10 Winter Hair Care Tips for Fine Hair (2023)

When you officially enter the colder months of winter weather, fine hair needs extra love. You have to protect the health of your hair at all costs. That includes protection from the external cold temperatures. It also includes protection from the dry indoor heat. In this article you’ll find tips to care for fine hair in winter.

winter hair tips for fine hair

The winter weather prompts most people to be indoors more often. Yet, even though the winter weather prompts most of us to stay indoors most of the time, there will always be a time when you will need to go out. For me, it’s to:

  • Go to doctor’s appointments
  • Go grocery shopping
  • Make post office drops (Christmas is always coming!)
  • Gather with family on Thanksgiving and Christmas (yes, literally just those two days. I’m a hermit in the winter!)

I learned the hard way tmany years ago that I can’t just run out with my fine hair flying in the cold wind. The dry air can further dehydrate your hair from root to tip.

You absolutely must protect fine hair in winter. There’s more than one great way to care for and protect your hair.

Below are some tips (from wash to style) to help you do just that.

Cleanse Fine Hair Gently in the Winter

winter wash day fine natural hair
Washed with Camille Rose Naturals Ginger Cleansing Rinse

Before you even get started with cleansing, to make it gentle start with a pre-poo. This could actually be a separate tip of its own. The pre-poo is EXTRA important at helping your hair retain moisture.

The next important thing to do is to cleanse your hair with warm to lukewarm water instead of using hot water. Hot water can strip your hair of its natural oils which is very problematic for curly hair textures. So, cut back on the hot showers.

If you use shampoo regularly, scale back on it a bit during the winter. That’s not to say you should deprioritize cleaning your hair.

Some will even opt to use dry shampoo but depending on the brand you use, it can dry your hair out too.

An alternative, replace one or two sessions of using shampoo with a co-wash product. Notice I said a “co-wash product.” Basically, not just a conditioner.

Regular conditioners do not have cleansing agents in them. They will coat your hair which isn’t necessarily a bad thing in the winter months.

Yet, you also don’t want your hair to have leftover dirt or product build up. This is especially the case if you are using heavier oils and butters (see below).

So, go ahead and shampoo but consider alternating your shampoos with hydrating co-wash products. Here’s a really good one.

Increase Deep Conditioning in The Winter

winter deep conditioning tips for natural hair

Applying a deep conditioner to your hair is something you should do year round after every wash. Deep conditioning helps you to maintain moisturized, healthy hair. When you use a really good deep conditioner, it will nourish your hair from the hair follicles down to the ends.

Your deep conditioner is also responsible for giving your hair the deep hydration it needs to withstand the cold weather.

This deep conditioning here hair mask is tops for fine hair in winter:

Here are two more I love to use when my fine hair seems to be experiencing a lack of moisture:

In the winter, to prevent brittle hair (and even a dry scalp), you either want to deep condition more often or do it better. Be super diligent with your deep conditioning.

Here are some ways to hydrate your hair more (regardless of your hair type or porosity):

  • Deep condition for a longer period of time (ex: 1 hour instead of 30 minutes)
  • Use hair masks formulated with a nice dose of moisturizing and sealing ingredients (like the Design Essentials hair mask shown above)
  • Deep condition over night (but not too often. You don’t want moisture overload. Try it once a month)

The best way will be the one that you are diligent to do.

Here are a few additional tips for deep conditioning natural hair:

  • Apply conditioning hair care products to damp hair, not wet
  • Mix your conditioning hair products with oils like Jojoba oil and Argan oil
  • Add aloe vera powder, a moisture enhancing herb to your deep conditioner

Maintain a Smooth Cuticle

smooth hair after honey shampoo bar

It’s all about moisture here.

Because the winter months can dry your hair shaft out, that can lead to your hair’s cuticles being raised. Simply put, your hair can become severely dehydrated because it’s impossible for your hair to retain any type of moisture if the cuticles are raised. Just ask someone with high porosity hair.

This is the case all year round but especially in the winter.

SeeHow to Close Hair Cuticles and Why You Need To

Use Heavier Oils & Butters

WINTER HAIR OILS AND BUTTERS

While this is not something you would normally want to use on fine hair, it’s highly recommended for when your hair is in a protective style.

If you want to wear your hair out, I suggest you apply the heavier oil or butter to your ends only. Since, your ends will be exposed you want to give them a barrier of protection that goes beyond your normal lightweight hair creams.

Protective Styling Fine Hair in Winter

protective style
a Protective Style

It goes without saying. The most protective thing you can do for your fine hair is to protect it by tucking it away. Buns, pinned up, twists or any kind of style where your ends aren’t exposed will work. And while, you can create these protective styles on wet hair, it’s best not to.

Also, while the winter season is the perfect time for most of us to engage in heat styling our natural hair, you don’t want to leave your hair complete unprotected. Even when you straighten your hair, you need to protect it. That not only includes using a heat protectant to straighten with.

It also includes securing your hair with things like a silk scarf and satin hair ties.

Straightened natural hair also tends to get static electricity. One way to combat this is to coat your hair strands with a light layer of coconut oil.

Strength in Numbers

fine natural hair winter hair tips

Individual fine hairs are vulnerable when flying solo. Group them together in a style and they are more protected. Twists and finger coils are great styles.

However, even though you may do more protective styles, keep up with regular trims. Not only will they make your styles look better, they will keep your ends in good condition.

Use A Leave-in Conditioner Mid-Week

curls dynasty leave-in conditioner

Chances are that your hair will need to be moisturized more often between wash days. For fine hair in winter, put your leave-in conditioner to work. 

When it’s time to add a bit of moisture by way of your spritz or spray, apply some leave-in conditioner beneath your sealant (here are the best sealants for natural hair). This will help to keep your strands nourished while preventing hair breakage.

The Kala Hair Smoothie leave in from Curls Dynasty is rich and creamy. This is just the type of hair product you what for your fine hair in the winter.

Combat Hat Hair

winter hair care tips for fine hair

There’s nothing like taking off your hat after doing your hair all cute, to discover it’s a flat, frizzy mess.

In order to combat hat hair, here are some tips:

  • For starters, only wear a hat lined with satin or silk. Cotton will quickly dry hair out and frizz it right up.
  • Define your curls with a light holding product. A heavy gel can weigh the hair down and crush your curls once that hat is placed.
  • Loosely twist curls up and clip at the crown of your hair before putting on a hat. Then, after removing the hat, unclip and shake your hair free.
  • Only put on your hat after your hair has fully dried.
  • Volumizing sprays are also a recommendation for those with fine and thin hair. 

Stay Hydrated

Inside and out, you will want to make sure you stay hydrated. The cold weather is very dehydrating. So, ensure that you intake the proper amount of water.

Also, make sure you keep your hair hydrated so it doesn’t dry out from the harsh winds.

A wise friend of mine once said…

“Moisturized hair starts on wash day.”~Hairscapades

Truer words were never spoken.

Increase Your Omega’s

Because we are dealing with colder temps, fine hair in winter needs extra special protection. Eating a balanced diet, along with taking a supplement like fish oil helps to protect your hair from within.

Nordic Naturals is one of my favorite brands. It’s non-GMO and doesn’t give that nasty, burpy experience you get from most other fish oil brands.

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Om...Shop on Amazon

Check out additional winter hair care tips for fine hair:

6 Winter Hair Techniques to Help Your Hair Retain Moisture

How to Winterize Fine Natural Hair

Tools to Protect Fine Natural Hair in the Winter

There you have it. 10 Winter Hair Care Tips for fine hair. While these tips were written with the fine hair natural in mind, all hair types can benefit from them.

Take good care of your hair to prevent winter hair woes and you’ll recognize more hair growth when the warmer temperatures emerge. 

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Tarji

    Hi Michelle! I love your website! It is so helpful. I only wear wash and go’s because my hair is short with low to medium density, but I can only get a couple of days out of it and have to redo it. How do I protect my hair without so much shedding and breakage? I’m post menopause so I’m thinning in my crown and on my edges. I would love to keep what I have and get more growth. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you for your inspiration and your desire to help us curlies. I though when I went natural, my hair would grow like a weed. That has not been the case, unfortunately. Thank you again, and be blessed!

    1. Michelle

      Hi Tarji-

      I can relate! re: menopause. I’m there too. I will be 52 in January and have been in menopause for 2 years now.
      Anyway, do you do an scalp massages? Also, products containing caffeine and niacinamide work extremely well at blocking Dht which causes all the extreme shedding. I’m actually doing a full review of such a line here on the blog on Friday but the actual video demo will be live on Youtube on Thursday.

      As for the breakages, do you use any herbal treatments in your hair like henna or amla? I really love the support of herbal hair care products and Henna Sooq is my preferred brand for when I don’t want to make things myself.

      Lastly, keeping your hair moisturized (if even daily to start) is key but also having a balance of protein is just as important. For Vlogmas, I’ll be going into depth on it in one of my early videos on Youtube. It will publish the first week of December.

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