Just like your skin, your hair takes a toll in the fall and winter. Cold, dry air saps the life from your locks, leaving your hair brittle, dull, and riddled with split ends. Even worse, it can make dry scalp kick into overdrive, which means your favorite little black dress or favorite burgundy fuzzy sweater is a no-go for holiday pictures.

When you switch to your cold weather skin routine, be sure to show your hair a little TLC too! With a few easy additions to your beauty routine, you can keep your hair shiny and healthy, no matter the season.

1. Choose a Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner

Your hair is seriously lacking in essential oils when the mercury drops, but a quality shampoo and conditioner can help make up for the loss. Choose options that include a healthy dose of argan, macadamia, olive, coconut, jojoba, or avocado oil. These can do double-duty by penetrating through the individual hairs to nourish the inside and providing a protective coating on to maintain moisture, in addition to adding a little extra shine.

A weekly deep conditioning treatment with keratin, oat, silk, or soy protein can also help strengthen the hair shaft and repair damage.

2. Don’t Let Heat Take Its Toll

Hot water leeches out more moisture than cool water in your skin and your hair. While it’s tempting to warm up in a hot shower when it’s cold outside, you’re better off keeping the temperatures lower to retain more moisture.

The same goes for your favorite styling tools. Blowdryer, flat irons, and curling wands can get to temperatures upwards of 450°, which spells trouble for hair that’s already struggling to hold on to its hydration. If you just can’t resist showing off your signature bouncy curls, at least turn your tools down and air dry as often as possible.

3. Protect Wet Hair from Extra Damage

When your hair is wet, it’s more likely to break, so you’ll want to take some extra care when you step out of the shower.

Start by pressing the bulk of your hair between a microfiber towel to get the bulk of the water out, then let it air dry until it’s barely damp. Then, gently comb it starting at the ends and working your way up to avoid yanking on tangles or snares.

If you have a habit of falling asleep with wet hair, it would also make a world of difference to switch to silk or satin pillowcases, as the smoother texture is far less likely to contribute to breakage than jersey or cotton.

4. Treat the Problem at the Source

Your scalp’s natural oils keep your skin and your hair healthy, so when winter’s frigid temperatures wick them away, you wind up with tell-tale white flakes on your shoulders. Maintaining your scalp health can do wonders for avoiding dry, itchy skin and keep your strands silky-smooth.

Products like CLn Healthy Scalp Shampoo is ideal for all hair types and scrubs away dead skin cells, cleanses the pores on your scalp, and helps rejuvenate skin prone to itching and dandruff.

Another AST-recommended favorite is Elon Moisture Therapy Shampoo, which is specially formulated to nourish and moisturize your hair with ultra-mild agents that won’t strip away your natural scalp oils. Follow up with Elon Moisture Therapy Hair Conditioner to hydrate and soften your hair while extending the life of your color.

5. Use a Humidifier Indoors

When the air inside of your house is just as dry as the air outdoors, your hair gets no relief from the low-moisture conditions. Running a humidifier in the office and throughout the rooms of your home can provide some much-needed hydration.

Not sure where to start with your cold-ready haircare routine? Have specific concerns you want alleviated? Start with a visit to Advanced Skin Therapeutics! We can help you choose dermatologist-recommended products and set you on the right track to transforming your tresses!