How to Update Your Winter Hair Routine for Thick Tresses

Dahvi Shira,

Thick hair can oftentimes seem indestructible. From using heat to general wear and tear, this type is obviously more durable than others. But how to care for hair during winter does produce its challenges.

The cold can cause even the strongest strands to become brittle. Rest assured we’re here to help! Below is everything you need to know about updating your winter hair routine for thick tresses.

The Result of Winter Weather on Thick Hair

Winter temps and weather conditions affect pretty much every aspect of the strands.

“Dry, windy, and cold weather can cause the hair cuticle to slightly lift causing breakage and frizz in thicker hair,” explains Allison Harr, Founder & CEO of Gemmist haircare. “Also, the scalp is more prone to dehydration with cold weather and intense indoor heat. This results in dry, brittle hair with breakage, especially when combined with wearing hats that can cause friction on hair strands.”

Harr recommends weekly use of a scalp exfoliator (she opts for Gemmist’s Scalp Balancing Bar) to gently remove product buildup and oil. This will “stimulate and refresh the scalp,” she says, adding that Argan Oil and Shea Butter keep hair hydrated from root to end.  

Specific Hair Product Ingredients to Avoid During Winter

Drying alcohols are always to be avoided, but during the winter, especially. Avoiding this will help minimize frizz.

“Use products that contain fatty acids, humectants, proteins and panthenol to help hair attract and retain moisture while minimizing damage,” Harr says.

Types of Products Thick Hair Should Avoid During Winter

Harr suggests opting for cream formulas versus gels or mists during the winter to “help hair retain more moisture and reduce static.” She uses Gemmist’s Sheer Styler and Crème Styler.

Also, “minimizing heat exposure can help people avoid drying out the hair and scalp,” she explains. “If a person tends to heat-style, they should be sure to use a heat protectant product before blow-drying or ironing to protect from further drying out or damaging hair.”

General Additional Pointers for Thick Hair During Winter

It goes without saying, but leave-in conditioners are always key when it comes to dry strands.

Additionally, Harr says, “Choosing a hydrating shampoo and avoiding drying ingredients like harsh sulfates is key to locking in moisture. In addition to a normal conditioning routine, people should also treat their hair once or twice a week with an extra-rich conditioner or mask.”


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