Why Caring for Colored Hair is Particularly Important in Winter


Colored hair has some very specific care requirements even in the most optimal conditions. So introducing the cold, dry weather of winter can create even more issues for already stressed colored hair. Below we’ll look into why winter is so harsh on colored hair specifically and what you can do to keep your colored tresses in peak condition this winter. 

Why Winter is So Harsh on Colored Hair

Winter can be a hard time for hair of any style. The cold and dry weather doesn’t just affect your skin, it dries out your hair, too. Dry hair can lead to a number of issues that are common in winter, such as:

  • Increased split ends
  • Flyaways
  • Frizz
  • Static
  • Hair that is difficult to brush
  • Hat hair
  • Texture issues, such as hair that feels like straw

Dry hair can become brittle, and thus more easily damaged. That’s what can lead to issues like increased split ends. Dry and damaged hair is also prone to environmental stressors and winter issues like increased static, which is a more common issue due to the dryer air.

Colored hair has a double issue going, in that it already is in a state of being more stressed than uncolored hair. Dyes work by lifting the cuticle on the hair shaft and depositing color. The ammonia and peroxides in hair dyes are also very drying on their own. That’s why most hair dyes come with a heavy-duty conditioner to use after you color your hair. 

So with the harsh dryness of winter and the dryness/stress of the hair coloring process, that means you have to go the extra mile in taking care of colored hair during the winter months.

Keep Colored Hair Conditioned, Especially in Winter

According to a poll of All Things Hair readers, when asked what their must-have winter hair care product is, 29.33% said conditioner, 15.67% said hair oil and 9.33% said gel/wax. It’s no wonder that all these products have some kind of moisturizing property to them. We instinctively know hair does better in the winter with some type of moisturizing routine. As mentioned, colored hair especially needs a moisturizing routine in place. 

If you dye your hair at home, remember to follow the instructions that come with any kits you use. Many at-home box dyes tell you to reuse the heavy conditioner that comes with the product on a certain timetable, like every week or so. So right there you’re getting an added deep conditioning treatment. These conditioners can also help keep the color of your hair more vibrant for longer.

You also have a wide variety of other conditioning products to choose from. You might apply commercial hair masks or deep conditioning treatments. Many people swear by using a type of natural oil in their hair as a conditioning treatment, such as argan oil. 

Also, you might consider switching to a shampoo and conditioner that are formulated to be moisturizing. That way, adding daily moisture to your hair in winter is simply an easy part of your daily hair care routine.   

How to Keep the Color Itself from Fading

A massive concern for anyone with colored hair is how to keep that color looking like you just dyed it that day. Winter adds a monkey wrench in that process because now you need to keep that color vibrant and keep your hair conditioned while facing harsh environmental conditions.

The good news is that keeping your hair more conditioned can actually help the longevity of the color. Unhealthy and dry hair can often have damaged cuticles, which can lead to color escaping the hair shaft prematurely. If you have more damaged/stressed ends, you might even notice the ends of your hair lose color faster than hair closer to the roots for this reason. So to keep your hair color in place for longer, keep your hair conditioned with some of the tips above. 

You can also look into color-depositing shampoos and conditioners. Many of these products are special treatments you use on top of your normal hair care routine, such as a color-depositing conditioner. That way, you’re caring for both the lasting color of your hair and doing a conditioning treatment. It’s up to you how many added, special treatments you want to use and with what frequency.    

Opting for More Nourishing Hair Dyes

Another option for both keeping your hair more conditioned and keeping the color in place in winter is to look into hair dyes that are less harsh. For instance, you might look into a hair dye brand that focuses on nourishing oils and other conditioners. 

Your could also look into hair dyes that are more plant-based. Henna and indigo dyes can be a good way to dye hair that is naturally on the lighter side. Henna in particular actually binds to and strengthens the hair shaft. It can also create a straighter look in the hair, so that’s also a good way to avoid drying tools like the flat iron if you find you want to straighten your hair. Being natural, it’s also less harsh on the hair than chemical dyes. Healthier hair retains moisture better in the winter, after all. 

Another option is to look into vegetable dye. There are a range of semi-permanent brands that are usually used to give your hair statements colors like blue or pink. You might be surprised to learn that many of these punky, statement hair dye companies actually also produce a variety of brown and black shades. Or this could be your excuse to finally try that purple hair you’ve always wondered about; maybe it could be your new signature look. These dyes actually condition your hair while they deposit color. They’re even easy to mix with just about any conditioner to give your hair a boost of color and extra conditioning.    

By taking the time to condition your colored hair, perhaps even while coloring it, you can avoid those winter hair woes and have the hair color of your dreams.