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Vernon François Reveals What Everyone Needs In Their Hair Kit For Winter

We sat down with celebrity stylist Vernon François to learn his secrets for taking care of every hair type during the cold and dry winter months.

You may know hairstylist Vernon François for his impressive celebrity clientele and stunning magazine cover hairstyles, but he is much more than what you see on Instagram. As the founder of VERNON FRANÇOIS® Haircare, Vernon is a trusted voice in the hair care industry. In addition to creating products for his eponymous hair care range, Vernon also acts as the global inclusivity and education advisor for Kérastase and as a consultant, educator, and celebrity hairdresser for Redken. If you think it sounds like he’s busy, you’re correct, which is why we were so excited to have a moment to talk to him about all things winter hair care. If you’re getting ready to revamp your hair care routine as we transition into the colder months of winter, Vernon’s got you covered with his must-have products, tips, and tricks.

Good hair day by @chanelstylez. How should people prepare their hair for the cold and dry winter months?

Vernon François: Trim the ends of the hair as winter approaches to help keep your hairstyle looking fresh and to help prevent split ends. The change [from] being in a heated indoor environment, versus [the] blustery cold outside, can take a toll on tresses, particularly at the ends, which you might notice start to tangle more easily.

Invest in a silk or satin-lined winter hat to help look after your kinks and curls while keeping your head toasty warm. The goal here is to help keep moisture where it’s needed in the strands, along with minimizing friction and reducing static. Check out the wooly hats at Only Curls London and the headbands and headscarves at Swirly Curly Hair.

HDC: What products help to keep hair healthy in the winter months?

VF: Sulfate-free shampoos are essential because sulfates can dry the hair out, which is the last thing your kinks and curls want, especially in winter. Check out the CURL~ Shampoo for curls, coils, and waves, and PURE~FRO® Shampoo for kinky, coily, afro hair by VERNON FRANÇOIS® Haircare.

Also, the entire Curl Manifesto range by Kérastase is designed to help strengthen, nourish, and define all coils, curls, and waves.

Good hair day by @lalaartist.

HDC: What products should anyone with natural hair concerned with breakage stay away from in order to maintain and protect their natural hair in cold months?

VF: Natural hair, by definition, is hair unaltered by heat styling or chemical treatments, so kinks, coils, curls, waves, even straight hair can be natural in an unprocessed state. For hair that is prone to breakage, which kinky, coily, afro hair can tend to be because of its make-up, the goal is to keep as much moisture within the strands to protect and promote good condition. Embrace protective styling, use shampoos that are sulfate-free, and deep condition regularly.

Avoid going out with wet hair, especially in sub-zero temperatures, because strands are most fragile when wet. If you’re pressed for time and letting hair air dry is not an option, diffuse at a gentle speed with low heat.


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HDC: If hair does get damaged, what are some products and techniques to revive it?

VF: If your hair does get damaged, Redken’s Acidic Bonding Concentrate range is an all-in-one system to hydrate, strengthen, and restore strands. It provides ultimate repair, intense conditioning, and color fade protection for all hair types and textures.

The RE~VAMPTM Mid Length Repair Cream from my own collection is designed to help repair all types of damaged hair—kinky, coily, curly, wavy, and straight—especially hair damaged by heat styling and chemical processing.

Some techniques to try are protective hairstyling like wearing braids, twists, buns, or Bantu knots; and shampooing hair less often to let natural oils produced by the scalp benefit the hair’s shaft. Regular deep conditioning is important. Depending on the condition of your hair, you may benefit from doing this up to twice a week. Kérastase’s Curl Manifesto Masque Beurre Haute Nutrition is extra rich and intensely nourishing for brittle coils and curls to help prevent breakage.

Good hair day by @hometownroots_salon.

HDC: What are some myths you can debunk around transitioning hair care from warmer to cooler weather?

VF: It’s a myth that dramatically different hair products and practices are needed by season. Much better to be consciously connected to your unique head of hair, what it needs and responds to year-round. Consistency of giving products time to work, applying them in the way that’s right for you and your hair, and flexing to your hair’s own needs, is important and will vary by the individual.

It’s also a myth that products and techniques alone are the answer to all haircare woes. Think beyond the bathroom shelf—how much water you consume, how healthily you eat, how much fresh air, sunlight, and exercise you get. All these things can affect your hair’s health, feel, and appearance.

HDC: What products do you and your clients love to use year-round?

VF: In my kit is Redken’s One United which has 25 benefits in one spray, including hair strengthening and protection. All hair textures can use this, kinky, coily, curly, wavy, and straight. Also, the Huile Sublime Repair Hair Oil from Kérastase’s Curl Manifesto range can be used as a scalp treatment as well as to define coils, curls, and waves. An essential for me and my clients to help prime and protect hair before styling is my Mist Nourishing Water by VERNON FRANÇOIS® Haircare, which has a blend of amino acids and plant oils.

Ready to add all of Vernon’s winter hair care essentials to your routine? Shop the best salon-quality products at

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