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Through much trial and error though, I have learned several tips to help us get through such a predicament, and I am more than excited to share them with you. No longer do we have to pull out the hat of shame to hide our self-made snowflakes!
A couple of things we need to keep in mind is that all hair is unique hair. This is a fact many of us are quite familiar with, however, not all products (or, more specifically, the companies that produce them) will stay true to this fact.
Chemicals To Avoid
How often do you see the caption “For All Hair Types!” on your favorite shampoo or conditioner? While the claim may not legally be very deceptive, it’s not exactly truthful either. At the end of the day, if we’re not careful, we may find ourselves purchasing a product that not only won’t be used to its full potential, but the chemicals within may disagree with the genetic makeup of our natural locks, which can lead to further damage!
Not sure what chemicals you should be looking out for? Well, worry not! Listed below are a few key ingredients you should stay far, far away from if you wish to maintain healthy, happy, and of course, moisturized hair:
Sulfates: Also known as sodium lauryl sulfate, it’s the main culprit behind our flakey disasters! While mainly used for foaming and cleanliness, it not only strips us of the dead skin and dirt on our scalp, but it strips us of our natural oils as well!
Parabens: Parabens are used to help preserve your products; however, they have also been discovered to cause not just irritation and dryness, but also fading color and hair loss.
Parabens can cause irritation and dryness, as well as fading color and hair loss.
Alcohol: Ironically enough, alcohol in hair products will help retain moisture for your hair… temporarily. During the drying process, the more sensitive strands of your hair will thin and weaken, leaving your scalp all the more vulnerable to the harshness of our seasonal, winter chill. The higher ‘alcohol’ appears on your list of ingredients, the greater the quantity used to create that specific product.
Silicon: Often found in shampoos, conditioners, and other styling products, silicone gives us the shine in our hair for that smooth, clean look. Unfortunately, it’s also the main source of clogged pores, which causes build-up in our scalp and inevitably dandruff followed by irritation.
We always need to be mindful of what comes in our hair products. Using these chemicals won’t necessarily cause damage in one use, but if consistently applied, they can and will definitely cause problems in the long run.
Please keep in mind that even if you know someone with a similar hair type who uses a product that works well for them, it may not work the same way for you, regardless of the similarities. At the end of the day, you are two separate people, so while you can take their advice to heart, don’t be discouraged if the results aren’t positive.
Natural Solutions to Dryness
Feeling a little intimidated by not knowing what’s in your products? Or perhaps you’re on a tight budget that doesn’t allow you to spend so frivolously on your favorite hair care lines? No problem! There are natural ways to tame a dry scalp and not just for the winter weather, but for all year round!
One of the many ways to do so is to stay hydrated! Oddly enough, a nice and refreshing glass of water seems to be the solution to a lot of our everyday problems! Unfortunately, it’s also a solution that a lot of us tend to take for granted, so make sure to keep this tip in mind the next time you find yourself constantly scratching at your head.
Being mindful of how often we wash our hair can also help prevent further irritation and dryness for our scalp. Understandably, some of you may need to do so routinely to prevent oiliness. If so, dry your hair naturally and gradually without a dryer. For the winter, however, use a diffuser on a low heat setting (this can also prevent frizz!).
Air dry your hair or use a diffuser on a low heat setting to prevent frizziness.
These are simple solutions we can gradually incorporate into the routines of our everyday lives, and while these tactics may not give a dramatic resolve to our seasonal dryness, it’s certainly a step forward to maintaining a healthier, happier looking scalp!
Products To Help Add and Retain Moisture for Your Scalp
While natural solutions to dryness are a great help to our overall health, sometimes we need to take the extra steps to make sure we maintain our moisture. Listed below are some very useful products that can certainly help out with that:
Hair masks are your best friend when it comes to maintaining moisture and adding definition. Keep an eye out for masks that include avocado, honey, coconut, or aloe vera especially. Some brands I personally recommend are Moroccan Oil, OUAI, and Amika. For those with a more sensitive scalp, Briogeo and Shea Moisture work well.
If you’re unfamiliar with hair masks altogether, and you don’t exactly know what you’re looking for, Briogeo’s Avocado Mask is an excellent place to start due to its all-natural ingredients that include superfoods such as kiwi and avocado (of course), along with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (plant foods).
A little goes a long way! After you finish washing your hair and adding the creams necessary, dab a little oil into your scalp to not only add moisture, but also to prevent and/or repair damage. Oils that contain vitamin E, almond oil, and hyaluronic acid will work best, even for the most sensitive of scalps.
While there is a variety to choose from, the best ones tend to contain very simplistic and natural-based ingredients. I recommend Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil due to its lightweight formula and easy application.
While convenient, fingernails are not exactly ideal when it comes to shampooing our scalp, even if it does take out all the dirt and dead skin. Without realizing it, we can accidentally scratch too deep, causing damage and further irritation unintentionally. Not to mention the fact that we are weakening our nails in the process, and there’s nothing worse than ruining a fresh manicure!
Scalp brushes are made to be gentle, yet effective when it comes to removing unwanted buildup. They are also useful for light massaging, which can enhance blood circulation, strengthening your hair follicles and discouraging breakage.
Silk Pillowcases and Hair Wraps
Pillowcases are a magnet for our natural oils, robbing us of what little hydration we have! Silk pillowcases, however, repel moisture, making it that much more effective when it comes to retaining our moisture.
Satin hair wraps are also a great idea to use before bed, as they have a similar effect to silk pillowcases, while also protecting our unique hairstyles, especially when it comes to keeping our curls bouncy and defined!
Cold weather brings crisp cool air! Now that the heating system is once again bringing warmth into our home this season, it’s almost unavoidable to ignore the dryness that comes along with it – a dryness that will completely ravage your vulnerable scalp if not careful. Thankfully, a little humidity can solve this!
A humidifier fills the air with a cool mist of water, ridding any dryness that permeates the atmosphere of your environment. You can also consider this device to be an addition to whatever treatment you’re currently putting your hair through, as it may not be as effective enough on its own, depending on the severity of your irritation.
Having a dry scalp is never fun, but with some extra attention and care, you can enjoy this Christmas season without worrying about your dandruff decorating the shoulders of your favorite holiday sweater. Get prepared this winter and be proactive – your scalp will thank you!
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