“I do not want soft, shiny, healthy hair,” said no one ever. After the intense rays of the summer sun and before the dry, chilly winter months, you need to give your tresses some tender loving care. Here are some pointers to keep your mane on point during the transition of the seasons and temperature levels.
We all enjoy summer. Getting out in the sun, cooking out, going to the beach and the pool. Your hair -- not so much. With prolonged exposure, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can damage the outer layer of your hair (cuticle). When your hair starts to feel dry, brittle, looks discolored, frizzy, and has split ends, you have sun-damaged hair. All of these conditions prevent your hair from holding a style.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, winter is not your hair’s friend either. Old man winter dries your hair and scalp causing them to become brittle, itchy, and flaky. To top it off (no pun intended), you can increase the damage by wearing tight fitting wool hats and scarves to keep warm.
Hair Care Dos
- Use chemical-free moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. Do not shampoo too often. This causes natural oil and moisture loss.
- Deep condition your hair every two weeks with a hair mask specific to your hair’s needs.
- Use natural oils and butters like jojoba, coconut, olive and argan oil, and shea butter. They smooth the cuticle, add shine, and seal in moisture. Massage a small amount on your hair and scalp.
- Reduce heat appliances to your hair. Blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons and rollers damage your hair’s keratin (protein). Use a cool setting, if you have to use these tools. Also try protective styles for your hair like buns and braids.
- Sleep on silk. That’s right. A silk pillowcase does not absorb your hair’s natural oils. Cotton, on the other hand, is your foe. It loves to absorb your natural oils robbing your hair of moisture.
- Eat healthy. Choose excellent sources of protein like chicken, turkey, fish (wild caught salmon), dairy, and eggs. Eat iron-rich foods like lentils, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and salad greens. Make sure to get your vitamins A, C, E, and biotin. You can get these nutrients from fruits, nuts, eggs, and whole grains.
The key is developing a consistent regimen. Make it specific for your hair needs. You might have to try a few products until you find what’s right for you. When you’ve established your routine, you will maintain or achieve soft, shiny, healthy hair. And never, ever give up on your hair.