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