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Is winter weather stressing your strands? Cold air contains less moisture, which leads to everything from dry sinuses, to dry skin and dry hair.
Experts say that the cold weather outside coupled with the dry air inside can strip your hair of moisture and leave your locks with little to no luster.
“More often than not, the exposure to the harsh cold elements and constant transition to heated indoors can sap our hair of its moisture, leading to dull hair that’s more susceptible to damage,” dermatologist Dr. Pankaj Chaturvedi tells Vogue. “Not only are your strands at risk of breakage due to the dry, cold winter air, but scalp dryness, dandruff, can rear its ugly head during these drier months.”
Luckily, there are several things you can do to reverse winter damage to your hair.
Use The Best Hair Moisturizer You Can Find
Hair moisturizer provides a protective barrier of moisture that will not only keep your hair smooth and soft, but it will also help to prevent breakage and future damage. While you can use oils, serums or leave-in conditioners to lock in moisture, hair moisturizers are generally thicker and more concentrated, and provide more bang for your buck. If you’re in the market for new products to try, be sure to check out some of our favorite hair moisturizers.
Wear Satin-Lined Caps In Winter
Part of the reason why our hair can suffer so much in the winter isn’t just the cold itself, but the measures we go to in order to manage the cold. Wooly winter hats can keep our heads warm, but they are also rough on our hair follicles. Wool absorbs moisture, meaning our hair can lose much-needed moisture every time we put on our winter gear.
That is why satin-lined winter caps are invaluable for your locks. Satin-lined hats (like this beanie on Amazon that is currently over 40% off) can prevent frizz, dryness and breakage.
You may also want to consider using soft satin or silk scarves to help prevent hair damage. And don’t forget satin pillowcases!
Don’t Take Super Hot Showers
We know: Hot showers during the winter time feel like a must. But using hot water to wash your hair can actually be quite damaging. Hot water robs your hair of moisture because it strips away natural oils from your scalp. This can also lead to an itchy scalp and dandruff in the long run.
Instead, use lukewarm water, and finish with a cold water rinse to seal the hair shaft. It doesn’t have to be ice-cold, but simply as cold as you can stand.
“Without a doubt, cold water is far better for your hair than hot,” celebrity hairstylist Florian Hurel said to Vogue. “Washing your hair with cold water helps with closing your cuticle after the wash.”
Do A Biweekly Hair Mask
While conditioner can go a long way in moisturizing your strands, it’s not always enough to undo all the effects winter has on your hair. That’s where hair masks come in.
“The ingredients in hair masks are a lot more potent than ingredients in regular conditioners, and their benefits definitely last a lot longer,” hairstylist Devin Toth tells Glamour.
Treating your hair with a mask once or twice a week can help you restore your hair’s health. Olaplex 8 Bond Intense Moisture Mask is a current celebrity favorite, and it’s also on our list of top-rated hair masks for 2023.
Get A Humidifier
We know, this doesn’t exactly sound like a beauty tip, but it really is. Humidifiers are essential for supple skin and soft hair, especially during the winter when central heating can make indoor air extra-dry.
“Sleeping with a humidifier helps balance out the humidity in your home, keeping it at an ideal level for maintaining your hair’s moisture and health without causing frizz,” NYC dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, tells Well + Good. It also helps keep your hair looking and feeling soft, shiny, and strong.”
Shop our favorite top-rated humidifiers here.