By Lia M. Spicer
The season while beautiful gives frigid conditions, whipping winds, and indoor heating that strips away moisture resulting in dry skin, cracked and chipped nails, split ends and brittle hair. That means that now is the time to think about ways to “maintain your fly” and protect your hair and skin in the process. I have done the homework for all of us and scoured the “interwebs” to compile this list of five great ways to protect our hair and skin during the winter months.
1 Take Cooler, Shorter Showers – A long hot shower on a freezing day is one of the best feelings ever. However, long hot showers of 20 minutes or more can actually strip your hair and skin of moisture. During the winter season, try taking shorter 5-minute showers using room temperature, luke warm, or warm water.
2 Stay Hydrated – This is important at any time of year and especially important during the winter months. So be proactive and carry water with you everywhere you go. If drinking enough water is difficult for you, creating a “drinking schedule” can help make sure you consume enough water daily. For example, I have a 24-oz. reusable bottle and my goal over the course of a day is to drink three bottles for a total of 72-oz. per day and that’s during non-winter times of the year. In winter, I try to push myself to drink four or more bottles per day, which isn’t always easy to do. While drinking that much water is an adjustment, it does make a difference, and my skin and hair retain their luster, shine, and resilience.
3 Adapt Your Beauty and Hair Regimen to the Season – This means change up your products you’re your typical beauty regimen. There are many hair and skin care products that help hair and skin stay strong and healthy during cold months. Instead of daily lotions for the skin, go for heavier, thick creams, that hydrate and lock in moisture or lotions/creams that are specially formulated for drier climates/seasons. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated to protect, seal, and moisturize your hair to a degree more than your normal go-to shampoos and conditioners. In addition, regardless of how you rock your hair, natural or relaxed, add into your maintenance regimen, a deep-conditioning and moisturizing treatment at least once or twice every two weeks to help counter the effects of winter.
4 Dress Appropriately – If you are like me you want to look your best always, which means you want to be cute year-round. However, when winter hits dressing appropriately can make the difference between having healthy hair and skin versus not. If you are heading outdoors, dress for the weather. Put on your hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens which help protect against windburn and extended exposure to cold air. You can get cute again once you get to where you’re going and are inside again.
5 Be Prepared – This tip to me is a no-brainer but it bears repeating. Be prepared. Prepared in the sense that you always have with you a chap stick or moisturizing lip balm to help protect against dry, chapped, and cracked lips. Before heading outside, put Vaseline on over your chap or lip stick. It creates a barrier between your lips and the cold air, as well as locks in moisture. Although Vaseline by itself isn’t necessarily moisturizing but rather protecting, be sure to apply your lip balm or moisture in conjunction with the Vaseline. Do the same thing with hand lotion, especially if you don’t wear gloves. Always have in your bag a good lightweight hand moisturizer and apply it liberally or as often as needed. Don’t worry about greasy hands, there are plenty of non-greasy light-weight creams available that provide the same or better levels of protection and moisture. Shop around until you find one that works for you.
So remember, prepare yourself, get your reusable water bottle, do your market research to find hair and skin products that you like and that will be effective during cold weather months, and you will be able to “maintain your fly”, skin and hair health during winter.