Unless you live somewhere with palm trees, you know the havoc winter weather can wreak on your hair. From freezing cold temps to dry-as-a-bone air, your locks take the brunt of the change in weather, and truth be told - most people don't even know they're making these winter hair care mistakes until it's too late.
And believe us, we understand: you've got too many winter parties and family photos at stake to put your strands at risk this season.
1) Making Your Shower Water Too Hot
When it's below zero outside, it's only natural to want to hop in the shower with the water scorching (there's really nothing better). But as great as it feels to thaw off in the hotter-than-hot water, it's actually really damaging to both your hair and skin, causing damage and dryness. If you can't give up those high temps, turn the water to a cooler temperature when you shampoo, condition, and rinse - really any time it comes in contact with your hair.
2) Washing Your Hair Too Much
Shampooing every day is never good, regardless of the season, but it's even worse in the winter. Washing your hair often strips the strands of their natural oils, which serve as a protectant from extreme temperatures (hot and cold). While it seems like a good idea at the time, a daily shampoo will ultimately dry out your locks even more than the cold weather already does.
3) Not Deep Conditioning Once a Week
On top of your normal conditioner, you've got to remember to apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week during the winter. The low temperatures and frigid wind dry out your hair, causing it to be more brittle and susceptible to damage, so a conditioning treatment will help to lock in moisture and protect from breakage.
4) Forgetting About a Leave-in Oil Treatment
A weekly deep condition may not be enough if you've spent a lot of time outdoors or have naturally dry strands. If you've been noticing breakage, hair loss, frizziness, or dryness - try a leave-in oil treatment overnight to coat the hair with a protective layer and help stay moisturized.
5) Blow Drying All the Time
Instead of blasting hot air on the strands that were just shivering in the cold, try air drying more often than you blow dry. It's no fun stepping out of a steamy shower into the freezing cold, but it will save your tresses from some serious damage.
6) Not Wearing a Hat Outside
If the wind is blowing and your ears are cold, you need a hat - and not because we're concerned about you getting the sniffles. If you don't have a hat protecting your hair, the wind and cold air will completely dry out your strands, making them more susceptible to damage.
7) Not Wearing Silk/Satin on the Inside of Your Hat
But wait - don't put that hat on yet. The friction on the inside of your winter cap can cause a ton of breakage. Who would've thought that cute pink beanie could do you harm? The quickest fix is to take a piece of silk or satin material and sew it to the inside of your hat. No friction, no problem.
8) Skipping Your Regular Hair Cut
If your hair is going to be under a hat all the time, why pay for a haircut? Legitimate excuse, but your dried-out locks need a trim now more than ever, so whatever you do - don't skip your haircut this winter.
9) Too Many Christmas Cookies & Eggnog
Oh please, we don't care if you ate the whole tray of Santa's cookies if that's what makes you happy. But, what we do care about is the health of your hair, which is directly correlated to your overall health. So, with all the treats and sweets this season, try to prioritize eating nutritious food and drinking plenty of water, as well.
10) Not Using a Heat Protectant
By now, you know how the winter weather dries your hair out, so it's absolutely essential that you use a heat protectant on your hair anytime you use a blow dryer or hot tools.
11) Skipping the Humidifier
The summer humidity is long gone, but you can still have some control over your environment - in your home that is. Keep a humidifier in your room to help circulate a bit of moisture through the air. It'll do wonders for your hair and skin!
12) Going Outside with Wet Hair
You've always known: wet hair and heat together are bad. But did you know wet hair and freezing cold air is arguably an even worse combo? Just think about how fragile an icicle is, and picture your hair snapping in half in the same manner.
13) Going Blonder
Ever heard of going darker in the fall/winter? From a trend-setting perspective, it's a load of bologna, but from a hair care standpoint, it's right on the money. Putting your dry, winterized strands through a harsh highlighting treatment won't do you any good and will cause even more damage than normal. Instead, opt for a darker color - or even better: go back to your natural color until the groundhog comes out for good.
Posted on Instagram by @shannonhairsalon
14) Excessively Using Hot Tools
Christmas cards and holiday get-togethers call for glammed up hairstyles that require the use of a flat iron or curling iron. Nothing wrong with that, but we highly suggest saving the heat for special occasions.
Need some hairstyle inspiration this season? Check out these low-maintenance winter styles to simplify your beauty routine.