When it comes to our hair, the winter months can take its toll. Cooler temperatures, high winds and central heating, combined with a hat topper and, quite possibly, a few indulgent weeks over the holiday season can all cause issues like dandruff, dryness, and fading.
While many of us modify our skin care regimen to accommodate seasonal factors, only a few do the same with our hair care. However, experts say a few simple product swaps along with a few lifestyle tips could make all the difference and leave your hair in good stead this winter.
Here we caught up with Stephanie Sey, Nizoral’s top trichologist and spokesperson, to learn about all of the expert-approved ways to ensure your hair and scalp stays healthy this winter.
Don’t wear a hat all the time
âIn cold weather, the scalp produces more oil to lubricate and protect the scalp which, in turn, interacts with a fungus called Malassezia,â explains StÃ©phanie. “It causes dandruff – but don’t worry, you can reduce flare-ups with a few simple lifestyle changes.”
One of those lifestyle factors is your choice of headgear. Try not to wear a hat all the time, especially if the weather is nice. UV rays inhibit the production of Malassezia, which means that dandruff will be reduced when the scalp is exposed to daylight. Of course, always make sure your skin is protected by using a broad spectrum SPF and if you find your ears are getting cold try earmuffs instead to allow the scalp to bask in the natural light it has. so much needed.
Take vitamin D supplements
We all know that vitamin D is crucial for a strong immune system, but what some don’t realize is that it is also essential for a healthy scalp. âShorter days and more time indoors mean that many of us are exposed to very little sun and, as a result, may suffer from vitamin D deficiency,â says Stephanie. “Vitamin D supports the immune health of the scalp, while retaining moisture and helping the skin to repel yeasts or bacterial organisms.”
Stephanie advises increasing the amount of eggs and fatty fish in your diet to get more vital vitamin. Or, you can always take supplements for reassurance.
Watch your sugar intake
Many of us indulge in sugary treats and alcohol more than usual during the holiday season. âThe food we eat can have an impact on the health of our hair and scalp,â explains StÃ©phanie. âThis is because the nutrients and supplements we get from food are the building blocks of our hair condition. Eating the right foods will encourage the number of healthy cells produced by the body.
While quite acceptable in moderation, an abundance of sugar found in many comfort foods and alcoholic beverages can exacerbate any existing inflammatory conditions, including seborrheic dermatitis (a condition that can cause itchy, scaly patches on the scalp. ) and folliculitis, which can cause itchy pustules. on the scalp. Many of these inflammatory scalp conditions have the ability to speed up hair loss, causing thinning, so it’s worth making changes if you start to notice symptoms.
Change your shampoo
Just like many other conditions, some people have a predisposition to dandruff and scalp problems. If you find that lifestyle changes aren’t helping, it’s worth replacing your regular shampoo with a shampoo that contains ketoconazole, an antifungal ingredient that prevents the growth of the Malassezia fungus, which causes symptoms of dandruff.
âThe use of ketoconazole helps control and effectively treat the cause of dandruff, as well as the symptoms,â explains StÃ©phanie. Fortunately, you can buy these shampoos without a prescription and the dandruff should visibly reduce within a month.
Remember, it’s not just your hair that can suffer in winter. Find out how sleeping with central heating damages your skin as well as the best nourishing lip balms to prevent chapped lips.