Winter weather can be just as harsh for your hair as a hot, dry summer. The winter air combined with central heating indoors can also be dry and this leaves your hair vulnerable to frizz, tangling and breakage. The reason for this is the reduction in the amount of sebum produced by your body at this time of the year. Sebum is oil secreted from the scalp. This natural substance helps to moisturize your scalp and hair preventing excessive drying and flaking.
Synthetic shampoos and conditioners often contain harsh chemicals and soaps which can strip out any natural oils and only serve to dry your hair even more. Often, the serums and man-made oils designed to make your hair smooth and shiny only serve to leave it lank, sticky and full of heavy residue.
A very important part of your winter hair care regime should be regular oil massages. Use olive or almond oil; these are natural, healthy oils which will enrich your scalp and hair with fatty acids and vitamins. The nutrient-rich oils penetrate the hair shafts and scalp leaving you with smooth, shiny hair and helping to alleviate any skin dryness. Another good oil to use is Jojoba which is easily absorbed so you only need to add a few drops to your hair oil.
Warm your chosen preparation of hair oil and massage it thoroughly into your scalp and hair from the roots to the ends. Now cover your hair using a shower cap or warm towel. This traps the heat which in turn encourages the scalp and hair to absorb more oil.
Shampooing your hair not only removes dirt but also strips it of any natural oils. If you shampoo too often during the winter months you risk drying your hair excessively. Choose a winter-specific shampoo and use it less frequently than you usually do. Check the ingredients on the shampoo bottle and avoid any that contain; sodium lauryl sulphate or sodium myreth sulphate, which are very strong soaps.
You can make your own shampoo by using soap nuts. Soap nuts are made from natural surfactants which cleanse your hair without causing damage.
It’s very important to condition your hair all year round but especially so in the winter. Look for a conditioner that contains essential fatty acids which are also natural oils like sebum. These fatty acids will be shown as EFAs on most labels. Choose a conditioner containing cetyl or stearyl alcohols too as these are good for preventing excessive drying.
You can make your own moisturising mask by blending half an avocado, 5 drops of wheat germ essential oil, 2 drops of vitamin E oil and half a cup of water. Apply the mask to your hair and allow it to soak in for just five minutes before rinsing it off. Wheat germ oil is packed with vitamins and vitamin E is vital for healthy hair while avocado is rich in EFAs. Regular use of this home-made conditioner should leave you with shiny, healthy supple hair.