4 Winter hair care mistakes to avoid

Winter is here. As we snuggle in comfy knitwear, tuck our feet in socks, are we forgetting something vital? The winter season results in frail, dehydrated hair and hair loss. Every weather impacts our hair differently, and we need to change our hair care routine to prevent problems caused due to the change in the weather. Many ends being lazy and ignore the importance of having a different hair care routine for this season. Winters damage our hair, but what damages our hair is the hair care mistakes that we make during winters.

Here we have come up with a few hair care mistakes that one should avoid for a healthy hair care routine:

Washing with hot water

Avoid bathing in hot water during winter. It dries out your skin, as well as damages your hair and scalp to a greater extent. Extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, snatch the moisture from your hair strands, dehydrating them, which will cause frizz, dullness and hair breakage. Instead, go for moderately hot or warm water. It helps to maintain hair health without freezing you out of the shower and prevents further dryness. 

Overwashing the hair strands

Overwashing your hair results in a tight, flaky scalp as well as brittle, breaking hair strands. It is advised to shampoo every two to three days a week for straight or wavy textures, every four to five days for curly hair, and once a week for highly textured hair. To apply shampoo, run fingers through the hair, massage the scalp and detangle the lengths as you go. Then apply conditioner, only from the mid-lengths, combing through to the hair ends. 

Going outside with wet hair

When your hair is wet, and you go out in this cold temperature, the water crystallizes and expands, physically damaging the hair. To prevent that from happening, wash your hair at night before bed, so it becomes dry by morning or invest in a blow dryer. Remember, whenever you’re using heat styling products, use a protecting spray to protect it from damages. 

Not choosing the best hat

Hats are a go-to accessory for keeping you warm in the winter. But hats can damage your hair. Not only do they damage the hair, but also the repeated friction of putting on and taking off your hat often leads to breakage. Adding to this, hats don’t always let the scalp breathe. Avoid or minimize using hats with wool and cotton fabrics as they tear the hair strands and ripping it out of moisture. Opt for hats that are lined with silk or satin, so your hair glides about freely and holds on to its moisture. 

5 things you can do right now to prevent winter hair damage

During the winter months, cold weather outside combined with dry heat indoor cause damage to your hair strands, leading to split ends and breakage. Breakage is not just a summertime sadness. It occurs even during winter, and people with all hair types undergo this. To have a fabulous mane all year long irrespective of the season, there are a few precautions you can take right away. 

#1. Shampoo less often to avoid itchy, flaky scalp

Plaques of the skin can smother the scalp, causing itch and flakes. To prevent such conditions, shampoo a little less if you can. Those with flakes and more severe scalp issues, consult your doctor to recommend a shampoo that suits your hair. Also, watch your diet and manage stress to maintain the scalp in good condition.

#2. Lock in extra moisture by using moisturizers

Dry air is not suitable for any type of hair in any season. The only way to combat it is to lock in excess moisture in your hair. Natural, curly, wavy, and coiled hair is sensitive to cold weather, resulting in brittle texture, breakage, and split ends. Use an oil-based moisturizer that evaporates more slowly to protect your textured hair.

#3. Treat your hair weekly to keep it hydrated

Hair dries out faster in winter from not having enough moisture in the indoor air. Focus on weekly hair treatments to replace the lost moisture in the hair. A good conditioner comes in handy to help you on the same. Once a week, apply conditioner on and take 30 minutes for the moisture to get into your hair shaft.

#4. Prevent hair damage with olive oil

In winters, hair loses its moisture to dipping temperature and chilly winds. No scarves and hats help you when you step out. To lock in the hair moisturizer, opt for massaging with olive oil. Olive oil is the best for massaging your scalp, helping to boost moisturization and helping you relax. Heat the oil and apply it when warm. Massage the scalp gently. Follow this routine every time before shampooing your hair for healthy, hydrated hair.

#5. Use honey for better results

Honey acts as a natural hair mask that can be your go-to winter product. It restores the lost moisture in your hair and makes it look visibly voluminous. It doesn’t even weigh the hair down. Apply it to the hair length and wash off after 20 minutes with lukewarm water. It makes the hair look shiny and bouncy.

With these hair care tips in mind, rock the winter without any worries. Remember, it’s always advisable to visit your doctor if you were unable to handle the hair damage caused due to the winter season.

The Link Between Thyroid Disease and Hair Loss

You might have visited your doctor to check on the reason for your sudden hair loss and he/she would have told you to check for thyroid levels. You might have wondered what does the thyroid levels have to do with the hair loss. But the irony is that both were interconnected and low or high levels of thyroid hormones might leave you with the nightmare of going bald.

So how are they connected?

Hair follicles follow a natural cycle of hair growth and resting phases. In a given time, most of your hair will be growing while only a small portion of it will be in the resting phase. But when changes in the body disturb that cycle, too much hair rests at one time, resulting in excessive hair loss, hair thinning or balding.

Mild hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, or short-lived thyroid problems doesn’t cause hair loss. Severe and prolonged cases of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism cause hair loss. The loss is diffuse, involving the entire scalp rather than discrete areas. There are chances of regrowth if the thyroid disorder is treated properly.

Treating Thyroid Disease and Hair Loss

The good news is that once the thyroid disease is diagnosed and the right treatment is prescribed, the hair loss problem resolves on its own. Healthy hormone levels lead to healthy hair growth.

It may take some time but the right treatment will give you the best results. It is suggested to go for hair care products that are free from alcohol and minoxidil. If you’re uncomfortable with the look of your hair while treatment is in progress, you may consider wearing a wig or getting a new hairstyle till the results of your thyroid treatment begin.

Thyroid disease affects other body functions along with hair growth, so make sure to talk to your doctor and get the right treatment.

Combating the psychological effects of Alopecia areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss. It is most often a temporary condition but can result in permanent hair loss in rare cases. It neither tends to follow predictable patterns nor it is a condition that can be treated with certainty as the outcome of the condition varies from person to person.

It is not a life-threatening condition and does not directly make a person feel ill. One is still able to function normally and live life to the fullest with Alopecia areata. The effects of the disease are, for the most part, aesthetically distressing, which can lead to problems on the emotional front.

As with most medical conditions, however, the earlier a diagnosis is made and treatment measures implemented, the more positive outlook. Continuous treatment helps in stimulating growth and improving one’s overall appearance.

Those who experience a poorer outcome in terms of treatment results include:
● Individuals who have eczema, as well as alopecia areata
● Individuals who begin experiencing hair loss from a young age
● Individuals who experience hair loss over an extended period (long-term alopecia)
● Individuals who experience widespread hair loss (Alopecia totalis or Alopecia universalis)

Medical treatment addresses hair loss (the physical aspect of the condition), but can also include coping mechanisms for the emotional symptoms which may arise. Counselling and support groups are common recommendations in helping a person to deal with the emotional aspect of hair loss, which can dramatically affect confidence, and lead to increased levels of anxiety (at worst, even depression).

To avoid such emotional problems and possible social isolation, it can help a great deal to confide in counsellors or others with the condition themselves (within a safe environment), who can all provide comfort, advice and even helpful suggestions to improve one’s appearance (such as safe to use hair-coloured powders and creams to mask bald patches or permanent make-up techniques to replace missing eye-brows).

Know dandruff to No Dandruff

If you have an itchy and flaking scalp, you may be a suspect of a common skin condition called dandruff. But it may also cause other symptoms like greasy/oily patches on the scalp or tingling skin. The main causes of dandruff are dry skin and seborrheic dermatitis causing redness of the scalp.

Here are a few myths that one should know about dandruff to avoid it:

Myth #1. Dry scalp is the cause of dandruff
Truth: Oily scalp is one of the leading causes of dandruff. Oily scalp is the place where dandruff will thrive. Excessive oil production might lead to a condition called seborrheic dermatitis, which causes flakiness of skin.

Myth #2. You should scratch away flakes
Truth: It is a common myth that we should scratch away the flakes before we shampoo. But we should actually shampoo daily to rinse away the debris and flakes.

Myth #3. Your styling products increase dandruff
Truth: There are a lot of things that will cause dandruff like genetics and stress. But your styling isn’t one of them. Just make sure to rinse your hair of debris regularly.

Myth #4. Dandruff is contagious
Truth: Dandruff is a scalp condition and it is not contagious. The most common way we catch dandruff is by treating our scalp poorly. So, don’t have second thoughts about hugging loved ones.

Myth #5. Copper brushes can cure dandruff
Truth: Copper is said to have antifungal properties, there is no solid evidence that these properties cure dandruff completely. So, bank upon this myth and start looking for a permanent solution.

Bottom line

Dandruff is a very common problem among people. The solutions are readily available both homemade and professional. So, don’t believe everything that you hear. To make things clear, consult your doctor.

Things you shouldn’t do during lice infestation

Head lice are a common problem that usually affects school-aged children and middle-aged women. They get attached to the hair and never let it go. It doesn’t matter whether the hair is clean or dirty, head lice occur no matter what. Though head lice are a nuisance, people sometimes panic and end up doing the wrong things causing more trouble than it’s worth.

Here are a few things you should not do if you’re infected by lice:

● Don’t use hair dryers on hair after applying any scalp treatment, because some contain flammable ingredients. Sometimes a hair dryer could cause live lice to blow up into the air and spread.
● Don’t use a shampoo/conditioner combination before applying lice medication.
● Don’t wash your hair for 1 to 2 days after lice medication.
● Don’t use pest control sprays for lice, they are poisonous and are harmful. Head lice don’t survive long once they’re off a person. So, there is no need to panic and get the whole house sprayed.
● Don’t use more than one medication technique at a time. You should not change your medication in the middle of a treatment course.
● Don’t use chemicals and oils such as gasoline and kerosene on hair. These methods do not work and they are highly flammable.

Though lice are a common problem and easily attach themselves to people, remember that they are easy to cleanse. So, don’t do things that might backfire.

6 Universal hair care tips

To condition or not to condition, to oil or not to oil when it comes to the matter of hair, you’ll find all kinds of advice. But the truth is not everyone has the same hair problems.

The problems differ from person to person based on their growth pattern. There are different growth patterns such as curly hair, straight hair and below are tips for that are applicable for all.

Clean Regularly: Nothing destroys nice hair like dirt and accumulation of it would mark the end of your head full of hair days. So, it is highly advisable to keep your hair clean and wash it regularly. Be it any type of hair, a nice wash will do a world of good.

Only Straighten or curl when dry: Think about what happens when you drop a hot pan into the water. That is what happens when you use a straightener on wet hair. So, before you use a straightener or a curling iron, make sure your hair is completely dry.

Trimming of split ends: It is important to trim your split ends for high quantity and good growth of hair. When the ends of the hair split, they don’t grow properly. This is why trimming of your split ends is important.

Don’t go to town on the towel: Use your towel gently just to dry your hair. People tend to scrub really hard that the hair loses its anchor and comes off. Use of cotton towel is highly beneficial. Since cotton is soft by nature, it will not damage hair strands.

Silk case Pillow: The usage of a silk pillowcase instead of a cotton pillow will play a major role in the strengthening of hair. Since cotton is a good absorbent, it is said to absorb all the products. Hence switch to silk, you’ll find improvement.

A break from the ponytail: It might feel convenient to sweep all the hair that is falling on your face and wrap it into a ponytail. But this causes unnecessary stress on your locks and causes a lot of wear and tear. Causing high damage to the hair.

Bottom line:
The loss and damage of hair is a normal thing. It cannot be avoided but actions can be taken to reduce the damages.

The best foods for healthy hair and scalp

Healthy hair is quite difficult to achieve and manage as our hair is constantly exposed to pollution and chemicals. It’s not just what we apply on our hair, but what we take inside also counts. Nutrition plays a key role in the growth of our hair and it radiates on our hair and skin. Eating a healthy and balanced diet is essential to care for our hair inside out. We have listed some foods that you must add in your daily diet for having healthy hair and scalp.

Beans: Bean sprouts contain silica, which is essential for hair. Our body uses silica to absorb minerals and vitamins in the body. Even if you are eating plenty of vitamins but you’re not consuming silica, it is of no use.

Cottage Cheese: Dairy products are a good source of calcium and protein. They also contain whey proteins and casein. Try including cottage cheese in your diet. If you are not fond of the bland taste of cottage cheese, add it in your gravy to improve its taste.

Flax Seeds: Flax seeds contain high amount of iron and are rich in omega-3. This supports scalp health and encourages hair growth.

Dark green vegetables: Dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach contain vitamin C and Vitamin A, which is needed for our body to produce sebum. It naturally conditions hair, adding shine and luster to it. It regulates blood circulation in scalp, keeping it healthy.

Carrots: Drink carrot juice every single day for quick growth of hair. The hair encloses the fastest growing tissues in the body and vitamin A is needed for growth of every cell. Also, it helps scalp to produce the natural sebum oil which keeps it as well as the roots healthy, boosting hair growth.

The list cannot be completed without water. Water hydrates the scalp and ensures good circulation of blood thus helping the vital nutrients in finding their way to your hair.

It is easy to build diet that is rich in foods mentioned above to get healthy and lustrous hair. Also, ensure that you consult your doctor before embarking on new diet regimen.

How to identify and treat head lice in children

Lice are annoying and embarrass people at times. They feed on the blood drawn from the scalp. However, they are harmless and are about the size of a sesame seed.

Their tiny tan-colored eggs are called nits and are found firmly attached to the hair shaft. These nits are hatched within one to two weeks after they are laid. Nits can be easily seen and identified than live lice. The live lice survive only up to two days off the scalp. People more commonly get head lice through head-to-head contact rather than indirectly.

Identifying head lice in children

Lice are very common in school kids, as they get in contact with one another more often. They occur most frequently in children between the age of 3 to 12 years.

An itchy scalp is the very common symptom of head lice. However, the itching may not start immediately and may sometimes be delayed for weeks as the head lice takes time to develop.

If you suspect a lice infestation in your child, check for lice and nits with a fine-tooth comb on the scalp, around the nape of the neck and behind the ears. A good comb and bright light will be of good help.

Head lice treatments

Combing helps in getting the lice out and won’t leave out the dead nits. Lice comb that is long with the tines close together would be effective. Comb your child’s hair while you have them in the bathtub. Use a soft conditioner so that the comb can go smoothly.

Head lice treatments that contain permethrin are found effective in clearing head lice. Permethrin comes in the form of either cream or lotion. When applied on the scalp, it effectively kills the lice. Follow the instructions on the label, or consult your pharmacist/doctor for the right application uses. After the treatment, remove the nits from your child’s hair using a fine-tooth comb to prevent further infestation.

Preventing head lice

Lice are spread mostly through head-to-head contact. Sharing personal items like a comb, hair brushes, and hats can also be a reason. If your child has lice, treat it properly to avoid repeated infestation.

Wash all bedding, towels, and clothing of your child in hot water. Place the bedding items that cannot be washed in an airtight bag for two weeks. Clean all hair-care items in warm soapy water. But don’t fret over extensive cleaning.

Remember head lice doesn’t mean your child has poor hygiene and it is nothing to be embarrassed about.

Healthy foods to prevent hair loss

For a person longing for stronger strands and thicker tresses, healthy foods come as the knight in shining armour. Hair follicles are some of the most metabolically active cells with the highest cell turnover rate in the body. Restricting calories or falling short on protein, minerals, essential fatty acids and vitamins can lead to abnormalities in hair fiber structure, production, pigmentation changes and hair loss. If you’re deficient in the nutritional building blocks like protein, your body stops producing healthy hair.

Hair growth is most productive from age 15 to 30 and may slow or change after 40. Below are a few healthy foods that are rich in the above-mentioned minerals and nutrients that help in preventing hair loss:

Nuts:

Nuts, like almonds and walnuts, are natural emollients for the hair follicles. They moisturize the hair shaft, making it look glossy. Nuts are rich in omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, helping in reducing hair loss and increasing hair growth. Nuts are also rich in vitamin B, vitamin E, and zinc. Vitamin E teams up with selenium to make the cell membranes strong and provide antioxidant defense.

Spinach:

Popeye’s favorite vegetable Spinach prevents the hair from thinning. Beyond beefing up your iron levels, spinach also contains folate, and vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis and cross-linking of keratin fibers which occur in fiber production of the hair.

Sweet potatoes:

Sweet potatoes served in any style, be it baked, roasted or toasted, are found to be healthy to hair as they are full of vitamin B6 and vitamin A. Vitamin A in sweet potatoes aid in sebum production and help in speeding up the hair growth rate.

Eggs:

Eggs, a great source of protein and biotin, are important for the growth of healthy hair. Biotin keeps enzymes to metabolize nutrients that nourish hair follicles. Beyond biotin, the yolks are potent in vitamin D which is important to get via diet or supplementation since our bodies don’t produce it naturally.

Fishes:

It’s probably clear as crystal that protein is important to those who dream of healthy hair. Sudden weight loss or a poor diet low in protein, low in healthy fats can contribute to shedding and weak, unhealthy hair. Fish such as salmon, herring, tuna, and sardines offer protein, vitamin D, omega-3 fats and other hair-boosting components to nourish the skin and thicken the fat layer around hair follicle, preventing hair loss and boosting up hair growth.