If you’re like most women, shiny, healthy hair seems like a distant memory right about now. The dry air outside and the incessant heaters pumping inside often wreak havoc on otherwise healthy hair. While there are obvious things that you can do to help curb the dullness — like cutting down on heat styling tools and coloring hair less frequently — there are plenty of less obvious things that can have a significant impact.
“Feed your hair!” exclaims Allison Gandolfo, a colorist at the salon at Bergdorf Goodman. “I’m always telling my clients that your hair tells me how you’re eating. Lack of nutrients in the hair will make it more dry and dull, so load up on salmon, organic chicken, walnuts, blueberries, eggs, goji berries, chia seeds, leafy greens and, of course, water.”
Celebrity hairstylist Mark Garrison singles out the importance of having a humidifier. “It’s especially important to have one come winter when the heat is cranked up. I would even have one in your office, or anywhere else you spend your day,” says Garrison. “Humidifiers keep moisture in the air, which is crucial because dry air sucks the moisture out of hair!”
Another common mistake is over-shampooing, which strips hair of its natural oils. While a few of us can eliminate shampooing from our beauty regimen, Garrison says to at least cut down on daily shampooing and add in a weekly hydrating hair mask.
Another thing affecting your hair? Water quality. “Hard water, which is water that is high in minerals, isn’t good for hair,” says Gandolfo. “It can cause buildup and make your hair look and feel dry and dull. If you live in an area with hard water, I would recommend investing in a shower filter like this one.” It’s also helpful, she says, to use cold water when washing hair and a clarifying shampoo once per month to remove excess buildup of products. (We know, cold rinses aren’t fun in the winter … but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?)
As far as hair products, steer clear of those with a higher alcohol content such as mousses, strong volumizers and hairsprays, according to Frédéric Fekkai stylist Gwen von Hofen. Cold air, von Hofen notes, actually opens up the hair cuticle and draws moisture out, leaving hair prone to static and frizz. That’s why it’s a good time to load up on styling product that treat those nuisances.
Check out our slideshow above for product suggestions to help revive hair back to its hydrated glory days.