Hair Care in Winter

Shahnaz Husain
During winter, when the weather is cold and dry, the hair really suffers. This is the time of year when we like to sit outside and enjoy the warm sunshine. We use hot water for bathing and washing the hair. These things can actually dry out the hair. For one thing, the hair and scalp lose moisture to the atmosphere, due to lack of humidity. Both sun-exposure and hot water also cause dryness. The hair becomes dry and difficult to manage.
The hair needs external nourishment. This is more so in winter, when the weather becomes dry and robs the hair of moisture and oils. The application of oils provides nourishment to the hair and softens hair texture. If you apply oil with a light massage, it also helps to stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles. Massage the scalp gently with oil, using only the finger tips and move the scalp in small circular movements. After washing the hair, avoid rubbing with your towel. Instead, wrap it around the head and allow it to absorb excess water. Avoid ironing the hair if it is dry and brittle. If you use a hair dryer, hold it at least 10 inches away. Stop using the hair dryer before the hair is totally dry and allow it to dry naturally.
Dandruff is quite common in winter, due to dryness and flakiness of the scalp. Hot oil therapy is very useful for dandruff and split ends. Once or twice a week, heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair and scalp. Apply on ends too. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep it on for 5 minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap 3 or 4 times. Leave the oil on overnight. For dandruff, next morning, apply the juice of a lemon on the scalp and wash your hair after 20 minutes. Avoid using very hot water for washing the hair. After shampoo, add two tablespoons vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse.
Regular conditioning is extremely important. Hair conditioners and hair serums help to soften the hair and improve its look and texture. They also coat the hair and help to protect it. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner, taking less quantity and massaging it lightly into the hair. Apply on the ends too. Leave it on for two minutes and rinse off with plain water. Do not rinse off all the conditioner if the hair is very dry. You can also apply a “leave-on” type of conditioner or hair serum. Apply it the same way, but do not rinse off. Specialized shampoos are also available and so in Hair Cream with SPF (sunscreen), to protect the hair from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Home Remedies for Hair Care:
To nourish dry hair: Beat an egg with a cup of milk. Rub the mixture into the scalp and leave it for five minutes. Afterwards just rinse it with water. Do this twice a week.
For split ends and dry, brittle hair: Take one tablespoons sesame seed (til) oil, one teaspoon pure glycerin and one egg yolk. Mix together and apply on the hair. Apply on ends too. For longer hair, take more oil. Wearing a plastic shower cap will help. Wash your hair after half an hour.
To improve hair texture and colour: Mix one teaspoon castor oil with one tablespoon pure coconut oil. Heat and apply on the hair and scalp. Leave on overnight. Castor oil helps to darken hair which has become brown due to sun-damage and other reasons.
Mix some water with creamy hair conditioner and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the hair. Then comb the hair, so that it spreads through the hair.
If you use a hair dryer, hold it at least 10 inches away. Stop using the hair dryer before the hair is totally dry and allow it to dry naturally.
Once or twice a week, apply curd or egg. Leave it on for half an hour, before washing the hair.
When sitting out in the sun, cover the head.