13 Top Winter Hair Care Tips For Healthy Locks

Expert advice on keeping your hair protected from brutally cold weather conditions.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dr. Shruti Chavan Dr. Shruti ChavanMBBS
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) Monomita Chakraborty MA (Journalism & Mass Communication) linkedin_icon Experience: 4 years
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Sitting by the fire with a hot cup of cocoa and covered by a warm wooly blanket – there is nothing like winter. But while you may be having the best time of your life, your hair is not! With the right winter hair care tips, you can protect your hair from becoming fragile and breakage-prone.

The cold can make your scalp dry and flaky and your hair rough and brittle! Just like we protect our bodies from the cold, our hair also needs protection during the winter. So, keep your hair strong, smooth, and hydrated despite the chilling temperature. Scroll down to read our hair care tips that will keep your hair and scalp as joyful as you are this winter!

Hair Care Tips For Winter

1. Moisturize Your Scalp With Hair Oil

A girl applying coconut oil on her hair
Image: Shutterstock

During winter, your scalp gets dry and itchy due to the lack of moisture in the air. This may lead to dandruff, scalp irritation, and flakiness, causing hair fall. A hot oil massage with nourishing hair oils like coconut and olive oils works wonders. These oils penetrate the hair shaft and keep the hair moisturized (1). Massage improves blood circulation to the scalp and nourishes the hair follicles, stimulating hair growth.

Doro Cubillo, a YouTuber, shared her comprehensive winter hair care routine, focusing on addressing issues like hair growth, hair loss, and greasiness during the colder months. The routine begins with a scalp massage to better help the absorption of hydrating oils. She says, “During winter our hair struggles a lot… so when it comes to my winter hair care routine, wash day is extremely important because this is when I do a lot of stimulating for my scalp…. So before washing my hair, I always do a pre-wash oil treatment, which basically is gonna help with moisturizing the scalp and at the same time, keep up with hair growth (i).”

2. Avoid Frequent Hair Washes

Frequently washing your hair with shampoos strips off its natural oils, causing further dryness and irritation. Try to extend the time between your washes. Do not shampoo your hair more than twice a week. Always use a sulfate-free and mild shampoo to maintain the natural moisture balance.

3. Conditioning The Hair In Right Way

A woman applying a hair conditioner
Image: Shutterstock

Never skip the conditioner during winter. Use a thick, creamy conditioner containing natural oils like coconut, olive, jojoba oils, and shea butter for deep hydration and nourishment.

How To Use A Conditioner

  • Shampoo your hair and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Apply the conditioner from the mid-length to the hair ends.
  • Concentrate on the ends to prevent dryness and split ends.
  • Leave the conditioner on for a few minutes and then wash with normal water.

You may end with normal water to seal the moisture and prevent frizz (2).

4. Avoid Heat Styling Tools

Your hair is already delicate during winter, and using heat styling tools can make it brittle, causing hair breakage (3). Embrace your natural hair texture and air dry your tresses as much as possible. Avoid blow drying as it draws moisture out of your hair.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Experiment with different hairstyles like updos, twists, and braids to easily avoid using heat-styling tools.

5. Apply A Deep Conditioning Hair Mask Weekly

Honey and egg as ingredients for a homemade hair mask
Image: Shutterstock

Weekly hair mask treatments are an excellent preventative measure to ensure your overall hair health. Dr. Michael May, MD, a hair transplant surgeon, says, “During winter, the cold air dries out the hair much faster. Because of that, you must deep condition your hair more often than usual. This is to help replenish the moisture on your hair and scalp. Leave-in conditioners are also great for providing additional protection from dryness.” A hair mask with nourishing and moisturizing ingredients like egg and honey conditions the hair. These ingredients moisturize dry locks, enhance hair growth, add shine, and soften the hair. Egg yolk has water-soluble peptides that condition and stimulates hair growth (4). Honey is rich in amino acids and vitamins and has hair conditioning effects (5). You can follow it up with hair oil or serum for overnight hydration.

6. Don’t Step Out With Wet Hair

Cold air expands the hair shafts, making them prone to breakage, and may cause color fading.  Always dry your hair before you step out into the sun. Give your hair extra time to air dry, or better yet, modify your winter hair care routine accordingly.

7. Cover Your Hair

A girl wearing a beautiful silk scarf to cover her hair.
Image: Shutterstock

Your hair gets stressed when it is exposed to the cold and dry wind and snow. Keep it covered with a scarf or a hat. You can line your hat with silk or satin cloth to prevent friction from the cotton and woolen materials. You can also use a dry oil spray to fight static and tame flyaways.

8. Protect Hair From Static

Static hair is the most annoying thing in the winter. Lack of moisture, combined with the friction caused by sweaters, scarves, hoodies, and hair brushes, makes your hair frizzy and static. To handle this situation, use a vented hairbrush with a combination of boar and plastic bristles. Apply a leave-in conditioner to prevent frizzy hair due to static electricity and keep the hair smooth. You can also carry an anti-static laundry dryer sheet or anti-frizz hair wipes with you.

9. Avoid Hot Showers

A hot water shower in the freezing weather is always tempting. But hot water can remove the natural oils and moisture from your hair, making it dry. It may also make the scalp dry and cause flakiness. Always wash your hair with lukewarm water and blast with cold water at the ends to help seal the hair cuticles.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Keep your warm showers between 5 to 10 minutes to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils.

10. Switch To Microfiber Towels

Avoid using cotton bath towels to dry your hair. Instead, use microfiber towels. They are gentle on your hair, have high water absorbing capacity, and help reduce friction and hair drying time. On the other hand, cotton or any other material can make your hair rough and create tangles, frizz, and flyaways.

11. Get Regular Trims

A girl cutting her split ends
Image: Shutterstock

The dry and cold air in the winter causes hair breakage and split ends. Friction from hats and scarves puts additional strain on your hair. To prevent this, trim your hair every four to eight weeks. This keeps your hair looking fresh in the winter. Trim your hair half an inch off the bottom to remove dry, split ends.

12. Eat Healthy To Keep Your Hair Healthy

Foods rich in protein are beneficial for hair health. Increase your intake of all essential vitamin-rich foods like carrots, eggs, pumpkins, and berries. Follow a balanced diet that combines vegetables, leafy greens, dairy products, omega-3 fatty acids, and meat to keep your body and hair healthy.

Pro Tip: Stay hydrated as water is essential to keep your body healthy and replenished.

13. Get A Humidifier

The sudden transition in temperatures can zap moisture from your tresses during winter. A room heater can provide warmth when the temperature drops, but it also dries the air inside your room, damaging your hair. Humidifiers help balance the moisture levels inside the room to prevent dryness.

Infographic: 5 Simple Winter Hair Care Tips

The cold and dry air during winter can take a toll on your hair, leaving it dull, dry, and prone to damage. Fret not. With the right care and attention, you can maintain healthy, shiny, and beautiful hair, even in the harshest winter. Check out the following infographic for five must-know winter hair care tips.

5 simple winter hair care tips (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Just like the cold affects the skin on your body, it also affects your hair and scalp. It could lead to scalp dryness and flaking and make your hair dry, rough, and brittle. But a little care can go a long way in revitalizing, fortifying, and replenishing your locks. Adding a few of the recommended tips mentioned above, such as moisturizing your hair with oil, can keep your hair hydrated and healthy. Some other tips include covering your locks, trying protective hairstyles like braids, and steering clear of hot showers. These winter hair care tips are easy to follow and leave your hair looking smooth and beautiful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does hair grow thicker in winter?

No, hair does not grow thicker or quicker in winter.

Should I cut my hair for winter?

Yes, cutting your hair for winter can make it easier to maintain.

Can onion juice be used in the winter season?

Yes, using onion juice in the winter season may help improve hair health, reduce dandruff due to a dry scalp, and control hair fall.

Key Takeaways

  • Protect your hair and scalp from winter damage with a few care tips like massaging the scalp with hot oil and more.
  • Another important tip to keeping your hair healthy is to eat a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.
  • Don’t be rough with your hair. Make sure you use nourishing hair products.
Winter Hair Care Tips

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team


Prepare your hair for the winter season with expert advice. Learn the essential dos and don’ts, tackle common winter hair problems, and discover effective solutions to protect your hair.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Hair cosmetics: an overview
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
  2. Shampoo and conditioners: What a dermatologist should know?
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4458934/
  3. Hair shaft damage from heat and drying time of hair dryer
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3229938/
  4. Naturally Occurring Hair Growth Peptide: Water-Soluble Chicken Egg Yolk Peptides Stimulate Hair Growth Through Induction of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Production
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29583066/
  5. Honey in dermatology and skin care: a review.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24305429/
  6. Seasonal changes in human hair growth
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1991.tb00423.x?sid=nlm%3Apubmed
  7. Seasonality of hair loss: a time series analysis of Google Trends data 2004–2016
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/bjd.16075/
  8. Seasonality of Hair Shedding in Healthy Women Complaining of Hair Loss
    https://www.zora.uzh.ch/id/eprint/20699/1/216832.pdf
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Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee member of CDSI (Cosmetic dermatologist Society of India). She is highly skilled in non-surgical facial skin rejuvenation and face lift by the use of injection treatments and lasers.

Read full bio of Dr. Shruti Chavan