UNITED STATES—Winter is officially here; and although it can be full of fun with the holidays, it can also come with some cons when it comes to hair and skin. Cold weather can be very drying to the skin and hair for many people. Although this isn’t exactly a dangerous issue, it can be irritating and embarrassing. So, here are a few tips to help combat that awful winter dryness.

Tip# 1: Use a Moisturizing Body Wash for the skin

Some of us aren’t aware of how striping many soaps and body washes can be. It’s important to buy products that will clean our skin while moisturizing it at the same time. There are plenty of body washes on the market designed specifically for this purpose such as: Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter, Dove Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash and Tone Moisturizing Cocoa Butter Body Wash. There are also some skin care products out there that are cruelty-free and made with natural products, such as Shea Moisture Shea Butter Body Wash.

Tip# 2: Moisturize After Showering

Your skin is perfectly primed for absorbing moisture directly after showering, so it is important to take advantage of this and moisturize with a good lotion or moisturizer. Here are few products that you might want to try: Aveeno Active Naturals Daily Moisturizing Lotion, Aveda Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion and Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion for All Skin Types.

Tip# 3: Stay Hydrated

Sometimes we can forget to drink water throughout the day, especially during the Winter because we are not reminded by the heat that our bodies are becoming dehydrated. Keeping hydrated can help keep your hair and skin from drying out due to the lack water in our bodies. If you are not hydrated, as well as lacking vital nutrients, your body will most likely reflect this both internally and externally.

Tip# 4: Wash Your Hair With a Sulfate Free Shampoo

Most shampoos have sulfates in them which is very drying to hair. Instead, you might want to opt for a sulfate-free shampoo instead. These shampoos won’t dry your hair out because they don’t strip your hair of its natural oils. However, if you’re going to give this tip a try, you’re probably going to want to ditch your conditioner as well. Many conditioners contain silicones in them; and although these conditioners can make your hair feel soft and look really shiny, they also coat your hair with the silicones and are not easy to remove.

In fact, the only way to remove the silicone-based product from your hair is to use a shampoo with sulfates in it. So, you can see how this is a problem because it forces you into a cycle of a bad hair care routine. Fortunately, there are conditioners on the market that are silicone-free and a good amount of them are inexpensive like Suave Essentials Conditioner and VO5. There are also cruelty-free brands that offer some silicone-free conditioners as well as sulfate-free shampoos such as, Shea Moisture and 100 percent Pure.

Tip# 5: Apply Hydrating Hair Masks and Hot Oil Treatments

A good way to add moisture back into the hair is to do weekly hair masks and or hot oil treatments. I like to do DIY (Do It Yourself) treatments; one of my favorites is a mixture of mayonnaise and egg. I know it sounds gross, but I’ve experienced such results. In fact, I used this treatment about twice over the course of a few months when my hair was extremely heat damaged and improperly cared for and it really made a huge difference in the look and texture of my hair. It was really moisturized and healthy looking. Of course, I did trim a lot of my hair off, but the treatment definitely helped me grow out healthy hair.

I also recommend doing weekly hot oil treatments. You can by hot oil treatments from drug stores or beauty supply stores, or you can do it yourself at home. I typically heat up extra virgin olive oil, apply it and leave it on for about an hour, or overnight depending on how distressed my hair is. If you’re not into the whole DIY thing, don’t worry, there are plenty of products out there that will work just as fine. I would recommend the Shea Moisture line, they offer many different types of moisturizing hair masks for many different types of hair. As far as hot oil treatments go, I really liked the VO5 hot oil treatments. I experienced really good results from using this product. There are also a lot of other products out there that you may want to try like Hask Argan Oil Hot Oil Treatment and Queen Helene Hot Oil Treatment.