We all want healthy, glossy hair throughout the year, but during winter when it all gets a little colder we need to give it that extra bit of TLC.
Dr Raghu Reddy is a hair loss specialist at The Private Clinic of Harley Street, www.theprivateclinic.co.uk and here we have some hair tips for healthy hair during winter.
Take extra care of your roots: Avoid putting products like conditioner, wax or gel directly onto the roots of your hair. This will clog the pores and hair follicles, making it difficult for hair to grow as it normally would.
Be product wise: In the winter months you should opt for a gentle shampoo that won’t strip the hair of much needed moisture. A deeper conditioner should then be used to protect the hair and prevent damage from extreme weather or central heating.
Stock up on protein for the winter months: Hair is made up of Keratin, a protein, so embarking on a protein high diet can keep hair shiny and strong. Incorporate meat, fish and eggs into your diet where possible.
Keep it natural: Many women suffer from flyaway or frizzy hair in the winter months and prefer to dry their hair before venturing out in to the cold. Try to keep the use of straighteners and hair driers to a minimum, as intense heat can actually traumatize the hair. Over a long period, if you continue to straighten or curl your hair regularly, you will make the hair brittle and prone to breakage, contributing to the overall weakening of each individual hair. When you combine this with harsh winter weather, the hair can become very dry and will look and feel unhealthy. Avoid using hair dyes regularly as well, as these can cause long term damage by drying out the hair and starving it of its own vital nutrients.
Don’t overheat it: In the winter there is nothing better than a hot bath or shower, but this could actually be detrimental to your hair. It is always best to wash your hair with warm or cool water, rather than very hot water, as this will prevent trauma to the hair.
Gently does it: When your hair is wet, avoid rigorously brushing it or attacking the knots, as this can cause the hairs to break. Try not to scratch the scalp too, as this can cause the scalp to become dry and to flake. It can also damage the hair from the root, which could curtail growth.
Wear a cap: If you enjoy a swim in a heated pool during the winter months, try to remember to bring a swimming cap. Chlorinated water has been found to damage the hair if the hair is exposed to the chemicals within the water over long periods of time, so try to protect it by simply popping a cap on.
Keep calm: Don’t let the stress of Christmas get the better of you. Sustained periods of stress can lead to a change in hormonal balances, which can pave the way for hair thinning or patterned baldness. Stress also leads to the build up of acid free radicals and this can contribute to gradual loss of hair. Try to incorporate time away from stressful situations or environments into your regime.
Act on loss: If you suffer with hair loss, the best thing to do is to consult a hair loss specialist. They will be able to analyse your hair and assess what is causing it to thin or fall out. Unlike in men, hair loss in women is most commonly caused by some form of underlying health condition, such as anaemia. Because of this, it is very important that you seek the advice of a professional. If, however, a specialist is able to rule out any underlying health condition, they may recommend a product such as Topical minoxidil, most commonly known as the product Regaine. This can be applied in certain cases where the hair is thinning and they have a formula specifically for women. It is vital, however, that you seek professional advice before taking any form of supplement or product.