioned the overproduction of sebum and the fact that many people shower more to combat it. Using the wrong shampoo exacerbates the problem, and what’s worse is using it too frequently. Check out our Why You Should Read Your Shampoo Label article to learn more.
We recommend you try out the Gold Label Shampoo and Conditioner. You’ll benefit from tons of highly-active extracts and oils, like avocado oil and nettle extract, and both products contain biotin. Biotin is essential to hair growth due to its participation in keratin production, which boosts follicle growth. This shampoo won’t dry your hair out, and the conditioner provides much-needed moisture to lifeless strands.
Moisturize at Least Once a Week
Hydrating your hair with a hair mask weekly is critical in cold weather to lock in moisture and strengthen each strand. PURA D’OR’s Hair Thinning Therapy Intense Moisturizing Masque comes in individual packs of eight for easy application, saving you time and energy. You won’t need to figure out how much product you need for your whole head; the pack does it for you!
There are 15 key active ingredients like caffeine, apple stem cells, and retinol, which work together to encase the hair in a protective shield that holds in moisture and keeps out damaging free radicals. It’s color-safe and great if you have hair prone to breakage, hair thinning due to breakage, or tangle-prone hair.
Add Argan Oil ASAP
Argan oil, known as ‘liquid gold’ in its native Morocco, is a stunning golden color. Even better, this oil is excellent for skin and hair. Argan oil coats the hair strands and protects them from split ends and other forms of breakage. It increases hair elasticity and reduces breakage for a fuller head of hair in the long run.
It is full of antioxidants and essential fatty acids that work to boost cell turnover in the scalp for quicker hair growth.
Our 100% pure argan oil is cold-pressed to perfection and is USDA Certified Organic. It’s an Amazon best-seller and is cruelty-free and environmentally responsible.
You can use it all over your roots and shafts as a weekly oil treatment. Just be sure to warm it up to a lukewarm temperature so that it is better absorbed by the hair and scalp.
Oil Your Ends
Your ends are likely the most damaged section of your hair. The sebum your scalp produces rarely comes into contact with your hair ends, which results in dry, split, dull strands that look like they constantly need to be trimmed.
A cost-affordable solution is to apply a few drops of Vitamin E oil to the middle and ends of your hair. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress, a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough antioxidants in your body. It’s a potent hair hydrator that works to strengthen the strands from the outside in.
Vitamin E oil is readily available at PURA D’OR for a low price that doesn’t sacrifice quality. In fact, our Vitamin E oil is a combination of seven highly potent oils: argan oil, jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, apricot oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and sunflower oil. It contains 70,000 IU (international units) of Vitamin E, one of the higher dosages on the market. This means that you don’t have to worry about pointless actives with tiny percentages included just to spice up a label. Our Vitamin E oil is the real deal.
Give Your Conditioner Time to Work
A hair conditioner’s purpose is to replenish the moisture that was stripped away with shampoo. As such, it needs a few minutes to seep into the hair strand and deposit the active ingredients it contains. This will create the necessary protective coating over the hair cuticle that prevents dryness and breakage.
So many people wash their conditioner off right after they smooth it onto the hair strands without giving it any time to work. If you check out the back of your conditioner bottle, it’ll tell you how long to keep it on; typically, about 3-5 minutes.
While you’re waiting, you can shave your legs, exfoliate your face, and do everything else you typically do in the shower.
Be Gentle with Your Brush
Ripping your brush through your tangled hair seems like the easiest and quickest solution to smooth, knotless hair. However, not only are you breaking your hair off, but you’re also ripping it out at the root, which makes it difficult for it to grow back.
Even hair stylists are often victims of this critical mistake. If you notice an intense tugging and pulling on your hair while you’re at the salon, ask your stylist to take their time to protect your hair.
Winter hair shouldn’t be the first thing that pops into your head when you hear this cold season’s name. Winter can be fun, so make the best of its climate and do what you can to prevent breakage and brittleness caused by dry, frigid air.
If healthy hair is your thing, check out PURA D’OR’s homepage to discover a brand that brings you high-quality, organic, fair-trade ingredients sourced from all over the world. Many of our products contain ingredients from a dozen different countries; it’s like taking a winter vacation without the slippery roads!
Be sure to visit our hair care page for more tips, tricks, and exotic products that you will love. Take responsibility for your mane and explore creative hair care as a new way to build a deeper, natural connection with yourself.