Often times, we forget how damaging the winter weather can be not only to our skin but our hair as well!!! The following are a few of my personal hair care tips that you can utilize to help you make sure you are taking excellent care of you hair during the harsh winter months. I want to help you keep away the winter hair woes!!!
- First step, make sure you shampoo your hair at least once every week and a half or two weeks with lukewarm water and a good moisturizing shampoo (remember to stay away from shampoos that contain sodium lauryl/laurel sulfates, as they are very drying to the hair and can strip the hair and scalp of natural oils). Excessively hot water can cause heat damage to hair and scalp! Shampoo at least twice–the first shampoo only removes the surface dirt (dust, oils, product build-up, etc), the second shampoo really cleans the hair and scalp. Make sure you stimulate the scalp well with the soft padding of your finger tips to promote good scalp blood circulation, try not to use your fingernails as they can scratch the scalp and cause small abrasions which in turn can lead to infection.
- Second step, make sure to follow shampooing with a good moisturizing conditioner. Leave the conditioner on your hair for at least 3-5 minutes. Make sure to always rinse the conditioner from your hair using really cool water. Most people do not do this!!! When you rinse your hair with cool water it helps to seal the cuticle (outer) layer of your hair which in turn makes the hair smooth, keeps the hair moisturized and promotes a healthy shine.
- Third step, make sure you use a heat protecting spray along with a light hair oil (preferably a good natural oil) when blow-drying hair, this also helps to protect the hair during any flat ironing or curling. Blow-dry the hair from root to tips (this will speed the drying process) and try to keep the dryer in a flowing motion!! Try not to keep the dryer’s heated air concentrated on one section of the hair shaft for too long as this can cause heat damage—dry, brittle, and breaking hair. Try to limit excessive heat use between shampoos. If you are going to roller set your hair, make sure to use some leave-in conditioner and a gentle setting lotion to help smooth the hair shaft and help to set the curls.
- Fourth step, make sure you are either sleeping on a satin/silk pillowcase or use a satin/silk head wrap, scarf, or bonnet. This is one of the most important things you can do to keep your hair healthy!!! When you sleep on cotton pillowcases without wrapping your hair with one of the items listed above or if you use a regular cotton bandana, you are literally sleeping on a naturally absorbent fiber that strips the natural oils and moisture from your hair!!! Think about how well cotton balls or cotton make-up squares absorb nail polish remover, astringents, toners, etc. The hair can also get tangled and twisted into the tiny holes in the pillowcases/bandanas and break!!
- Fifth step, make sure to protect the hair by wearing a satin/silk scarf or satin skully cap under cotton knit or wool hats. Also remember this, wearing wool coats in the winter are great to keep you warm but wool can also dry any hair that touches it repeatedly. If possible, clip hair up or protect with a satin/silk scarf when wearing coats for a long period of time when you are out in the harsh elements of winter.
I hope you find these winter hair care tips helpful. The first four steps should be done year round and are equally important during the summer months. I want to always provide my clients with as much knowledge as I can in order to promote healthy hair care whether you are taking care of it yourself at home or if visiting me in the salon.
Written by Tara F. Ingram