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Hats Off to Luscious Locks

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Hats Off to Luscious Locks

Nothing ruins your hairdo faster than a woolly toque - except, of course, the dull, dry, flyaway hair that often accompanies cold winter months. Happily, you don't have to hide your hair under a hat to survive the winter hair season.

Nothing ruins your hairdo faster than a woolly toque–except, of course, the dull, dry, flyaway hair that often accompanies cold winter months. Happily, you don’t have to hide your hair under a hat to survive the winter hair season.

Healthy hair is shiny hair. The shine indicates that the scales of the cuticle are smooth and flat against the hair shaft, so that light is easily reflected. Hair loses its lustre when it is dehydrated–either from styling products, blow-drying, too much sun or dry weather, or a lack of nutrients in your diet. Overshampooing can also be a culprit.

Polishing Your Locks

If your hair tends to be dry but you suffer serious bedhead in the morning, occasionally skip the shampoo and simply wet and condition your locks. To help regain shine, make sure you use a hair conditioner regularly to keep the cuticle lying flat against the hair shaft.

You also need essential fatty acids (EFAs) to give your hair a healthy shine. Include fish along with nuts and seeds in your diet–or use EFA supplements from your health food store.

Diffuse the Static

Add static electricity to the joys of wearing hats in the winter. Caused by friction–combing, brushing, and removing hats and other clothing–static not only ruins your hairstyle, it also dries your hair. Fine hair is most vulnerable to static damage.

Pull the plug on static electricity by making sure your hair gets extra moisture. Check the humidity levels in your home, and switch to a shampoo that doesn’t strip your hair of the natural oils that help to prevent an electrical charge. Or apply a drop of jojoba oil to your hair after shampooing to reduce friction. You might even try a leave-in conditioner. Some people get rid of static by rinsing hair in cool water after conditioning.

Other tips for eliminating flyaway hair include wearing clothing made of natural fibres such as cotton, wool, and silk. Use natural bristle brushes to give you hair a smooth finish, as plastic bristles promote static. And keep primping to a minimum during the winter because friction is a major factor in creating the electrical charge.

Feeding Your Hair

Along with adequate moisture, your winter-weary hair also needs certain nutrients to grow long and strong. Hair that is brittle could be lacking in selenium or orthosilicic acid (silica), and sulphur–the main components of hair’s structure. Calcium and magnesium help to promote healthy hair growth, while copper is necessary for preventing hair loss. A daily multivitamin could be the best beauty product on the market for luscious locks this winter. Hats off to your beautiful hair!

Hair-Raising Facts

Hair is fed from the lower layers of our skin, while the outer skin layer contains the hair root, root muscles, and sebaceous (oil) glands. Hair grows when dead cells within the hair root are filled with a type of protein called keratin and pushed up the hair follicle. The outer portion of a hair is called the cuticle, and the inside is known as the cortex. Our locks grow approximately half an inch (1 cm) monthly, even in winter.

Get a Head Start on Great Hair

  • Help remove dead scalp flakes and product build-up by brushing before, not after, you shampoo.
  • Hair is more delicate when wet, so it can easily stretch and snap if you try to brush it. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb on wet hair.
  • Have your hair trimmed at least every six weeks to prevent and remove unsightly split ends.
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