The winter months may bring the year’s most festive parties and family vacations, but with all the good tidings comes some not-so-jolly news for your hair. Thanks to that annual chill, hair can easily become dry, brittle and just plain lifeless.
With winter weather well on its way, it doesn’t take long for the icy cold winds outdoors and the scorching heaters indoors to leave your hair bruised, battered and beaten. Think hat hair, static hair, split ends, brittle strands of hair, and dry frizz. Yikes! And while shiny, manageable hair may seem like a distant dream, it isn’t all that hard to get back your healthy hair texture even in winters.
Taking care of your hair is really a year-round process. Hair takes time to repair itself, so whatever you do now will stay with you throughout the year. So, with winter wrecking havoc on your hair and bringing in way too many bad hair days than you’d like, there’s no better time to start giving those strands extra TLC.
So, these are my 3 tried and tested tricks to banish winter woes — be it dry itchy scalp, brittle and frizzy hair, lusterless tresses, or lifeless and limp hair.
1. Use The Right Deep Conditioning System
Thanks to frosty temperatures outside and heating inside, your strands don’t stand a chance against dryness. Home heating leaves the air in your house extremely dry—especially for your hair. A humidifier can add moisture back into the air. You should also try to nourish a dehydrated mane with a heavy conditioning treatment about once a week.
Natural oils hydrate dry, damaged hair and leave locks super-soft and shiny. For the best results, rub a dollop between your fingers and apply it to dry hair—root to end—comb through, and leave on for 20 minutes. For a deeper treatment, place a shower cap over your head and let the product absorb overnight. The right hair oil will help stimulate hair growth and calm a dry, itchy scalp. Infact, coconut oil or olive oil will also help tame dry ends and static.
If you aren’t that big a fan of oily strands, try a hair spa treatment. You could get one at the salon you frequent, or even buy the creams and serums to use at home. It’s pretty simple to use too. Wash your hair with your regular shampoo and pat dry. Mix a large dollop of the hair spa cream (or a couple more if you have long tresses) with the nourishing serums that are fortified with Vitamin E. Apply from root to tip, ensuring that you also massage the product into your scalp. Once done, put on a shower cap and apply heat to your scalp so that the pores on your scalp open up and the product goes right in to nourish and hydrate from within. My favourite methods are running a hair dryer all over, sitting out in the sun for 30 minutes, or running hot water in a closed bath so that the steam does all the work (while also warming me very nicely!) Leave for 45-60 minutes and simply rinse your hair. You will find that your scalp is well hydrated, and hair much more shiny and manageable than before!
2. Choose Hair Styling Products And Techniques Carefully
Most of us use a plethora of hair styling products. And I am not going to say —“Oh, don’t do that. Natural hair is the most beautiful hair”. While that might be true for some of us, most of us need to style our hair with products that give us the desired hairstyle. And honestly, in my opinion, beautifully styled hair is as imperative as the perfect touch of makeup or a great pair of shoes to pull a well-put-together smart look.
But if you thought that just a regular shampoo and conditioner would leave your hair frizz-free in winter, think again! Blustery weather, sweaters and hats can all contribute to an unruly hairdo. Also, the volume your hair had in the summertime has suddenly gone south for the winter. During the colder months, there’s no humidity in the air, so hair has a tendency to hang lifelessly. Not to mention wool hats flatten your hair in a flash, especially if you’re wearing them for long periods of time.
Shampooing your hair to often can add to the problem. It’s important to mist your hair with a water based leave in conditioner daily to re-hydrate your hair and scalp. Revitalizing leave in conditioners and deeply hydrating styling gels are your best bet. If you need to shampoo daily because you exercise or perspire often, you can dilute your shampoo with lots of water so that it does not strip all of your natural oils.
I rather prefer dry shampoos, especially if my hair looks greasy and limp the day after I have washed it. They do de-grease hair without stripping away the natural essential oils, leaving you with hair that is easy to style. You can also co-wash, which means cleansing with a surfactant free cleanser that rids your hair and scalp of perspiration, oils and hair products. Rinse your hair with luke warm water and apply your favorite conditioner to add moisture back into your dry hair and scalp. Do remember to rinse it off, because the purpose here is to replenish the nutrients so that your scalp isn’t dry and itchy.
If you scalp is excessively dry, you can use a scalp nourishing serum to seal in moisture after the wash. If your hair is straight, using it in the evening and shampooing it out in the morning is great. If your hair is dry you can use it as a leave in scalp nourisher daily.
I do recommend that you don’t use hair straightners or curling tongs every day. These do damage the hair and sap away all natural moisture in the hair, which only adds to your winter hair woes. If you must use them occasionally, do ensure that you invest in heat styling product. There are hair products made to protect your hair from the heat of dryers, curling irons, or flat irons. Many of them use silicone as a protective coating for your hair. When it comes to causing damage, irons are worse than blow dryers. To protect your hair while styling, work quickly. If you are using a curling or straight iron, you should probably not use it for more than three or four seconds per section.
Expert Tip: To help combat frizz, use a vented brush with a mix of plastic and boar bristles. When washing your hair, hot water can be more drying, so opt for tepid water to keep it smoother.
3. Get Rid Of Product Buildup On Hair And Scalp
Build up on the hair can cause a multitude of challenges. Besides making the hair more difficult to style, build up can also contribute to unsightly flakes, dandruff and a dry itchy scalp. Build up from mineral deposits bring about a whole other realm of challenges that can be treated with effective clarifying shampoos.
Styling products such as hairspray, gel, mousse, texturizer or wax can cause build up on the hair and scalp. Use a clarifying shampoo once per week to rid the hair of styling product build up. Some natural products, such as vinegar or baking soda, can be used to remove product residue as well. Dirt and oil can also easily become embedded in the hair shaft and on the scalp as a result of infrequent or ineffective cleansing.
There are a TON of beauty sites and beauty bloggers who write about how to remove product buildup from hair. Some advice you to use the egg wash method, no matter how stinky it may be! It’s rumoured to give your hair the much needed nutrition and results in shiny hair and a relatively clean scalp. Others will tell you the wondrous properties of apple cider vinegar, urging you to solve your gunky hair problem with an apple cider vinegar rinse. I have tried it myself. While it does solve the problem of an itchy scalp and leaves the scalp cleaner, I found that it was rather too harsh on my hair. It did irritate the skin of my scalp (especially the parts I had recently scratched at) and did leave my hair frizzier and wavier. Since I love my tresses to be smooth and straight, I realised that an apple cider vinegar wasn’t for me, no matter how ‘naturally’ wonderful it maybe for healthy hair. If you do want more volume in your hair and simply want to remove product build-up that’s causing your hair to look limp and lifeless, this method could work for you.
The method that works best for me is a clarifying shampoo. However, if you already have bought your regular stock of shampoos and conditioners and dotn want to invest again in a bottle of clarifying shampoo, there is an easier solution. Wash your hair with simple hand soap!!! Yes, you heard me right! Most clarifiying shampoos are made of higher concentrations of sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, much like a hand wash. I use hand soap just like a shampoo and it works like a charm! It completely removes the buildup at the crown of my head and leaves my hair bouncy, clean, and shiny. I’m back to using my typical shampoos and conditioners without any problems post a clarifying wash, and I think this is a wonderful quick-fix.
However, these are needed no often than once a month, especially since you don’t apply a conditioner post a clarifying wash. Follow a healthy hair-care routine in the weeks afterwards —- use a good shampoo, nourishing oils, leave in conditioners and deep repair masque so that hair isn’t stripped of all moisture.
Cold, dry air can zap the moisture right out of your hair, so the brittle mess that’s left sets the stage for untamed strands. The key to banish winter hair woes is to infuse moisture in your hair. do that, and you will find the solution to winter breakage, flyaways, split ends, flaky scalp and that annoying static electricity.
You may also like to read: 5 Solutions for Lustrous, Smooth and Silky Hair This Winter!