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15 ways to weather-proof your hair for winter

Combat the harsh effects of cold weather on your hair with our top tips...

winter hair
Alex Light
Body Work Columnist
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We want our locks to look amazing all-year round, but the cold of winter can take its toll on our hair. Icy temperatures, rain and blustery winds outdoors combined with the dry central heating indoors means the scalp is more prone to dehydration, resulting in dryness. Luckily, you can outwit the elements by treating your tresses to a weather-proofing routine – we teamed up with online hair and beauty retailer to bring you 10 top tips…

1. Keep washing to a minimum

If possible, try and limited yourself to washing your hair just two or three times a week to prevent it from drying out in the cold. This minimises the amount of heat styling in your routine, which can be extremely harsh on the hair, especially in the winter.

winter hair 1a

2. Use a sulphate-free shampoo

Sulphate is a very common ingredient in shampoo, but it can cause problems for damaged hair as it strips beneficial oils… Instead, invest in a shampoo free from sulphate and as many chemicals as possible.

3. Choose your conditioner carefully

It's also important to invest in a really rich, thick and moisturising conditioner – pick one that contains fatty acids and humectants, such as soy protein and panthenol. These ingredients help attract and retain moisture in the hair.

4. Avoid hot showers

It's tempting to turn your shower up to full blast when it's freezing outside, but this can damage your scalp – and your skin, by stripping it of moisture. Instead, keep showers and baths to ten minutes and make sure the water is mid-to-lukewarm.

5. Avoid ponytails

Wearing your hair down as much as possible will prevent the additional breakage that a bobble creates. If you do wear a ponytail, try to wear it at different heights each time to avoid too much pressure in one area.

6. Cover up

Wear a hat to protect your hair from the cold during the winter colds.

7. Use Argan oil

Argan Oil is a great product to use during cold spells as they moisturise the hair instantly. Make sure the oil is not too heavy for your hair type. Ask your hair stylist who can recommend a light version.

8. Use a heat protect spray

 If you do use heated appliances frequently, the best way to keep your hair in the best shape is to use a good quality heat protect spray.

9. Look at your diet

Eating foods that are rich in natural oils, minerals and vitamins will help to give your body everything you need to keep your hair looking healthier, as well as for your own general well-being during winter. Make sure your diet includes plenty of Vitamin C, A, E, as well as iron and selenium, which can be found in a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, nuts and cereals. This will help to boost your immune system and damage repair that can occur to your hair.

10. Regular trims are essential.

The most effective way to keep your hair healthy is to get rid of those dry ends.

11. Wash your hair in lukewarm water

Our hair colour fades faster in the winter as we wash our hair more often due to weather conditions. Avoid washing your hair in hot water as it dries out the hair. Instead wash your hair in lukewarm water and blast with cold water at the ends to help close and seal the hair cuticles.

12. Use Vitamin E

The harsh wintery winds can leave your hair damaged and cause split ends, so give your locks a boost with oil which includes vitamin E. Massage into the scalp to rejuvenate your tresses.

13. Protect hair from static

Woolly hats and cosy scarves protect you from the cold, but they can also cause your hair to go frizzy! Try using a frizz control spray and pat down using dryer sheers – if your hair is naturally curly, a silk-lined hat can prevent breakage as well as keeping you warm. To prevent hat hair, keep a small bottle of dry shampoohandy to rescue flat roots.

14. Use creams instead of serums

Gels and thick serums can actually make hair stiffen in freezing temperatures, especially when applied to wet hair. Creams however can actually soften the hair as well as keeping it protected from the windy weather.

15. Keep locks moisturised

Using a hydrating mask once a week will help restore your locks' natural oils that are often stripped away during the winter months. If you have the heating on in your house, this can suck the moisture out of the air and dry out your locks, so invest in a humidifier to lock in further moisture.