Guys, I struggle every single winter with dry hair and skin. Every. Darn. Year. I wrote about Dry Skin last year and you can check that out here. (By the way, this year I have been doing much better than previous years and I do contribute it to the tips in this post.)
But back to HAIR.
What can you do when it is freezing out and your locks are dry and lifeless? Why mask?
Because conditioner only can treat the surface of your strands. When you mask you are target treating to penetrate deeper into the shaft to deliver what your hair is lacking. It will target and support those issues. If your hair needs moisture, hydration, repair, deep cleansing or strength. Getting into a routine with masking is going to benefit your hair in so many ways and when you are consistent with it, you are going to love the results and enjoy more good hair days.
This post took me a little while to write because I wanted to try everything a few times and make sure that I liked all the combinations of what I am going to suggest. And what I found was…
Masking really helps during the cold months. It depends on the texture of your hair, but I think I have found combinations that will work with every hair type — as long as you take the time to make sure that you rinse it out completely. I can’t say that enough so I will say it again. When you mask, it is best to shampoo at least 2 times and maybe 3 — if you are doing a DIY that has oils in it, I truly do recommend 3 washes for masks that have coconut oil in them.
Say what? If you are new to this, I’m going to break it down for you.
- The first shampoo is to get out environmental yuck and break it down.
- The second shampoo is to actually clean your hair.
- The third shampoo is only needed if you have a heavy mask in and want to make sure that you have broken it down and got the greasy factor off your head. ‘Cause no one likes to wash their hair, get out, style and look like a greaseball. No one.
One of my most popular posts to date is one on hair called Healthy Hair, I Care. If you want to read up more on shampooing and caring for hair, I highly recommend clicking on that link and reading through that post.
Before I get into all our fun masking recipes, let’s quickly talk about some research I did on dry hair and what can cause it.
Most of the time when we have an imbalance in our hair it is because our pH balance is off. Most hair pH balanced should be around a 4.5 to 5.5. When you use conventional products, they can have a pH factor of more than 8! The problem with this 8 is that it is much more alkaline than the scalp and hair need! It can strip your hair of its natural oils and acid mantle.
If you are like, what is an acid mantle?
An acid mantle is a slightly acidic film that maintains the overall health and protects the hair and skin from bacteria and toxins. We need it, and it’s important for the hair’s appearance. Your outer layer of the hair shaft is made of tightly packed, overlapping scales, and the acid mantle helps make these scales lie flat. This gives your hair a silky, smooth appearance (and if you are curly, wavy, or textured it makes it look smooth for your texture and healthy) and helps it stay moisturized.
Unfortunately, your hair’s pH levels can easily be disrupted. This is why we can have bad hair days. Conventional products will strip your hair. It may leave you feeling “squeaky clean” but it WILL actually contribute to more long-term hair damage.
There are many, many things that can contribute to dry hair, cold weather being one of them. But let’s agree that using products that you buy off the store shelf that are not natural are doing more harm than good—since their levels are way higher than you need. Plus, if you read my Healthy Hair post above you read about silicone suffocating your follicles and who wants that? Hair fall anyone? I can’t imagine any woman saying, “sign me up for that!”
What you put on your head is important. Both masking techniques that I am sharing today are natural and good for your scalp and hair.
So, now I’m going to give you two different ways to winter mask.
The first way is for those of you who really want to do a hair mask that is clean and natural, but you aren’t into making your own. Whether you don’t like to or don’t have time, I’ve got you covered.
This is how to take care of your winter hair and give it the drink it needs with ready-made products:
- Thirsty Hair with Monat Mask Layering
- I always start with Rejuveniqe Oil on the roots (go with the Light Rejuvenique Version if you have fine or thin hair and are worried about it weighing your roots down.) I put the dropper right to my roots and apply it there. Then take my fingertips and massage into my scalp all over my head.
- After that, I take any of the masks depending on what my hair feels like it needs. Two of my favorites for winter are the Heavenly Hydrating Masque (this mask is lightweight and great for thirsty hair. It is more of a gel form so great for thin or fine hair, but it is amazing for all hair types) and Super Moisture Masque (this mask is richer in nature, more of a creamy texture to it. It is great to replenish dry hair and restore balance). I mix either mask with a little bit of water in the palm of my hand, and then run it through my hair mid-shaft to ends.
- Next, I take Rejuvabeads and I mix that with a little water in the palm of my hands and then massage it into the ends of my hair. This is great ro support the end and start the reapairing process.
- Lastly, I put my hair in a bun and workout or do whatever around the house as long as I keep it in for an hour or longer. You could do overnight too. If you want to do that, I would either wear a shower cap or put a towel over your pillow case, but the masks will soak into your hair. Your hair will not stay wet as it works its way into the shaft so it might be overkill but I would do it just in case.
When you wash out, make sure you wash a few times as mentioned above. My favorite winter weather shampoo and conditioner is the Advanced Hydrating Shampoo (extra hydration without weighing the hair down) and the Advanced Hydrating Conditioner (again this is lightweight but thirst quenching so it will give you moisture, but you will still have bounce).
So, that is my technique that I have been using for winter hair masking via Monat that has worked really well. If you are really into making your own hair masks with ingredients in your pantry, don’t go far because I have you covered here too. If you love a good DIY stay tuned for below.
Now I’m going to introduce you to plant magic mixed with some products you probably have in your pantries.
Disclaimer: Since this using apple cider vinegar, I recommend that you ony use it once or twice a month. The vinegar is known to be a great source for exfoliating the hair, but like all good things, too much is bad. If you decide you don’t like the vinegar in the mask just omit it and use coconut oil and honey without it.
- DIY Plant-Based Essential Oil Masks
Before I get on with the recipes here, I want to let you know that I use Young Living Essential Oils and I can’t vouch for any other essential oil brand. I know this company and the transparency that they stand for. I have done a ton of research and no other company came close to their Seed to Seal, which briefly means that they know exactly what is going into the product from the soil they plant in, to how it grows, how it is distilled and when. So, they know everything that has been going on with that plant until it reaches the bottle.
This DIY Mask with Patchouli essential oil is a great, healthy hair mask conditioner and can help restore that hydration while maintaining those natural pH levels. Oh, and FYI,
• 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
• 4 tablespoons water
• 3 tablespoons honey (Honey helps soften and condition hair to help it feel silky. Honey may also help strengthen hair follicles and calm the scalp.)
• 1 tablespoon coconut oil (Coconut oil helps moisturize, hydrate, and condition the hair. It can help prevent breakage and control frizz.)
• 6 drops Patchouli essential oil (Patchouli has a relaxing, calming aroma and can help promote healthy-looking hair.)
Melt the coconut oil and honey. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Apply the mask onto your hair and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse off the hair mask with 2–3 washes of natural shampoo and conditioner.
Tip: Sometimes coconut oil may not wash completely out of your hair. If this happens, let your hair dry, apply shampoo to your dry hair before getting in the shower and then rinse out. This will help the shampoo wash out the oil before the water creates a barrier!
Tip 2: You can change this essential oil to whatever your hair needs. Have hair loss? Try Peppermint and Cypress. Scalp Irritated? Try Lavender. Have dry scalp? Try Tea Tree. The possibilities are endless. The coconut oil and honey will do the moisturizing work, while the essential oil can work on pin-pointing any hair issues.
Here are some essential oils that are good for different hair issues.
For Dry Hair Support try:
Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Lavender, Rosemary
For Oily Hair Support try:
Peppermint, Rosemary, Lemon
For Hair Growth Support try:
Peppermint, Cedarwood, Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme
For Hair Loss Support try:
Peppermint, Cypress, Lavender, Cedarwood, Rosemary, Copaiba
I felt that these two masks worked the best for the winter months, and they were the most versatile for all hair types. I have been using them for about 3 months before writing this post to fine-tune them to help you make the most out of them.
I wish you beautiful, healthy hair this winter and I hope this research and these tips and tricks work for you. I promise once you incorporate a mask into your routine, you’ll notice shinier, softer, silkier, and overall healthier hair.
If you are interested in natural products that will facilitate your hair’s health, please reach out to me. Check out the side bar on the hair main page to send me a note. I’m happy to help with your hair goals or just to give you suggestions.
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