How to Maintain Hair during the Winter



by Rachel Ramirez

It’s winter and just like with skin, the cold weather and extremes in temperature (heated rooms, cold wind, rainy days) can take its toll on hair, causing strands to become dry, dull or frizzy and the scalp to become tight, itchy or dry. Here are some tips to help your hair and scalp survive during winter.

1. Take care of the scalp – Think of hair and the scalp as a plant and soil. If the soil is not properly nourished and watered, the plant will not be green and leafy. A simple way to care for the scalp is with a daily massage, which helps to loosen and remove dead skin cells that can clog follicles and helps to increase circulation, which results in increased cell turnover and helps stimulate growth. Perform on dry hair and use clean, dry fingertips in either a vertical or circular motion from the crown to the bottom (as if washing hair) for 1 minute. For those who experience an unusual amount of shedding and are afraid to cause any breakage, perform the scalp massage during shampooing.

2. Wash hair 2-3 times per week for dry, curly, color-treated or damaged hair, or daily, if applicable, for fine, oily hair. Also, all hair types can benefit from using a dry shampoo, especially if fine, oily hair types find washing daily too drying. Dry shampoo will help absorb natural oils and odors that can collect on the roots.

3. Just like in the summertime, use a clarifying shampoo to remove product build-up and natural oils and dead skin cells from strands and scalp. Use once a week for fine, oily hair and once every two weeks for dry, curly or color-treated hair.

4. For dry, curly, coarse and color-treated hair types, consider using oils as both an overnight repair treatment or a leave-in treatment. Look for oils that are compatible with skin, such as argan, avocado, jojoba, camellia, olive or grapeseed. As an overnight treatment, massage oil into scalp and strands, do not rinse and shampoo and condition the next day as usual. The overnight oil treatment can be used 2-3 times per week for coarser, drier types. Fine hair can also use oils, but leave in for only 20 minutes before shampooing out to avoid over-hydrating or product build-up. A few drops of oil can be “cocktailed” by mixing in with a styling crème to create help increase its hydrating properties. Apply the cocktail to clean, damp hair, focusing on the ends, prior to blow-drying.

5. Take a daily collagen supplement, which can be purchased at vitamin supply stores. Since our hair is keratin, collagen will help to both strengthen existing strands and help increase cell turnover, helping to speed up growth. Also, collagen is synergistic and will also help with eyelashes, skin, joints, blood vessels and gums.

6. Is long hair looking too heavy and flat? Consider trimming 2-3 inches, either in length or with long layers, to help give bounce and movement to hair.

Rachel Ramirez has written for Modern Latina since 2006, in addition to  Many of her articles reflect her interest and specialty in skin, beauty, and nutrition.  Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition from San Jose State University and currently is a skincare expert with Sephora.