Winter Hair Care: 5 Ways to Beat the Cold Weather Blahs


The shorter, darker days of winter can lead to a decidedly “I don’t care” attitude when it comes to your hair. It’s cold, and most days you’re just happy to tuck all your hair away under whichever hat prevents your ears from freezing. But since a good hair day is like a ray of sunshine, it might serve you well to explore a few healthy hair care tips and winter hairstyles to try this season. Here are five easy tweaks that can instantly upgrade your hair and brighten your mood!

Gloss and Tone Your Hair Color.

“When I think of a winter pick-me-up, my mind goes straight to glossing and toning services,” says Matrix Artistic Director Robert Santana. He explains, “Even if you’ve achieved the precise hair color you want, it tends to lose brilliance over time, due to shampooing, exposure to UV light, the use of thermal tools like blow dryers and styling irons.” The solution is a demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair gloss service.

These services offer two benefits. First, they deposit sheer color that can adjust the tone of your hair color if it has shifted. For example, if you rock a cool blonde hair color or natural grey hair color, and it appears to have gone a bit yellow, your stylist might create a clear gloss with a dot of lavender or blue in it to neutralize the unwanted yellow tone. Because these formulas are sheer, they will not alter your hair color, they’ll simply adjust the tone.

The second benefit to hair glossing services is shine! These formulas function like a topcoat, sealing the surface of your hair and creating a reflective, protective top layer. Even in low winter light, your strands will be brilliant!

Find a local salon to schedule your gloss and toning service!

Rethink Your Haircut.

Summer is a glorious season, but for anyone with curly, coarse, unruly and/or dry hair, it’s also the season when humidity takes over, causing frizzy hair strands to shrink up like little caterpillars. But winter brings liberation from those humid days, and with that comes a new freedom in your hair styling and haircut options. “In winter, I can give my clients bangs, layers and even short haircuts,” says Robert, “because they don’t have to worry about the adverse effects of heat and humidity. I urge them to take advantage of the wintry weather to try things they would never attempt in the summer. Why not? It can all grow out by the time the weather gets warm again!”

Let Your Hat Be Your Stylist.

Rather than fight hat hair in the winter, let your favorite cold-weather accessory be part of your styling regime. Apply an air-dry styling crème to damp hair, divide it into sections, twist or braid each section and pop the twists under your hat. When your hair is dry, release the twists and you’ll have soft, flowing, beachy waves—even though you haven’t been anywhere near the ocean in months!

Treat Your Hair Bonds with Care.

Dry air and harsh temperatures can lead to split ends and hair breakage. Frequent chemical services and thermal styling just add to the problem. That’s why this is the time of year to treat your hair with loads of care. Robert starts the prevention process in the salon with a professional re-bonding formula that’s added to all his hair color formulas. This formula restores the hair bonds that are disrupted during the chemical service and prevents additional damage. He also sends his clients off with a home-care re-bonding system that continues to reconnect and recondition broken bonds in the hair, leaving it shiny and strong.

Moisturize Your Hair Like Mad.

Winter weather has a tendency to strip all the moisture out of your hair, and that leads to the dryness and dullness that makes strands lackluster and hard to style. So when it comes to your hair, drink up. Look for rich, luxurious shampoos and conditioners that restore moisture. “Many people switch up their shampoos and conditioners with the seasons,” Robert points out, “because they need lighter formulas in the summer when hair and scalp tend to be oilier, and richer formulas in the winter when the weather and artificial indoor heat cause hair and scalp to become dry and even itchy or irritated.”

Hair treatment masks are another winter must for dry hair—these ultra-rich formulas give your hair an extra boost of moisture and nourishment. Apply your favorite mask to damp hair and leave it on for five to ten minutes before rinsing, to allow it to penetrate well. For even more effectiveness, pop on a plastic cap. The heat from your scalp will accelerate the penetration. Indulge your hair in a moisturizing hair mask treatment once or twice a week, or more frequently if your hair is extra dry. You can even apply a mask at night and let it work overnight. Just be sure to protect your pillows by covering your hair with a sleeping cap or scarf!