We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
Bring the life back to your hair with tips from our favourite hairdressers...
Ah, winter – great for getting cosy indoors with a cup of hot cocoa, less great for your beauty routine. Of course, there’s that natural flushed cheeks look that we get when we step outside into the cold, but apart from that, winter is a major beauty downer. Your skin is dry, nails are brittle and hair turns limp and frail.
Often, it’s easier to nourish our skin with a good moisturiser than it is to give a boost to our hair in the winter months. But if you’re worried about how the change in weather will affect your hair, don’t panic. There’s plenty you can do at home to avoid a bad hair day this winter and improve hair condition.
Beauty Director Jo Glanville-Blackburn asked w&h’s favourite hairdressers for their top tricks to stop the weather playing havoc with your look. Check out these expert tips to improve hair condition and you’ll be able to get through winter with your best hair yet…
Our first tip? Blow dry to avoid letting your hair dry naturally too often in winter.
‘Although there’s this preconceived idea that it’s the best way to look after hair, it’s not,’ says celebrity stylist Nicky Clarke. ‘If you don’t blow-dry, the cuticles remain open and raised, so hair will dry out more easily and be open to the elements and pollution.’
Use a heat-protection spray every time and, with a large round bristle brush and your hairdryer set to medium, keep the dryer 5 to 10cm away from your head. Aim the nozzle of the dryer down the shaft of the hair as this will smooth the cuticles down. ‘Leave your hair to set and cool before moving or running your fingers through it. The hair will bend and ruin your style if you play with it while it’s still warm,’ Nicky adds.
Keep reading for more expert tips to improve your hair condition in the winter months…
'Constant blasts of central heating and a dry atmosphere can make your hair static,' says colour pro Daniel Galvin. 'Use a lighter weight conditioner or even a spray-in conditioner'.
Combat the drying effects of over-styling by using a hair masque. 'Make sure you apply one at least once a week in winter' says Daniel. Our favourite is L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Repairing Masque, £5.09
'Wearing hair up is a great style changer and is kinder to ageing hair,' says celebrity stylist Nicky Clarke. 'It protects hair from the freezing wind and rain that come hand-in-hand with winter.'
Pro tip: Wear a hat to keep out the elements. To prevent hat hair, tie your hair in a top knot and place your hat over it. Then, when you shake out your hair, it will still look big and bouncy.
See January as your chance to pare back on your use of electrical appliances and cleanse your hair of excess styling products. Daniel Galvin Detox Miracle Solution, £17, is a pure vitamin C solution that, in just one minute, combats dirt and pollution and strips away excess product residue to leave your hair colour looking bright and glossy.
'It's vital to use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner during the winter months,' says Ashley White of Taylor Taylor London. 'Argan oil is a great ingredient to use during cold spells, as it moisturises the hair instantly. Choose a lightweight version so hair isn't weighed down too much.'
They can strip the hair colour and leave your hair looking dull. A sulphate-free shampoo will ensure your colour lasts all winter. Try John Masters Organics Zinc & Sage Shampoo, £20. Use it for 2 weeks to allow your hair to get accustomed to the 'no lather' effect.
Pro tip: 'Hair colour fades faster in the winter as we wash our hair more often due to weather conditions,' says Ashley. 'Avoid washing your hair in hot water as it dries out the hair. Instead, wash your hair in lukewarm water and blast with cold water at the end to help close and seal the hair cuticles.'
During the winter, we often find that our scalps become more brittle, itchy and flaky too. 'The transition of weather takes away the moisture from our scalps, leaving it to become flakier,' explains Ashley. To combat this, use a good-quality hair oil to add nourishment, such as Redken Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine, £31.99