How to protect your hair in cold weather
With cooler weather approaching we are headed right into dry skin and hair season. Here are 14 tips given from Harvard Medical School (and 1 from me) on how to keep hair and skin moisturized. Keep in mind, hair, skin, and nails are all made of the same, keratin. You would care for your hair the same way you would care for your skin.
- Use a humidifier in the winter. Set it to around 60%, a level that should be sufficient to replenish the top layer of the epidermis.
- Limit yourself to one 5- to 10-minute bath or shower daily. If you bathe more than that, you may strip away much of the skin’s oily layer and cause it to lose moisture.
- Use lukewarm water rather than hot water, which can wash away natural oils.
- Minimize your use of soaps; if necessary, choose moisturizing preparations such as Dove, Olay, and Basis, or consider soap-free cleansers like Cetaphil, Oilatum-AD, and Aquanil.
- Steer clear of deodorant soaps, perfumed soaps, and alcohol products, which can strip away natural oils.
- Bath oils can be helpful, but use them with caution: they can make the tub slippery.
- To reduce the risk of trauma to the skin, avoid bath sponges, scrub brushes, and washcloths. If you don’t want to give them up altogether, be sure to use a light touch. For the same reason, pat or blot (don’t rub) the skin when toweling dry.
- Apply moisturizer immediately after bathing or after washing your hands. This helps plug the spaces between your skin cells and seal in moisture while your skin is still damp.
- To reduce the greasy feel of petroleum jelly and thick creams, rub a small amount in your hands, and then rub it over the affected areas until neither your hands nor the affected areas feel greasy.
- Never, ever scratch. Most of the time, a moisturizer can control the itch. You can also use a cold pack or compress to relieve itchy spots.
- Use sunscreen in the winter as well as the summer to prevent photoaging.
- When shaving, use a shaving cream or gel and leave it on your skin for several minutes before starting.
- Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners.
- Avoid wearing wool and other fabrics that can irritate the skin.
Hydration starts on the inside and is complimented on the outside.
As much as I would love to tell you a great conditioner will keep your hair moisturized in the winter, the truth is, it’s starts with what you’re putting in your body. Although a hydrating conditioner will absolutely offer great benefit to your locks…if you are not hydrating your body from the inside…it ends up being a futile effort. Drink tons of water AND use a hydrating conditioner.