Your hair never gets a break. Just when your locks have recovered from sun, salt, and chlorine, along come the freezing temperatures and blustery winds of winter. But you don’t just have to slap a grin over your chattering teeth and put up with it — not if you follow these tips for healthy hair, that is.

Know Your Enemies

Before you can protect your hair, you have to identify the culprits responsible for damage:

  • Wind. This gives a whole new meaning to the word “tangled” — and getting those knots out can further damage hair that’s already on life support.
  • Cold, dry air. The dry outdoors zap the moisture right out of your vulnerable locks.
  • Indoor heating. Many people are surprised to learn that spending a winter day indoors is the equivalent of spending an afternoon under a blow-dryer.
  • Winter hats. Those same cozy beanies and other toasty caps that keep your head warm can really do a number on your hair. And beyond dreaded “hat hair,” the friction from hats (especially if they’re wool) causes breakage and split ends. Static also lingers when you take your hat off.

Fortunately, there are some pretty neat tricks that will send these offenders packing:

1. Share a Drink

First, the obvious: Staying hydrated helps prevent your hair (and skin) from drying out, so make sure you drink plenty of water. Also, a moisturizing conditioner is an absolute must every single time you shower. Hair-moisturizing masks can help, too — try making one yourself with products you have at home.

2. Tame Tangles Gently

Since your hair is already fragile, you have to be extra careful while detangling. Use a wide-tooth comb, and work up from your ends to your roots. If you have stubborn tangles, try putting a thin coating of argan oil on your comb. Those snarls should give up all resistance.

3. Cool It

Heat-based styling is never good, but it’s even worse when your hair is dry. If you can’t completely give up your blow-dryer and styling tools, try to minimize the damage. When you dry your hair, use a brush designed to reduce drying time. For curling and straightening irons, use the coolest settings possible.

4. Silk Up

Before you put your hat on, wrap a silk scarf around your hair. The silk acts as a protective barrier between your hair and your hat. It also helps reduce static and hat hair.

While the weather outside may be frightful, your hair doesn’t have to be. These simple tips for healthy hair will help keep your locks looking gorgeous all season long.

How do you keep your hair healthy in winter? Share your best tips in the comments, or tweet us at @ecotools.

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