Winter weather does more than make you shiver—it can also wreak havoc on your hair. Lower temps can dry out your hair, leaving it frizzy and more difficult to manage. Fortunately, there are ways to add some much-needed moisture to your locks.
How to Combat Dry Hair
During the winter, moisture and humidity levels in the air drop, sucking hydration out of your hair, as well. That’s why your hair is more likely to feel brittle, like straw, instead of soft. If you take some of the following steps, they can make a huge difference in the health of your hair:
- Use products with hydrating ingredients. You might have to switch out your usual shampoo and conditioner for something more moisturizing. Look for hydrating ingredients, like coconut milk or argan oil (or, really, anything oil-based).
- Take a break from your hot tools. It’s tempting to use your hot tools to get your frizzy strands under control, but more heat isn’t going to do you any favors. It just dries your hair out even more and leads to more breakage, which is exactly what you want to avoid.
- Switch your pillowcase. Sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase helps your hair retain moisture, while a cotton pillowcase tugs at the strands and causes them to break—especially when they’re already dry. You can also wrap your hair in a silk scarf before bed to help it retain moisture.
- Deep condition your hair at least once a week. Conditioner alone might not cut it if your hair is really dry. Try using a deep conditioning mask or treatment at least once a week to add extra moisture and shine. If you can, apply it to wet hair and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before you wash it out.
- Don’t go outside with wet hair. Letting your hair air dry while you’re on the go isn’t a great idea during the winter. Cold air expands the hair shaft and makes it more prone to breakage. It can also cause hair color to fade.
- Don’t wash your hair every day. Shampooing every day strips your hair of its natural oils, causing it to become more dry. Try to go two or three days between shampoos, and you might notice a difference.
Best Overall Treatment: HairGenics Pronexa Hair Bond Repair Complex
Sometimes you need a heavy-duty treatment to restore silky hair, and that’s where something like HairGenics Pronexa Bond Repairing Complex comes in. This product helps repair bonds in the hair that have been destroyed by over-styling, or hair dye, both of which are made worse by dry winter weather. Pronexa Bond Repair doesn’t just make your hair feel soft, but it actually gets to the root (no pun intended) of the problem to reverse the damage. After a few treatments, you should see a big difference.
Pronexa’s also easy to use and doesn’t take too long—just apply it to your wet hair, leave it for about 15 minutes, and then rinse it out. It’s free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, and is FDA-certified and cruelty-free. If you’re only going to use one treatment on your hair, make it this one.
Hairgenics Pronexa Hair Bonder Bond Repairing Complex and Conditioner for Damaged and Treated Hair. 4 FL OZ Provides 8 full treatments
HairGenics Pronexa Bond Repairing Complex gives you great results on dry, damaged hair after just a few treatments.
Best Anti-Frizz Serum: John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength
Dry hair equals extra frizz—a look no one’s really striving for. A serum designed to fight frizz is necessary if you want to get rid of it. There are plenty of options out there, but there are several reasons John Frieda’s Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum has been a fan favorite for so many years. It genuinely works, it’s reasonably priced, and one bottle lasts a long time.
Made with bamboo extract, silk proteins, and seaweed extract, this hydrating serum not only fights frizz but also helps prevent damage if you heat style. It also smooths out your hair and tames flyaways. It does a better job than more expensive serums, and all for under $10.
John Frieda 11766 Frizz Ease Extra Strength Serum, 1.69 Ounce Nourishing Treatment for Thick, Coarse Hair, Featuring Bamboo Extract and Provides Salon-caliber Smoothing
John Frieda's Frizz Ease has been a favorite for a long time because it fights frizz and smooths out your hair instantly.
Best for Dry Scalp: Living Proof Restore Treatment
It’s not uncommon for winter weather to leave your scalp dry and itchy, as well, which is uncomfortable. You need more than just a conditioner to fend it off. Living Proof Restore Dry Scalp Treatment is a great option. It’s a leave-in treatment meant to fight the itching and irritation that come with dry scalp. The Vitamin B3-based ingredients balance your scalp’s natural ecosystem and tackle the problem instead of just masking it.
This treatment instantly soothes an itchy scalp and adds some much-needed hydration. If you use it up to three times a week, you’ll notice a big difference.
Best Leave-In Conditioner: It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In
A good leave-in conditioner is a must-have all year, but especially when your hair is dry. Leave-in conditioners supply extra hydration and help you detangle knots for less breakage. It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In is probably the best option out there. A few spritzes of this on wet hair completely eliminates any sign of frizz and restores shine.
Made with a UV protectant and a blend of Vitamin C, soothing linseed extract, and ultra-hydrating aloe vera, it leaves your strands a lot softer. It also contains sunflower seed extract, which acts as a natural sunscreen (and yes, you still need that in the winter) and prevents hair color from fading.
It’s a 10 also smells great and never feels heavy or oily after you apply it.
It's a 10 Haircare Miracle Leave-In product, 10 fl. oz. (Pack of 1)
It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioner fights frizz and makes your hair shiny and soft.
Best to Tame Flyaways: Ouai Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets
Between winter hats and hoods, and the changing temperatures when you leave the indoors to go outdoors, flyaways are bound to happen during winter, even if you apply hydrating products before you go out. That’s why it’s nice to have some Ouai Anti-Frizz Sheets on hand. One packet of sheets is small enough to throw in your bag, and you can use them on styled hair to get rid of annoying flyaways.
They look a lot like dryer sheets and couldn’t be easier to use. You just gently rub a sheet over your hair from the roots to the ends, and it’ll calm the static. They’re great for touching up your hair when you’re out, and, as a bonus, they smell amazing!
Best Shampoo for Dry Hair: Living Proof Restore
Living Proof Restore Shampoo is made especially for dry, damaged hair. It’s created with Living Proof’s patented healthy hair molecule (OFPMA) and doesn’t contain sulfates or parabens. It actually helps fix the dry cuticles of your hair. It also strengthens your hair to prevent future damage and cleanses it of dirt and oil, keeping it cleaner, longer, so you can go a few days between shampoos.
Although this shampoo is great for damaged hair, it’s also gentle enough for those who color or chemically-treat their hair, which is ideal, as those processes dry out hair the most.
Living proof Restore Shampoo, 8 Fl Oz
Living Proof Restore Shampoo does restore dry hair and strengthens it to prevent future damage.
Best Conditioner for Dry Hair: Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance
Conditioning is one of the most moisturizing steps in your hair-care routine, so you really want it to make an impact. Olaplex No. 5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner doesn’t just make your hair feel soft temporarily, but, rather, it works to reverse any damage by relinking broken bonds. This helps protect your hair, repairs split ends, and prevents frizz.
A little of this conditioner goes a long way, so one bottle should last you a while. Your hair will feel a lot softer and stronger after you use it. You’ll also notice a considerable shine, even after the first use.
Best Deep Conditioner: Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair
To really combat dry hair, apply a deep conditioner one to two times a week. It’s more moisturizing, and its effects last longer than regular conditioner—even one as great as the Olaplex we covered above. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair is a terrific deep conditioning mask that really treats and conditions hair for instant results. It restores hydration and strengthens damaged hair. Made with B-vitamins (like biotin), it revitalizes hair and makes it feel softer.
It’s also made with natural oils, like rosehip, to control frizz, almond to add shine, and argan for extra moisture to tame flyaways and split ends.
Deep conditioners can sometimes feel heavy and a bit oily, but this one manages to get the job done and still feel surprisingly lightweight. In addition to all that, it’s additive- and cruelty-free, so it’s genuinely good for your strands.
Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair Deep Conditioning Mask, 8 Ounces
Briogeo Don't Despair Repair truly does repair damaged hair and leaves it softer and more hydrated longer than an average conditioner.
Best Hair Oil: Moroccanoil Treatment
Many people are hesitant to add oil to their hair because they don’t want to weigh it down or make it appear more, well, oily. A good hair oil won’t do any of that, though (provided you use the correct amount). Instead, it helps repair damaged, dry strands while making them shinier and softer.
Moroccanoil Treatment is a cult favorite because of its non-greasy formula, which absorbs really quickly.
It’s made with rich argan oil to nourish and hydrate your hair, and linseed extract, which helps improve your hair’s health. There are no sulfates, parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, or other chemicals you don’t want in your hair. It also doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing!
Best Exfoliator: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Shampoo
You probably know you should exfoliate dry skin to get rid of the dead stuff, but did you know you also can (and should) exfoliate your hair and scalp? Doing so can relieve the itchiness that occurs when your hair is too dry.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo isn’t just good for relieving dry scalp, though. The charcoal removes impurities and buildup that might be making your hair duller and drier without your knowledge.
This shampoo is also made with biotin, which strengthens the hair shaft and follicle. It feels incredibly refreshing, smells amazing, and is especially great if you have a lot of buildup from products.
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal and Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo, 8 Ounce
Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo is a great way to get rid of product buildup and thoroughly cleanse your hair.