Winter officially begins for Americans on December 21st. This marks the start of at least four months of frigid temperatures, snow, ice, sleet, and heat cranked up in our homes. All of this can be a recipe for disaster for your hair. It is especially important to take care of your hair during the winter months, so that you have beautiful, healthy hair all year round. Here are 6 things to do this winter to keep your hair in good shape.

1. Wear a hat

This tip sounds obvious, but the importance of keeping your hair covered when you are outside in the elements cannot be understated. Not only does a hat or other head covering protect your hair from cold and moisture, but it also prevents salt and other chemicals (from winter road treatments) from getting at your locks.


2. Deep conditioning

At least once per week you should treat your hair with a deep conditioner, which can be found at your local drugstore. The winter can make our hair dry and brittle, so it is important to restore that moisture for optimal growth and shine. There are multiple deep conditioner options, such as hair masks or hair oils or leave in conditioners. Find a brand you love and set a weekly reminder to apply it to your hair.


3. Regular haircuts

Every 6 to 8 weeks you should get a trim, more often if you are a male. Hair cuts are not only a good opportunity to revamp your style, but also to get rid of any dry, split ends that may have grown. You would not skip dusting your house for 8 weeks, so do not skip dusting off your hair.


4. Lay off the styling tools

With the holidays and other winter parties, you will want to curl, straighten and blow dry your hair often – try not to do that. Adding high amounts of heat with these tools dries out your hair and scalp, increasing your likelihood of damage. Your natural hair is beautiful and letting it breathe will make it that much healthier. If you must use heat styling tools, use a protectant formula to decrease your risk of damage.


5. Watch your diet

We all know that winter is the time to forgo diets full of vegetables and fruits, and enjoy rich, calorie dense meals. However, not only does this affect our waistband but also our hair health. Healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, grains and lean meats are full of essential nutrients for your hair. If you are not consuming these foods as much in the winter, your hair will suffer and could become dulled or frayed. Do yourself a favor and continue to incorporate healthy foods into your diet all year round – your hair will thank you.

6. Manage your stress

Seasonal depression — brought on by darker days and colder temperatures — is real. By February many of us forget what sunshine feels like. This type of stress is not good for your overall health, and is especially not good for your hair. Dandruff, itchiness and greasiness are all signs of high levels of stress. Exercise and recreational activities are good ways to combat this – be sure to make time for them in your week.


Do not forget about your hair health this winter. Implement some of the suggestions above to achieve beautiful hair all year long.