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Soothing the "Winter Itch" for your Hair and Scalp

Dry hair and itchy scalp is a common winter issue for many people. As the temperature and humidity levels fall, dry skin becomes prominent, thus stripping the skin of its natural moisture. This can lead to discomfort, not to mention, constant scratching and the disturbing trail of white flakes left behind. If you are suffering from this annoying winter hair monster, then suffer no more! Try these tips to help cure your winter hair blues...

• Shampoo less often Excessive shampooing can aggravate inactive sebaceous glands, consequently, causing dry hair and scalp. The lack of natural oils leads to hair that appears dry, dull, and lifeless. Try changing your shampoo routine to every other day (longer if you can tolerate it) to allow the natural sebum (oil) to lubricate each strand in between washings.

• Use a shampoo with moisturizers and emollients When it is time for you shampoo, consider using a shampoo that contains protein, biotin, and humectants. These conditioning agents restore moisture, strengthen the hair, and add volume. Just remember that too much moisture can weigh your hair down, so you could even try a dry shampoo to revive your second or third day hair without looking like you just rolled out of bed.

• Avoid harsh shampoos The use of strong soaps, products, or detergents with a high alcohol content can intensify existing hair and scalp conditions. Make sure to use a shampoo with a PH between 4.5-5.5 to prevent excessive dryness and hair damage during the cleansing process.

• Condition! You can also treat dryness by investing in a good conditioner. Conditioners smooth the cuticle and coat the hair strands to give it a shiny look. During the winter months, I would recommend a deep conditioner once or twice a week; however, make sure to find a conditioner that is light enough to use frequently, but still packs the moisture you need for your hair. Cream rinses are a great choice for avoiding heavy buildup, when used properly.

• Reduce thermal styling Most often dry hair is confused with overly porous hair. Overly porous hair can be contributed to by heavy use of thermal styling tools such as blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons. When used regularly, thermal styling can add to the dry and lackluster appearance of the hair. Try to minimize using heat-styling as much as possible; but if you can't resist, be sure to apply a thermal protectant prior to using your heat tool of choice. Also, take advantage of the cool setting on your blow dryer or let your hair air- dry for as long as possible to minimize the amount of time you have to use your blow dryer.

• Try some oil! When used correctly, oil can be a great remedy for dry hair. One of my all time favorites is CHI Silk Infusion; it adds moisture, increases shine, and improves manageability. Plus, it will help strengthen your hair over time, and improve the look of dry, brittle hair and split ends. Place a drop or two of oil in the palm of your hands and rub together. Apply before you blow dry and also when your hair is dry to make fly-a-ways disappear!

I trust that with these slight changes to your routine, you can have soft, shiny, manageable hair while chestnuts are roasting in an open fire and Jack Frost nips at your nose!

Happy Holidays!

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