6 Easy Ways to Fight Dry Winter Hair

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Photo: Bill Diodato/Getty Images

Saturday’s snowfall signaled an important annual turning point: winter is here. Just as you’ll need some extra layers to fight the cold, you’ll also need a few extra tricks to fight dry hair. Below, six hacks to get you your softest winter hair, ever.

Give Your Conditioner a Boost

Conditioners and masks are inherently moisturizing, but if you really want to fight dryness, throw some oil into the mix. You can do this in one of two ways: Combine your current conditioner or mask with any heavy oil (olive or jojoba work best), then apply the mixture directly to your freshly-washed hair. Or apply your conditioner or mask first, then finish with a layer of semi-solid coconut oil. The occlusive oils trap the conditioning ingredients, reducing evaporation. This means that your hair will be conditioned longer and more efficiently. After a few minutes, rinse like you normally would.

Sleep Like a Granny

What’s better than conditioning your hair for a few minutes? An entire night. But you’re going to need to wear a little cap so you don’t ruin your pillows (and so you can keep the conditioner in your hair). Amazon sells 100-packs of cheap ones.

Betty Dain Plastic Processing Caps , 100 ct

Became a “Pre-Poo” Person

A celebrated method for people with lots of curls, pre-poo protects hair from the drying effects of shampoo. Just douse your dry, unwashed hair with the pre-poo, wait for at least 15 minutes (though you can leave it on overnight), and then shampoo and condition as usual. The product physically shields your hair from strippage.

Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer is the original pre-poo. It was designed for Audrey Hepburn and is ideal for extremely dry, hay-like hair (though it’s hard to imagine Audrey with a head full of straw). Caviar’s Oil Creme Pre-Shampoo Treatment is a modern day upgrade for thinner hair, and so is S.Oil’s serum and oil blend, but even coconut oil makes for a simple and affordable solution.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Pre Shampoo Treatment

Get a Little Lazy

Wendy Iles, hair stylist to Heidi Klum and Marion Cotillard, once said that she never fully washes conditioner out of her hair. She reasoned that the tiny amount of conditioner left behind helps stave off dryness. She’s right, of course, and this method particularly benefits people with thin hair, for whom post-conditioner moisturizers can be too heavy. Consider this a lightweight alternative to cream or oil moisturizers for thin hair, and an amplifying moisturizing complement for thicker, drier hair.

Turn Your Room Into a Sauna

Is there anything a humidifier can’t do? Buy one to saturate the air with moisture, which can relieve itchy skin, a dry throat, and rough winter hair. You’ll need one that’s powerful enough to make an impact, so try Honeywell’s version — a top-rated pick on Amazon.

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Wear a Hair Condom

Exercise: great for your health, terrible for your hair. At the very least, it dirties your hair, after which it’s natural to want to give it a wash. But as we know, shampoo is drying, especially on your ends. Ponydry is a waterproof sleeve designed to protect those sensitive ends while you wash your roots. Think of it as a shower cap for just your ponytail.

Ponydry Hair Sleeve

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6 Easy Ways to Fight Dry Winter Hair