Winter's Best Hairstyles Aren't Just for One Season

With these six styles, your hair routine is set for the transition into spring and beyond.

Alexandra Pereira wears sunglasses, a brown oversized leather jacket with crocodile patterns, a colored top with printed geometric patterns, brown underwear, brown tights, outside Missoni, during the Milan Fashion Week - Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 on February 24, 2024 in Milan, Italy.
(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

Changing seasons are a semi-annual invitation to try a new wardrobe and new beauty routine. As weather gets colder, I switch up my winter hairstyles both out of a need for warmth and a desire to balance out bulky layers with a more minimalist updo. But as temperatures slowly rise again, I don’t necessarily have to give up the cold weather styles I’ve gravitated toward. Really, the best winter hairstyles are versatile enough to wear from season to season, even as they stand up to chilly forecasts and heavy-duty outerwear.

 All phases of winter are a great time to treat your hair, professional hairstylist Sophie Rose Gutterman tells Marie Claire. "Try buns as opposed to spending time using heat on the hair,” she suggests. “Braided buns and bangs are great!" Cold weather spells are also an ideal moment for styles like silk presses and braided ponytails. (Just be sure to hydrate the hair during this cold season—wind can do a number on your scalp and strand health.) 

As winter fades into spring, it’s not too late to test a winter hair trend or one of the stylist- and editor- approved winter hairstyles below. While they’re tailored to a lingering cold snap, they’re just as versatile for warmer days ahead.

A Braided Bun

A guest wears cornrow braids, white shirt and beige trench coat and a heart shape statement earring outside Victoria/Tomas during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025 as part of Paris Fashion Week on February 27, 2024 in Paris, France.

Braided buns can face the toughest elements of any season, while giving a statement earring a moment to shine.

(Image credit: Raimonda Kulikauskiene/Getty Images)

Braids are fantastic for protecting the hair from the elements, whether the forecast includes a late winter snowfall or a late summer heatwave. When temperatures lean chilly, braids retain moisture even when they're incorporated into ponytails and buns.

"A sleek, low braided bun with a side part is the perfect formal and easy hairstyle for winter," Gutterman says. To get the low-key look, "Part the hair using a pin tail comb and a soft brush to slick the hair back using your favorite gel." (The stylist recommends All About Curls' high-definition gel.) Then, section hair into one or several braids and twist them into a bun at the base of your neck.

Extra Volume

Deva Cassel wears black shirt, jeans, black Dior bag, black coat, outside Dior, during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025 as part of Paris Fashion Week on February 27, 2024 in Paris, France.

Tousled, high volume hair is the key to combating late-winter blues.

(Image credit: Claudio Lavenia/Getty Images))

If a lingering winter chill has got you down, consider giving yourself a lift with a high-volume hairstyle. Tousled curls and amped-up roots can boost your mood just like a cherry red shoe or sweater tied over your coat.

Gutterman lately has created volume and bends at the ends using a blow-dry brush like Edrée's Bella. "Starting at the bottom of the hair, and working your way to the top, take large sections, spending a little more time on the ends to enhance a bend at the end," she suggests. This ensures that the hair looks full-bodied from root to tip.

A round brush is crucial to mastering sky-high volume—and quickly. "With this tool, you can use bigger sections," the expert explains, "so it will save you time in the morning."

Finally, seal the style with hair spray so that it lasts all day (and beyond). For the day after, add "a little bit of SexyHair's volumizing dry shampoo and a run-through with The Bella, and you have a fresh blowout," Gutterman says.

Textured Waves

Jeanne Damas wears denim jeans, brown bag, olive blazer outside Dries van Noten during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025 as part of Paris Fashion Week on February 28, 2024 in Paris, France.

A step above bedhead? Gently tousled waves.

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

When skies are gray and you're pining for the height of summer, why not channel the beach through textured, messy waves? This low-key style has the effect of spending a breezy afternoon outside, even when you're stuck inside at your desk.

The laidback look can be achieved through a fittingly low-lift, overnight routine. "If you’re avoiding heat, braid your towel-dried hair overnight, and once the hair is dry, remove the braids and shake out your hair with your favorite texture spray," Gutterman recommends. She suggests Biotera's new Intensive 2:1 Protective Leave-In + Overnight Treatment to condition and detangle hair while you're sleeping—and protect it from heat if you want to try touch-ups with a curling iron in the morning. For effortless texture with indirect heat, the expert uses the LouLou Airstyler. Skinny clip-in extensions can add fullness to your head of waves either way.

Silk Press

A guest wears creme white knit, denim jeans outside Dries van Noten during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025 as part of Paris Fashion Week on February 28, 2024 in Paris, France.

Sleek, shiny, and understated: the silk press transcends seasons.

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

For those who have natural hair, silk presses are a go-to winter style that can transition from season to season. Sleek and shiny, the look is achieved using a flat iron and plenty of heat-protectant spray to prevent any long-term damage. (For more specific instructions, check out Marie Claire's comprehensive guide to the silk press and our round-up of the best flat irons for a silk press.)

Piece-y Updo

Heart Evangelista wears red sequined button up dress with slit outside Dries van Noten during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025 as part of Paris Fashion Week on February 28, 2024 in Paris, France.

Let your hair down—just a little bit, with a wispy updo.

(Image credit: Christian Vierig/Getty Images)

Curtain bangs and choppy layers don't have to be completely slicked back. Instead, try a piece-y updo that holds most of your hair back while letting select pieces fly free.

First, slick back your hair into a tight bun or ponytail (your choice), leaving a few face-framing short pieces loose on either side of your face. Let those pieces hang down naturally, or straighten or curl them for a more structured effect.

Another option: Gather the loose pieces from the center of your head, as seen above, and brush them along a center part. Secure the look with a medium- to strong-hold gel. This style bridges the gap between the updo and hair worn down, and it softens the look of a slicked-back, super structured updo.

Pigtail Braids

Rosalia wears Dior sunglasses, earrings, a black turtleneck pullover , a black cropped winter puffer jacket , outside Dior, during the Womenswear Fall/Winter 2024/2025 as part of Paris Fashion Week on February 27, 2024 in Paris, France.

Take it from Rosalía's Paris Fashion Week hairstyle: Pigtail braids are a playful winter moment you can take into any season.

(Image credit: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

It's worth repeating: Braids are definitively back and fit for all seasons, including classic sets of pigtail braids. Tying a pair off with ribbons can fit the girlhood aesthetic trend, while slicking them back with hair gel and plain black elastics leans motocross cool (like Rosalía).

Whichever version speaks to you, part your hair down the middle using a rat tail comb for precision. For high braids, tie up your hair in ponytails on either side of your head, then braid each ponytail until you reach the end. For lower brands, simply skip the high ponies and braid both sections of your hair down to the end.

Trying French or Dutch braids can add more texture to the look, but you can also take a page from Rosalía's book and start your braids at the base of your head. For extra shine either way, prime hair for braiding with a leave-in conditioner and then finish off with sparingly applied gel to prevent flyaways.

Meet the Expert

Sophie Gutterman
Sophie Rose Gutterman

Sophie Rose Gutterman is a professional hairstylist with ten years of experience with celebrities, ad campaigns, and editorial features. She has styled the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Justice, and Karlie Kloss. She is currently based between the Bay Area and Los Angeles.