Flat, dull, brittle, static-y hair got you feeling down this winter? Makes sense—we put hair through a lot year ’round, but especially come winter time. “The winter is always a tough season for skin and hair—the dry cold air and constant friction with sweaters, coats, and hats are all factors that dehydrate hair and make it prone to static,” says French hair master and legend Christophe Robin.
You don’t have to throw in the towel and settle for hiding your hair in a wool cap all season long though. There are a handful of simple tips and habits that can give tired locks a lustrous new look, leaving hair healthier all winter long. From easy-to-adopt daily habits to hydrating masks, and vinegar washes—here’s everything you need to know about taking care of your hair this season. Turns out, great hair year long is easier than you imagined.
“Your scalp, just like your skin, gets dry in the winter and becomes prone to itchiness and flakiness,” says Robin. “Make sure you cleanse your hair with a nourishing shampoo and follow with a deep treatment.” He recommends his Regenerating Shampoo, $40, followed by the Regenerating Mask, $71, with soothing, super-hydrating prickly pear seed oil. Another fabulously moisturizing duo is Aesop’s Nurturing Shampoo, $29, and Rose Hair & Scalp Masque, $35.
Low-poo shampoo may sound strange, but your dry scalp and hair will love it. It’s a type of shampoo with no sulfates or silicones, which is especially great come winter because sulfates are known to strip the hair of natural moisture. Robin himself makes a great low-poo, hydrating shampoo that cleanses while hydrating, Cleansing Mask with Lemon, $49.
The best things in life are free, and this tip assures just that. It sounds simple, but rinsing well is often neglected and overlooked. “Make sure you rinse any shampoo, conditioner, and mask really well,” says Robin. “Or else your scalp will get oily again and you’ll have to wash more often.” It should take one to two minutes to fully rinse out any products left in your hair, so don’t be shy about loitering an extra minute under the water. Also, consider updating your showerhead, especially to one that can filter out excessive minerals and chlorine.
A great additional product to add to your winter hair routine is a vinegar rinse, which might sound odd for anything outside of the kitchen, but spritzing one on before towel-drying can rebalance your scalp, prevent oiliness, and majorly boost shine. Try dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Leave-In Hair Therapy, $30, to restore the pH of the scalp and protect from heat styling.
Utilizing a hair mask is vital year round, but especially important during the winter months. “It’s important to really give your hair all the nutrition it needs in order to replace the lost moisture due to the dry air, and this also helps prevent breakage,” says Robin.
The Amika Nourishing Mask, $10, has legions of fans for its deep conditioning skills. Or try out the wildly popular on-the-go intensive moisturizing Ouai Treatment Masque, $32, which is so beloved, it’s currently sold out (we’re told it’ll be back in stock soon).
While it may sound obvious, make sure your hair is dry before you head outside in frigid weather, and to be cautious when using heat tools. “I always advise when using your blow dryer to hold it at a distance (about 7 to 8 inches) from your hair. You don’t need to put it so close to your strands that it will burn them; holding it further away will still dry and style them the way you want,” says Robin. “You want to focus on your roots, because that’s what should be dry first if you’re in a rush in the morning to avoid catching a cold.”
It’s (Static) Electric
Is there anything more annoying than static-y hair? Good news, there are a handful of tricks that’ll help ease the issue. “A humidifier, a silk pillowcase, or tying your hair with a silk scarf will help with static electricity that you usually get because of dry air,” says Robin.
He’s also a big fan of using a moisturizing hair cream or hydrating leave-in mist every day to keep hair hydrated, protected, and static-free. Try out Robin’s Moisturizing Hair Cream, $43, to combat dryness. Or calm frizz and dryness with Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream, $19.50.
This story was originally published on January 12, 2018, and has been updated with new information and products.