Winter weather can be unpredictable, but there’s one thing that you and your clients can always expect: cold and dry weather always spells trouble for hair (both hair extensions and natural hair). Each and every year, we’re reminded of this fact when our hair frizzes out, gets brittle and straw-like, or refuses to hold any shape whatsoever. So what can be done to alleviate the damage and restore hair balance for all those holiday parties and pictures on the horizon? Read on to find out…

Shield your hair from the cold.
First things first, don’t step out of the house with wet hair when the temperature outside is bordering on freezing. Your hair will stiffen in an uncomfortable and unflattering way, and possibly even break in the process! Instead, ensure that your hair is at least 80% dry, then proceed to wrap it in a protective style (tucked braids, buns, etc.) and/or cover it with a scarf or hat. For bonus points, select a silk or satin scarf, or a hat with a silk or satin lining, for maximum hair protection and smoothness (you can also place a piece of cotton or wool between your hair and a knit cap).

Avoid excessive heat.
Just because you’re avoiding the cold doesn’t mean you should crank up the heat. As always, don’t abuse your hair with super hot heating tools or a lack of heat protectant. In fact, consider using a lower temperature setting and fan speed than usual to retain as much moisture as possible. You can always achieve your desired level of dryness/dimension with multiple low-heat applications (spread out with 15-20 minute breaks in-between).

Control your indoor atmosphere.
There’s not a lot you can do about the weather outside, but there are things you can do to make your indoor space more hospitable for your hair. In keeping with our last tip, don’t overuse your heater, as it can stealthily steal moisture out of your locks. If you absolutely must have a 75 degree house, use a vaporizer or humidifier to reintroduce moisture into the air. Your skin will greatly appreciate this, too!

Indulge in good conditioners, masks, and oils.
You’ll need to improve your hair care regimen to address the drier-than-usual state of your hair. Do this with sulfate-free, color-safe, professional-grade moisturizing products, and be sure to increase the frequency of your moisturizing procedures. We recommend daily frizz-fighting serums, bi-weekly conditioning treatments, weekly hair masks, and the occasional hot oil treatment. When it comes to masks and oils, make sure to keep them away from the bond area of your hair, and to concentrate the product at the ends, where dryness is typically worse. And always make sure that you’re applying these products to clean hair, as dirt and grime will only get in the way.

Fill your body with nutrients.
Physical health is at the root of all beauty, so make sure that your body is equipped to handle the winter with the necessary amounts of vitamins and minerals. You can get this through your diet alone or from a combination of diet and supplements. You should also be ingesting plenty of healthy fats—like avocados, olive oil, and salmon—which help your hair to look shiny. And, most important of all, drink lots and lots of water. And we mean lots.

Get a trim.
Sometimes all of these defences will still leave you with breakage and split ends, and that’s okay. Your hair is not invincible, and it will inevitably accumulate damage over time. Address the problem early on with a trim to soften the ends—leaving it alone could mean letting the split travel up the hair shaft, which can seriously compromise length and hair strength in the long run!

What are your cold-weather tips for hair and hair extensions? Let us know in the comments below!