8 Essential Tips For Maintaining Strong & Healthy Hair This Winter

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When people think of self-care they don’t necessarily connect it to looking after their hair. But if the cap fits, and the rhyme hits, then surely there’s a link between hair and care, right?

This thing’s more than purely phonetic. And as anyone who has donned a hat to hide a particularly bad hair day will attest, having less than flowing, glowing locks can really knock your self-confidence.

As such, hair care should be an essential part of your TLC routine. Whether it’s repairing your split ends or working to get more hydration into your strands, the appearance of your hair says a lot about your overall health.

In fact, weak and brittle hair can be a sign that you’re not feeding your body enough nutrients or getting sufficient sleep, perhaps revealing rather more about you than you’d like or bargained for. If you’re looking to take positive, forward thinking steps on your new hair care journey, then read on; here are 8 essential tips for maintaining strong, healthy hair this winter.

Avoid Heat

It’s surprising just how many people are out there who don’t realise the avoidable heat damage their hair is enduring. From curling and straightening irons all the way to the heat of your shower water and the rays of the sun – all these sources play a role in the health of your hair. And mostly speaking, that role is detrimental. 

It’s important to find alternatives to styling your hair that don’t involve high heat. If you do have to use heat for whatever reason, investing in some heat protectant spray for your hair will help defend against breakages and drying out. Another easy way to avoid excess heat is by air drying your hair instead of pulling out the blow dryer every night. 

When you’re in the shower, it’s also good practice to cool the temperature a little when it comes time to wash your hair. As for the sun, wearing a hat when you know you’ll be out and under it for an extended period of time can make all the difference! 

Chemical Free Products

Being mindful of what the products you use on your hair are made from can make a huge difference to your hair health. Sadly, there’s some pretty toxic stuff lurking in the nether regions of the ingredients list which could do some damage. Be particularly watchful for sulfates, parabens and formaldehyde; some of our favourite high street paraben and sulphate free conditioners include formulas from Faith in Nature, Neal’s Yard and Aveda.

When it comes to hair care free from chemicals, natural and organic solid shampoo soap bars are growing in popularity, which generally don’t contain harsh surfactants like sulfates and chemicals like parabens, which can damage the hair and strip away naturally moisturising essential oils.

Switching to a hair soap and conditioners which are free of such damaging chemicals can help restore your hair’s natural glow and give you peace of mind about what you’re exposing your body to.

But that’s not all; products free of chemicals usually carry more eco-friendly credentials too, since they contain less non-degradable items. Considering shampoo returns to our drains and waterways, it makes sense to ensure it’s chemical free, right?

Another solution here is to consider hair oils, which are not only great for taming, de-frizzing and nourishing dry ends, but are often 100% organic, too.

Personalised Products

Hair products have come a long way – so long that you’re now able to customise all your hair care products by taking a quick online quiz. Many of the world’s leading hair product companies now offer such questionnaires, working to create a formula that will cater to the specific needs of your hair and your budget. 

Whether or not it’s that you need hydration or that your issue is dealing with split ends, there’s a formula out there for you, with Function of Beauty, Aveda, Bumble and Bumble and TRESemmé all offering this service.

Pay Attention To Your Diet 

They say that ‘you are what you eat’ and this is never truer than when considering your hair. Nope, you won’t suddenly grow spaghetti strands in place of your locks, but rather, your diet can play a major role in your hair health. Vitamin C, found in broccoli, oranges and more, is particularly important, as well as protein and biotin, found in eggs, and omega-3, prevalent in oily fish like salmon and mackerel.

Invest In Hair Masks

Going back to that issue-based specificity we mentioned earlier…the great thing about hair masks that make them perfect for treating hair is that there are a multitude of options available depending on what you’re suffering from. 

Some common functions of hair masks include: 

  • Hydrating Ingredients 
  • Replenishing Ingredients
  • Curl Defining Ingredients
  • Volumising Ingredients 

Applying these hair masks is simple, since they go on much like shampoo or conditioner after the shower and can be rinsed out after the designated time on the package. Be sure to always read the packaging for any potential further instructions. 

Silk Sheets & Wraps

If you’re going for a comprehensive, all encompassing approach, then you could even consider changing your bedsheets to take care of your hair health; more specifically, the material of your bed sheet and pillowcases. 

Sheets that are made of cotton can actually put added stress on your hair by creating friction. Silk is less rough with your hair and your scalp, and could be the change you need. In fact, beauty experts believe that sleeping with your hair tied in a silk scrunchie can help keep your hair in place during the night and reduce your chances of forming any type of tension between the sheets and your hair follicles. 

Investing in a silk wrap or turban can also reduce frizz, damage and breakage caused by friction while you sleep. The Evening Standard recommend The Isla by Silke London, saying that “by completely enveloping the hair in the softest silk, this wrap not only provides a barrier between your head and the pillow, but acts as a natural conditioner by helping prevent excessive breakage and reduce the production of the sebum that makes hair greasy.”

Set A Wash Schedule To Train Your Hair

A common misconception abounds that your hair needs to be washed every single day. However, exposing your hair to the water and chemicals in your shampoo (if it isn’t eco-friendly and natural) can do more harm than good, with your hair becoming over reliant on regular washes if they’re too frequent. 

Instead, we should let our hair produce its natural oils by following a stricter wash schedule, only letting our locks see water every two or three days. This is particularly true if you’re experiencing dry hair. 

Maintain Your Hair Length

In 2020 and 2021, going in for a trim at a salon was largely outlawed. Fortunately, this year has seen hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons open once again, with 46’000 operating in the UK at the end of last year; a 3% rise on the year before, despite the various challenges currently presenting themselves. This has allowed customers to get back on track with having your hair maintained by a professional. 

Having dead ends trimmed will help your new, healthier hair grow without splitting at the ends, and a professional hair stylist can advise you on other ways to maintain your hair health, too.

The Bottom Line

Listen to what your hair needs (it’s pretty close to your ears, after all!) and observe what it might be lacking, and you’ll take back control of your hair care routine. Do so, and you can emerge from the latest lockdown with a spring in your step and a bounce in your bob. Good luck!

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