Are the wintry winds robbing your hair of its shine? Winter and dry hair often go hand in hand if you don’t follow the right hair care routine. Low moisture in the air can leave your hair frizzy and dull making it prone to breakage.
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix says, “Ayurveda gives a detailed description of the six ritus (seasons), that the Indian Subcontinent experiences. Hemanta and Shishir Ritu Charya both describe the winter season regimen.”
Scroll down to know what affects your hair in the cold season and how to reverse the winter hair damage with simple hacks and Ayurvedic oils.
What Makes Your Hair Dry In Winter?
Several factors combine to damage your hair when the weather is cold and dry. Therefore, proper winter hair care is necessary to combat the below-mentioned factors from causing frizz, dandruff and hair fall in winter.
1. Low Moisture In Air
Since the winter air has a low moisture content, your hair shaft tends to get dehydrated easily. The escape of moisture causes frizz and static hair, which are common winter woes. According to research, hair in low humidity is more vulnerable than hair in high humidity. In low humidity, it takes very little effort to stretch a strand of hair and break it. This is why dry weather can wreak more damage to hair than humid weather.
2. Low Sebum Secretion
Your body has a heat mechanism system  that constantly works to maintain an optimal temperature for your body enzymes to function. When the weather outside is cold, your body curbs the subcutaneous blood flow to the skin to lower heat escape.
This affects the sebum produced by your sebaceous glands, which hydrate your hair strands. With a low supply of essential oils, your hair shafts become dry and brittle. This can also cause dryness in your scalp leading to dandruff and hair fall in winter.
3. Open Cuticle Layer
Dryness in the winter air can slightly raise your hair’s cuticle layer, causing moisture from the hair shaft to escape into the air. A raised cuticle makes your hair appear frizzy. Dry, frizzy locks get tangled easily, leading to hair breakage.
According to Ayurveda, your body’s wellbeing is directly related to the level of your Tridoshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). Their levels are affected by various internal and external factors such as your Prakriti (body constitution), weather changes, diet etc.
In winter, the Vata Dosha gets aggravated, causing various ‘Shirorogas’ (hair conditions) such as ‘Kesh Rukshata’ (dryness), ‘Darunaka’ (dandruff) and ‘Keshpatan’ (hair fall). A proper winter hair care regime including ‘Shiro Abhyanga’ (head massage) with Ayurvedic oils can pacify the effects of Vata on your scalp and strengthen your hair from its roots.
How To Take Care Of Hair In Winter?
Follow these simple methods to reduce hair fall in winter. These can also help you treat all other winter-related hair problems that stop you from flaunting your beautiful tresses.
1. Wear A Hat
Increase your style quotient this winter with a beautiful hat/ head cover. Head covers protect your hair from the dry, cold winds and prevent frizz and tangles. Covering your hair also stops moisture from evaporating into the air, keeping your hair hydrated for longer hours. A woolen hat may cause unwanted friction, so use silk or satin for a head cover. Layer it up with wool to keep the cold away.
2. Use A Mild Shampoo
Shampoos that contain Sulfates, especially Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate, dry your hair. Choose a mild shampoo that is devoid of these harsh surfactants and other harmful chemicals such as Parabens, artificial fragrances and colours.
Herbal shampoos that are chemical-free cleanse your hair gently, without further stripping the hair shafts of their natural oils in winter. Another great option is cleansing your hair with Ayurveda recommended Reetha and Shikakai (soap nut and soap pod). These boost hair health, maintain shine and promote new hair growth.
3. Essential Oils
Replenish the lost moisture in your hair with essential oils this winter. Essential oils such as Sesame oil, Olive oil, and Almond oil provide shine and nourishment to dull tresses. Rich in essential nutrients, these oils help fight various winter hair problems such as dryness, dandruff, breakage and hair fall.
Some other oils recommended in Ayurvedic texts are Coconut oil, Amla oil and Bhringraj oil for promoting hair growth and preventing hair fall in winter.
4. Avoid Taking Hot Showers
Hot showers in winter are scintillating to the senses, but not that great for your tresses. Hot water opens up your hair cuticles allowing for the essential moisture to escape into the air. Hence, a hot shower can leave your hair porous, dry and more susceptible to breakage. Opt for lukewarm water if cool showers are not an option.
5. Deep Conditioners
Deep conditioners are your one step solution to several winter hair problems. From locking moisture in your hair shaft, preventing frizz and split ends to decreasing tangles, deep conditioning does it all. Deep condition every time you wash your hair or whenever your hair feels dehydrated. Natural deep conditioners like Aloe Vera, Honey, Hibiscus flowers  are safer if you wish to stay away from their chemical alternatives.
6. Hair Mask
Pamper your hair in winter with some nourishing hair mask that repairs and replenishes essential oils in your hair shaft. Use a hair mask after you shampoo and before conditioning your hair for best results. Below is a perfect winter home remedy to treat your dry hair.
A. Banana, Avocado and Honey Winter Hair Mask
This is a wonder hair mask to bring back life and lustre to your winter damaged tresses. Banana and avocado are both rich in essential vitamins and minerals that repair the cuticle layer of your hair.
Amino acids in avocado revitalize damaged strands and prevent dandruff. Potassium and other minerals in banana moisturize and strengthen your hair shaft. Honey, being a natural humectant, forms a protective layer over your hair and prevents excessive moisture loss in winter.
To make, blend a ripe banana and a whole avocado with honey and apply the mask through the length of your hair. Leave it on for 30 mins before rinsing.
Centuries ago, the ancient Egyptians used avocados to naturally treat hair fall and various other hair and scalp problems. Avocados still form an integral part of many hair care regimens for their exceptional benefits in promoting hair growth and nourishing hair that is prone to damage.
7. Keep Your Hair And Scalp Hydrated
Your scalp and hair tend to become dry in winter, leading to dandruff, split ends and breakage. Hence, it is important to apply hair masks, leave-in conditioner and serums that will seal moisture in your locks and scalp. A good oil massage using coconut, sesame, olive or almond oil is a good way to provide necessary hydration for your hair. Using aloe vera gel on your scalp and hair will also keep winter induced dryness away.
8. Avoid Over-Styling Your Hair
You may risk damaging your hair shaft in winter by using heat tools on dry hair. Straighteners, curlers and blow dryers can further strip your hair of its essential oils and increase chances of permanent damage to your hair strands. At a time when your hair is already in need of hydration, over styling will only dry it more. So, if you must style your hair, use a heat protectant spray or serum to avoid breakage and hair fall in winter.
9. Don't Go Out With Wet Hair
When you step out into the cold weather with damp hair, there is a chance that the dry weather will dehydrate and tangle your hair. Moreover, your hair is more porous when it is wet and exposed to damage by pollution, dry winds and friction.
10. Regular Trimming
Split ends are common winter woes that can be avoided with frequent trims. No need to compromise on your length, as your hairdresser can simply remove split ends with the hair dusting method. Regular trims also bring back bounce and prevent hair shaft breakage due to split ends in winter.
11. Prevent Dandruff
Keep your scalp hydrated at all times to prevent dandruff caused by dry scalp. Anti-dandruff shampoos can help fight the white flakes. Ayurvedic alternatives such as Reetha and Shikakai help to prevent dandruff by keeping your scalp moisturized. Neem and Hibiscus are wonder herbs that prevent Darunaka (dandruff) as per Ayurvedic literature.
12. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated from within. Your diet also determines the health of your hair. So include fruits and vegetables that have a high water content. This helps to keep your hair roots nourished and pacifies the Vata Dosha that causes several hair problems in winter.
How Often Should I Wash My Hair In Winter?
Pollution is inescapable if you are living in the city. But washing your hair too often in winter can deprive your locks of the essential oils that keep it nourished. Limit your hair washes to 2 to 3 times a week. Wash dry hair less frequently to avoid breakage. If you have an oily scalp, you can wash every 2 days to avoid clogging your follicles.
Which Ayurvedic Oils Are Best For Hair In Winter?
Winter hair care is incomplete without a nourishing oil massage. Since the ancient days Ayurvedic herbal oil massages have been used to harmonize the Doshas, treat Shirorogas (hair problems) and promote hair growth. The below-mentioned essential Ayurvedic oils fight various hair conditions that occur in winter including dandruff, split ends, dryness and breakage.
1. Coconut Oil
Warm coconut oil head massage is a solution to many winter hair problems such as dandruff, dry hair, frizz, split ends and hair fall. The essential fatty acids in coconut oil protects your hair’s cuticle layer and prevents excess loss of moisture. Making this part of your daily hair care routine in winter will give you beautiful, lustrous hair that is healthy from within.
2. Sesame Oil
Sesame Oil is an amazing Vata-Kapha Dosha pacifier. Regular application of sesame oil to your dry scalp and hair in winter can prevent dandruff and split ends, which eventually lead to hair fall in winter. Sesame oil being rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E and B complex strengthens damage-prone hair and promotes new hair growth. It nourishes your scalp and helps to maintain its natural oil balance.
3. Almond Oil
Including Almond oil in your winter hair care routine will bring back your hair’s lost shine. Rich in Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, minerals and phospholipids, this oil can combat winter hair fall with ease. It deeply nourishes your hair from its roots and seals the cuticles that tend to open up in the winter, adding shine and volume to dull tresses.
Bhringraj  is the magical Ayurvedic oil trusted by hair specialists since centuries. Bhringraj effectively harmonizes your Doshas, bringing back stability to your scalp. Regular application of Bhringraj Oil on your scalp and hair promotes the growth of thick, lustrous locks.
Its antibacterial properties prevent various Shirorogas including dandruff and hair fall. It improves blood circulation and promotes the secretion of natural oils that keep your hair shaft nourished naturally.
If dandruff and dryness are your winter hair problems, then Amla  is a great option. Soak Amla in any carrier oil such as coconut and apply all over your scalp and hair. An amazing source of vitamin C, phytonutrients and essential minerals, Amla strengthens your hair follicles and promotes new hair growth. It effectively nourishes dry strands and promotes shine and health to your hair.
Vedix Tip: Make your own winter hair oil by heating 12 Hibiscus flowers and 5 leaves, Curry leaf powder, Amla and Methi in coconut oil. Heat the ingredients for 10 minutes in low flame, cool and strain the oil. Use it on scalp and hair to fight all winter related hair problems.
The Last Word
Winter brings in many hair problems such as dandruff, dryness, split ends, static hair and hair fall. With your hair being deprived of its natural oils, it is essential to provide extra nourishment to prevent your beautiful tresses from losing their health and bounce. The above mentioned winter hair care tips, winter home remedies and Ayurvedic oils are sure to prevent your hair problems. So flaunt your locks in style without worrying about hair damage this winter.Know Your Dosha Now
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