Must-Have Products to Save Your Hair This Winter

It doesn't take long into the cold, dry season of the year before your hair starts to misbehave. The problem with winter hair is that what feels like temporary dryness can turn into irreversible damage by spring, leaving you no choice but to chop your hair off. Flyaways, static, dry scalp, fizzy ends, and brittle hair are tell-tale signs that Jack Frost has done you wrong. Fear not, though, because there are products and methods out there to keep your hair healthy all season long.

The Dry Hair Cure All: Hair Oil

Woman with white hair bundled up
  Galina Zhigalova / EyeEm / Getty Images

We believe in using a great hair oil all year long. Particularly awesome is Verb's Ghost Oil, which retails for $16 (like everything from the brand) and will last you a long time. If you're not using a hair oil, now is the time to invest in one for a fast answer to some of your winter hair issues. Put the oil in your hair before you blow dry, and you've got added moisture, beautiful shine, and increased manageability. Smooth just a dab onto your hair when it's dry, and those fly-a-ways are suddenly gone. Plus, hair oil will help strengthen your hair over time, and improve the look of dry brittle hair and help prevent split ends. 

Get a Hydrating Shampoo

Taking care of dry winter hair starts in the shower. A great hydrating shampoo infuses moisture into your hair in the very place that you start to strip your natural moisture away. When switching to a hydrating shampoo, try using a hydrating formula every-other shampoo and increase as necessary until you get the results you desire. Some of my favorite hydrating shampoos include:

  • Briogeo Don't Despair Repair Super Moisture Shampoo, $36
  • Sachajuan Moisturizing Shampoo, $28
  • Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo, $34

Tip: You can add hydration to the shampoo you already have. Mix a little hair oil into your regular shampoo in the palm of your hand before applying it to your hair. It's not a forever fix, but it works in a pinch.

Stop Washing Your Hair So Often

One of the best cures for dryness in the winter is to not wash your hair as often. Sometimes, not shampooing your hair is can be the best decision you make for it. You get healthier hair with more moisture, and I'm not talking about grease. You can get more days out of your shampoo by using a dry shampoo on the days that you feel a little oily. Try Fatboy's Ultra Clean Dry Shampoo ($28,) a perfect way to revive and restore your second or third day hair with out looking like you just rolled out of bed.

You can also use a product like Playa's New Day Hair Mist ($24,) to reset your style, so you don't have to wash it out instead. If you have an ugly dent in your hair from sleeping on it weird, don't worry—a mist like this will fix the problem. 

Pro tip: Use a dry shampoo for added volume on freshly washed hair days as well.

Get the Right Moisture in Your Conditioner

During the winter, it's ridiculously important to find an everyday conditioner that will add and lock in moisture without weighing down your hair. The Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Conditioner ($28,) is a great everyday moisture solution for thirsty strands. For moisture that won't weigh curls down, try Ouidad's Curl Quencher ($20.) If those are too light to condition your drier hair during the winter months, go heavier with a product like Alterna's Caviar Replenishing Moisture Conditioner ($34,) Joico's Moisture Recovery Conditioner ($17,) or Aussie's Mega Moist Conditioner ($13.)

Intense Moisture Hair Masks/Treatments

A heavy deep conditioning treatment is one of the best ways to keep your hair healthy and free from the damaging effects of winter. You should be deep conditioning at least two to four times a month during the driest months of the year. A deep penetrating moisturizing treatment will add moisture in a way that no regular conditioner can deliver. If you're looking for an organic option, try coconut oil. However, there are definitely some products out there that give you more than you would get from any one kind of oil. We recommend:

  • Amika, Soulfood, $28
  • Ouai, Treatment Masque, $32
  • Verb, Ghost Hair Mask, $16

Protect Your Hair From Harsh Elements and Hot Tools

No matter what the season, if you're using heat on your hair, a thermal protector is an absolute must to prevent the brittle, broken hair and split ends that result from the high temperatures of hot tools. Products like Living Proof's Restore Perfecting Spray ($29,) and Moroccanoil's Blow Dry Concentrate ($28,) are great for heat protection that goes above and beyond in the winter. In general, blow-dry sprays and serums are ultra moisturizing, and leave hair super soft. Put them on wet hair before blow drying, or use the blow-dry spray on dry hair. Whatever you do, don't use a flat iron or curling iron on wet hair— you'll end up with serious heat related damage.

Get Your Shine On

Instantly tame frizz and add moisture to dry ends with shine infusing products like IGK's Expensive Amla Oil Topcoat, $29. Lightweight creams and serums only require a dab to add shine and control to dry tresses. A great shine spray is another must-have product when dry winter hair has your locks looking dull and lifeless. NatureLab. Tokyo's Perfect Shine Oil Mist ($16,) is a perfect solution to instantly replenish and revive hair that's lost its luster. Mist on hair lightly after styling.