5 tips for healthier hair this winter

Paige Clouston, senior studying Cosmetology 102, practices drying the hair of fellow student, Sharie Critchlow, senior studying Cosmetology 102, at Bellus Academy on Friday. (Caitlyn Massey | The Collegian)

With the start of November comes the reminder that winter is just around the corner. Along with the cold, this season often ushers in lackluster locks and untamed hairdos.

If you want to keep your hair healthy and gorgeous for the rest of 2014, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Shampoo less

Shampooing every day can strip away nutrients and oils that help keep your hair looking its best, according to a 2013 Huffington Post article.

“Skip a shampoo or two and just apply conditioner to the ends,” Kayla Leach, senior in life sciences, said. “(Shampooing) every day can be extremely drying to your hair.”

To get rid of excess oil in your hair without actually washing it, try dry shampoo. This alternative – which can be found in either an aerosol spray or loose powder – will give your hair a clean, non-greasy look.

According to online fashion magazine College Fashion, dry shampoos make hair less prone to damage and breakage, too.

2. Use leave-in conditioner

Leave-in conditioner, another hair-strengthening product, offers extreme hydration and helps restore hair’s natural texture.

“If it’s a light leave-in conditioner, anyone can use it every day,” Belinda Snyder, owner of Shear Dynamics Salon and Spa in Manhattan, said. “Use this especially if you apply direct heat to your hair often, because you are damaging the hair cuticle and removing nutrients and moisture from the hair.”

Using a leave-in conditioner can make a noticeable difference in the quality of your hair. If you’re on a tight budget, there are many inexpensive home remedies.

According to Livestrong.com, a website dedicated to healthy living, coconut oil is one of the best nourishing natural oils that can be used as a leave-in hair conditioner. Just pour a dime-size amount in your palms and rub them together. Next, apply from the roots down to wet hair. Finally, style as desired and enjoy your revitalized hair.

3. Humidify

Cold temperatures and lower humidity, teamed up with the warm and dry climate of most people’s heated homes during the winter, results in drier and less manageable hair.

“Try running a dryer sheet over your hair and it will help minimize static-y hair or apply a nourishing hair oil to your ends,” Leach said.

Turning on a humidifier during the colder months will also help your hair and skin retain moisture for your hair.

4. What you eat and drink matters

According to the medical website WebMD, the best things to eat for beautiful hair are foods high in protein – such as salmon, beans, spinach and nuts. Daily water consumption is also vital.

“Water intake has every bit to do with the quality of hair and nails you grow.” Stacey Lambert, cosmetology educator at Bellus Academy, said. “Most people are in a habitual state of dehydration and because of that, it shows up as brittle hair.”

Hair experts agree that a diet with the right mix of protein, iron, water and other nutrients can help improve the health, look and feel of your hair.

5. Get a trim

According to HowStuffWorks, hair grows on average about an inch per month. To avoid parched ends and add more bounce to your locks, regular trims are important.

“Since I straighten and blow-dry my hair often, I try to get my hair trimmed once a month,” Sarah Ellis, senior in family studies and human services, said.

Cutting off dead or split ends once every eight to 10 weeks will help your hair look and feel healthy, according to beingagirl.com.

So as winter quickly approaches, use these tips to avoid that dreaded winter frizz and keep the healthy hair you’ve been working so hard to obtain.