Sweater weather is here! Winters may be your favourite season but excessive exposure to pollution, dust and dirt known as particulate matter (PM) can cause scalp irritation and wreak havoc for your hair.
Research has shown that people can experience increased hair shedding in winter months compared to summer season due to dry weather and pollution. With the festive season still on with Christmas and New Year knocking at the door, the air pollution and extremely cold conditions seem to be peaking as well.
The air pollution, sun exposure, dust, cold winds all contribute towards reducing levels of key proteins like cyclin D1, cyclin E and CDK2, responsible for hair growth and hair retention in the human scalp.
People regularly exposed to pollutants in their day-to-day lives during winters face the problem of hair fall, dandruff and frizz. If you are already facing this issue, pollution and cold wave can worsen your problems, especially if you’re living in urban areas and hilly regions.
The scalp skin is more delicate having a higher number of sebaceous glands, sweat glands, and hair follicles.The pollutants enter the skin barrier and produce free radicals which further aggravate your scalp leading to inflammation, dehydration and ageing.. This makes scalp care essential. Beautiful hair does begin with a healthy scalp.
Herbal care is one of the foolproof methods to protect hairs natural texture and sheen
Brush with care If it seems like all of a sudden there’s way more hair stuck in your brush, cold conditions may be to blame:
Smoky, polluted air, dry climatic conditions can cause hair quality to deteriorate, making it brittle and more susceptible to breakage and split ends . Be extra gentle when styling and always start combing from the ends of your hair, up.Gentle brushing removes old hair, dead skin cells and other chemical products. Brushing also increase the blood circulation. Use the nozzle on hair dryers to minimize heat exposure and keep irons less than 400 degrees for fine hair and 410 for thick hair.
Adjust your styling routine: Hair that has been exposed to excessive amounts of air pollution becomes damaged, feeling brittle and making breakage and split ends more likely. Keep this in mind when using heat from a straighter, curling iron or hair dryer. Minimize the amount of heat you use and always use a heat protecting product .If you have long hair, it’s better to avoid opening them while you are going out as it will expose all hair with pollutants. Additionally, colouring, straightening, smoothening make hair shaft weak, which allow pollutants to enter more into hair to cause damage.Most of us leave home when are hair are still wet from showers due to time constraints and reach work places in time . But please remember that wet hair attracts dust and grime even more, and the same goes for applying too much cream and oil-based products. If you don’t have time to completely dry your hair with a blower, use paper towels available in your kitchen which are made with highly absorbent material. After gently towel-drying your hair, pat your hair with paper towels. This is one way to protect hair as dust and dirt particles easily stick to wet hair. So make sure that before you step out, your hair is dry.
Your dull and dry locks need to be hydrated for them to look healthy and shiny after being exposed to extreme cold conditions and pollution in cities.
Staying hydrated is highly beneficial for your hair follicles from within and for your hair shafts to stay healthy.
Ensure that you are drinking a minimum 3 litres water daily to keep your hair properly hydrated and prevent your scalp from drying out.
Another way to help with dryness is with a hydrating mask. Choose a moisturizing or reparative formula and use at least once a week. Oil your hair regularly! This is a serious game changer and will definitely help you get rid of your hair problems.
Nothing works like Champi (head massage )once every two weeks or so.
Champi prepares you from ugly wrath of pollution and fights cold conditions. You may get it from neighbourhood saloons in the market or get it done from an expert Champi Masters. Apply medicinal oil directly on your scalp and massage it directly on your scalp gently so as the oil is absorbed in the scalp. Head massage stimulates blood circulation and improves the health of your scalp.
Jojoba oil as both moisturizes and strengthens the hair’s natural hydro-lipid layer besides boosting hydration levels. Moroccan oil head massage is cheap and effective treatment to get shiny and lustrous hair.
Regular oiling of hair nourishes the scalp, cleanses dirt and dead cells. Oil your hair regularly with Almond Oil.
Almond oil is an effective hair cleanser, keeps hair healthy and facilitates hair growth as it is rich in Vitamin E.
Warm-up half a cup of olive oil and then rub it to your hair. Cover your tresses with a plastic bag for 45 minutes. Later, shampoo and rinse it completely for gorgeous hair. Use this remedy twice a week. For Oily hair, you can do this once a week or twice a month during winters.
Pollutants also collect on the scalp. The hair also needs frequent washing if one regularly travels long distances for their work. Shampoo, hair rinses, serums and conditioners help to restore the normal balances if they contain ingredients like amla, Brahmi, Triphala, bhringaraj and henna. They also coat the hair and form a protective cover. Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg. Massage the mixture lightly into the scalp. Leave on for half an hour and then wash the hair. Rinse well with water.
Mix one teaspoon each of vinegar and honey with one egg. Massage the mixture lightly into the scalp. Leave on for half an hour and then wash the hair. Rinse well with water. Heat pure coconut oil and apply on the hair. 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. This helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Leave oil on overnight and wash hair the next day.
For oily hair, have a hair rinse after shampoo. A tea water and lemon rinse will add shine to the hair. Boil used tea leaves again in enough water. After boiling, you should have about 4 cups of tea-water. Cool and strain it. Then add the juice of a lemon and use it as a last rinse after shampoo.
Amla is also a common ingredient that has been mentioned in Ayurvedic texts for the treatment of many ailments and for beauty care. Research has revealed that amla has a high Vitamin C content that is not destroyed by heat. In beauty care, it is said to control hair problems like hair loss and even greying. It also adds shine to the hair. To make amla hair oil, take a handful of dry amla. Grind coarsely and add it to 100 ml pure coconut oil. Keep it in an airtight glass bottle and keep the bottle in the sun daily for about 15 days. Then strain the oil and store. The oil can be used to apply on the hair.
Weekly Henna treatments will also help. Add 4 teaspoons each of lemon juice and coffee, 2 raw eggs, 2 teaspoons oil and enough yoghurt to the henna powder, mixing it into a thick paste. Apply on the hair and wash off after an hour. If you do not wish to use egg, add more curd.
The best advice about protecting the hair is Cover your head when in open, tone down on the styling and keep it clean
The author is an international fame beauty expert and is called Herbal Queen of India