Winter hair care advice

Blustery mornings, cold weather and central heating can play havoc with your hair. So how can you prevent split ends, static and frizzy locks this winter?

Autumn/winter haircare
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Prevention is better than cure, as they say, so if you are heading out on a frosty day, it's worth donning some headgear. A hat (not too tight as this will restrict scalp circulation) or scarf can help to protect your hair from the winter winds and thereby reduce their drying effects.

If you're worried about hat hair, however, tie your long locks into a high ponytail, which is on trend right now, or push short hair back away from the face - that way when the hat comes off, your barnet will (in theory) bounce back to its best.

Try to cut back on shampooing (or use a dry shampoo) at this time of year as very frequent washing can dry out the hair. Washing in warm water will help your hair to retain moisture but if a long, hot shower is just too tempting, try not to keep your head under the water for too long as heat will only add to the dryness. If you can bear it, a cold water rinse will lock in the loveliness.

Winter is the time when your hair needs all the help it can get so proper conditioning is essential.

A rich moisturiser with plenty of natural ingredients is a winter must-have - for very thick or heavy hair, try a deep conditioning treatment once a week to lock in that essential moisture. Fine, flyaway hair, on the other hand, is best conditioned each time you wash your hair as it can become weighed down by heavy conditioners.

For those who suffer with a dry, flaky scalp, try massaging a natural oil such as jojoba or coconut into the head. These provide a nutritious boost for dry hair and the massage will improve blood circulation in the scalp, reducing the risk of dandruff and other related problems.

It stands to reason that curling irons, hair straighteners and dyes are going to dry out your do so try to avoid excessive styling of this kind during the autumn and winter. Impossible? In that case, be sure to use a leave-in, heat-protecting conditioner before styling.

If you simply can't go without product in your hair, switch from a gel to a cream which will add moisture and elasticity, thereby reducing the likelihood of breakage.

If flyaway hair is your problem, a little hairspray brushed onto your locks will help prevent static electricity problems.

You may crave stodgy comfort foods in winter, but spare a thought for your hair. At this time of year, upping your portions of green veg, fruit and healthy protein such as pulses, fish and lean meat, will give your hair (and body) the necessary nutrient boost, giving it the best chance of staying strong.