Saturday, November 27, 2010

13 Hair Tips for Gorgeous Winter Hair

 From AOL contributor - Gina Nguyen

Here are some tips to keep your hair looking enviable, healthy, shiny, soft and smooth come winter. You do not have to succumb to dried-out, mangy, unmanageable locks that others suffer through because you'll have all the know-how you need to show-off an impossibly-gorgeous mane after reading these winter hair tips right here.

#1 Wash your hair with lukewarm water. Hot water will only damage your dry hair further by disrupting the hair cuticles and causing breakage. On the other hand, washing with too-cool water will not effectively remove the dirt and build-up on your hair and scalp, leaving you with a greasy appearance. Go warm. As you finish your shower, however, do a final hair rinse in cold water to seal the cuticle and add some last-minute shine.

#2 Pat your hair dry. Towel-drying your hair is a delicate process. Instead of rubbing it dry with the towel, which causes further damage to your hair, pat and scrunch your hair dry with the towel. You can also twist your hair up in a super-absorbent hair towel like a Turbie Twist (from $5.49) to let it dry on its own. See tip #8 if you're more of a blow-dry fanatic.

#3 Deep condition your hair. Salon hair stylists will recommend that you deep condition your hair about once a week to keep it soft and silky-smooth. Well-moisturized hair also means less frequent static electricity attacks. Just go through with your regular shower routine, and then apply a generous helping of deep, hydrating conditioning cream to your locks from scalp to ends. Some of the best deep-conditioning treatments are: Neutrogena Triple Moisture Daily Deep Conditioner ($6.19), Garnier Fructis Fortifying Deep Conditioner Masque (from $6), L'Oreal Professional Absolut Repair Masque for Very Damaged Hair ($30); and my favorites: Alterna Hemp Organics Repair Treatment Conditioner (from $15) and RedKen Smooth Down Butter Treat (from $13).

#4 Shield your hair! Wear a hat (loose-fitting like a feminine knit cap or a casual slouch beanie), a hood, a snood (what's a snood?), or even just wrap a scarf over your hair to keep your hair safe from the dry winter air and chilly winds. Lengthy exposure to extreme weather conditions like that can lead to breakage.

#5 Incorporate an anti-dandruff shampoo into your routine.
Dandruff can be especially tough to beat in the winter time. The cold, dry air of the winter, and the dryness from our heating systems have our scalps itching and flaking. Working-in an anti-dandruff regimen into your regular one can have you seeing flake-free shoulders before long. Nizoral Anti-Dandruff Shampoo is extremely popular for its effectiveness, and it's only $15.49! Just use it twice a week on your hair wash days, and you're on your way to being dandruff-free.

#6 Lay-off the daily shampooing. By all means, please wash your body every day! Just give your hair a break every other day or so. Washing your hair so frequently will strip your hair of its natural oils (sebum) and moisture in no time. It's the combination of the water and the chemicals from your shampoo that hurts your hair's health. Now, how does one skip without looking grimy and unapproachable? Why, by using dry shampoo, of course! Dry shampoo works by absorbing some of the excess, hair-clumping sebum where you apply it (apply it to the greasiest patches of your hair), and then is brushed out to leave your hair feeling lighter and cleaner than before. Working a dry shampooing into your hair care routine every few days will also keep your hair color lasting longer. While nothing feels as good as a daily shampoo and rinse, frazzled and frizzy hair is a far worse fate.

Now, some dry shampoos will leave so much white residue on your hair that it will have people wondering if you have a major dandruff problem. That residue can also have you feeling more gross than before you applied it, too. To save you the trouble of learning the hard way, here are some brands that we recommend: Klorane Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk $18 | Batiste Dry Shampoo $7.99

#7 Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners.
When you do wash your hair those three or four times a week, reach for bottles that mention something about moisture, hydration or being sulfate-free (it's more gentle). It will give your hair the nourishment it needs after being stripped of its moisture after a long day in the winter air, and protects it for the day to come. Try moisturizing brands like: Pureology, Kerastase, Ojon, BioSilk, Alterna, or even certain lines of Herbel Essences.

#8 Fortify your diet. Make sure you're getting enough zinc, iron, essential fatty acids, and Vitamins B, C and E. Healthy foods like salmon, chicken, cereal, green veggies, fresh fruit and whole grains will give your hair a daily dose of nutrients to fight harsh outside conditions. Oh yes, and as always, keep throwing back those eight glasses of water each day!

#9 Change your blow dry routine! Stepping out into the cold with wet hair after a shower will only get you sick and cause hair breakage, so of course you'll want to reach for your hair dryer more often in the winter time. Unfortunately, all that dry heat on your hair will strip your hair of its health, as well, so you'll only want to blow-dry if you're in a hurry. For those days, use a leave-in conditioner spray on the ends of your hair to fortify the vulnerable ends and use a heat-activated protective serum like John Freida Frizz Ease Hair Serum Thermal Protection ($8.99) to keep your hair from scorching.

Though more expensive, MoroccanOil Treatment Serum ($35) is also great to apply from root to tip before heat-styling your hair, and it will protect your hair from the harmful UV rays that are still abundant (yet, easily forgotten about) in the winter. Finally, when you blow dry your hair, try to point your hair dryer down (from your scalp to the ends of your hair) the entire time, and finish-off with a cool blast of air to prevent hair cuticle damage. Healthy cuticles mean healthy, shiny hair!

#10 Switch-out your hair dryer for an ionic hair dryer. Ionic hair dryers release conditioning negatively-charged ions that break down the water molecules in your hair, allowing them to evaporate more quickly. The benefit is less time spent under hot air than your typical hair dryer, which then means less damage is done to you hair. Moreover, you'll see shiner and softer hair with less frizz than usual because the ionic dryer flattens and tightens your hair cuticles, simultaneously. Try the CHI Rocket Professional Hair Dryer ($179.99, reg. $229.99) for 50% faster drying time and healthier, dried hair. You might also like to use the Conair Tourmaline-Ionic Ceramic Brush ($14.99) with your ionic hair dryer to avoid breakage.

#11 Choose your products wisely. You know what it's like to put rubbing alcohol on your skin, right? It has a drying effect -- and it's a great trick for drying out pimples. But, beware when alcohol is included in your hair styling products. Hair care products with high alcohol content, like many hair gels, tend to dry out your hair further. If you need an alcohol-free gel, try Frederic Fekkai Styling Gel ($17.50). If you're looking for a good alcohol-free hair spray, try Frizz Ease Dream Curls Spray ($5.99). Want alcohol-free volumizing mousse? Try highly-rated Ojon Conditioning Volumizing Foam ($22). Maybe you'd prefer Nexxus VersaStyler Artistic Designing Lotion ($12.99), which offers versatile styling and is great for adding texture and hold without the alcohol. See other alcohol-free options >>

#12 Prevent static. Make sure to avoid items made of wool. Wool tends to dry-out hair, and dried-out hair partnered with dry winter air leads to static! When brushing your hair, use wooden combs or wooden brushes to reduce static. And, as you know, the more moisturized your hair is, the lower your chances of having to suffer with static-hair!

#13 Sleep on Satin. If you want your hair to shine when you rise in the morning, try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. Tossing and turning on rougher fabrics can rub your hair the wrong way. Fight the morning frizz and pamper your hair at night with satin.


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