Winter Hair Care: Nourishing Your Hair with the Right Oils

  • 6th December 2023
  • 11 min read
Written by Arran Isherwood
Dr Steve Stangoni
Medically reviewed by Dr. Steve Stangoni - GMC No. 7042486 on 8th December 2023
Next review due on 8th December 2024

Winter brings specific challenges for hair care. The cold and dry air of the season can damage your hair, making it dry, brittle, and dull. Indoor heating can also contribute to these issues, stripping away moisture. It's important, especially during these colder months, to have a hair care routine that addresses these challenges.

In this article, we'll discuss the importance of hair oils in winter hair care. These oils are essential for keeping your hair hydrated and healthy in the face of winter's harsh conditions. We'll explore the different types of hair oils and how they can benefit your hair, providing the care it needs during winter.


How winter affects your hair

Winter can be a challenging time for your hair. The cold, dry air that characterises the season can significantly impact hair health, leading to several issues. Here are some common problems you might by familiar with during winter months:

  • Increased dryness — Winter air tends to have lower humidity levels, which can deplete your hair of its natural moisture. As a result, you may notice your hair becoming dry, brittle, and more susceptible to breakage. Dry hair is not only uncomfortable, but it can also lead to split ends and a lacklustre appearance.
  • The frizz factor — Frizz is a common problem during winter. The dry air can cause your hair to lose its natural oils and become more porous. This makes it prone to absorbing moisture from the air, leading to the dreaded winter frizz. It can be particularly frustrating when you've spent time styling your hair only to have it transform into a frizzy mess as soon as you step outside.
  • Breakage and static — Static electricity is another hair issue that plagues many during the winter months. The lack of moisture in the air makes hair strands more likely to repel each other, causing flyaways and static-induced hair woes. This static and the brittleness from dryness can lead to increased hair breakage.
  • Adjusting your hair care routine — The unique challenges of winter require a change in your hair care routine. What works during the rest of the year may need to be revised to combat the effects of winter. That's where hair oils come in as a powerful solution to replenish lost moisture and maintain hair health.


The benefits of hair oils

In the quest to combat the harsh effects of winter on hair, hair oils emerge as a crucial ally. These natural elixirs are not just an addition to your hair care regimen; they are a necessity, especially during the colder months. Hair oils play a vital role in countering the dry, brittle conditions that winter imposes, offering a range of benefits that are essential for maintaining healthy hair.

  • Moisture retention — One of the primary benefits of hair oils is their ability to lock in moisture. They create a protective layer over the hair shaft, significantly reducing dryness and preventing the hair from becoming brittle and prone to breakage. This moisture retention is vital in maintaining hair health throughout the dry winter months.
  • Scalp nourishment — Hair oils also play a crucial role in scalp health. They penetrate deep into the scalp, providing essential nourishment. This helps in balancing oil production and reduces issues like dryness and flakiness. A healthy scalp is fundamental to the overall health and appearance of hair.
  • Improved hair strength — Regular use of hair oils not only nourishes but also strengthens hair strands. This improvement in hair strength is essential for maintaining the hair's resilience and health, especially in the face of winter's drying effects.
  • Dual action for hair care — Hair oils are uniquely effective for both natural and transplanted hair. Their ability to nurture and protect hair makes them an indispensable part of post-transplant care, especially in maintaining hair health during the winter months.


Different types of hair oils and their benefits

In the world of hair care, not all oils are created equal. Each type of hair oil comes with its own unique set of benefits, catering to different needs and hair types. Here's a closer look at some popular hair oils and what they offer:

Coconut oil 

Known for its deep conditioning properties, coconut oil is a powerhouse when it comes to moisture retention. It penetrates the hair shaft, providing deep hydration and preventing moisture loss. This makes it an excellent choice for those struggling with dry and brittle hair during winter.

Best for: Coconut oil is excellent for extremely dry, damaged, or brittle hair.

Argan oil

Rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E, argan oil is a luxury for your hair. It's particularly effective for controlling frizz and adding a healthy shine. Its nourishing properties also help protect hair from the damage caused by the cold and dry winter air.

Best for: Argan oil is ideal for controlling frizz and adding lustre to all hair types.

Olive oil 

Olive oil is not only beneficial for your hair but also for your scalp. It's loaded with antioxidants and vitamin E, helping to combat dandruff and maintain a healthy scalp environment.

Best for: Olive oil is excellent for dealing with dry or flaky scalps.

Jojoba oil  

Jojoba oil is celebrated for its ability to mimic natural scalp oils. Its composition is similar to the oil (sebum) naturally produced by the scalp, making it ideal for maintaining scalp health. It helps in balancing oil production, ensuring the scalp remains healthy without becoming overly greasy.

Best for: Jojoba oil suits those with oily or combination hair seeking added shine.

Almond oil 

Almond oil is a rich source of Vitamin E, an essential nutrient for hair health. It's excellent for strengthening hair and treating split ends. Almond oil's nourishing properties make it a great choice for maintaining the strength and health of hair during the stressful winter months.

Best for: Almond oil suits almost all hair types, especially those looking to improve hair texture and reduce breakage.


Which hair oil should you choose?

Understanding the properties and benefits of these various hair oils will help you make an informed choice to combat winter hair woes effectively. In the next section, we'll explore the best practices for applying these oils to maximise their benefits and nourish your hair during winter.

  • Consider your hair type and specific concerns when selecting an oil. If you have multiple problems, you can even mix oils to create a custom blend.
  • Opt for high-quality, pure oils without added chemicals or fragrances for the best results.
  • Perform a patch test for sensitive skin or allergies to ensure the oil doesn't cause irritation.

How to use hair oils

Now that you've chosen the perfect hair oil for your winter hair care needs, it's time to learn how to apply it effectively. The way you use hair oils can make a significant difference in their performance. Here are the steps you’ll need to know how to apply hair oils to nourish and protect your hair during the winter season:

1. Choose the right amount

The amount of oil you use depends on your hair length and thickness. Generally, start with a small amount (a few drops) and adjust as needed to avoid making your hair greasy.

2. Warm the oil

To improve the oil's absorption, warm it slightly by rubbing it between your palms. This also makes the application more comfortable.

3. Apply to the scalp

If your primary concern is scalp health, apply the oil to your scalp. Use your fingertips to massage the oil gently in circular motions. This improves circulation and helps distribute the oil evenly.

4. Work through the lengths

Run your oiled fingers through your hair, making sure to coat the entire length. Pay special attention to the tips, which are often the driest part of the hair.

5. Leave it in

Allow the oil to sit for at least 30 minutes or for a deep treatment; you can leave it on overnight. Use a shower cap or towel to prevent the oil from transferring onto your pillow.

6. Shampoo and condition

If you applied the oil before washing, proceed to shampoo and condition as usual. If you use it after washing, no further steps are necessary.

7. Style as desired

Style your hair as you usually would. You'll likely notice a smoother, shinier, and more manageable result.

The frequency of oiling your hair can vary based on your hair type and the intensity of your concerns. Once a week is a good starting point. You can adjust this frequency as needed, but avoid over-oiling, as it can lead to greasy hair. 


Additional Tips for Winter Hair Care

While hair oils play a big role in keeping your hair at its healthiest during winter, there are many other steps you can take to keep your hair looking and feeling its best. Consider these additional tips to bolster your winter hair care routine:

  • Use the right shampoo and conditioner — Choose moisturising, sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Look for products formulated to combat dryness and frizz while maintaining your hair's natural oils.
  • Avoid Hot Water — Hot water can strip your hair of essential oils, leaving it even drier. Use lukewarm water for washing your hair, and finish with a cool water rinse to seal the hair cuticles and add shine.
  • Limit Heat Styling — Excessive heat styling can lead to dryness and damage. If you must use heat tools, invest in high-quality, heat-protectant products and use them sparingly.
  • Cover Your Hair — When heading out into extreme cold, consider wearing a hat or scarf to protect your hair from the cold, dry wind. This extra layer can prevent moisture loss and maintain hair health.
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet — Your hair's health is closely linked to your overall well-being. Consume a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins, vital for hair strength and shine. Consider adding foods like salmon, nuts, and leafy greens to your meals.
  • Stay Hydrated — Proper hydration is critical to maintaining hair moisture. Ensure you're drinking enough water throughout the day to keep your body and hair hydrated from the inside out.
  • Regular Trims — Schedule regular trims with your stylist to eliminate split ends and promote healthy hair growth. Trimming is particularly important in the winter when hair is more prone to damage.
  • Sleep on Silk — Swap your cotton pillowcase for a silk or satin one. These materials cause less friction, reducing the likelihood of hair breakage and frizz while you sleep.


Get better hair with FUE Clinics

By following these additional tips, you can ensure that your hair stays nourished and healthy throughout winter. If you’re looking for more hair care tips and expert advice, visit our blog for more insights from seasoned professionals.

If you’re suffering from hair loss and are looking for a permanent, low-maintenance solution, contact our team of hair transplant specialists today to learn about what treatments are right for you and sign up for a free consultation.

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