How to Take Care of Your Hair This Winter

A black woman with a scarf and afro standing in the snow.

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During cold weather, doing less to your hair will benefit it more.

Cold weather can be really hard on hair. It turns the hair shafts brittle, making them more prone to breakage and spit ends. It dulls natural shine and causes color to fade. Avoid winter-induced bad hair days (and large salon bills!) by learning how to take care of your hair during cold weather. Here's some advice.

Less heat: We tend to use heated appliances more often in the winter, which isn't great for hair. Take more time on your blow-dry so you don't have to do it as often.

An asian woman blows her long hair dry.

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Wash less: Winter is a great time to train yourself to go longer between washes. Use hats and hairstyles to push those limits. You'll be thanking yourself when the warm weather returns.

A man washes his hair in the shower.

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Protect with oil: Add some heavy moisturizing oil to your conditioner, such as olive or jojoba oil, in order to get that extra boost. Use a few drops of oil on your ends each day to keep them from splitting. Rub a small amount onto your palms and smooth over your head to reduce frizz. Read: Use oil to nourish your hair naturally

A white woman applying oil in her hair.

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Pre-condition your hair: Give your dry tresses and scalp a thorough massage with coconut oil prior to washing. Let sit for up to an hour, then shampoo as usual. Your hair will retain some of the oil.

A dark haired white woman massages her scalp.

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Use a weekly moisturizing mask: A mask is a prolonged conditioning treatment that locks in moisture and gives smooth shine to tired locks. You can easily make a mask at home, using ingredients in your pantry. See this list of 6 homemade hair masks that serve a variety of purposes, or check out 12 All-natural hair moisturizers that you can DIY.

A woman puts a mask on her hair.

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Wear a hat: Protect your hair from the cold by covering up when you head outside. One suggestion is to line your wool, cotton, or other coarse-knit winter hat with an old silk or satin scarf to reduce split ends. Or you could just wrap your hair in a scarf before putting on a hat.

A white woman wears a hat with pom pom outside in the winter.

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Dry your hair thoroughly: Never go outside with wet hair. Cold air makes damp hair more prone to breakage and also causes color to fade more quickly. Take time to dry it completely before running out the door.

A white woman towel dries her hair.

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Embrace moisture of all kinds: Drink lots of water and use a humidifier in your room to combat the dryness that comes with winter heating. Don't worry; it won't create the kind of humidity that results in excessive frizziness, but rather a soft, moisturized feeling.

A woman sits on the couch in front of a humidifier.

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