While we all love to cuddle up in a blanket, put on a big chunky knit, sip some delicious hot chocolate, and just Netflix-and-chill during the winter, the fact is that our tresses do not love this weather nearly as much as most of us do. This holds true for the scalp as well.
How Do the Hair and Scalp Change?
In many aspects, the scalp, hair, and skin behave in a similar manner. As the weather turns colder, there is a loss of moisture in the air and our hair and scalp’s ability to retain moisture is also affected. This is because when the weather outside is cold and dry, the moisture present in the hair and scalp evaporates easily. The same happens to our skin.
The cold also makes our hair follicles weak and brittle, making them more susceptible to damage. If you live in a very windy area, the wind might further add to the problem for your scalp as well, making it flaky and dry. And who likes an itchy flaky scalp or dry hair? We certainly do not! So here are a few things you can do to bring back some nourishment and life to your hair and scalp.
Changing Up Your Hair Care Routine
Like the skin (you can read more about transitioning your skincare routine from summer to winter on our blog), our hair and scalp also undergo a big transformation with the change in weather. Here are a few things you can add to your hair care routine:
1. Add in some hair oils
Hair oils are a great way to treat an itchy scalp. They are also great at stimulating blood circulation in the scalp. This is especially good since blood circulation slows down during the colder months. By revitalising the scalp through the massaging motion, you are ensuring that the hair follicles are getting the required nourishment from the inside as well. What’s more, oils can be very moisturising, nourishing, and soothing to the scalp.
Tvam’s Neem and Green Tea Hair Oil is a great option for an itchy and flaky scalp. While Green Tea is rich in antioxidants and is nourishing, Neem is a great anti-bacterial and works well against flakiness and dandruff. To read more about hair oiling, head over to our blog.
Oil your scalp no more than 2 times a week.
2. Deep conditioning and masking
The best way to relax over the weekend or after a tough day at work? A nice long both and some great masks and deep conditioners. Take your pick - are you looking for a repairing treatment or just want to give your hair a boost of moisture and cut down the frizz?
True Frog Deep Conditioning Mask is a great option for dry and unruly hair. It has Apple and Tamarind extracts that prevent hair damage and also contains Tucuma Butter and Argan Oil that are nourishing and moisturising. On the other hand, the Coccoon Enriching Hair Mask is a great choice for repairing damaged hair. It contains Honey, a natural humectant, and Vitamin E, an antioxidant that is very nourishing. Coconut oil helps repair damage and helps improve cuticle and scalp health.
You can rotate between deep conditioning and mask but don’t overdo it. Masking should be limited to 1 to 2 times a week. Same for deep conditioning. If you are using the two together, deep condition once a week and mask once a week. You can also alternate between the two.
3. Opt for silk pillowcases and scrunchies
Silk is great for preventing hair breakage and wrinkles. What’s not to love? Investing in silk scrunchies is also a great idea as it helps prevent any damage.
4. Stay hydrated
If your skin, hair, lips, and scalp feel dry, chances are you are not drinking enough water. As it is, in the winter we tend to drink a lot less water so you have to be more vigilant about your water intake. Always keep a bottle of water (or two) at your bedside table or on your desk and take regular sips throughout the day. With most of us working from home, staying hydrated should be the easiest thing to do!
5. Switch to a microfiber towel
Microfiber towels are all the rage right now and there is a reason why: they absorb a lot more water than your regular towels and that is a big plus for your hair. The last thing you want is to go out into the cold with wet hair. Microfiber towels also offer a lot less friction than your regular counterparts which means less breakage and less frizziness.
6. Get regular trims
Getting a haircut every four to eight weeks ensures that your hair remains split-end-free and looks fresh and nice!
7. Fight off the flakes
An itchy and flaky scalp can become the highlight (rather a lowlight) of your winter. To prevent this from happening, be sure to occasionally use an anti-dandruff shampoo for your scalp.
The Rustic Art Papaya Lime Hair Cleansing Bar nourishes and soothes the scalp while effectively dealing with dandruff and flaking. It contains Papaya, Lime and Orange which create an acidic environment to deeply cleanse hair. Cocoa Seed Butter gives hair a silky and smooth texture.
8. Leave-in treatments for the win
Protect your tresses from the harshness of winter by using some leave-in treatments. You can go in for a lightweight serum or a heavier cream, depending on your hair type and concern.
For8 Black Rice Leave-In Conditioner is enriched with moisturising Avocado and Coconut oils and nourishing Shea Butter. Shikakai and Amla extract further nourish the follicles and add a shine to your hair.
9. Eat right
It is quite true that what goes on on the inside shows on the outside. A healthy diet is one of the best ways to ensure your hair and scalp is healthy and happy. Add foods such as eggs (great source of Biotin), antioxidant-rich berries, nutrient-rich spinach, and sweet potatoes (rich in vitamin A) into your diet.
What to avoid?
Here are a few things you probably want to skip doing this winter, for the sake of your hair and scalp:
1. Don’t wash your hair too frequently
If dryness and flakiness are what you are struggling with, you probably do not want to make it all worse by stripping your hair off of whatever moisture it may have remaining.
2. Avoid heat styling
Hair becomes more brittle and dry this time of the year and we are all working from home as it is so give your straighteners and curlers some rest!
3. Don’t rush out the door with wet hair
Wet hair is more prone to damage than dry hair so, whatever you do, do not leave the house with wet hair!
4. Don’t go too light with your hair colour
It is best to avoid any kind of chemical treatments during the winter and this holds especially true for colouring your hair. If you do have to colour your locks, do not go too light as that damages your hair more.
5. Avoid hot showers
While we all love a nice hot both, our skin, scalp, and hair do not. Hot water can further cause dryness, irritation, and inflammation. Always bathe with lukewarm water. You will thank us later!
The hair and scalp require more nourishment and care during the colder months. Add some nourishing and soothing oils, conditioners, and hair masks into your haircare routine. Small lifestyle changes such as staying hydrated, using silk pillowcases, using microfiber towels, and eating a balanced diet also make a big difference to your hair, scalp, and skin!
- Gauri Sindhu