The cold weather and dry air can wreck havoc on your hair. Whether it dries it out and makes it look brittle and unhealthy, or just leaves you with a lot of split ends, nobody wants to walk around looking like their hair is worse for wear. Start adopting some of these healthy hair habits, and keep it looking soft and healthy all winter long.
Don’t wash it too often (or at all!) – I’ll let you in on a little secret: I rarely use shampoo in my hair. I wash it with apple cider vinegar and baking soda a couple of times a week and use a ginger and coconut oil scrub for when my scalp gets dried out. Dry scalp is a big issue in the winter, and one that likely isn’t being helped by using shampoo and washing your hair often, as both of these have a drying out effect on the scalp. Instead, wash it with shampoo once or twice a week and use the other options below to keep it clean and moisturized. Or if you’re ready to take the plunge, go with no shampoo at all!
Use Coconut oil – Once a week, I lather up my roots and ends with coconut oil. Not only is it moisturizing and helps fight dry hair, but the fat content is really good for your locks, and helps keep them healthy and hydrated. Take a spoonful into your hand, rub it between your palms until it melts and then gently massage it into your scalp and along the bottom of your hair. Leave it to set while you finish in the shower and then rinse it out. Be aware that your hair may look greasy the next day, (I usually do mine over the weekend), but that will dissipate after a second rinse and the benefits are well worth it!
Use Rosemary – This common household herb is good for more than just your potatoes. Crush it up in a mortar and pestle to release the essential oils, and then rub it into your scalp. The oils help facilitate hair growth and strengthen your roots, and it is especially beneficial if your hair tends to become weak and brittle. Alternatively, infuse rosemary into an oil and use it as you would coconut oil above.
Have hot and cold showers – While the idea of having a cold shower in the dead of winter may not sound that appealing, it can do wonders for both your skin and your hair. Next time you are in the shower, after you get all warmed up, switch the water to cold and stand in it for 10-15 seconds, being sure to run the cold water through your hair and over your head as well. Turn the water back to hot and then repeat this again before finishing your shower with a cold water rinse of your hair. The alternating temperatures cause vasodilation and constriction of your blood vessels, which in turn improves blood flow and improves your skin and scalp.
Eliminate products that are full of chemicals – If you do nothing else, get rid of your commercial, mass produced shampoos that are full of parabens and harmful chemicals. Just like it is not good to injest these into our body, it’s not good to rub them all over our skin and through our hair. Choose a natural, organic shampoo made with products such as rosemary, ginger or coconut and use it a couple of times a week (see 1 above).
Don’t dry it in a towel – Yes that’s right, stop drying your hair in a towel, and use a smooth cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel instead. Towels are fuzzy, and the last thing we want is fuzzy, frizzy looking hair. Towels encourage extra frizziness in your hair (especially for us that are curly haired!), while using a smooth t-shirt helps it lay and dry flat and fizz-free!