BRRRRR!!! It's cold out there, folks!  With the cold weather comes a whole lot of dry, frigid air that can damage your hair if you're not caring for it properly.  So, with the cold weather rolling in, we thought we'd share a few tips with you on how to care for your hair and keep it under control during the cold winter months.  We'll start with the most important:

1. Condition, condition, condition!  The cold, dry air tends to suck moisture out of your hair, leaving your ends parched and dehydrated.  This causes them to be more prone to splitting.  You can fight this by employing a strict conditioning regimen.  Start in the shower with a moisturizing rinse-out treatment, such as Redken's All Soft Heavy Cream*, or, for curly hair, Devacurl's Heaven in Hair Intense Moisture Treatment.  Step 2 is to not leave the house without first applying a good leave-in conditioner.  This helps to keep your ends sealed and prevents them from losing moisture throughout the day.  Healthy Sexy Hair's Soy Tri-Wheat Leave In Conditioner is great for keeping ends healthy without weighing hair down.  Finally, visit your salon regularly for an in-salon deep conditioning treatment.  It's best to do this each time you have your hair trimmed, as it can extend the life of your ends dramatically.  Which brings us to our next point...

2. Have your ends trimmed regularly.  Never underestimate the power of a good trim!  As we mentioned before, the air outside is going to make your ends split and break more than usual, and trimming regularly is vital to keeping split ends contained.  The longer split ends go without being trimmed, the more likely they are to move further up the shaft of the hair, creating the need to cut even more off.

3. Pay attention to materials used in scarves, hats, and coat collars.  Try to avoid any fabrics with a rough texture, as they can be damaging to the hair's surface and can lead to frizz.  Wool scarves and hats with silk or satin linings are ideal, as they can keep you warm without any unnecessary agitation of the hair shaft.  If this option is not available, then try using a silk scarf as protection in between your hair and a rough-textured hat or coat collar.

4. Protect your hair from heat.  When you're using heated tools to style your hair, such as hair dryers, flat irons, and curling irons, it is absolutely essential that you utilize a good heat protectant product to keep your hair from becoming damaged.  While you should be using heat protectants year-round, it is especially vital during the winter months.  A great all-around heat protectant is Straight Sexy Hair's Smooth & Protect, sprayed on all over before blow-drying and on each section before flat ironing.  Not only will this keep your hair smooth and hold it in place, but it will also prevent your hair from breakage.

5. Polar Bear it!  At the end of your shower, be sure to finish with a cool rinse over your hair.  This seals the outside of the hair shaft and helps lock in moisture, keeping it shiny and smooth.  We know, it's a bit uncomfortable, but trust us, your locks will thank you!

So don't forget, keep it hydrated! We hope that these simple changes to your hair care routine will help you continue to look stunning through the next few months!

*All products mentioned in this article can be found at professional salons.