Don’t let winter send your hair into hibernation. You can keep it alive and vibrant more easily than you think. The changes in temperature, humidity and the environment that occur in winter take their toll on you and your hair. Every time you step from a dry and heated home, office, store, cinema or theater into the cold air and out of doors, your body and hair struggle to keep pace. Your hair alternates from dry and electric to floppy and limp. You may put on and take off a hat many times during the day, which ruins your hairstyle or look, as hats crush your hair and cause your scalp to sweat. It’s not that I’m against the wearing of hats, but if your hair becomes damp under one and you then proceed to take it off when you go into a warm atmosphere, your hair will dry unevenly and probably have an attack of the ‘frizzies’. Furthermore, heavy winter clothes can also make you and your scalp sweat, particularly on those cold, drizzly winter days. If your hair has already dried into an odd shape and then gets damp again, you are liable to end up looking bedraggled. By the end of the day your hair’s a mess and you’re very unhappy with it and yourself.
If that isn’t bad enough, winter is the worst time for flaky and itchy scalps. Stress levels are higher during winter, and stress encourages the production of flakes and oiliness. Dissatisfaction with your hair increases this stress, and by midwinter you really have the blues. But this can be avoided, even though winter is the most difficult season of all for hair. The most important point is to continue daily shampooing and conditioning, something that is often neglected for fear of catching cold. However, there is no more danger of catching cold with damp hair than dry hair; it is simply that our resistance is lower in winter – wet hair has nothing to do with it. Less frequent washing also encourages a flaky scalp and lank hair.
Perk up your scalp with a tonic. To make one yourself (if you don’t want to buy one) shake together equal quantities of witch hazel and mouthwash – 2oz (60g) of each will be sufficient. Add 1/2oz (15ml) of vodka and shake again. Apply the liquid to your scalp by parting the hair and sprinkling it on or by using a ball of cotton wool. Massage your scalp for five minutes and follow up with your usual shampooing program. Your scalp will feel refreshed and your hair will benefit, despite the winter weather.
Diet is also important, but somehow the salads and fruit of summer don’t seem so appealing when it’s cold and dreary, and therefore people tend to eat more stodgily in winter and drink much less water. By all means eat hot stews, but make sure they contain lots of vegetables. If you can’t face cold salads, eat hot cabbage (dark green and red), blanched broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and any other colored vegetables you like. Also eat plenty of fruit – tangerines and Clementines are wonderful winter fruits.
Even though it may be cold, try to get some exercise. Go for an invigorating walk for some fresh air, leaving your hair to the elements. When you get home, give your hair and scalp a treat by applying the scalp tonic, putting some conditioner on your hair, lying in the bath for a while, then luxuriously washing your hair with your favorite products. It will cheer you and your hair up so much that in no time at all you’ll remember that, ‘The hounds of spring are on winter’s traces!’