How to Grow & Care for Long Hair
How to Look After Your Hair in Winter
Winter is one of the most damaging times for your hair. Chilly days outside and central heating indoors can dry your hair out until it loses shine, volume and feels limp and brittle. However, by looking after it in the right ways, you can prevent that winter weakness.
Treating Your Hair in the Shower
Wash your hair less often.Use shampoo only a couple times per week.Leave your hair’s natural oils intact for better health. Only lather the shampoo a little bit. If your scalp tends to be very oily and needs more frequent washes, focus on your scalp and roots and leave the rest alone. Avoid over-rinsing, which will further remove your hair’s natural oils.
- Use a mild shampoo that has no alcohol. Also avoid products made of silicone or its derivatives, which can be identified by the suffix “-cone” on the list of ingredients.These chemicals will create drier hair.
- Also be wary of shampoos containing sulfate, which will leave your hair lusterless.
Always use conditioner.Invest in more intensive formulas for the winter months.Before you wet your hair, work in a pre-wash conditioner. Then condition your hair again after every shampoo with a leave-in formula to replenish moisture.
- If your hair tends to dry out very quickly in general, condition it in between shampoos as well.
Refrain from using hot water.Although a hot shower in cold weather might feel like heaven, be aware that it’s hell for your hair. Before you dunk your head under the stream to treat it, lower the temperature to lukewarm. When it’s time to rinse, lower it again until it’s cool to cold. Use the cold water to seal your hair’s cuticles and prevent its oils from escaping.
Nurturing Your Hair
Moisturize your hair overnight.Before you go to sleep, spray your hair with a light mist of vitamin E oil. Use a wide-tooth comb to comb it through your hair. Restore your hair’s moisture while you sleep.
Deep-condition your hair.In addition to the conditioner that you use in the shower, give your hair a deep treatment once a week. Use a product with plenty of antioxidants. To avoid chemicals and/or save money, use the following homemade recipe:
- Mix 1 egg yolk with 5 tablespoons of coconut oil, then add one half of an avocado, mash, and stir until the mixture’s even.
- Work the mixture into your scalp, let it rest for 20 minutes, and rinse with cold water.
Brush your hair gently.Avoid over-brushing or brushing too hard, since your hair is drier, brittle, and more easily pulled out or otherwise damaged. Use a wide-tooth brush or comb. Run it through your hair gently. Do so twice a day to get rid of any tangles, but otherwise refrain from brushing too frequently.
- Use a brush that has natural bristles, like boar-bristles, instead of plastic or metals, which will cause more trauma to your cuticles and increase the chance of static electricity.
- Lubricate your comb or brush with a little olive oil for smoother combing.
Have your hair trimmed regularly.Prevent dry ends from traveling upward by removing them on a timely basis. To maintain your current hair-length, remove half an inch each month during the winter to get rid of dead ends. If you’re trying to grow your hair out, do so every two months.
Improve your diet.Keep your hair hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of fluids on a daily basis. Include healthy fats in your diet to help thicken your hair. Balance your diet between lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables that are rich in zinc and vitamin A. Great sources include:
- Fats: olive oil; nuts; seeds; avocados.
- Zinc: pork; fish; turkey; soybeans.
- Vitamin A: apples; mangoes; bananas.
Apply direct heat rarely.Since your hair already has trouble holding onto its moisture, refrain from using blow-dryers, curling irons, and the like. Allow your hair to air-dry, or gently massage it with a towel to quicken the process. If you must use a hair-dryer, hold it at least a foot away from your hair to decrease the chance of it drying out the base of your cuticles.
Keep your hair up.Whether you have short hair or long hair, style it in an up-do. Minimize its exposure to the dry winter air.Keep it close to the source of your own natural oils while trapping the moisture in.Or just go for a tomboy-look this winter and cut it really short.
- Long hair: twisted chignon; ballerina bun; French-braided chignon; French-twist chignon.
- Medium-length hair: sleek low bun; low-braided knot; low, textured bun; simple chignon.
- Curly and/or coarse hair: weaves; box braids; faux locs; crochet braids.
Helping Your Hair by Wearing the Right Clothes
Cover your hair with a scarf.Protect its moisture from the dry air. Wrap it up in a scarf before heading outdoors. Use one that is made of silk, since other materials like cotton or wool will increase the buildup of static electricity,which can make your hair stick out in odd places, cling to your face when you don't want it to, and generally misbehave.
Wear a hat.If a scarf alone isn't enough to keep your head warm or your hair protected from snow, ice, or rain, add a hat. Wrap a silk scarf around your hair first to reduce the chance of static electricity. Then don a hat on top of that.If you don’t have a silk scarf, opt for a hat made of cotton instead of wool or acrylics, since cotton’s less conducive to static electricity.
Say no to turtlenecks.If you have long hair, refrain from wearing turtlenecks, which may help your hair knot up in back. Avoid the need to brush your hair more than you really have to. Because the cold air and low humidity of winter dries out your hair, over-brushing can damage your brittle hair, so preempt the need by ditching the turtleneck.
Use fabric softener.When you’re washing your clothes, make sure you use this to reduce the chance of static electricity building up in your hair. Be sure to use it when washing hats as well any clothes that you’ll be pulling over your head.Definitely use it if those clothes are made of wool or acrylics.
QuestionWhat happens if I'm not allowed to use conditioner when I'm washing my hair in the winter?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf shampoo isn't enough, coconut oil will make your hair as shiny as it would be with conditioner. Just pour a little bit into your palm and massage it onto your head.Thanks!
QuestionMy hair isn't growing like it used to! What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFollow the steps here, condition often, avoid harsh chemicals and eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.Thanks!
QuestionWhich shampoo is good for dry hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerHead and Shoulders is a good shampoo for dry hair; it also removes dandruff.Thanks!
QuestionWhat can I use to make my hair soft and breakage-free?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou could try almond oil. It softens and gives nutrients to your hair.Thanks!
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