We are all aware that we have to be extra careful with our skin in winter. The combined effects of central heating, cold air outside, hot showers and thick clothing mean that moisture is being sucked away which can result in dry chapped skin, so we tend to vary our cleansing routine to include richer moisturisers etc. However, whilst taking extra care with our skin we can forget that winter also affects our hair and we need to be thinking about giving that some tlc.
Treat your hair as you would your skin, that is, with a bit of extra thought. Avoid long hot showers as these will strip moisture away, try leaving an extra day between shampooing and definitely don’t forget the conditioner. Hair is most delicate when waterlogged so let it dry off a bit before combing or blowdrying.
Don’t forget your scalp! Like the other skin on your face and body which suffer from the mixture of cold outside and central heating indoors, the scalp is more prone to dehydration and can become flaky and irritated, if this is the case then apply tea tree oil to your scalp every day to help lock in moisture, encourage your natural oils to produce and also get rid of anything nasty that may be living on your scalp without you realising it. If you don’t want to apply the tea tree oil directly then you could add a few drops to your shampoo. Hats can also damage the hair by causing stress on the strands so we need to ensure our hair is in as good a condition as possible to withstand this. Keeping hair well moisturised will also avoid the static build up from wearing a hat.
I treat my hair twice a week with an intense moisturiser, chose one that’s suitable for your hair type, I vary between Philip Kingsleys Elasticizer and Kiehl’s Sunflower Color Preserving Deep Recovery Pak (silicone and paraben free) and I leave these on for around half an hour to allow them to work in. Sometimes I put a plastic shower cap over or I might wrap my hair in a warm towel. I usually put the conditioning treatment on a couple of inches away from the roots and down to the ends. If your hair is very fine then intense conditioners can be too heavy so stick with your normal conditioner in the shower and just leave it on a bit longer. You can even use olive oil, rub a few drops into your hands and then run your fingers through the hair from the bottom upwards. Avoid spraying perfume on your hair as these contains alcohol which can dry the hair.
Obviously with winter comes the Christmas/New Year party season and we may partake of more food and drink than is good for us, so it’s essential to try and also eat plenty of good foods rich in natural oils, minerals and vitamin, fresh fruit and veg, lean meat, fish (you know what you should be eating). We also tend to drink less water in the winter, but skin and hair need hydration from the inside out so try and have warm water with lemon if you can’t face cold water.
Dry hair can also cause an increase in split ends, so keep up your visits to the hairdresser over winter to at least get a trim. Also if you can, give your hair colouring a rest through the worst of the winter months as this will reduce the stress on your hair. The ‘lightening’ products are especially damaging. If your hair feels really dull and you want to zazz it up, try low lights for more minimal damage and use a shampoo and conditioner for colour treated hair.
I’m sure there are lots of other tips for looking after your hair in the winter, let me know your favourites.