Winter Hair Care

Want to snowboard, ski, and play in the snow—without ruining your hair? Read on.

 While adventuring in the winter wonderland, it can be easy to forget what a price our hair can pay. Never fear—natural hair care is here! These winter hair care tips will keep you looking stylish.

Winter woes

In the cooler months, the wind, frigid air, and UV rays reflected off snow outdoors team up with heating and static electricity indoors. The result? Dry, brittle, and damaged hair. Well, natural hair care is here to save the (adventurous and wintry) day.

Step 1: Shampooing

Hers

Gentle cleansing is key. Rather than stripping hair’s precious oils, choose shampoo suitable for dry hair. Ingredients to look for include proteins and vitamins to help restore hair’s health.

His

Generally, men have oilier scalps than women. This can sometimes lead to greasy hair, so many men prefer using a shampoo formulated for those with oily hair. Look for powerful natural ingredients such as tea tree and mint.

Step 2: Conditioning

Hers

Never skip the conditioner—especially in the winter! Restore moisture and shine with conditioners that use nourishing ingredients, such as nut and fruit oils.

His

Guys can benefit from conditioner as well. Just make sure to choose one that’s light, so your hair won’t be weighed down. While men with very short hair may only need to condition every once in a while, those with longer hair should condition every time they shampoo.

Step 3: Styling

Hers

Many women put their tresses through a punishing routine of heat styling—from blowing it dry to using curling or straightening irons. It’s important to use a heat-protective styling product beforehand. Generally, the less heat touching hair, the better. That means hairdryers are better than curling or straightening irons, and air drying is the best of all. Ask your stylist what haircut works best for your natural texture, allowing you to air dry all the time.

His

Far from frivolous, styling completes the look and can play a key part in your identity. Not sure where to start? Consider these tips.

Rethink your hair part. Generally, parting hair in the middle can make a face look rounder, while parting on one side can emphasize jawline and cheekbones.

Use styling products. Don’t think that products are just for women! There are plenty of natural hair care products on the market formulated to add texture and shine to men’s short hair, while keeping hairstyles in place.

Be bold. Longer hairstyles, including ponytails, “man buns,” and even braids are as popular as ever, so don’t be afraid to grow out your hair and go for it!

Choose natural products

Many ugly ingredients are lurking in conventional hair care products. Here are some important ones to avoid.

  • The foaming agents sodium laureth sulphate (SLES) or sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) are not only unnecessary, but may also be toxic to marine life or contaminated with carcinogens.
  • DEA (diethanolamine) can be irritating and react to form cancer-causing compounds.
  • “Fragrance” is a secret, undisclosed mixture that can contain any number of hazardous ingredients.
  • The preservatives parabens can act as hormone disruptors.
  • Silicones are often added to hair care products to shine and soften strands, but at a big cost. Siloxanes are toxic, can accumulate in our bodies over time, and persist in the environment.

Healthier options can be found at natural health retailers.

That perfect Movember ’stache

Grooming that Movember moustache and beard is a fine art. Here are a few tips.

  • Be patient—it may take several weeks for your hair to grow to a sufficient length for trimming.
  • Shampoo and condition your facial hair just as you do with the hair on your head.
  • When trimming a moustache, make sure you’re in a place with excellent lighting, and use proper barber scissors. (Beard trimmers are also a good investment, as they can be set at different lengths.) Wet your hair, and then comb through it before trimming.
  • Avoid the infamous “neckbeard.” A good rule of thumb is to grow your beard until two finger widths above your Adam’s apple. The beard should be angled at a smooth “U” shape from that point until each ear.
  • Natural moustache wax is available from well-stocked natural health retailers to keep longer moustache styles in place.

Remember, the most important thing is to support the cause, so make sure to donate. ca.movember.com/donate

DIY beard oil

Keep your beard smooth and touchable with this natural, DIY beard oil, courtesy of Erin Jornitz of East Avery Handmades.

  • Choose your carrier oil. There are lots of different carrier oils that can be used, and all moisturize both the hair and the skin,” says Jornitz. Common examples include avocado, sweet almond, coconut, argan, and grapeseed oil. There are differences between them, however. According to Jornitz, “Argan oil, for example, has vitamin E and antioxidants and is great for dry, sensitive skin. You need to decide what you want out of your oil and then select the oils that best meet your needs.” Avocado oil and coconut oil are slightly heavier, while grapeseed oil is quite light.
  • Choose your essential oil. “When adding essential oils, it’s more about personal preference of scent,” says Jornitz. Essential oils can also be combined. Jornitz recommends trying tea tree and cedarwood; lemon, eucalyptus, and tea tree; and cedarwood, lavender, tea tree, rosemary, and lime.
  • Choose a bottle. “Use a dark-coloured glass bottle when making beard oil,” says Jornitz. “The dark glass protects your oil from potentially harmful sunlight causing oxidation.” A 1 oz (30 mL) bottle with a dropper is best.
  • Blend. Fill the bottle most of the way with carrier oil, and then add about 10 drops of essential oil in total.

Don’t care for DIY? Natural beard oils are also available already blended for purchase. Visit your neighborhood Vita Health to see what might work best for you.