How to Repair Your Hair After Winter
As the winter months come to an end, we’re all looking for ways to revive our hair from winter weather damage. Are your locks feeling dry and brittle? Has your regular styling routine left you with lackluster results? Don’t worry – there are steps you can take to bring your tresses back to life!
In fact, these are tips for anyone looking to help repair their hair, at any time of year. In this post, I will cover everything from nourishing tips and tricks to deep-repairing, natural treatments that will help restore moisture, elasticity, and shine. So whether your hair is feeling "meh" due to to the combo of cold winter temperatures, blowing winter road salt and central heating indoor air, or due to excessive damage from over-processing, there are some basic principles and tips that anyone can apply in this article.
So let's get started on getting those beautiful bouncing locks back in no time!
🌿Nourish Your Hair with a pH-Balanced, Natural Shampoo that Protects the Scalp and Hair
Winter can really take a toll on your skin and hair! And, using shampoos that contain harsh chemicals, sulphates and have too high of a pH (ie: too alkaline) can make it even worse! By nature, human hair is quite acidic, in the range of 3.5-5 on the pH scale (water by comparison sits in the neutral zone, around pH 7). The scalp on the other hand (like the rest of your skin) sits in the 5.5 range.
The trouble is that many shampoos are too alkaline and cause the cuticles of the hair to open and be more prone to damage, causing loss of moisture, shine, colour (if you dye your hair), and strength.
Shampoos that are too alkaline (ie: have a pH greater than 7) can also strip the scalp of its natural oils, creating an imbalance in the scalp that can lead to both the over-production AND under-production of oil, depending on your skin type. So, keeping the scalp calm, while keeping the hair cuticle closed and flat, is critical to preventing damage.
Elva’s All Naturals TRUTH Shampoos are pH-balanced and sulphate-free, and a great choice to bring your locks back to life! Having a lower pH in the 5.5-6.25 acidic range and made from all-natural nourishing botanicals, they help restore the natural balance of nutrients in your scalp and hair. And, they provide nourishment that goes beyond basic maintenance and repair - by improving overall hair health and strength with botanical extracts like Burdock Root and Horsetail. Not only do they help protect the pH balance of your scalp, but Elva's TRUTH Shampoos are designed to gently cleanse away dirt, oil and buildup from styling products. This will leave you with strengthened strands and softness that can even be felt after just one use.
♨️ Avoid Excessive Heat Styling
After a long winter season full of dry, brittle hair, you may be tempted to grab your curling iron or flat iron to style it back into shape. However, it is important to avoid excessive heat styling such as blow drying on high heat, curling irons and straightening irons, as this can further damage your already weakened locks. Rather, opt for gentle and natural styling methods like braiding, cold rollers or pinning the hair up, in order to give yourself a beautiful look that won't break your hair.
Taking it a step further: rinsing your hair with cold water after washing and conditioning helps to lock in shine and moisture! And if you must blow-dry your hair, try to blow dry on the coolest setting, whenever possible.
🌿Deep Conditioning and Hair "Masks"
As the days get warmer and winter fades away, it's time to repair your hair for the spring and summer seasons.🌞 An essential part of this routine should be deep conditioning treatments and regular use of hair masks, until the condition of your hair is restored. A hair mask is basically a nourishing treatment that you leave on your hair for longer than usual, like a facial mask. By the way - it does not actually need to be labelled "hair mask" on the container: you can use your regular conditioner, or a DIY treatment straight from your kitchen like coconut oil, mayonnaise, olive oil, milk and honey, yogurt or even mashed banana or avocado! (I do not recommend letting your partner see this on a first date, as mashed avocado in your hair may be somewhat hard to explain... Legend has it, my mother once scared away a door-to-door salesperson while touting a mask of mashed papaya on her face!!😂)
Elva's All Naturals TRUTH Conditioners can be used as a beautiful deep conditioning treatment and hair mask, to give your locks some much needed moisture. They contain nourishing all-natural ingredients like Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil and Pro-Vitamin B5, which help to nourish the deepest parts of each strand. After washing, simply generously apply and leave on for at least 10 minutes before rinsing, and follow with a cold water rinse for maximum shine! It leaves your hair feeling super soft with a beautiful shine to each strand - without the weight, heaviness (or micro-plastics like silicone) found in many chemical-based and "over the counter" deep-conditioning treatments. So whether you're going through cold months or just want the best deep conditioning possible, Elva's TRUTH Conditioner is here to save the day (and your locks).
✂️ Trim Ends Every 6-8 Weeks
Trimming your hair regularly is an important part of keeping it healthy, and growing strong. Split ends can quickly get out of control if you don’t consistently trim off the damaged bits. It’s recommended that you schedule a salon visit or trim your hair at home every 6-8 weeks, in order to keep split ends at bay and prevent winter damage from getting worse. Take action now, and your hair will thank you!
💧 Wash Your Hair in Cold Water, or Finish With a Cold Water Rinse
Are you guilty of washing your hair in hot water throughout winter? If so, now is the time to start reversing that bad habit! In order to lock in moisture, seal hair cuticles (and protect your precious strands against further damage), it’s best to switch to colder temperatures. Cold water features a lower pH level which is ideal for continuing healthy hair growth, sealing the cuticle and maintaining a natural sheen. It also helps to protect colour. To maximize the full benefit of cold temperature, rinse it out with a final splash of icy water. (It might be uncomfortable at first, but ultimately you'll be thankful when your locks look lusciously healthier!) TIP for the extra chilly folk: have your hot shower, but afterwards tip your head under the bath nozzle down low for the cold rinse! MUCH less painful in my opinion, lol. I am one of the chilly folk.
🛌 Sleep on a Silk / Bamboo Silk Pillowcase
All I can say about this is that I've personally tried them, and they really work! Using a silk pillowcase at night (I use a vegan bamboo silk one) helps to prevent hair damage while sleeping. Since a third of our life is spent sleeping, it just makes sense!
❌ Avoid Combing Your Hair While it's Wet
Hair is MOST fragile and prone to breakage when it is wet. If you MUST detangle while it is wet, start at the bottom and slowly and very (very!) gently, carefully work your way up towards the scalp, starting at the very ends. When you feel resistance, slow down. Speed causes breakage. A better alternative to a comb is a high-quality, soft-bristle brush that will offer lots of flexibility and is not so rigid as to break hair strands when detangling.
❌ Avoid Washing Too Frequently
Winter weather can be incredibly harsh on any hair type, leaving it dry and brittle. To help soften your tresses and get them back to their "pre-season glory", there are some tips you should keep in mind for repairing your hair after winter. One of the main things to do is avoid washing your hair too frequently; don’t strip away the natural oils from the scalp, but instead allow it time to balance. Find a hydrating shampoo that’s gentle on your hair and won’t leave it feeling weighed down. Deep condition periodically to bring necessary moisture back into the strands, as well as nourish with a leave-in conditioner or hair mask for extra hydration throughout the day. With these simple tips in mind, you don’t have to worry about battling dull locks any longer!
Winter can be a tough season on your hair, but with just a few simple steps, you can get your locks back to looking and feeling their best!
- Start by nourishing your hair with a natural shampoo that will actually protect the pH-balance of both scalp and strands.
- Trim the ends every 6-8 weeks to get rid of any dryness and breakage caused from wintery weather.
- Try and also avoid excessive heat styling throughout the season as this can cause further damage over time.
- Incorporate some deep conditioning now and then – such as Elva’s TRUTH Conditioner which is great for nourishing the hair and scalp.
- Wash your hair in cold water or finish with a cold water rinse to help maintain your precious hair color and reduce frizziness.
- Sleeping on a silk pillowcase helps to reduce night time damage.
- Avoid combing your hair while it's wet.
- Finally, make sure not to wash too often; even if you are dealing with an oily scalp, washing less frequently will help the scalp balance in the long run and is better for the overall health of your locks.
Now you're all set to enjoy beautiful strands that keep their luster post-winter, and any time of year! To start off your healthy hair journey, try Elva's All Naturals TRUTH Shampoo and Conditioner for healthy, shiny hair all year long!