Hair

The 6 best winter hair care tips

Elle Canada
Hair

The 6 best winter hair care tips

Healthy hair is not only a beauty basic – it’s a must in our beauty books. From soft, unadorned ringlets to pretty ponytails, to flowing beachy waves, simple fuss-free styles and natural-looking locks are back, which means your hair needs to be in great shape. The problem: It’s cold out there (thanks a lot Mother Nature), which can lead to dry hair. If you’re starting to get frustrated by how the dropping temperature is affecting your hair, we have some expert tips for maintaining moisture and shine in spite of the elements.

“The winter season affects hair negatively in several ways,” says Dee Fortier, award-winning Canadian stylist, owner of Deeva Hair Salon and artistic director for Eufora International. She shares her top winter hair care tips for keeping hair looking healthy throughout the cold season.

“The change of temperature from warm to cold will affect the dryness in the hair, which makes hair look flatter and lifeless,” Fortier explains. “When it snows or rains the moisture will cause the hair to change texture, which can lead to frizz and result in additional dryness.”

Despite all this trauma, there are several simple ways to keep hair healthy and looking great all season. Here are our best winter hair care tips.

Winter hair care tip #1: Cut back on heat styling
It is important to cut back on heat styling in the winter because there is already excess dryness in the hair from the cold air and artificial heat. “Using heated styling tools will only increase hair damage and dryness if you don't protect yourself properly,” Fortier explains. “People tend to use less protection on their hair in the winter, so make sure to use a heat protecting spray to seal the cuticle and prevent further dryness or breakage,” she says. This will help prevent you from burning, overheating and damaging your hair.

More winter hair care tips can be found on the next page ... 6-winter-hair-care-tips-page-2.jpg Winter hair care tip #2: Wash hair less often
Give your hair a break this winter by washing less. “It's important to avoid washing hair every day because the PH level in the water is high, which causes your scalp to become dryer and can possibly cause dandruff flakes,” Fortier explains. Using a product where the main ingredient is water can also be very drying for your scalp. She recommends using a dry shampoo in between washings and rinsing with cooler water to further protect hair and boost shine.

Winter hair care tip #3: Maintain a healthy lifestyle
Diet is extremely important when it comes to keeping hair healthy, especially in the winter. Vitamins, greens and whole grains are some of the things that can help ensure hair stays healthy and strong, Fortier says. “Proteins and vitamins like A, C, and B are huge factors in maintaining shiny, beautiful hair,” she explains. Drinking plenty of water (aim for eight glasses per day) is also extremely important. When your body lacks water your hair will lack moisture, rendering it dull and lifeless. Exercise also plays a role in healthy hair, the stylist says. “It keeps blood flowing through your body and scalp, which increases hair growth.”

Winter hair care tip #4: Get your hair trimmed
It can be difficult to find time for regular trims but doing so in the winter can greatly improve the look of your hair. “Visiting your stylist every five to six weeks for a quick trim will maintain clean fresh ends with improved ability to grow,” Fortier says. Depending on your style and hair type you might be able to get away with visiting the salon less often in warmer months, but the dry winter air can make it even more important to keep your strands in shape.

Winter hair tip #5: Deep condition
Combat dryness with extra conditioning during the colder months. “Weekly conditioning treatments at home help stimulate and promote blood circulation to the scalp, helping hair growth and creating shine,” Fortier explains. Weekly conditioning treatments can also replenish and rejuvenate winter-ravaged hair. A leave-in conditioner can restore moisture and manageability, especially on windy days. Look for products with key ingredients like panthenol and soy proteins to add strength and boost shine.

Winter hair tip #6: Protect your tresses
Harsh winter wind and outdoor activities can cause excess dryness, whether you’re hitting the slopes or heading south to escape the snow. “Being on the ski slopes, in the sun and lying on the beach can have the same effects on your hair,” Fortier says. “Look for SPF protection in your hair care products and humectants that will lock and keep the moisture in.” She also advises against using elastics that could further damage your hair or cause breakage.

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The 6 best winter hair care tips