Thursday, December 10, 2015
With the cold now set in for the foreseeable, it’s time to take a look at how the changes in temperature can affect your hair. Whilst many of us look to change our skincare routine for winter, such as opting for a more intense moisturiser, many of us neglect to consider how the cold weather affects our hair and continue with the same routine.
There are numerous factors that can turn your hair from smooth to frizzy in winter, so let’s take a look at how the cold weather affects your hair and what you can do to keep your mane looking and feeling luscious all year round.
People have often thought that they naturally lose more hair in the winter, but this isn’t necessarily a direct result of the colder temperatures. In fact, recent research cites that in winter, your body naturally produces more melatonin to help regulate the hair growth cycle and this should, in theory, mean you shed less hair.
The problem arises, however, when you factor in the environmental changes and not treating your hair and scalp appropriately to counteract them. The scalp is more prone to dehydration with the cold weather and intense indoor heat, which can result in a dry scalp and brittle hair. These changes in temperature can really damage your hair and scalp; team that with wearing hats that can cause stress and friction on hair strands and you could be pulling out clumps of hair every time you take your hat on and off.
Of course there are some environments where wearing a hat and putting the heating on are essential to survival, but there are specific hair treatments you can follow during winter, to help your hair and scalp to cope with the seasonal changes. This goes for both sexes. Men’s hair is just as susceptible to damage during winter as women’s, so the same rules apply when it comes to giving it plenty of moisture, as little heat exposure as possible and minimising the amount of alcohol based products you use.
One way of keeping your hair and scalp moisturised is to treat your hair once or twice a week with a thick, rich and moisturising conditioner that contains fatty acids and humectants, such as soy protein and panthenol. These help attract and retain moisture in the hair, but make sure you choose a rich conditioner that is suitable for your hair type.
When it comes to choosing your shampoo, you should also find one that’s designed for the winter months, avoiding products with lots of chemicals and alcohol, which can dry out the hair. Shampoos that contain Shea Butter and lots of natural essential oils, such as ylang-ylang, bergamot and lemongrass help to open the hair cuticle so moisture can be more easily absorbed.
Natural products, such as olive oil and safflower oil are also recommended by hair specialists. If you feel your hair is looking dry and brittle, simply rubbing a small amount of natural oil through your hair from the bottom upwards can give it welcome moisture.
If you regularly use styling gels, switching to a hair cream alternative instead will also help keep moisture in your hair and reduce the static.
As with our skin, eating a well-balanced and healthy diet can do wonders for your hair. Eating foods that are rich in natural oils, minerals and vitamins will help to give your body everything you need to keep your hair looking healthier, as well as for your own well-being. Making sure your diet includes plenty of Vitamin C, A, E, as well as iron and selenium, which can be found in a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish, nuts and cereals will help boost your immune system and damage repair that can occur to your hair. Avoid eating excessive amounts of processed foods that contain higher amounts of sugar, trans-fats and chemicals and generally fewer nutrients.
To make sure you are getting the right levels of these vital vitamins and minerals, it is also possible to take supplements. Multi-vitamin supplements are a great way to regulate your intake of key vitamins and minerals, but you should always make sure you’re taking the right dosage.
By giving your hair a little TLC this winter, you could avoid dry scalps and frizzy, dull and lifeless hair for the season. All it takes is a little consideration in the products you use and boosting your diet to ensure that your body is getting all the nutrients and protection it needs for healthier scalp and hair.