We usually think of healthy hair and skin as a way to look beautiful. But nature had other plans. It designed healthy skin to protect our bodies from too much sun, wind, rain, and snow. Skin is a living organ that protects the inner organs. It maintains the right body temperature and insulates organs from microbes in the air.
So taking care of your hair and skin is actually not about vanity, but taking care of your health. During winter, skin irritation and inflammation can cause serious discomfort. If you have an unusual skin condition, see a doctor. A dermatologist can prescribe dermatitis, eczema, or hemorrhoids treatment products for a skin problem. But for normal hair and skin health, common sense and home remedies work well. You may also take a short PMU training course to help you learn more about applying cosmetic products and doing your make up. Those who would like to improve the appearance of their skin may consider cosmetic procedures like microneedling.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips to protect hair and skin:
- Bathe less with cooler temperatures. A 20 to 30 minute shower in almost boiling hot water can offer immediate relief after a cold walk through the snow. Still, it’s not the best thing for hair and skin. Bathing for 10 minutes, or even less, with warm water will not strip moisture away from your hair and skin.
- The TV Show Northern Exposure showed people in T-shirts and shorts walking through snow. While impressive, avoid this level of bravado and brazen indifference to inclement weather. Stay sensible and warm with a coat, hat, scarf, and gloves. These will prevent windburn and damage to skin from prolonged exposure to the elements.
- Sure, it was fun to sport your beach body during summer and stay on a low fat diet to show muscle definition. But now it’s now time to befriend healthy fats again. For winter, you should include monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Foods rich in these fats include avocados, flax, olive oil, and nuts.
- Don’t quite retire fruits and vegetables for soups, broths, and other warm meals. Still add dark leafy greens and citrus fruits to your diet. These are rich in Vitamin C, which boosts your body’s ability to produce collagen. Collagen, you may remember, keeps skin firm and protects other connective tissue, too.
- In summer, you may have toted your water bottle with you to stay hydrated. It’s a great idea to drink plenty of water in winter, too. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to show that water rehydrates dry, itchy skin. Still, plenty of water is essential for many metabolic functions.
During winter, it’s common to have an itchy scalp and rough hair.
- Itchy Scalp. Itchiness can be due to lack of moisture, scalp fungal infections, or product buildup.
Before showering massage coconut oil, olive oil, or Vitamin E into the scalp. This will help moisturize your scalp. If this doesn’t help, then wash your hair with tea tree oil every day until it no longer itches. Tea tree oil removes fungal infections.
If you still have dry, itchy scalp, then the problem may be an accumulation of gunk from product. Use apple cider vinegar to wash it away.
- Rough Hair. Moisturizing the hair with coconut oil, olive oil, or Vitamin E should have helped. If it didn’t you may need some more scalp TLC.
Here are 3 suggestions:
- Alter how much you wash your hair. If you wash everyday try dropping it down to twice a week. Your shampoo may be a little too effective. It may have stripped away moisture from your scalp and drying your hair.
- If this still didn’t work, then drop the shampoo and just try a quick rinse. But still continue to use the conditioner.
- If still rough, then the issue is not related to hair washing, but hair drying. Stop blow drying or brushing hair. Instead dry hair with a towel and use a wide-toothed comb with olive oil (just a few drop will do.)
During winter, it’s common to have dry skin, cracked feet and scaly elbows.
- Dry Skin.Moisturize dry skin by adding olive oil in bathwater or by applying a thick lotion after you bathe.
- Cracked Feet. Treat cracked feet in two ways. First, use a pumice stone to scrub away calluses after a shower. Second, use a lotion with lactic acid before bed and wear cotton socks when you sleep.
- Scaly Elbows.Exfoliate and moisturize for scaly elbows. First, exfoliate, doing this once or twice a week. One recipe for a quick scrub is a mix consisting of a teaspoon of sugar with a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice. Second, moisturize elbows with a thick lotion, or, if particularly bad, with petroleum jelly.
Protect Hair and Skin This Winter
Winter is a time of dry air, strong winds, and freezing temperatures. Thermal underwear, layers of clothes, and fluffy hats won’t protect hair and skin. Your hair can get rough, your scalp dry, and your skin itchy. The contrast between the cold outside air from wind and the hot inside air from central heat strips moisture from your hair follicles and skin pores. Health habits and remedial hair and skin tips can make a huge difference.