Tips to keep those tresses healthy in the dry + harsh winter months.
Winter isn’t just coming– winter is here. Hello, January. I don’t know about you guys, but my hair (which is naturally on the dry side) really suffers in the winter. Cold winds, brittle temperatures, and dry winter air all combine to make it a challenge to keep hair healthy.
Who better to get some healthy hair tips from than my stylist + friend, Stephanie Holle? She’s responsible for taking my hair from its former dark ombre to a lighter + cooler blonde, and she’s my go-to for product recs on keeping my hair healthy. I sat down to get her tips on combating winter dryness.
Everyone starts taking hotter showers in the winter, which dries out both the skin and the scalp. I recommend using cooler water in the shower if you can– or at least pin your hair up until you’re ready to wash and condition it. This practice minimizes exposure to the drying hot water. You should also stock up on a moisture-rich conditioner and work that into your routine at least a few times a week fight dryness.
2. Do you have any favorite products?
- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment. This one is good year-round because it works as a leave-in conditioner in addition to helping prevent split ends and acting as a thermal protector.
- Moroccan Oil. Hydrate with oil! They make this in a normal and a light formula. The lighter formula is great for people with fine hair, as it doesn’t weigh it down. This one can also be used all year long, and works on wet or dry hair. Just remember- it’s easy to overdose on oils and end up with a greasy head- a little goes a long way! (AW note: I looooove this stuff! I use it all the time on my ends between washes to add moisture.)
- HydraSource by Matrix Biolage. This product comes in a conditioner and a mask. Use the conditioner every time you shower in the winter to keep hair super moisturized. (I don’t recommend this is as an all-year product unless you have extremely dry hair, as it’s heavier.) The mask is meant to stay on longer (think 5-15 minutes) to really penetrate the hair. Use this weekly or twice a month.
- Pureology’s Hydrate line. This is a solid line for adding moisture, start to finish. Pureology also makes a product called Perfect 4 Platinum Miracle Filler. It’s designed for blondes (to add proteins back in that are stripped by the lightening process), but could be used on darker-haired clients because it’s great for combating brittleness and dryness.
Another tip: think about asking your stylist to add a deep conditioning treatment to you winter salon visits. My salon carries a Redken Chemistry Treatment (only available to the pro’s; not something you can do at home). We are able mix up to 3 different formulas, which are modeled after Redken’s shampoo line: All Soft, Color Extend, and Extreme. We apply + let it sit on the hair for 5-10 minutes, and then add a pH formula based on whether your hair is chemically treated (via color, perms, etc.) or you have virgin hair.
3. I know heat styling can damage hair and make dry hair even worse. What can we do to combat that?
Air drying your hair helps a ton. It’s one of the best (and cheapest!) tricks to keep hair healthy. (AW note: air drying is my go-to; I wash, blow out the longer bang-ish pieces in front, give the rest a scrunch and let it do it’s thang.) Even air drying your hair halfway before styling with heat is beneficial– the rule of thumb: the less heat, the better. Using a heat protectant is also key; you do not want to expose untreated hair to hot tools– that’s just asking for damage. Several heat protectants I love:
- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment. Mentioned before as a fave product– I love it because it’s a workhorse! Not only does it detangle, but it provides heat protection as well.
- Kenra Blow Dry Spray. This product reduces blow dry time, protects hair from heat, combats frizz, boosts shine– and smells absolutely amazing!
- Redken Iron Shape. I reach for this product if I’m doing additional styling and feel the hair needs some extra protection. It’s lightweight, provides heat protection, and adds shine.
4. What is the biggest mistake you see people make with their hair in the winter?
Slacking on heat protection! People tend to use hot tools a lot more often in the winter. Dryers, curling wands, flat iron, etc. If you’re not protecting your hair while using these tools– some which heat up to 425 degrees!– you are going to damage your hair. Add a little dry winter air to the mix? Brittle, parched hair that is more prone to breakage. (AW note: if your hot tool gets hot enough to cook a frozen pizza, you need a heat protectant!)
5. What is the number one thing (either product or practice) you recommend for keeping hair healthy in the winter months?
Practice: Regular hair trims will help your hair all year long, but especially in the winter when we’re using our blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons more often. Frequently-trimmed hair is healthier hair because all the damage at the ends is routinely removed. (AW note: I see Steph once every 8 weeks or so for a color refresh, and most of these visits includes a trim. She snips off the dead ends to keep hairs from splitting up higher + increasing damage.)
Product: Add moisture to your hair however you can– deep moisture masks, thicker conditioners, moisturizing oils, etc. Just be careful not apply the heavier stuff (like oils) directly on your scalp, because that can weigh your hair down and cause greasiness. Stick to applying these types of moisture-boosting products mid-shaft through the ends for best results. (AW note: I keep a few hair masks/deep conditioners in my shower in the winter and make a point to use one a week.)
Major thank you to Stephanie for this information– I feel a little better equipped to tackle this winter, don’t you?
Kansas City pals, are you in the market for a stylist? Go see my girl! Stephanie’s a master stylist at Beauty Brands; reach out and schedule with her at: stephanie.holle15 [at] gmail [dot] com. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram to see more of her work.
Shop the products Stephanie + I love: