If you want to make your hair healthy, you probably already know that it needs special care during the colder months.
Achieving healthy-looking, glossy hair has been somewhat of a preoccupation for most of us, even in ancient times.
In the days before salons, Chinese women bathed their hair in fermented rice water, while Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used almond oil as a scalp treatment to promote the better condition of their hair.
Keepingyour hair healthy in all seasons can be particularly important, especially if you are trying to grow it long or have subjected it to frequent coloring in the past.
Throughout the summer months, we know that UV-rays, chlorine from swimming pools and saltwater from the sea can damage and affect the quality and condition of our tresses, but what are the factors which impact on hair care when the temperature drops?
To help you prevent breakage and dullness during the colder months and give your hair the luster it deserves, here is our guide to keeping your hair healthy.
Recolor to Reinvigorate
If you’ve been bleaching or lightening your hair for a long time, recoloring your hair can improve the quality and condition. Bleaching breaks down the natural pigment molecules inside the hair strand, resulting in less density and therefore hair that’s more prone to breaking and splitting.
By coloring your hair darker, the strand is refilled with large pigment molecules, which provides the hair with better strength and resistance. Furthermore, with a healthier hair cuticle in place, darker pigments will catch the light better giving your hair more of a shiny, healthy appearance.
The natural dye such as henna, or ammonia-free home-colorants can help you achieve a natural-looking shade without causing too much damage to your hair. Using a semi-permanent hair color treatment is also a good option since they are a gentler alternative to permanent coloring.
You can further improve the condition of colored hair by avoiding over-frequent washing, using a natural shampoo, and adhering to a hair care system tailored to your specific needs.
Whenever it comes to condition, always remember the three M’s: moisture, moisture… and moisture! During winter, the cold weather can cause the hair’s cuticle (the protective outer layer) to lift up from the strand, allowing moisture to escape and leaving hair prone to breakage.
Added to this, constantly switching from cold temperatures outdoors into drying conditions caused by central heating and styling tools – along with friction-damage from constantly wearing scarves and heavy collars – can leave your hair looking a bit ravaged.
In the shower, skip the shampoo when you can by simply massaging your hair with warm water and condition your hair afterward. Up your moisture intake by applying a nourishing hair mask once or twice a week.
Get creative and make your own natural hair masks by using household kitchen ingredients known for their moisture-giving properties, such as overripe mashed avocado and bananas, honey, beaten egg and olive, and coconut oils.
Food is Hair Fuel
If you look for ways to make your hair healthy, you need to know that nourished hair starts from the inside. So make sure you pile your winter dinner plates with proteins, oil-rich foods, and B vitamins while keeping your iron and vitamin C intake up to prevent anemia-related hair thinning.
Typically, good sources of hair-friendly foods include salmon, oily fish, nuts, leafy green vegetables, and eggs, to name a few, but you can also find specially tailored vitamins and minerals in supplement-form for better hair growth. This is particularly useful if you follow a vegetarian diet or have a nut allergy.
Ditch the Heat
As we all know, styling tools such as hairdryers and straighteners are infamous for damaging our hair. Unfortunately, leaving the house with wet hair every morning in wind and sub-zero temperatures isn’t always a practical solution.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to combat split ends caused by blow-drying and heat damage. For a chemical-free version of a heat protection spray, grapeseed oil is known to have a very high smoking point, and is, therefore, suitable for use with hair appliances and dryers.
Simply apply 4-5 drops to the hair while still damp before you turn on any appliances.
Go Easy on the Teasing
Lastly, be kind to your locks! Over styling, even from constantly wearing your hair up in hair ties and slides, can damage hair strands causing them to break and split. Take a break from wearing your hair up every day if you can, and invest in some pull-free hair ties and grips (widely available at most drugstores) to help relieve the pressure.
For further protection from friction damage, why not make like a 50s starlet and introduce a silk pillowcase into your boudoir? Silk prevents your hair from tugging or pulling as you lie on it in your sleep; simply wrap your hair in a silk scarf or lay a square over your pillowcase at night.
The added bonus is that the super-soft fabric works, in the same way, to prevent rubbing and tugging of the skin on your face, meaning fewer wrinkles too! Proof that the old remedies are the best after all, whether we are talking about making your hair healthy or any other self-care solutions.