Winter Hair Care Tips For Curly Hair

Caring for curly hair in winter can be a challenge. The low temperatures and dew point, and harsh cold winds can leave your curls looking like a hot mess. But they don’t have to look this way. That’s why once the temperature drops, it’s important to change up your curly hair care routine, just the way you do with your skin care. If you’re struggling with dry, curly strands this winter you’ve come to the right place. Because we’re telling you how to keep hair moisturized in winter — plus breaking down the best curly hair products and hair care tips to care for curly hair in winter. Read ahead for the ultimate curly hair routine for winter.

How Does Winter Affect Curly Hair?

The effects of winter on your curly hair can be extremely harsh. In winter, when the temperature and dew points are low, the air is dryer and humidity is lower. The result is dryer than usual curls that are frizzy, dry, limp and unpredictable. But these effects aren’t just annoying, they’re actually damaging to curly hair. The cold, dry air lifts the hair cuticle of the strands, resulting in moisture loss through the hair shaft. This leads to brittle, fragile strands that are susceptible to split ends and breakage In addition, things like high winds and wearing protective gear like hats can cause your curls to tangle, snag and break. And winter can be especially harsh on your curly hair if it’s color-treated, stripping it further of its vibrancy and shine.

How does winter affect curly hair

8 Tips For Winter Hair Care For Curly Hair

The most important change to your curly hair routine for winter is to amp up your hair’s hydration and add lots of moisture back into your curls. Keep your hair moisturized this season with these 8 tips to care for curly hair in winter.

Deep condition twice a week

The colder temps and lack of moisture in the air during winter will inevitably dry out your curls. Combat this by deep conditioning your hair once or twice a week. Add heat to help the hydrating ingredients penetrate your hair strands more deeply. Apply a hair mask before sitting under a hooded dryer or rotating a blowdryer on hot around your head. 

Co-wash more often

If you’re not already don’t co-washing your curls on a regular basis, winter is the time to start. And if you are, do it more! Co-washing is a curly hair washing technique that replaces your regular shampoo with a conditioner. Make sure that you rinse thoroughly after co-washing, especially at your roots.

Wash the night before

Curly hair can take hours to fully dry. During the winter, you shouldn’t go outside with wet hair as it’s especially vulnerable when wet. The cold, dry air can dehydrate it and cause unnecessary breakage. Instead of washing your hair in the morning, wash it at night. Diffuse your curls partially before you go to bed. 

Washing curly hair in winter prep

If you MUST go out with wet hair...

If you absolutely must go outside with wet curls, cover them with a silk scarf or hat. This will protect your strands from cold, dry air and weather; helping prevent frizz, tangles and split ends.

Cut back on protein treatments

Protein dries out your curls, increasing their need for moisture. During an already dry season, this is a big DON’T. Cut back on protein treatments and avoid using anything with a high concentration of proteins like hydrolyzed wheat protein and silk protein during the winter months.

Use more product

To counteract the drying effects of colder temperatures, increase the amount of product you use in winter. This includes things like conditioner, curl cream, and gel. Your curls respond differently to products in different climates. When it’s especially dry, more product will be needed to keep your curls healthy and well defined. 

Finish your routine with oil

Quench thirsty strands by sealing the ends with a hair oil as the final step in your curly styling routine; this locks in all the product used before it and prevents moisture from escaping. It also protects your curls from indoor artificial heat, dry air, wind, and snow. Use a lightweight oil that won’t weigh down your curly hair.

Best curl products for winter hair care

8 Best Winter Hair Products For Curly Hair

Whether you’re a curly or wavy haired girl, the products in your curly hair routine for winter are the cornerstone of beautiful, healthy, hydrated curls. These are the 8 best winter hair products for curly hair.

Leave-in conditioner

Because the colder temps and lack of moisture in the air during winter will inevitably dry out your curls, keep your hair as hydrated as possible with a leave-in conditioner like OI All In One Milk. It’s a multi-function leave-in treatment that softens, detangles, controls frizz and protects the hair from heat.


Combat statically-charged strands and fly-aways during the wintertime with a hairspray like This Is A Medium Hairspray. It eliminates frizz, adds structure and provides hold without leaving residue. Spray your curls after styling to keep your hair in place and keep it on-hand on days when you have to wear a hat.

Hydrating hair mask

Healthy hair is hydrated hair, so during the drier months bi-weekly hair masking with The Let It Go Circle is a must. It replenishes your hair with moisture and offers a true wellbeing experience: softness, hydration and comfort for your hair and scalp.

Heat protection spray

Anytime you heat style your curls make sure to use a heat protection spray like LOVE CURL Primer to shield your strands from the damaging effects of hot tools. In addition to protecting your hair from heat, this moisturizing milk gives definition to your curls, untangling and making styling easy. Especially in colder temperatures, drench your curls before touching them with any type of heat.

Dry shampoo

Over-washing your curls strips them of their natural oils, causing your hair to become even more dry and dull-looking in the winter. Wash your hair two-three times a week, depending on how oily your roots get in between. Use This is an Invisible Dry Shampoo on your off-days to absorb oil and impurities, and prolong the duration of your blowout.

Curl cream

A curl cream's job is to define curls and allow the hair to fall into its natural pattern with an added bounce and shine. This is especially important in winter when curls can fall flat. A lightweight curl enhancing cream like LOVE CURL Cream gives better definition on all types of curls or wavy hair, keeping it hydrated and soft.

This is a Curl Gel Oil Davines

Curl gel

A curl gel is perfect for adding an extra layer of hydration to your curly winter styling routine. Perfect for curly, wavy, or coily hair, This is a Curl Gel Oil will keep your curls looking moisturized and healthy. The extreme moisturizing factor in the formula provides anti-frizz control and bouncy definition and leaves your hair feeling naturally soft and shiny.

Hair oil

Sealing the ends of your curls with OI Oil will keep them looking healthy through the dry, winter months. This locks in all the product used before it and prevents moisture from escaping.OI oil adds shine and softness to your curls while detangling and fighting frizz, working especially well on coarse and dry hair. It also protects your curls from indoor artificial heat, dry air, wind, and snow. 

Final Thoughts on Caring for Curly Hair in Winter

The cold temps and harsh winds can make caring for curly hair in winter a challenge. If you don’t amp up your hair care routine with extra moisture once the temperature drops, your curls will look frizzy, lifeless and flat. So it’s important to step up your curly hair routine this winter. The most important thing to remember about maintaining your curls is that they’re naturally inclined to dry out and they crave moisture. In addition to keeping our tips to care for curly hair on-hand, use only high quality, hydrating hair products to keep hair moisturized in winter. For a curly haircut, blowout or styling appointment, see a Davines stylist at a salon in your area.

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor

Elasticizing and controlling shampoo for wavy or curly hair.

Conditioning cleansing cream for wavy or curly hair.

Controlling and nourishing mask for wavy or curly hair.

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