By Rebecca Hitchon
See the words winter self-care and it’s likely that you’ll think of protecting your skin from the season’s harsh conditions. But what about our hair? Cold, damp winter weather and an increase in central heating usage can leave hair dry, damaged and looking dull. Fortunately, we have an easy, inexpensive and uplifting solution for you, whatever your hair type, with our selection of DIY natural hair care treatments.
Curly hair – apple cider vinegar rinse
For those with curly hair, the natural dryness of curls makes frizziness a constant problem. Then winter brings a new challenge when the less humid air inside and outside dries hair out even further.
Luckily, apple cider vinegar is the hydrating natural hair care product that curly girls have been looking for.
The acidity of the vinegar helps maintain the hair’s pH level, allowing it to retain natural oils and therefore moisture. The scalp’s pH is naturally acidic but can be disrupted by the products we use, resulting in open hair cuticles that tangle, break and cause that unwanted frizziness. Apple cider vinegar flattens cuticles, locking in moisture and making hair softer, smoother, shinier and less frizzy.
Tip: using this DIY cleanse in place of your shampoo works really well, but only use it once every two weeks to avoid drying out hair even further.
Dry, damaged hair – honey and coconut oil mask
Curly or not, I’m sure most of us can agree that winter is notorious for dehydrating hair. Plus, while a long hot shower might sound like the perfect winter warmer, this will only suck more moisture out of your locks.
That’s where this honey and coconut oil mask comes in, a naturally nourishing moisture boost for hair.
Full of vitamins and minerals, honey is a key natural hair care product for conditioning, strengthening and adding shine to hair. Its antioxidant and protein properties prevent breakage and promote hair growth. Coconut oil also minimises and repairs damage, by reducing protein loss. Protein is essential for hair health but is impacted by the heat we use on our hair and factors like UV light and pollution.
Tip: if you have long or especially damaged hair, add extra honey and oil to your DIY mask to make more of a lasting difference.
Oily hair – egg white and lemon juice treatment
For some of us, oiliness rather than dryness is winter’s biggest hair dilemma. Wrapping up warm can cause natural oils from your scalp to become more fluid and move further down the head, making hair seem greasier.
But there is a surprising oil-busting DIY solution and I’d hazard a guess that you already have all the ingredients in your cupboard.
Believe it not, egg whites can hugely improve the health of your hair as they are full of protein, which is crucial for building, preserving and replacing tissues all over the body, including in hair. You can be sure that they will properly cleanse the scalp, remove build-up and balance moisture levels. Meanwhile, lemon juice will control excess oil by stabilising the pH of your scalp. It will also stop your hair stinking of eggs (phew!)
Tip: it is best to use this natural hair care treatment after shampooing as hair cuticles have been opened, allowing the egg white and lemon to reach right to the hair’s roots. Then conditioner seals in moisture at the cuticle afterwards.
Flaky scalp – oatmeal and milk exfoliation
A dry, flaky and itchy scalp can affect us all, whatever our hair type, and unfortunately winter creates the perfect conditions for this to happen. The dry air of winter also creates ideal conditions for dandruff-causing microbes to thrive. However, do be aware that while dandruff may have the same symptoms, its cause of excess oil on the scalp is very different.
So, why not try this gently exfoliating oatmeal and milk treatment? It’s like a wholesome breakfast for your hair.
Oatmeal and milk are rich with vitamins and proteins that penetrate deep into the hair to moisturise. Oatmeal is also a gentle exfoliant that cleanses and soothes the scalp. The natural hair care product removes product build-up and the dead skin cells that give your scalp that flaky appearance. If you do have dandruff, oatmeal will similarly work to remove the excess oil that contributes to the condition.
Tip: at first you may want to try the treatment every couple of days, but then you should reduce this to once or twice a week to keep on top of your scalp condition.
Which DIY self-care treatment will you be trying on your hair this winter? Or do you already use your own natural hair care creation? We would love to hear in the comments section.