We have previously summarised hair care tips in cold weather, but festive season means extra heat-styling for that extra oomph you might want to give your hair for the upcoming string of Christmas parties and get togethers with the loved ones. To navigate the field of festivities and healthy hair we prepared 14 insights on how to ensure your hair comes out from this festive season healthy. If we were to sum up the most common result of winter months and festive season in three words, it would be “breakage, dull, brittleness”. While hair growth naturally slows down, you should focus on your scalp health, blood flow as well as caring for your hair strands as well.
1. A word on over-washing.
Winter and changes in temperature can make your hair brittle and susceptible to breakage. Avoid using shampoo more than twice a week and if you find yourself needing a wash in between: do so with warm water and conditioner-only.
2. Avoid heat styling tools.
Coupled with hat-wearing, heat styling disturbs the acid mantle of your hair strands and make your hair cuticles stand up causing them to rub against one another and leaving moisture from its core. Avoiding heat styling as and when possible, and rather opting for air-drying is a good strategy to adopt.
3. Use heat-protectants.
We get it: festive season is the reason to up your hair game – so you might just find yourself using your hair strengthener or curling iron a little more often than usual. Make sure to use shea butter to protect your hair against heat damage and let the hair fully dry before switching on your hair strengtheners to avoid permanent damage known as “bubble hair” where the water in your wet hair heats up and expands forming irreversible bubbles in your strands.
4. Braid more in winter.
When you’re not partying hard flaunting your locks – make sure to wear your hair in a non-tight braid to reduce breakage of your strands from contact against your jumper, scarf or a hat. There is a plenty of elegant braided up-dos for you to choose from. It is usually a good idea to sleep with a loose braid, rather than your hair down – as it will reduce breakage as well.
5. A wooly hat with silk-lining for healthy hair.
Silk lining ensures that the hair doesn’t get disturbed by the wool fibres. Avoid acrylic if you can as it can lead to your static electricity in your hair.
6. Condition with natural oils.
Once or twice a week make sure to treat your strands to some natural oiling. How to? Take our quiz to find out which oil is best for your hair. Warm up the oil in a water bath, apply it from roots to lengths, wear a shower cap and a beanie hat to cover. Leave for at least an hour – overnight is best. Avoid using deep conditioners with silicones for this leave-in treatment.
7. Avoid silicones and use gentle clarifying shampoos if you do.
Silicones are everywhere in hair care. You might avoiding silicones in your daily conditioner as a plague, but silicones are lurking in your hair spray too – as you were trying to fix your hair for the office Christmas party. Make sure to minimise silicone-based hair products and use gentle surfactants to get rid of product build-up them.
8. Focus on your scalp blood flow and roots for hair growth.
Human hair cycle slows down and more hair enter catagen and telogen (resting phases) in winter than in summer. Therefore it is important to support healthy blood flow to scalp to support hair growth during winter months. Consider massaging your scalp twice a week with warm oil, or using The Hair Fuel to support your hair roots.
9. Invest in a silk pillowcase.
Your hair, tired from all its hat-wearing and heat-styling days will thank you. Smooth surface of a silk pillowcase will reduce morning frizz and reduce hair breakage.
10. Wash your hair with warm, not hot, water.
Counterintuitive, right? In cold weather there is nothing better than a nice hot shower. However when washing your hair, hot water dehydrates your strands and dehydration leads to further breakage and damage. Use a warm setting when washing your hair and wear a shower cap when it isn’t your wash day.
11. Use a humidifier in your room.
Central heating makes our skin and hair dry – investing in a humidifier will help in maintaining and retaining the moisture content in your hair helping you come out on the other side of winter with shiny and healthy-looking hair! Adding a few drops of essential oil to it can calm your senses along with your hair cuticles.
12. Eat your vitamins.
It’s easy to opt-on for microwave meals and comfort simple carbs-laden food, but making sure that your intake of nutrients doesn’t suffer is paramount both: to your hair in longer term and well-being. If you were to take just one vitamin this winter, let it be vitamin C – a building block in collagen. Unfortunately, skipping your nutrients may catch up with you months after you’ve experienced a dip in your vitamin intake. So, if you don’t want to run a risk of weak, brittle and dry hair by the time warm weather makes you take off your hat – don’t skip your dailies.
Stress relating to finishing last bits of work before holidays, or post-holiday blues – can lead to visible hair loss, known as telogen effluvium. In between shopping for Christmas gifts for loved ones and being a winner at work – it is important not to forget about yourself. Have a short meditation break. Journal your thoughts if feeling overwhelmed. Your hair will thank you for that.
What exercise has to do with hair? In fact, a lot. Not only exercise helps with our body-wide nutrient delivery-system: cardiovascular system, but it also lowers stress-related hormones: cortisol and adrenaline. Further up, with shorter sunlight hours make sure to take yourself on a walk at lunchtime – to soak in the daylight and elevate your moods. On the weekend, treat yourself to a run in the park. And bad weather isn’t an excuse: wear a hat and waterproofs!
Curious about best winter care tips for season 2020-21? Check out our latest article here!
Human Hair Cycle: The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, (1)