Health

Expert reveals how to protect your hair and scalp against this winter

We want our locks to look great all-year-round, but unfortunately winter can be seriously harsh on hair. Icy temperatures, dry air and blustery winds combined with central heating mean our scalps are more prone to dehydration and dryness.

However, keeping your scalp healthy and hydrated needn’t be a hard task according to top trichologist Stephanie Sey. Ahead, Stephanie shares a list of things you can try at home to help keep scalp and hair dryness at bay.

1. Buy an anti-dandruff shampoo

Stephanie says: ‘Dandruff is thought to get worse in the winter because of the dry air from central heating. Another reason may be because in cold drier weather, the scalp produces more oil to lubricate and protect the scalp which interacts with a fungus called malassezia causing dandruff.’

We recommend: Nizoral Anti-dandruff Shampoo, £5, amazon.co.uk

Nizoral’s dermatologically tested, and fragrance-free anti-dandruff shampoo is a big hit on Amazon, not only is it the site’s number one bestselling shampoo, the product has a 4.5-star rating based on more than 14,000 reviews.

The £5 shampoo relieves the symptoms of dandruff and soothes a red and itchy scalp without stripping your hair. Ketoconazole, an NHS recommended ingredient for anti-dandruff shampoos, is a highly effective antifungal agent and the prime ingredient in this top-rated shampoo.

2. Invest in a silk pillowcase

Stephanie says: ‘Changing your cotton pillowcase for a satin or silk option helps to avoid drying out and snagging on your natural hair, especially during the winter months. Both materials protect your hair from bedhead and breakage.’

We recommend: ALASKA BEAR Mulberry Silk Pillowcase, £22.99, amazon.co.uk

Not only do they feel incredible to sleep on, but silk pillowcases are also great for maintaining hair health minimising hair breakage and split ends.

And they don’t have to cost the earth either. This silky, smooth pillowcase from ALASKA BEAR, which costs a reasonable £22.99, is made from 100 per cent mulberry silk (silk’s equivalent of Egyptian cotton) is currently one of the mega retailer’s top-rated pillowcases, having racked up over 11,000 five-star reviews.

3. Protect, Protect, Protect

Stephanie says: ‘This is the time of the year where the hair is more prone to dryness and breakage so I’d recommend giving your hair a break from heat and hair dye for a couple of months.

‘Blow drying and straightening draws moisture out of your hair, increasing the chance of breakage whereas heat-free drying helps keep your hair shiny and healthy.

She added: ‘Try some protective styles too such as braids, buns and ponytails which give hair time off from the heat routine.’

We recommend:  Aquis Rapid Dry Lisse Turban, £30, spacenk.com

This Aquis turban is a simple-yet-effective way to speed up hair drying time and reduce frizz.

The Lisse Luxe hair turban has been crafted from the brand’s AQUITEX fabric, which is woven with ultra-fine fibres that wick away moisture from hair without rubbing, allowing it to dry naturally. It’s the ultimate hair towel.

4. Don’t go outside with wet hair

Stephanie says: ‘Wet hair is far more vulnerable to damage than dry hair. Walking outside in winter with a wet head is not a good idea as it can cause hair to freeze and break.

‘While air drying is best, it’s better to lightly blow dry most of your hair than go outdoors with a saturated mane.’

We recommend: Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer, £299.99, boots.com

Not only does the coveted Dyson Supersonic™ significantly reduce drying time, it cleverly measures air temperature 40 times every second, controlling heat distribution, which helps reduce damage. Say goodbye to frizz and hello to gorgeous-looking, ultra-shiny locks.

5. Consider buying a humidifier

Stephanie says: ‘Both heaters and radiators dry out the air and, of course, your hair. Buying a humidifier will help to keep the air from getting too dry whilst you sleep.’

We recommend: VicTsing Fragrance Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier, £21.24, amazon.co.uk

The Tenswall Essential Oil Diffuser lets out a cool and quiet ultrasonic mist to fill the room with essential oil fragrance, which is known to relieve stress and relax your body and mind.

The humidifier will also turn off automatically with a beep when it is waterless for your safety and energy efficiency. Just add a few drops of oil (not included) to fill any room with a fragrant mist. It can last up to ten hours on one 400ml fill.

6. Use a leave-in conditioner

Stephanie says: ‘Leave-in conditioners rich in humectants such as aloe vera help maintain the hair’s moisture content. The products seep deep into the scalp and keep it from getting dry while it deep conditions the hair shafts.’

She adds: ‘If you aren’t big on trying new products all the time, you can just take a few drops of argan oil after a shower and run it through your damp hair.’

We recommend: Undone by George Northwood Moisturising Cream 250ml, £15, boots.com

Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Rachel Weisz and even Meghan Markle are just a few of the A-list clientele of hairdresser George Northwood. Now the hairstylist to the stars has released his first-ever haircare collection Undone. And it’s seriously affordable.

Available at Boots, the vegan, cruelty-free range features a slew of products including a moisturising cream that costs £15 and reduces frizz,  increases hair volume and makes it a breeze to run a brush through your locks to minimise breaking.

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