winter
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I step outside and feel the snow crunch under my boots; the sky casts a shadow of grey over roads that cling to the snow in order to convey their frustration towards the cars that roam about on them so early in the day. Minnesota’s crisp winter air, glimmering snowflakes, and streets glistening under sheer ice all take my breath away.

And soon I am doubled over gasping for air, experiencing a mini asthma fit.

While I flail about, reaching for the safety of my warm car, I think: Ah, good ol’ MN.

Then, as my hair straw-like hair flings in my face, I realize that not only is this winter stealing the breath from my lungs but also the moisture from my hair.

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We all know that winter means dry air which means dry skin, but everybody forgets about their hair (and their scalp: most of these will help ease any dandruff-esque issues going on up there). Even if you forget, luckily for you, my job is to remember all of it: from head to toe! So get out that tub of coconut oil that I just know you keep in your room at all times and take some notes.

According to Loreal’s website, along with dry air, dry wind and intense heat indoors all work together to strip your hair of its essential oils. Essential oils are, well, quite essential to maintaining a healthy, shiny, flowing mane. Here are my suggested treatments:

Note: adjusts all amounts based on your hair’s overall thickness, strand thickness, and length

(Overnight) Hot Oil Treatment

If you haven’t heard of a hot oil treatment, it’s basically when you coat your hair in hot oil which is able to penetrate the hair shaft more effectively. The result: shiny, strong, moisturized hair. So here’s the DIY, at home recipe:

  • take about a fourth of a cup of oil into a bowl (I usually use olive oil but avocado or jojoba oil works even better!)  
  • head the oil in your microwave until it’s hot (but not hot enough to burn your skin)
  • place a towel around your shoulders, stand in the shower or over the skin, and pour the oil onto your scalp
  • then, massage the rest of the oil from your roots to your tips until you feel like a dripping, slightly uncomfortable bottle of E.V.O.O.
  • leave this in for as long as possible! I sometimes leave it on overnight because it seems to work better and last longer that way
  • if you do decide to leave it on overnight, I suggest using a silky pillow or wrapping your oily, messy plop of hair in a silk scarf

Coconut Oil Coating

IMG_1040
Photo Credit: Amodhya Samarakoon This is the coconut oil I keep in my room; it’s in solid form and melts into a thick oil within a few seconds.

I am so obsessed with coconut oil. (Heads up: I will most likely be doing a post solely about coconut oil next week.) One of the things it is great for is dry hair, especially if you wash your hair every day. Coconut oil is super thick and heavy so if you know that you’re going

to workout or take a shower in a couple hours then cover anything from just your roots to your whole head and scalp in the oil. I find that this acts as a buffer against harsh shampoo and keeps me from needing as much product or hair treatment after my shower.

Letting Grease Gather

I would like everyone to know that it is okay to not wash your hair every day, or even every other day. If you shower on a Thursday morning then don’t wash your hair until Saturday, maybe even Sunday night or Monday morning. Wear a shower cap to wash your body but, unless you’re sweating profusely, letting your hair chill for a while will be a good idea. If you need to go out to see people, use some dry shampoo or, if you can, throw your hair up into a pony or a messy bun. It may seem uncomfortable, but your hair isn’t growing nasty germs and little critters – the natural oil produced by your scalp is just gathering up. Stripping hair every single day, flat ironing, blow drying, and curling, despite the use of heat protectant spray, will damage your beautiful head of luscious hair.

Take care of your hair! (And your scalp, too.)

Products I recommend: Argan oil. Coconut oil. Hair Milk by Carol & Daughter Keratin with silk infusion by CHI (Cationic Hydration Interlink). Olive oil.

 

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