Hair care in winter – know the science behind it
Come winter and Kareena Kapoor and other celebs will fill your television screens offering shampoos that moisturise your scalp, prevent hairfall and do away with dandruff all in one wash. Women will run from pillar to post buying expensive tonics, lotions and serums to manage their dry, falling hair. Salons will push hair spas and other expensive products and therapies all designed to counter hair loss and make hair smooth and shiny.
Yes, in the winter season, hair will fall and will be dry. The salons and lotions might make it manageable but that’s only temporary. If you want your locks to be frizz free, smooth and shiny, keep in mind that there are steps you must take to ensure this. External application of lotions and shampoos isn’t the only way to maintain hair- especially in winter.
Winter or summer, nutrition is necessary for good hair. Hair is an indication of your bodily health. If you don’t follow a proper diet it shows. Thus, the first step to adding shine to lacklustre hair is to follow a diet that is rich in omega3 fatty acids – which cannot be made by your body- protein and iron and zinc. Make sure your diet includes plenty of fish, nuts, eggs, lentils and lean protein like chicken – so that your diet has a balance of all the necessary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Iron is especially important as it helps carry oxygen to the hair follicles and as anaemia is a problem many women suffer from, they also battle hair loss and dry hair. Vitamin A is an important vitamin for hair care so make sure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which contain beta carotene which your body can turn into Vitamin A. All fruits and vegetables which are red or orange in colour contain beta carotene as well as green leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage. Vitamin A helps to produce oils that keep your scalp naturally moisturised. Winter is the season for fruits like blood oranges, pomegranate, tangerines and cranberries which are rich in vitamins and high in antioxidants and brilliant for hair.
Drink a lot of water:
Winter months mean an increase in coffee and tea consumption. After all, a hot cuppa is quite tempting in the chilly days. However, it is advisable to switch some of those cups for water. These beverages can cause dehydration which in turn makes your hair and scalp dry. Not drinking enough water is sometimes the root cause behind dry and brittle hair, say hair experts and advocate drinking at least the recommend eight glasses a day to keep your mane looking healthy. Drinking water in winter is something many of us forget to do but make sure you make this a habit.
Don’t go on a crash diet:
Even if you want to look good in your stylish winter-wear, don’t stop eating to lose weight. You might lose the weight but there is a high chance you will lose your hair too. Hair needs several nutrients to sustain its lustre and crash diets which restrict the intake of a number of food groups are a complete adversary to beautiful hair. Hair has three stages, the growing stage, resting stage and shedding stage. This cyclical stage is affected at the very beginning if hair does not get enough nutrients at the growing stage and the growth will be slow. In the resting stage, nutritional deficiencies will prevent new hair from forming and existing hair will become weaker. In the shedding stage there will be no new hair to take the place of the hair that sheds. The vicious cycle is such that since there is poor nutrition at the growing stage, hair will not grow back or take very long to do so.
Don’t overdo the oil:
Winter invariably means a dry scalp and another cycle women get sucked into is the oiling and shampooing one. Hair doesn’t need a bottle of oil just because it is winter and the chemical shampoos will only make your hair drier because you will need a lot of it to wash the oil out.Use very little oil - just enough to moisturise. Coconut and tea tree oil are good choices to moisturise the scalp and stimulate hair growth. Tea tree oil is said to stimulate hair follicles which in turn helps generate hair cells. Try making a blend of olive, rosemary, tea tree and jojoba oils for your hair. Rub this blend onto your palms, rinse them out and rub the remaining oil into your scalp massaging it in slow and circular motions. Then use a little shampoo mixed with water to rinse out the oil. Also, even though a hot water bath is a necessity, don’t use boiling hot water as that will also dry out hair and scalp. Use lukewarm water to rinse out your hair. Don’t use a hot blow drier on your hair either for the same reason. Let it dry naturally.
Wear a headdress:
The fluctuating temperature as you go in and out of your car or home will have an effect on your hair. Cover it with a light scarf or a bandanna – make it a fashion statement in winter! This will keep it slightly warm and also protect it from pollution. However, ensure you don’t wear tight woollen caps or tie your hair back tightly as this will cause kinks in the hair which will later cause breakage.
Take these steps along with the dandruff shampoos, serums and conditioners and see your hair retain its lustre, even in winter!