Despite all the great things winter has to offer (snowflakes, snuggling, spiked hot chocolate… ) your hair usually doesn’t see it that way. Between getting blasted by the cold outdoors and dry indoors, your hair is taking a hit no matter where you go.
Of course, salon treatments are great, but less-expensive over-the-counter products can be excellent too—so long as you know what you’re looking for. To keep your hair healthy and happy in the winter, try to give yourself an at-home “spa treatment” at least once a week. Your hair will look and feel great, and it’s a nice self care step too. We spoke with Kelli Book of House of Hair Brockley to find out what at-home hair masks can save our hair from wintertime breakage and brittleness.
Book gave us the lowdown on three different types of masks that are ideal for different hair types and textures. Of course, everyone’s hair is different, and you may find your medium-textured hair does better with fine hair products, for example. Don’t be afraid to experiment!
For all masks, product should be applied to wet, clean hair, and worked thoroughly from root to tip.
1. For Tight, Natural Curls
Book says it’s “all about heavier moisture, humectants, and oils.” The humectants are found in products that say “hydrating,” and are responsible for really getting into the hair shaft. This returns the moisture lost to indoor dry heat and outdoor bitter cold.
Oils help to smooth the cuticle and make hair less frizzy. People often think that just oil is enough to treat dry hair, but without an additional moisturizer, oil can sit on top of the hair itself, leaving your head simultaneously dehydrated and greasy. Heavier oils tend to work better on coarse or kinky hair, Book says, but it’s important not to skip the layer of moisturizer too!
One option: SheaMoisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque ($13.49, ulta.com). This product of course comes packed with certified organic shea butter, which is great for this hair type, but the blend of oils and soothing honey will make this a decadent experience that can lock in moisture for a few days—perfect for people who wash their hair less frequently.
2. For Wavy, Loose Curls
This hair type is likeliest to frizz, Book says, so she recommends heavier cream conditioners because they have a solid balance of moisture and protein that can keep this hair healthy and happy in the colder months.
Another tip is to look for product that says it is for “smoothing hair,” as these mixtures are often quite balanced as well. Products made for tighter curls may be too heavy for this hair type, while products for fine hair often don’t have enough oil and moisturize—basically, it’s not the easiest category to shop for.
However, this Probiotic Hair Mask ($48, telabeautyorganics.com) can do the trick: It’s made from organic fruits, which can help strengthen and repair hair by providing it with vitamins, but you may still want to add a DIY element in the dead of winter for added hydration—augment this mask with some coconut or olive oil for extra-deep conditioning.
3. For Fine Hair
For fine hair, lighter oils and serums are the way to go, Book says, even in the winter. Fine hair gets weighed down easily, so using lightweight products can keep hair feeling refreshed and healthy throughout the season.
Book recommends lighter oils for this hair type, such as argan or avocado oil. A little goes a long way in fine hair, so apply with a light hand. Book also cautions against volumizing shampoo and conditioners, as they tend to be drying.
You may want to try the Royal Formula Argan Oil Hair Mask ($19.95, amazon.com), which is 100-percent organic and made to strengthen hair by providing it with moisture and repairing damage. It penetrates the hair shaft to moisture and smooth fine hair, giving it more volume and resilience. This product can be used about three times per week.