Hairdresser Tells Us How To Adjust Your Curly Hair Routine For Winter

Just like with skincare routines, sometimes a change in the season means a change in haircare. That's because if you live somewhere where the temperature drops in the winter, you'll probably notice your tresses behave a little differently in the cold than in the heat of summer. And that can be particularly troublesome for those with curly hair. One of the big reasons our hair can have different needs in the winter is because cold air holds less moisture than hot air. Dr. Iris Rubin, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of SEEN Hair, explained to Byrdie, "Drier winter air can remove moisture from the scalp and hair, making the hair more susceptible to breakage."

But it's not just the cool air outdoors that's affecting our tresses. Cranking up the heating indoors can also affect what's going on with our locks. "Central heating can cause the hair to dry out and make it more brittle and fragile," Anya Delicompagni, director of hairdressing at the Francesco Group, told Good Housekeeping. So, basically, our hair is getting a lack of moisture no matter if we're inside or outside. Great. But how can we change our haircare routine to keep our curls looking their best in the dry cold? We put that question to fashion hair/makeup artist Luna Viola, who gave us some expert insider info.

Keep your hair's moisture levels up with a mask

As Luna Viola pointed out to us, many of us tend to wash our hair less in the winter. That may be because we're not getting as hot and sweaty in the colder months so our hair isn't quite as greasy, while it's also natural for your locks to produce less oil in the winter because of the lack of moisture in the air. Because of that, it's a good idea to help bring some of that moisture back to the hair with a mask. "To maintain your [hair's] optimal health, I suggest using a deep restoring mask once a week," Viola told us. "If the hair is damaged, colored, or particularly porous, it's recommended to use a deep restoring mask after shampoo once a week," she added.

There are plenty of hair masks on the market that are specifically targeted towards curly hair. Some of the ingredients to look out for in deep conditioning treatments? Shea oil, avocado oil, or glycerin can all help to keep curly locks hydrated. But if you're struggling to find one that works for your hair type, you can even make one yourself at home. Viola told us that you can use castor oil as a moisturizing mask. Not only will it help moisturize your hair, but it can be great for the scalp as well.

And you can change up your haircare products for the winter, too

In addition to a weekly hair mask, you may find that changing up your haircare products for the winter will help keep your curly tresses healthy. Luna Viola recommended to Women.com adding some argon oil to the ends of your hair so that your curls will feel bouncy and healthy as the cold air blows in; not dry and limp.

A leave-in conditioner, either in addition to or instead of an in-shower product, may also be the saving grace your hair needs depending on just how affected it can be in the cold. Viola suggested applying argon oil or a leave-in conditioner on the ends of the hair only (as you don't want to weigh down or flatten your curls). "[These] can be applied on the ends every two to three days depending on how damaged the hair is," she said.

Coconut is another product that can be added to your routine for the winter, or increased if it's already part of your haircare ritual (after all, coconut oil has so many uses in our beauty routines). "To keep curls hydrated and shiny, I recommend using coconut and olive oil spray as a styling product," she shared.

But try not to wash your hair too regularly

We know that many people already tend to wash their hair less in the winter, but if you're someone who finds themselves washing it more thanks to an array of big events like holiday parties, you may want to try toning the washing down if you can. Dr. Ipshita Johri explained to Health Shots that because curly hair tends to be drier than hair that's naturally straight, it can be particularly prone to turning drier quicker. And washing it too much certainly won't help that. In fact, overwashing your hair will only take away its natural oils, making it even drier. Not only does dry hair not look too great, but it even makes your curly hair frizzy, and also means your locks will be more susceptible to damage like split ends and breakages.

So how much washing is too much for curly hair? According to Dr. Johri, those with curly locks should try to wash their hair just once or twice a week in the winter. And of course, one of those times you should follow the wash with a deep conditioner, as recommended by Luna Viola.