The winter blahs aren’t just a state of mind—they’re a state of hair, too. Rain, sleet, snow, wind and dry indoor heat can all wreck havoc on tresses.
Wash & Condition
Short or long, straight or curly- use a daily conditioner (one that contains essential fatty acids and humectants). Unless you’re getting dirty, skip the daily shampoos, cutting back to one or two times a week. Opt for “washing” with conditioner instead, starting about two inches from the scalp and concentrating on the ends — skip the scalp itself, as it has natural oils. Since hot water is drying, skip hot showers and shampoo and condition in warm or cool water. Products to try: for fine, color treated hair, Regis DESIGNLINE Hydrating Balm (available exclusively in Regis Salons); for coarse, curly, color treated hair, Redken Real Control Crema Care.
Leave It In
“The biggest mistake I see clients make in the winter is not using conditioner in the shower, or a leave-in conditioner while styling,” notes Kat Carey, artistic director at Regis Salons, Minneapolis, Minn. “The conditioner will keep hair hydrated and prevent static and fly-aways. And whether blow-drying or flat ironing, a thermal protection spray is essential year-round.” Products to try: Regis DESIGNLINE Olive Oil (available in Regis Salons); Paul Mitchell The Cream Leave-in Conditioner; Biolage Hydra-Seal Leave-in Cream; Schwarzkopf BC Bonacure Sealed Ends; Regis DESIGNLINE Get it Pressed Flat Iron Spray (in Regis Salons); Redken Blow-Dry Lotion.
While you’re at it, opt for the cool setting on hair tools, or better yet, wash your hair on a day when you can stay home and let it air dry (makes new meaning of the excuse “I can’t, I have to wash my hair” huh?). But avoid going outside with soaking wet hair, because in super-cold climates, it could freeze and break.
Soaking rain, chilling wind and snow can spell disaster for hair. Carey’s solution is what she calls a “winter trilogy”, which consists of leave-in moisturizing conditioner, shine serum and styling cream. “I also recommend adding an intense moisture mask to your at-home routine at least twice a month – more if your hair is really parched,” she explains, “If these don’t keep your hair looking healthy, try getting low-lights or a deeper all-over color. Darker, warmer colors can camouflage damage and make your locks look healthier.” Products to try: Regis DESIGNLINE Texture Cream and Pure Results Styling Cream (at Regis Salons); Paul Mitchell The Cream; Regis Olive Oil Hair Masque (at Regis Salons); Paul Mitchell Super Charged Conditioner; Biolage Age Rejuvenating Intensive Masque Conditioner.
A hat may help you stay warm, but once you take it off, you’re often left with static and flyaways. Opt for hats that aren’t too snug, and combat static electricity by using a moisturizing leave-in conditioner to protect hair (try Regis DESIGNLINE Silk Drops) and a leave-in styling cream to keep hair looking great both indoors and out. Or turn to your laundry room for a secret ingredient to stop static cling—lightly rub a dryer sheet on your hair to get rid of static-filled strands.
Winter may make you feel like hibernating, but it’s important to get regular hair trims, which will remove or help avoid split ends, get rid of damage caused by sun and chlorine, and give your style a smoother appearance. In addition to trims, Carey recommends an in-salon conditioning treatment, followed by a color glaze treatment to maximize shine.
Home Remedies Put some moisture back into your hair’s environment with a humidifier. Also, don’t forget to drink lots of water to maintain internal hydration. Another way to keep your hair moisturized is with products you can find in your kitchen. Put a few drops of olive oil in your palms and rub them together, then start at the ends and, working your way up, run your fingers through your hair. The next time you feel the winter blahs hitting your locks, just follow these tips, and your tresses will reward you with happy winter hair.