7 Things You Should Never Do In Winter If You Have Super Dry Hair

Expert Advice

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Winter is rough on our hair. Between all the temperature changes and lack of moisture, most strands don’t stand a chance — no matter what type of hair you have. And if you color? You could be battling even more of a dry, frizzy situation that’s the opposite of hair goals.

Which is why we enlisted a few pros to let us in on their sneaky winter hair hacks. Things like how you dry, condition, brush, and massage your scalp can literally make (or break) your locks when it’s below zero out, so follow their advice below for flawless tresses even when it’s freezing.

1. Apply Conditioners & Masks On Soaking Wet Hair

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If you’re used to shampooing, rinsing, conditioning, just hold on. The only way to ensure these moisturizing must-haves will actually penetrate the hair is to get most of the water out of it first. Stamford, CT-based stylist Lorraine Rosen recommends wringing the water out, then repeating, then wringing again — just when you think there’s none left. Only then should you slather your strands in a mega hydrating mask and let sit while you finish your routine. “I’ve been loving the Moroccanoil Intense Hydrating Mask, $42, for medium-to-thick, dry hair, since it’s rich in Argan oil and leaves hair super smooth,” she says. “It also has a very thick consistency, which is how you could usually tell how hydrating a mask truly is.” Pro tip: The thicker the consistency, the richer it is in hydrating ingredients.

2. Leave The House With Wet Hair

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One more time for the people in the back — wet hair is more vulnerable to breakage! “When it’s cold outside your hair can freeze and break much more easily,” warns board-certified dermatologist Dr. Steven Shapiro of Shapiro MD. Not to mention, this is no-brainer way to catch a cold!

3. Skip The Volume-Boosting Ingredients

Genetics and hormones can affect hair growth, but so can the seasons! “Hair typically grows faster in the summer and slower in the winter; so get ahead of the slow-down by using nourishing ingredients like Saw Palmetto, caffeine, coconut oil, and DHT-blockers,” advises Shapiro. Unfamiliar with DHT? It stands for dihydrotestosterone, the hormone that’s widely believed to be a leading cause of hair loss.

4. Keep Your Heat Full Blast

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According to Shapiro, using cold water to “smooth” isn’t really a thing, but turning down the heat in your house will protect your mane from unnecessary heat damage, brittle ends, and breakage.

5. Wash Your Hair Every Day

Jessica Richards, founder of clean beauty boutique SHEN Beauty in Brooklyn, NY, says the #1 thing she tells people when they complain about dry hair in the winter is to stop over-washing. “In general you shouldn’t wash your hair every day. I know many people that stick to the every other day plan, but for myself I find that switching my hair washing to every three to four days, not using a hairdryer or hot tools, and using a scalp treatment or oil will seriously help.” Richards swears by Virtue Topical Scalp Supplement, $56, and the Manta Hair Brush, $30, to help massage the scalp and assisting in detangling.

6. Skip The Heat Protectant

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According to Ana Ceva, Marketing Director for GAMA Professional Italy, you should apply a heat protectant to your hair before drying, adjust the temperature and flow of the hair dryer to a lower level, and blow your hair dry keeping the dryer about 8 to 10 inches away from the hair at all times and moving it around continuously. “The type of dryer you use is paramount as well,” she explains. “Top-of-the-line hairdryers like the Ga.Ma Professional iQ Perfetto, $400, are equipped with antibacterial and color fixing Oxy Active Technology that kills bacteria in the hair, closes the cuticle to keep moisture in, and prolongs the duration of color treatments.”

7. Use A Too-Hot Straight Iron

“Similar advice applies when you use your straightener at home,” says Ceva. “Always opt for a lower heat setting, preferably below 160, constantly gliding the flat iron across different strands of hair, without staying too long on a specific strand or section.” Ceva also recommends ceramic flat irons like the GAMA G-EVO, $135, which boasts 100% ceramic heating plates, which are super gentle on the hair.

Brushing your hair gently (and with a wide-tooth comb), covering your hair with a hat to protect it from the cold, taking hair vitamins, and getting regular trims to get rid of split ends are more of Ceva’s easy hacks to keep your hair shiny, frizz-free and soft during the tough winter months.

If your strands are looking to pack in moisture this winter, here are 6 hair rescue masks that fight winter frizz and damage.

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