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The Do’s and Don’ts of How to Have Fabulous Hair This Winter

Winter is slowly but surely creeping towards us. Before we know it the snow will be falling and sleigh bells will be ringing. In the winter months the temperature drops to extremely low levels and moisture is ripped out of the air and either freezes or is turned into snow. Therefore winter is a very bad month for our hair because the lack of moisture in the air is extremely drying and can cause a plethora of adverse conditions. Cold winds and the cold itself can damage hair if we do not maintain the natural oils that our body produces to protect hair.

DO – Keep Hair Well Conditioned

Especially in these months where the air temperature is so low and hair is exposed to dry and harsh strong gusts of wind we need to ensure that we shampoo our hair less frequently and also that we condition hair after each shampoo. Not only does this give hair extra shine and a lustrous look, but also the conditioner acts as a protecting barrier against the elements. It is good to leave a quarter of the conditioner in your hair and not to rinse it out completely.

DON’T – Over wash hair

As per the above, do not over wash your hair during this season. Washing hair too often will simply remove the natural oils in your hair and scalp. These natural oils are the best protection against the elements. Consider lessening the frequency of when you wash your hair. For example if you wash your hair every second day, try washing it every third day instead. The drying and cold conditions of winter will mean that you will sweat less and therefore your hair and scalp will get less dirty, so there really is not a need to wash hair as often as in the hotter months

DO – Keep natural oils in hair and scalp

There is absolutely no conditioner that you can buy in any store that will compare to the natural oils that are produced by your own hair and scalp. These natural oils are your body’s natural defence against the cold, the harsh winds and the elements that are faced during the winter months.

If there is just one DO for the whole of the winter months it is to do everything you can to keep the naturally produced oils in hair and scalp. The best way to do this is to install a shower filter in our shower. Shower water contains many additives that are put in by the water companies to keep water safe to drink, such as chlorine. These additives might be good to control bacteria, but because they are harmful solvents, they actually strip our hair and scalp of natural oils.

If we live in a hard water area then our shower water will be laced with water hardness as well. This means that there are microscopic mineral and metal particles in our water. When these particles hit our scalp and hair at high speed and pressure then they act like a sand blaster, blasting away the natural layer of oils that protect our hair and scalp.

The best way we can keep natural oils in our hair and protect ourselves from both the chemical additives and hard particles in shower water is to install a shower filter. A shower filter will filter out the chemicals and help to reduce hardness from shower water and this will contribute to maintaining the natural oils that our body produces to protect our hair and scalp.

DON’T – Overuse hair dryer

It might be nice to stand in the bathroom with a hair dryer in one hand blowing extremely hot air through our hair when it’s so cold outside, but we must try to minimise the use of a hair dryer as much as possible during the winter months. This is because the extremely hot air of the hair dryer is extremely drying and can cause hair to become brittle and lifeless, leaving our hair in an unfit state to be exposed to the elements. Try drying hair on the ‘cool’ setting. This might take a little longer, but it will ensure that hair isn’t exposed to even more drying environments.

DO – Use alcohol free hair spray

If you use hair spray or other hair products, take a look at the back of the pack and check out the alcohol content of your product. Alcohol is an extremely drying chemical and like chlorine is also a solvent. So it will strip the natural oils out of your hair as well. If possible swap to a product that is alcohol free.

DON’T – Go out with wet hair

Whatever you do – do not leave the house with wet hair. In this extremely cold weather conditions if you leave the house with wet or damp hair, you hair could freeze. If hair freezes there is a very high possibility that it will break. Dry hair thoroughly before leaving the house.

DO – Use a humidifier indoors when in dry heated offices and rooms

Indoor heaters in offices and at home create dry heat and that will suck moisture out of anything that might contain any moisture at all, this includes your hair and scalp! Where possible use a room humidifier to replace moisture into the air around you. Or go for a more low tech solution and just keep an uncovered glass of water next to the indoor heater, this will ensure that the heater evaporates the water as it heats the room and thus maintains higher levels of moisture in the air.

DON’T – Use any peroxide laden hair treatments

At all costs – avoid chemicals during this season. Do not perm or use any types of peroxide derived hair colouring during the winter months. If you really need to try to get highlights or lowlights to just a few strands of hair on your head to create the illusion of a fully coloured head of hair. Because of the drying effects of these products and because they will strip out natural oils in hair, these products will make your hair more susceptible to the harsh conditions of winter.

Jenny Holiday