Between the icy-cold wind, snow storms and indoor heat, the winter months can wreak serious havoc on your skin and hair. The harsh climate is a recipe for dry, damaged strands if you don’t take proper care when the temperatures drop.
We spoke with celebrity colorist Abby Haliti, whose client list includes Olivia Palermo, Sigourney Weaver and Rita Ora, about what steps you should take to avoid bad hair days during the winter months, both at home and in the salon.
“People tend to forget that the wintertime can be just as potentially damaging to the hair as the summertime,” Haliti told Fox News.
“There are so many factors that can play into harming the hair. Sometimes the hair shaft fails to absorb moisture because the cuticle strands begin to slightly lift due to the dry, cold air, which can result in frizz or breakage since the strands are more brittle.
"Seemingly benign things – like constantly going against high winds while outside – can cause damage to your hair by causing you to brush it extensively, which can lead to breakage in dry or brittle hair. Hair can become dry and prone to static from factors such as friction from clothing, indoor heating and even low humidity,” she said.
Luckily, with a few changes to your routine, you can help combat the elements and keep your hair looking good all season long.
Be mindful of temperature
“Try not to keep your indoor temperatures up too high and remember that hot water in the shower can lead to dehydrated hair,” Haliti said.
She recommends using a sulfate-free shampoo to help maintain your hair’s natural oils, which are more likely to get stripped during the colder months.
Haliti also suggests avoiding heat styling as much as possible, especially if you’re having issues with dry, dull or brittle hair.
Try: Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil Shampoo, $57; at Violet Grey
Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo, $11.49; at Ulta
Moisture, moisture, moisture
“Aim to get in a good amount of moisture into your hair routine, as keeping hair moisturized and sleek will help with this as well. Products can also help you combat harsh elements,” she said.
Haliti advocates adding moisture into your hair care routine any way you can, from leave-ins to masks to professional salon treatments.
“Treat yourself to hair masks or hair treatments to help with moisture and dullness. If you know that you’re going to be getting your hair styled when you make a trip to the salon, you should consider getting a moisturizing treatment as well. Even doing your own moisturizing mask at home can help combat the effects of heat styling. Also, invest in good heat protectant products that will help avoid your hair from being harmed,” she said.
“And don’t be afraid to make leave-in conditioner your best friend, which can work to smooth, detangle, eliminate frizz, add shine, repair split ends, boost feelings of moisture and manageability, and protect against UV damage,” she added.
Try: Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil, $69; at Violet Grey
Davines Nourishing Hair Building Pak, $37; at Davines
Milbon Moisture Professional Treatment; Price and availability vary by salon
Verb Ghost Prep, $16; at Verb
Buy a humidifier
“If you must heat style and particularly love having the heat up inside, but don’t have much time to maximize any moisture treatments, consider investing in an air humidifier to help keep moisture locked inside of the house. Those tiny things can make a huge difference in the long-run,” the colorist said.
Try: Dyson Humidifier AM10, $349; at Dyson
Objecto H3 Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier, $100; at Bed Bath and Beyond
Get regular trims
“Make sure that you also continue getting your hair regularly trimmed which helps maintain healthy hair,” Haliti said.
“The wintertime can bring some pretty disastrous weather and expose our hair to many elements. Sometimes this can feel like a never-ending cycle. Battling harsh winds while walking outside can become a hassle, but you can use scarves and hats to combat this,” she recommended.
Try: Everlane Soft Wool Waffle Beanie, $35; at Everlane