For many of us, our hair is a huge part of our identity. It can impact how we feel about ourselves or what we feel empowered to accomplish in the world. And when it isn’t healthy, you might feel like you aren’t able to put your best foot forward.

Although the average person loses around 100 strands of hair each day, we need to do everything we can to protect what we have. And since the pandemic has been tough on our tresses — and winter weather can also take its toll — you might be wondering what you can do to show your hair a bit of TLC this season. Here are just a few tips that will keep your locks looking luscious all winter long.

Add Moisture Back In

Cold, dry air can be disastrous for your hair — but unfortunately, that’s what we have to deal with in the winter. To prevent frizz, breakage, and listless-looking locks, you need to moisturize. Use a hydrating leave-in conditioner and try out a hair oil before you shampoo to restore moisture to your hair. There are also moisturizing shampoos (like ones created for dry scalps) and overnight hair masks you can try to lock hydration in.

Avoid Scathing Showers

Although 13 million households rely on private wells for drinking water, that doesn’t mean you should wash your hair to your heart’s content. Try limiting your hair washing sessions to only a few times a week, if possible. This can help keep your hair looking and feeling healthier. You should also pay attention to the temperature of the water. While a steamy shower might feel great on a chilly morning, hot water can suck the moisture out of your hair because it strips away the scalp’s natural oils. You can avoid shivering in the shower by turning the knob to a cooler temperature just during the shampoo-and-rinse phase.

Limit Your Styling

Most of us know chlorine can be damaging to our hair (and sometimes to our ears, as swimmer’s ear can last seven to 10 days). But that’s not the only thing that can cause breakage and other issues. Heat styling is a common issue that becomes even more problematic during the winter. While you shouldn’t leave the house with soaking wet hair, you should be more careful about the styling techniques you use. Let your hair air dry whenever possible and only use a blowdryer once your hair is almost totally dry. There are plenty of overnight, non-heat methods you can use to wake up with curls or loose waves. You might also consider wearing your hair in braids or in a bun when you can to avoid heat styling. There are lots of tutorials online you can try out — and since most of us aren’t going to many events right now, it’s the perfect time to experiment.

It’s understandable that you don’t want to make changes to your hair routine. But if you want to keep your hair looking and feeling its best during the winter season, consider adopting some of these tips. Before too long, you’ll be filled with self-confidence that comes right from the roots — even if your roots are growing out.