Taking care of your hair

In the Northern Hemisphere it is summer; however, in the Southern Hemisphere we are still in the grips of winter.  Taking care of your hair and skin during the dryer and/or colder months of the year, is quite different to warm, summer days.

Our hair can often become dryer during this time of year; especially if we make use of hairdryers more often than usual.  A good hair mask is a great way to nourish the hair, as well as looking out for a good quality shampoo and conditioner (ask your hairdresser what is the best option for your hair).

Another tip is to look out for products that have something like Argan oil, avocado, or shea butter in.  Using products with added ingredients that will feed, nourish and protect our hair, is always a good choice during these months. 

Home remedies like an avocado mask, egg mask, essential oils, tea, and others, are cheap, natural ways to take care of your hair – whether during the winter months or those warm summer months.  I am going to look at 3 different ways to take care of your hair at home.

An avocado- and egg mask.  According to Stephen Sanna, expert colourist at the Pierre Michel Salon in New York City, using mashed avocado, mixed with an egg, will help to restore your hair’s lustre; as avocados are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals and the egg will helps to restore the protein in your hair.

Rinsing your hair with freshly brewed, unsweetened tea, will give dry hair a natural shine.  Use a ¼ cup of tea as a final rinse after your regular shampoo.  It not only gives the hair a natural shine, but will also enhance your hair colour.  Chamomile tea is best for blondes and black tea for brunettes.

Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful thing to use as well.  Especially during the summer months when you are at the beach or swimming a lot.  Using ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, mixed with ¾ cup of water, will help to get rid of the chemicals and saltiness of the water.  Afterwards you apply your conditioner as normal, and your hair will stay shiny and soft. 

This can also be used during winter, when we blow-dry our hair more often and/or colour our hair.  Apple cider vinegar is also a good way to rid your hair of excess conditioner. 

Whether it is wintertime or summertime; it is always a good idea to “let your hair down” and not to wear it up all the time.  Not only does it damage the hair follicles, but it can also aid in baldness!  According to my hairdresser, wearing your long hair up all day, every day, literally pulls the hair away from the forehead!

If you live in a climate where the air is dry you can use a humidifier.  It is also a good idea to put out a plate / bowl of water if you are in a space with the heater on all the time.  When the air is dry it will not only dry out the skin, but also your eyes and lips.

Other things to remember is nutrition – what you put into your body is just as important, if not more so, than what you put on!  Taking your Omega-oils, drinking enough water (especially when it is cold and/or dry) and eating fresh vegetables and fruits, are all role-players in giving our hair and skin a healthy look.

There is an old folk’s tale that says one should brush your hair 100 strokes each day!  Not only is it great for the scalp but it will also give your hair a shine.  Brushing is not only a natural thing to do, but also a way of distributing the hair’s natural oils and massaging your scalp.  A lovely way to relax and, again, to “oil” your hair with its own oil, is a head massage. 

Many hairdressers believe that it is not good to wash your hair every single day, as you can easily deplete the hair and hair follicles of the natural oils (necessary to feed and keep the hair healthy and nourished).  It is tricky when you are outdoors, for example, or if you exercise and/or sweat.  A light wash (with or without using shampoo or conditioner), can do the trick.  Best to try to have a couple of days in-between washes!

Two other things to remember is not to brush your hair when it is wet; unless you use a comb with big teeth. Best to wrap your wet hair in a towel and towel-dry the excess water / wetness first. Also make sure you use the correct brushes and/or combs. Also try to brush your hair from the scalp towards the roots – this is another tip to distribute the hair’s natural oils.

A last tip is to treat split ends either with a cut, or with some oil or butter!  Yes, you read it – butter!  According to a Reader’s Digest article, using a small amount of butter on the ends can help to protect it and keep it from splitting!

Our head, it is said, is our crown (as it were) …So whether it is wintertime or summertime where you live, remember to nourish and protect your hair as much as you would nourish and protect the rest of your body against the elements.

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