5 effective ways to combat the effects of winter on hair

The Spell Magazine team explore new and improved moisture methods that will keep hair looking glossy throughout winter.

Hair & Beauty

During the winter your hair requires plenty of maintenance to keep it hydrated and frizz-free. Cold temperatures deplete your strands of moisture, lustre and shine. So, your main priority during this time of year should be to keep those moisture levels in check. There are many practical steps you can take for wellnourished strands that include wearing a silk-lined woolly hat every time you venture outdoors, drinking plenty of fluids and eating a well balanced diet.

But there are also some innovative and creative methods that have emerged in recent years that focus on injecting the hair with moisture. Read on to find out how to relieve your winter worn parched strands...

CLAY AND POWDER MASQUES

Although it may seem counterintuitive to apply clay or powder to hair that requires moisture – after all, they both have a chalky effect – these components can work effectively as treatments to protect the hair from dryness. Bentonite clay is highly effective at detoxifying and cleansing the hair while also adding softness and shine to strands.

Chebe powder is yet another ancient method that has recently gained a legion of new fans. This mixture of herbs is formulated by women in Chad as a hair treatment that aids growth. The powder is finely milled and then liquidised into a paste once water is added. When applied to the hair, it not only strengthens it from root to tip, but also locks in moisture and seals the ends.

THE RICE WATER METHOD

An ancient practice that reportedly dates back to ancient China, the rice water method recently resurfaced online as a DIY method for strengthening the hair and promoting shine. Rice contains carbohydrates, protein and minerals – all components that fortifies dry, brittle hair and seals the ends.

This method couldn’t be easier: simply boil a pot of white rice, pour off the water and leave it to ferment overnight (or for a couple of days). The water can then be applied to your hair as a leave-in or rinse.

THE BAGGY METHOD

For those with low porosity hair who struggle to keep strands hydrated, the baggy method may just be your saviour this winter.

To try this technique cleanse and dry your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner and oil of your choice and then twist or braid the ends before covering it with a plastic cap. The idea is to wear your hair like this to bed so the heat emitted inside the cap can penetrate each strand, leaving it soft and super-hydrated.

THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT (GHE)

Nope, we're not referring to the changing climate in this instance. The Greenhouse Effect is a hair care regime designed to stimulate the scalp and promote length retention. Similar to the 'baggy method', GHE is activated with a plastic bag covering the hair. However, it differs slightly because the focus is on the scalp and the roots, with the aim to stimulate them in a way that promotes increased sebum production.

How is this achieved? By paying in sweat. Part your hair into four sections and apply natural, anti-fungal oils to your scalp and hair such as peppermint, jojoba oil, avocado oil and/or coconut oil. Next, cover your hair with a plastic cap and hot towel and leave overnight. This is an excellent treatment for hair that is winter damaged and craves hydration.

PRE-POO TREATMENT

Adding a pre-poo treatment to your hair prior to cleansing will provide a protective layer to your hair, which is often stripped of its moisture during the shampooing process. We recommend saturating your hair while dry or damp with an oil-based prepoo like the Extreme Elasticizer by Philip Kingsley. This thick luxurious treatment is not only a hero product but is composed from natural oils such as castor oil, olive oil, argan oil, thyme and sage - making it the ideal partner for dry and thirsty hair.

Winter hair care must-haves

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme
Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Extreme, £19
CANTU Deep Treatment Hair Masque, £7.99
Cantu Deep Treatment Hair Masque, £7.99
EQUI BOTANICS Marula Oil Leave-in Conditioner, £30
Equi Botanics Marula Oil Leave-in Conditioner, £30
AS I AM Hydration Elation, £8.65
AS I AM Hydration Elation, £8.65

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