Want as much hair growth in winter as you get in July? Focus on your scalp. The crisp air of winter can combine with those hot comfort showers we like in December and leave your hair clumpy and limp. A dry scalp does little for hair growth. But you can prevent that.
Hair growth for the seasons optimizes the scalp, with blood circulation and the nutrients required for shiny, healthy hair. That’s not to say that you’ll grow hair where you’re genetically programmed to lose it. But it is to say that good habits can maximize the hair growth your genes will allow.
Spring – Rise and Shine! – Your scalp may need some circulation after spending the winter cloaked in hats and indoor heating with a self-massage. Fill your palm with shampoo and spread your fingers across your scalp. Tuck your thumbs behind your ears. Then knead your fingertips and shampoo across your scalp in small circles. Use a dandruff shampoo to perform this routine if you’re prone to flakes.
Summer – Protect Your Scalp – Unless you’re blessed with plentiful locks, this hottest of seasons can burn your scalp, which in turn can damage your skin and increase risk of skin cancer. That goes double for men, with less coverage to go around.
Protect your scalp with a loose-fitting, floppy, yet wide-brimmed hat to prevent burning and reduce sweating. You can also try sun protection products designed specifically for the hair. Some products also protect against summer irritants like pool chlorine. Just be sure to massage a protective lotion of some kind into your hair, and preferably a Broad Spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15.
In addition, take care to rinse out shampoo, gels and other hair products, to avoid build-up of residue that can make dandruff worse.
Fall – Take Back Your Scalp – After a summer of sun and the elements, it’s time to restore health and circulation to your scalp, with a combination shampoo and conditioner to strip sand, sun and chemicals that can build up and clog the hair follicles. Another challenge of Autumn hair care? Dry air and indoor heaters cranked high to compensate for cooler weather.
Look for a shampoo with menthol in this transitional season.
Winter – Don’t Let it Get to Your Head – You’re more likely to wear warm, darker clothing in winter, which can make dandruff more noticeable. Be gentle to your scalp in the cold season. Avoid hot baths and showers, which strip your scalp of its natural oils. Use warm water instead, with just enough steam to open the pores, yet retain moisture in your skin.
Also, shampoo and condition regularly in winter. Wash thoroughly when you’re done, to avoid build-up of product residue which can irritate the skin and cause flakes.
You can also encourage hair growth with foods that promote good scalp health. Salmon, leafy vegetables, eggs, whole grains, oysters, nuts and low-fat dairy are among the more hair-friendly foods. Aim for a balanced diet, and combine it with the tips outlined in this article for healthy, shiny hair, whether it’s Christmas or the Fourth of July.