Winter is full of many wonderments. For me, warming up with spicy home-made mulled wine, singing Christmas Carols and binge watching box-sets with my family make this season utterly delightful. That said, it can be across the board a horrific time for hair. To help arm you with the tools to achieve merry and bright hair days this season, here are my tips for beating two of the most common winter hair blues.
Fighting the FRIZZ
The weather outside is frightful
And the fire is so delightful…
But going from wet wintery weather into cosy heated interiors can wreak havoc on your hairstyle. And here’s why:
Your hair contains weak bonds (called hydrogen bonds) that are broken by water and re-set upon drying. The pliable nature of these bonds is the reason why you can style your hair from wet into pretty much any style you want with the use of heated styling tools. I.e. poker straight strands, defined curls or loose waves. However, these bonds aren’t only broken when you want them to be, or when you saturate your hair with water (i.e. when you shampoo) – they are also affected when water content in the atmosphere changes. For instance, when you step from the snowy, rainy outdoors into a heated room – and back out again.
The trick to ridding yourself of frizz is to use a product that creates a lightweight barrier between your hair and the air surrounding it. I love our Finishing Touch Polishing Serum. It has saved my hair from many blustery days in New York mid-winter. A little goes a long way – so if you have fine hair like me, use sparingly. You should also re-apply your product of choice throughout the day. Like make-up, hair products sometimes need a bit of refreshing.
Deck the halls, but not with Dandruff
There is absolutely no doubt that dandruff is more common in the colder months. We see it in our Clinics, and it’s also reflected in our sales channels. Our Flaky/Itchy Scalp Shampoo and Toner are our top selling hero winter products.
One reason for this is a spike in stress. Yes, the holiday season is great in many ways, but it can be a wee bit anxiety provoking what with concentrated family time, the pressure of finding the perfect gifts for your loved-ones, entertaining little ones – all on top of a hectic social schedule. You may have a long list of parties to attend, and the pressure of finding the perfect outfits to wear and wanting your hair and skin to look flawless can get a bit much. Stress hormones (aka cortisol) are horrible for your scalp. They can increase your scalp’s oil production, as well as cause inflammation, itching and irritation.
My first suggestion when tackling dandruff is to manage your stress levels as well as you can. Try setting aside some ‘me time’ every day if you can. Even 5-10 minutes of listening to a mindfulness exercise can be helpful. Or going for a lovely winter walk, focusing on the sound of your feet crunching over the frozen grass. Bliss.
The foods we tend to indulge in during winter are also not very scalp friendly. Dandruff is commonly worsened by full fat dairy products (like cream, custard and gooey cheese), as well as champagne and very sugary foods. But don’t call me Ebhairneezer Scrooge just yet. I’m not going to suggest you completely cut out your favourite treats; the holiday season wouldn’t be quite as fun without some indulgence. Try opting for lighter cheeses, and red wine instead of champagne. Keep our Flaky/Itchy Shampoo and Flaky/Itchy Scalp Toner handy in your bathroom for when itching strikes.