Winter Wreaking Havoc On Your Mane? Try This.

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03_112013_R29_NYFW_-125_MarkIantoscaPhotographed by Mark Iantosca.
Michael Dueñas, founder & CEO of Hair Room Service, boasts a long list of celebrity clientele that includes Lady Gaga, Connie Britton, and Shailene Woodley. Now, the top NYC tress expert (+ R29 fave!) is serving up his haircare know-how on the regular. Trust: Dueñas is about to bring some serious strand inspo your way.

Winter can be the most grueling time of the year, and not just with your skin — your strands take a beating in the cold, too. But, then summer comes around, and all you want to do let your hair down from the top knot it's been living in for the past, I don't know, five months, only to realize it's, dry, lifeless, and so dull: my worst nightmare when I am working with my clients. It either doesn’t hold any curl, doesn’t stay straight when flat-ironed, or has an unimaginable amount of frizz with no sheen. Seriously — is there anything worse than frizz? It’s simple to take care of your hair in the winter (read: throw on a beanie) but that’s why it’s always overlooked. The simple things in life are so easily forgotten.

Because dry hair can be the root of so many problems of winter hair, here's how to combat it before it ruins your mane for good.
01_55A3045Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
Treat your hair to a deep treatment twice a week. Make sure it is a product that is rich in moisture without much protein, which can cause breakage and more damage (much like overworking a muscle).

Always use a leave-in conditioner before you blow dry your hair. If you have fine hair, use a lightweight, leave-in conditioner (if your hair gets limp easily, dilute it with water), which will act as a barrier to the heat of styling tools. A good leave-in conditioner is lightweight and adds to the health of your hair.

Use a lightweight heat protectant spray. I prefer sprays to creams for a two reasons: They're easier to ensure an even, all over application and they are non-overburdening. A good heat protectant spray can protect your hair up to 398 degrees. Applying a heat protectant on wet hair before blow-drying is key: Never wait until your hair is dry, since you need to protect it from the heat of the blow-dryer, too! If your hair is already dry, don’t fret, you can still use the spray — just use a smaller amount and apply to each section you are going to use your hot styling tools on.

Style your hair with conditioner. This one's for ladies with particularly curly tresses that can stand up to the weight of conditioner: The same conditioner that you would use in the shower will work fantastic to style your curls. Not only will it control your hair, but also it will provide moisture (read: no frizz!) to your locks all day long.

02_55A3817_NdoemaPhotographed by Mark Iantosca.
Winter can wreck havoc on thin, wavy hair as well. The best tool for the job, dare I say it, spray oil. Not just any oil, but a lightweight, leave-in: It'll actually evaporate off the hair throughout the day, adding a touch of moisture and shine to the hair without overburdening and weighing it down. You will get benefits of moisture, shine and heat protectant for your fragile hair!

It's not all about the products — the tools you use can work to save your mane from damage, too. Having the right blow dryer and the right flat iron — like one with tourmaline and ionic technology that seal the cuticle for added shine — can transform the amount of damage you do to your strands. Unless your hair is particularly unruly, be sure to manage your temperature settings to the appropriate level. Try starting out as cool as possible (many curling irons and flat irons start around 280 degrees, and go up to 450 degrees), and turn it up only if your style won't hold.