Bomb Cyclone. Polar Vortex. Are these new names for Bubbalicious gum? Or does this mean Jon Snow is going to snuggle with you on the couch and drink hot cocoa while you're wrapped in nothing but his furs? (Ok, this might be my own personal wish for winter.) Being from California, the most I have to deal with are a bunch of
dummies people who don't know how to drive in the winter rains, and if I had a loudspeaker, I would make sure to educate them. But unless you're lucky enough to live in Hawaii, most of us peasants have to deal with dry skin, dry hair, and dry scalps.
I've seen a million articles about how to combat dry winter hair, but they all say the same thing. Deep condition. Use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Use hair oils. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we know! I started thinking about some no-fail remedies I've found over the past year of formulating Tiny Hair Workshop's AirWaves that really work, both for scalp and dry ends - and you won't find one mention of a hair oil, deep conditioner, or moisturizing shampoo. Read on two find my top 5 ways to combat dry winter hair and scalp!
1) Minimize Your Use of Humectants in Dry Winter Weather
What the heck is a humectant and why should you care? EVERYONE should care about humectants! Why? Well, let's put it this way: have you ever used a hair product and wondered why your hair looked completely different from one day to the next? This has to do with two main things: the weather and humectants in your hair products. Simply put, humectants draw moisture. If the weather is excessively dry with a low dew point, there is little moisture in the air. A hair product with a high proportion of humectants will try to draw moisture from wherever it can, and if there is no moisture in the air, it will grab it from your hair. Try to either use styling products that don't have these ingredients or list them further down in the line-up: glycerin, sodium lactate, and propylene glycol.
2) Give Your Scalp the Royal Treatment
We spend all of our time on our hair but we forget the birthplace of those strands - your scalp! Get yourself a good old-fashioned boar bristled hair brush, and with a scooping motion, exfoliate the entire scalp, section by section. You will see flakes everywhere. Rejoice - this means you are helping to stimulate blood flow to the scalp and you're clearing the follicles to make way for healthy hair to grow.
Don't stop there - follow up with a treatment to help pave the way for hair growth and a soothed scalp. I have two favorite products (that are non-oily!) depending on your preference. If you like a herbaceous, minty-cool feeling, I love the Astera Fluid from Rene Furterer. It soothes irritated scalps and helps remove impurities from the hair follicle. Don't let the price scare you - it lasts a long time! If you prefer something with a lighter scent and less tingle, keep your eyes peeled for a new product coming soon from Oribe- Serene Scalp Soothing Leave-On Treatment. Made with mint and chamomile, this treatment lightly moisturizes dry scalps without heavy scents or oils.
3) Switch From Traditional Shampoo to Co-Wash
If you haven't tried a co-wash and you have dry hair, frizzy hair, or dry scalp, I'd highly encourage you to give this category of products a try! Co-washes have the consistency of a conditioner but are comprised of very gentle cleansers with strong conditioning properties. They don't strip the hair of moisture as much as traditional shampoos. They do get your hair clean, but it might not feel as squeaky clean as when you use regular shampoo. These types of products may not be good for very fine hair or people who get oily scalp very easily, but they are worth trying and incorporating into your regimen, especially if you shampoo frequently. I use co-washes exclusively because they help to keep frizz at bay, keep color truer longer, and keep more moisture in the hair. It can take about 6 weeks of continual use for the oil production on your scalp to balance out when using a co-wash, so give it time. I make my own co-wash, but one of my favorites on the market is UnWash.
4) Use a Pre-Poo
This is not something you do before you hit the toilet after your morning cup of coffee. Well actually, it could be! Pre-poo is short for "pre-shampoo", and to be honest, I totally poo-poohed (see what I did there?) the idea of these products until I tried them myself. The idea is that you are applying a deeply moisturizing oil to your hair PRIOR to shampooing. I know I said I wasn't going to mention hair oils, but this is a different application with a different intent. The theory is that by giving your hair anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour to absorb the product (or as an overnight treatment) helps to retain moisture in the hair even after you have shampooed and conditioned it. A product I've tried and loved is Oribe's Gold Lust Pre-Shampoo Intensive Treatment, but you could use coconut oil, olive oil, or jamaican black castor oil as well. Apply to dry hair for the aforementioned time and then shampoo or condition as usual.
5) Use Products With Glycine Betaine <---Beet Sugar Extract!
OK, I see your eyes glossing over...I hear you saying, "I just want to pick up a product that says "moisture", buy it, and get on with my day!" I get it! But what if I told you that beet sugar does an amazing job of imparting moisture and hydration to the hair? I started using it in my formulations and my hair has never been softer or silkier! Just Google "hair products glycine betaine", or check out this short list of products.
What are your secret remedies for dry hair and scalp? Any products you'd love to share? Post in the comments below!