Just as it affects your skin and mood, winter can also be a massive drain on your hair. Your strands have to battle the elements (like dry, cold air outside and heaters inside) on a daily basis and tend to need a little extra care during the cooler months. But don't fret, this doesn't mean expensive trips to the hairdressing salon and time-sapping appointments. All you need is a bit of common sense and a few replenishing products to get your hair back to its healthy best.
- The easiest way to protect your strands from dry winter air and strong winds is by throwing on a cute winter hat before you step outside. If you're not a hat person, even a scarf will help keep your locks out of harm's way.
- Extra hot water can dry out your hair, so try to take warm or cool showers when washing your locks. (We know, we know, sometimes this can prove impossible on a freezing winter's morning!)
- We're sure we don't have to remind you of your mother's warnings not to go outside with wet hair... Not only do you risk catching a cold, but it also increases your chances of breakage.
- That said, the temptation to over-use styling tools like hairdryers, curling wands and straighteners can prove too much in the winter months. If you're addicted to using your straightener every single day, at least invest in a quality heat protection product to use on your strands before you put them under stress.
- Follow your shampoo routine with conditioner -- these products are specifically designed to smooth down the cuticle layer of your hair and lock in moisture. If you're battling dry hair in the winter months, conditioner is essential.
- A deep-conditioning treatment will penetrate deeper and offer more intense hydration for your locks. Use once or twice a week to work wonders on damaged hair.
- Look for hair styling products that use words like "moisturising" or "replenishing" on the label -- but always read the ingredients and description carefully and keep an eye out for marketing gimmicks. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba extract earn ticks.
- Don't brush your hair too much as this can sometimes also dry your strands out, especially if they're dehydrated and damaged already. A wide-toothed comb is perfect for getting rid of knots and tangles.
- Trim your hair regularly to get rid of split ends and to keep your strands looking fresh. This may also help prevent breakages from moving up the shaft and damaging your hair further.
- Try to avoid overdoing it with heaters during winter and make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a balanced diet full of fruit and veggies.