What’s not to love about winters? Cuddling up under layers of duvets and watching Netflix with a soothing cup of hot chocolate, anyone? All the winter wear comes out of packing and you can see your breath outside in the cold. Sounds cozy, right? The downside to all of this is that your hair has to pay a price! The colder temperatures wreak havoc on your hair and cause you to have more bad hair days than normal. Here are some winter hair care guides...
- Why does your hair need more care and attention in winters?
- Problem: Dry scalp
- Problem: Reduced hair growth
- Problem: Tangled hair
- Problem: Dry hair
- Problem: Frizzy hair
Why does your hair need more care and attention in winters?
Winter is harsh on your hair. The cold temperature and lack of moisture in the air cause your hair to become dry and look lifeless and dull. Your hair finds it difficult to retain moisture and becomes brittle and is prone to breakage. The woollen clothes your wear also rub against the hair and cause static friction, which makes your hair look frizzy.
Solution: Be informed about what extra care you have to give your hair in winter and follow a strict haircare routine. Preparation is key!
What are the problems your hair is likely to face and how to counter act them…
Problem: Dry scalp
The cold winter temperatures and air can cause your scalp to become dry and itchy and lead to the formation of small white flakes. The root of all hair problems lies in the scalp (literally!) and an under-nourished scalp can cause split ends and dry hair. This will result in lesser hair growth and increased hair breakage.
Since the scalp is under-nourished, you need to concentrate on providing it with all the nutrients it requires. Use a good shampoo and conditioner and oil your hair regularly. Infusing your hair oil with the essential oils of rosemary, lavender and thyme not only invigorates your scalp but is very relaxing as well. Be sure to massage your scalp with this oil for at least 10 minutes as this will stimulate blood circulation in the scalp and reduce stress. An easy home remedy to fix a dry, flaky scalp is to combine 2 tbsp. of coconut oil and 1 tsp. of lemon juice and warm it up in the microwave. Dip a cotton ball in this mix and apply it all over your scalp. Let it sit for half an hour and rinse it off with a mild shampoo. Repeat this process every week until your scalp regains its natural health.
Problem: Reduced hair growth
During winters, due to the cold weather, it is normal to reduce the number of times you wash your hair. But if your sleep with dirt, or hair products or sweat still in your hair, it can build up and cause your pores to clog. These clogged pores again lead to many hair problems like reduced growth and hair fall.
Although it is colder in winter, you should still wash your hair at least 2-3 times in a week. It is important to keep your hair and scalp healthy and clean in colder temperatures. Do not use too much shampoo as that may dry out your hair even more. Massage the shampoo into your scalp, while making sure you do not scratch your scalp with your nails. Invest in a good shampoo which is infused with natural ingredients and make sure it is sulphate-free.
Tip: more lather does not mean more effective. In fact, shampoos that lather less are better for your hair as they have lesser sulphate content (this chemical is responsible for the lather).
Problem: Tangled hair
Constant use of a cap or scarf and the general dryness can cause your hair to get tangled. When you try to untangle the knots by brushing them out, it may cause even more breakage. The length of your hair does not matter. Long or short, if you do not take care of your hair, strands may rub together and form knots.
When you are brushing your hair, apply a leave-in hair serum or dry oil on the ends of your hair and use a brush with soft bristles to gently comb out the tangles. Do not tug and pull at the knots, as this will cause unnecessary stress to your roots. Start by detangling your hair at the ends. Detangle the ends and then work up to your roots. It is also important to regularly brush your hair for better hair growth. Regular brushing encourages blood circulation in the scalp and helps distribute the natural oils along the lengths of the hair.
Tip: detangle your hair starting at the ends of the hair and work your way up to the roots.
Problem: Dry hair
The cold air during winter can make your hair look dry and dull and worse, make it brittle, causing breakage.
Solution: never skip using a conditioner after washing your hair. It is also better to use a deep conditioning mask on your hair once every week. Make sure you wash your hair with cold water or lukewarm water. Washing your hair (and skin) with very hot water will strip your hair of its natural oils making it dry and lifeless. You can also massage your hair and scalp with oil and steam your hair to make sure the oil really seeps into the hair shaft, keeping it nourished for longer. Simply massage the oil, and dip a towel in hot water and wring all the water out. Wrap this towel around your head for a few minutes until all the steam from the towel has escaped.
Tip: deep conditioning oil massage followed by steaming with a hot towel will ensure the oil penetrates deep into the hair.
Problem: Frizzy hair
All the girls who have long hair and have to extra time drying their hair before stepping out, we feel your pain. In the colder months, you want to make sure that your hair is completely dry after you wash it, so you use a hair dryer on a higher heat setting. This may be bad news for your hair! The heat from the dryer can make your hair follicles weak and strip hair of its natural oils and moisture, making it very dry and frizzy.
To prevent excessively dry and frizzy hair, try and air dry your hair or make sure you use a hair dryer on the ‘cold’ mode. This will take longer to dry your hair, but your hair will thank you for it as it will be able to hold in its natural oils and moisture better. Also, keep heat styling to a minimum in colder seasons. You could try using this super rich, hydrating hair mask to treat dry, frizzy hair. Combine the pulp of a ripe avocado, olive oil and honey to make a thick paste. Apply this along with the lengths of your hair and leave it to seep into your hair for 30-40 minutes. The fats in avocado help repair dry, damaged and brittle hair. Olive oil is deeply hydrating and helps restore lost hydration in your hair. Honey is a humectant and draws moisture into your hair and scalp. Honey also has alp and hair strengthening minerals and nutrients. You could also add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or tea-tree oil to the mask, as these will help treat an itchy scalp and dandruff. And they have a soothing and calming aroma, too!
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