Winter time for someone with curly hair can be a double edged sword: we no longer experience the heat and humidity that gets our curls in a rut, but we have to deal with the cold air that makes our curls dry and in need of moisture. It doesn’t just stop at our hair; rather, it starts at the roots. The cold can wreak havoc on the scalp as well, which can be a pain to deal with along with all the other hassles of winter. With the temperatures dropping lower and lower every day, we have great scalp care tips to get you through the winter months.
When the seasons begin to change, our hair is affected and we may see changes in the way our hair behaves. One of these changes is the drying out of our hair follicles and scalp. You may even start to see small white flakes forming on the surface of your scalp, making it more irritated and more prone to itchiness. This condition is called dry scalp, and is caused by several factors, including changes in temperature.
Although dry scalp may put a dent in your curly hair care routine, it can be prevented and treated with a few easy steps:
1. Stay Hydrated: We all know healthy hair care starts from the inside, and the best way to maintain a healthy mane, is to drink lots of water. The same rule applies for scalp care. The best way to hydrate your scalp, is to hydrate your body. So make sure you’re getting enough water (hot tea works too!)
2. Wash your hair with cool water: As good as a hot shower feels after some time in the cold, washing your hair with scalding hot water can do more damage than good to your scalp. Skin ends up feeling tight and dry after heated showers, and this same effect can happen to your scalp. Even though you may have just washed your hair, once the hot water dries it tends to strip your hair of your natural oils. Opt for cooler showers in the winter time to give your hair, and your scalp a break.
3. Switch to a more gentle shampoo: Many shampoos have drying ingredients that strip the natural oils of your scalp and hair, leaving it exposed to dry winter air. A good shampoo should be able to maintain a clean healthy scalp without drying it out. A great gentle shampoo is Energizing Shampoo – it’s sulfate-free and is made to gently cleanse your hair without stripping it of its natural oils.
4. Be mindful of styling products: Diffusers and blow driers are a curly girl’s best friend. Unfortunately, during the winter months it can become your scalp’s worst enemy. Heat styling tools blow hot air and/or steam onto the hair and scalp, which effectively dries them out. Try to lessen the use of heat styling tools on your hair during the winter months. If you absolutely must use a styling tool, try turning down your straightener or put your blow dryer on a cooler setting in the morning.
5. Be aware of product build-up: Because the winter months are so dry, curlies choose to use more product than usual to moisturize the hair and protect it from the cold. Be mindful of how much product you’re putting on your hair as you may begin to see the signs of product buildup. Product buildup on the hair can irritate the scalp making it itchy and dry. Be sure that when you use product that you wash it out thoroughly to avoid any buildup on the scalp.
As painful as the winter months on your scalp can be, it doesn’t have to be a complete loss. Yes, cold air can dry out your scalp and your curls, but it can also promote great scalp care habits that can be of help even in hotter temperatures! A clean healthy scalp brings beautiful bouncy curls – so follow these steps to leave your scalp and natural curls feeling clean and hydrated!