You've finally figured out your hair routine when the temperature and the humidity plummet. Almost overnight, those holy grail products stop working, and your curls may turn dull and droopy, not to mention the static.

Hair tends to becomes at equilibrium with the environment. Cold air holds less moisture than warm air because it closes the cuticle layer faster. And because moisture conducts electricity, winter hair is prone to static, which increases five fold for every 10-degree drop in the mercury, says Victor Sabino of the Sabino Salon in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Add to that central heating and an increase in the use of hair dryers -- and the tendency to over-dry the hair -- and it's no wonder that winter curls need extra help.

"Your hair feels dryer, and you'll notice more static," says Lesley Bride, a senior scientist at Pantene. "So when it comes to products, it's about moisture and hold. "Keep shampooing to a minimum, and when you do cleanse your hair, use a product that is gentle.

"Be less aggressive with shampooing and don't work hair into a thick lather," cautions curl queen Ouidad of the Ouidad Salon. "This will irritate the hair and cause unwanted frizz."In terms of styling products, creams tend to be more moisturizing than gels. Avoid products with a high alcohol content, which can be drying to the hair.

Winter also is a time to add a leave-in conditioner to your regimen to keep the hair hydrated and to fight static. To cut down on drying time, gently blot with a micro-fiber towel or a t-shirt. If you use heat appliances, make sure you use a product to protect your strands from damage. Make sure you turn off the dryer the moment the hair is dry.

Although moisture is a must, don't use too much conditioner because it can weigh down the hair. Nick Chavez, owner of the Nick Chavez Beverly Hills Salon, suggests using conditioners with essential fatty acids and humectants, which hold moisture in the hair.

Once or twice a week, apply a deep conditioner to keep dry, parched, moisture-starved curls in check."Heat helps the conditioners penetrate and allows it to go a little deeper," Sabino says.

Wear a scarf, hat or cap to protect your hair from the cold and wind. Another weapon in fighting static is to carry a dryer sheet like Bounce in a zip-lock baggie, Sabino says."You can occasionally pat the hair when you're moving from a warm room to cold weather, or vice versa," he says.Winter provides can provide new styling options for people with curly and wavy hair."The cuts this winter are shorter, with more dramatic and diagonal angles," says Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue.But when opting for a shorter style, Christo urges people to choose a cut that works with their hair texture, density and face shape. Also choose one that gives you the option to wear it curly and straight."It is crucial to feel comfortable in your hairstyle," Christo says.


Product Recommendations

Shampoos

AG XtraMoist Shampoo
Pantene Frizz-Control Shampoo
Curl Junkie Hibiscus Bliss Moisturizing Shampoo
Curlisto Bio Curl Shampoo
Cutler Extra Gentle Shampoo
Curly Hair Solutions Treatment Shampoo
DevaCare No-Poo
Innersense Color Awakening Hair Bath
Jane Carter Solution Moisture Nourishing Shampoo
Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream
John Masters Organics Evening Primrose Shampoo
MyHoneychild Banana Creme Scalp Cleanser
Ojon Ultra Hydrating Shampoo
Wen by Chaz Deal Cleansing Conditioners
Redken All Soft Shampoo

Conditioners
AG Ultramoist Moisture Treatment
Blended Beauty Curl Quenching Conditioner
Curl Junkie Coco-Milk Conditioner
Curl Junkie Give 'em Slip Conditioner
Curl Friends Nourish
Curlisto Bio Curl ConditionerCutler Daily ConditionerInnersense Pure Inspiration Daily ConditionerJane Carter Solution Nutrient Replenishing ConditionerJessicurl Too Shea! Extra Moisturizing ConditionerMop Top Daily Conditioner
MyHoneyChild Banana Creme Conditioner
Ojon Ultra Hydrating Conditioner
Redken All Soft Conditioner
Ouidad Curl Quencher Shampoo

Leave-in ConditionersAG Fast Food
Blended Beauty SilkShake
Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Honey Creme
CurlFriends Replenish
Curly Hair Solutions Silk Leave-in
Curlisto Repair Styling CreamMixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner
Ouidad Curl Quencher Conditioner

Deep Conditioners
AG Deep Reconstructing Treatment
Arbre de Vie Hot Oil Treatment
Blended Beauty Herbal Reconstructor
Curl Junkie Hibiscus & Banana Deep Fix
Curlisto Deep Therapy Masque
Cutler Intensive ConditionerDevaCare One ConditionElucence Extended Moisture Repair Treatment
Greenridge Herbals Hot Oil Hair Treatment
Hickox Intense Conditioner
Mixed Chicks Deep Conditioner
Mop Top Deep Conditioner
My HoneyChild Honey and Horsetail Reconstructor
Ouidad Deep Treatment

Styling Products
AG Details Defining CreamAG Re:coil Curl Activator
Blended Beauty Curl Styling Butter
Curl Junkie Coffee-Coco Curl Creme
Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper
Innersense Quiet Calm Curl Control
Jane Carter Solution Hair Nourishing Cream
Ojon Hydrating Styling Cream
Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding
Philip Pelusi ReCurl
Wen by Charles Dean Sweet Almond Texture Balm
Sabino Moisture Block
Pantene Frizz-Control SerumPantene Frizz Control Balm
Pantene Strengthening Spray