5 Steps To Winter-Proof Your Hair and Skin

5 Steps To Winter-Proof Your Hair and Skin

Written By: Shannon White

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Every winter I have clients ask my advice on how to maintain healthy hair and skin during the long and cold winter months.  I explain to my clients that there is naturally more moisture in the air during the spring and summer months. So they can expect to retain more moisture in their hair and skin and can follow a simple hair and skin regimen. However, their carefree spring and summer hair and skin regimen won’t be as effective during the winter. So what’s a girl to do? No worries, I created a 5 step winter-proof hair and skin regimen to help everyone beat their winter woes.

Step 1: Cleanse. While you should use chelating or cleansing shampoo in the summer to remove excess oil, product, sweat and pollutants from their hair, you want to use a nourishing shampoo in the winter. Nourishing shampoos should include oatmeal, shea butter, oil and or honey to add and attract moisture. As far as your skin, determine if your facial cleanser strips away oil. If so, you don’t want to use it during the winter because it can result in dryness, pealing and wrinkles. Instead, use a creamy cleanser for added moisture benefits. Also, purchase an electric facial brush to exfoliate dead skin and allow your skin to more readily accept moisture. And there’s no need to spend a lot of money. This must-have beauty tool is available for only $5 at 5below. 

Step 2: Moisturize. After cleansing, it is essential to moisturize your hair and skin to protect it from harmful UV rays. After a healthy 20 minutes of sun exposure, sun rays becomes harmful. Even during cloudy and gloomy winter days the sun’s rays are as damaging as they are during the spring and summer.  I recommend purchasing a clear sunscreen with zinc oxide as an ingredient. It doesn't absorb into your skin and bloodstream like over the counter sunscreen products. Rather, it lays on top of your skin to block UVA and UVB rays; which can cause premature skin aging, eye damage and other conditions. You can add the sunscreen to your hair conditioner and skin moisturizer for additional protection.

Step 3. Protect. It is also important to choose clothing that will not damage your skin and hair. Be mindful of moisture absorbing cotton and wool hats or scarfs. Try wrapping your wool coat collar with a soft and breathable satin or silk scarf to prevent the wool from rubbing at the nape of your hair and breaking it off.  Also look for hats lined with satin or silk to keep moisture in your hair.  You can even try a DIY project and sew a colorful satin or silk lining in your hats and on your car headrest. Or you can even make your own pillowcases. 

Step 4: Humidify. Use a humidifier to prevent the heat in your home from pulling the life out of everything. A humidifier adds moisture back into the air and helps prevent common winter issues such as irritated skin and dry lips. I also like to use essential oils for added relaxation and fragrance. After all, we can all use a pick me up during the colder months and aromatherapy does the trick.

Step 5: Hydrate. Finally, be sure to eat less moisture zapping foods like sugar and carbs. Fill your tummy with foods that increase the shine and appearance of your hair and skin, such as, celery, watermelon, salmon, avocado and walnuts. These foods can be used to make many delicious meals and all have amazing hydrating properties. And of course, we all know to drink lots and lots of water every day.

It will take time to get this regimen down pat but it’s worth the effort to maintain luxurious hair and skin during the dreary winter months. Just remember to cleanse, moisturize, protect, humidify and hydrate regularly.  Trust me, your skin and hair will thank you!