In last week's blog, we tackled natural ways that you can beat dry skin and chapped lips during the winter months. This week we address dry hair and how you can maintain glossy locks even during the winter.
Hair can become dry, brittle and frizzy for many reasons. We have to remember that unlike the issue of dry skin and chapped lips, dry hair is a completely different ball game. It is a non-living material that is made up of an outer layer protecting the inner hair shaft. It is the outer layer of our hair, this outer ‘coating’ so to speak, that loses its gloss and moisture resulting in dry, brittle and lackluster hair. The strains of modern life; heat styling, hair dye, extreme weather, pollution (this list can go on and on!) eventually weakens our hair leaving it dull, brittle and frayed at the edges.
So what can we do to keep our locks glossy, bouncy and mimic that “I’m worth it” advert on t.v? There are a number of ALL NATURAL, inexpensive and very easy steps that we can take at home to keep our tresses tame, read on and you’ll be amazed at how a little know how and perseverance can give you such fantastic results.
As much as it will pain you to hear, you should never wash your hair daily! Think about it, unlike your skin, your hair is ‘dead’ so to speak and constant washing is only going to strip it of much needed natural oils, which in turn will lead to DRY HAIR. I would seriously recommend weaning yourself off the daily hair wash routine. Start by washing every alternate day, then every two days, gradually working from twice a week to (dare I say it!?) once a week! Yes, you’ve read that correctly. If you do wash daily, this will be very difficult to do initially, you may find that your hair gets greasy and so needs that daily wash. But this is only because its been ‘conditioned’ to daily washes so gets greasy quickly. You will find that if you preserver you hair will adjust and not need the frequent washes. Some of the loveliest, thickest hair I’ve seen belongs to people who wash once a week or once every ten days!
Ditch harsh shampoo, there should be no surprise that this one was coming. It’s no secret that a lot of mainstream shampoos are laden with harsh chemicals like sulphates and parabens which will strip those much needed natural oils from you hair. Switch to sulphate free formulas or better still soap nuts. These berries grow in the Himalayas and contain a natural saponin which when soaked in water gently lather and cleanse. It’s a great 100% natural and eco-friendly alternative to shampoo, but does require a lot of work, not ideal when you don’t have much time, and can be difficult to get hold of. Either way, ditching the harsh shampoo, opting for 'free-from' formulas and thoroughly rinsing your hair with warm not hot water will all help to prolong the health and shine of your locks.
Hair Masks & Deep Conditioning
Giving your hair an intense treatment once a week will really help to maintain shine and bounce.
Yes, there are a lot of hair masks and conditioners out there in the market but nothing can beat a homemade all natural alternative. Don’t you agree?
If you’re brave, have the time and don’t mind getting your hands dirty then we’d definitely recommend trying one of these good old fashioned hair treatments, literally passed down to me from my gran!
Yoghurt & Egg Mask – You’ve been warned this is not for the faint hearted but I promise you will leave you with the silkiest, shiniest hair EVER. Mix three to four tablespoons of plain yoghurt with one egg yolk. Beat until combined. Comb your hair and apply the mixture liberally, starting from the roots and working your way down to tips. Saturate you hair with the mixture. Cover your scalp with a shower cap and leave on for 30mins to an hour. Rinse with warm water and then shampoo thoroughly. The egg and yoghurt in this mask is a good source of protein for you hair and really helps to strengthen the shaft from within. Yes, this mask smells odd, is messy and time consuming to apply, but it works wonders for damaged hair. I’m sure you’ll come across many versions of this mask on the internet, but this is a simple, inexpensive recipe that needs only two ingredients, plus it gets extra stars for being passed down to me by my gran!
Avocado Mask - If you can bear the idea of not eating a perfectly ripe avocado, then this mask might be worth a try. Mash a ripe avocado and mix thoroughly with a teaspoon of wheatgerm oil and a teaspoon of jojoba oil. Apply the mixture to freshly washed hair and work it all the way to the ends. Cover your scalp with a shower cap, wait 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
Leave in conditioners are a great overnight treatment and not nearly as messy as the hair masks above. They usually consist of a blend of oils that have been massaged into the scalp and worked into the hair shafts and tips. If you have specific concerns that you’d like to address then a simple online search can give you oils that can help. Just remember that if you opt for an overnight oil treatment, cover your pillow with an old towel to avoid soiling your pillow.
One of our favourite oil combinations for hair treatments is mixing about 10ml of sweet almond oil with 2 drops rosemary essential oil, 1 drop lavender oil and teaspoon of coconut oil. This dreamy mixture smells so lovely, really helps you to nod off to sleep. Both these essential oils stimulate blood circulation so can promote hair growth while the base oils nourish and hydrate.
Try to let your hair air dry whenever possible and avoid excessive heat styling. I know this isn’t great news for the divas out there but think about it. Every time you apply heat to you hair you’re inviting brittleness.
Brush up your technique
Always use a wide tooth comb first to tackle those knots and tangles without breaking your hair. First remove the tangles at the ends and then work your way to the top. This technique minimises pulling and breakage. Once you’ve removed the knots then switch to a brush.
The right supplements
To keep your hair strong and healthy, make sure that you’re taking the right supplements. Damaged hair and even hair loss can be a sign that your body isn't getting the nutrients it needs. B vitamins, Biotin in particular, are important for healthy hair as are omega-3, iron and evening primrose oil. As with our skin, a balanced diet is key to ensuring that our tresses remain our crown of glory! However, in some instances such problems can be due to an underlying health issue, so if you're really concerned, we'd always recommend visiting your GP.
Have you suffered from dry frizzy hair? What natural remedies would you recommend?