While we still have a few more weeks of warm, sunny weather left (at least in most parts of the United States), it's not a bad idea to begin thinking about protecting your hair for the eventual transition to fall and winter. As the colder months begin to creep up, the chances that the effects of the elements will issue a beating on your luscious head of hair are heightened as the seasons advance. There is no shortage of strategies to consider depending on your hair's style and natural condition, but following these guidelines will help maintain your hair's peak, beautiful appearance.

Don't Wash Every Day 

It's a pretty well-known fact that shampooing your hair on a daily basis can actually cause more harm than good. Not only does shampoo remove dirt, it also strips away your body's natural oils and moisturizers that come through your scalp. These are particularly beneficial to the health of your hair, meaning you should rinse your hair with cold or warm water on those days when you're not washing. Otherwise, you can use dry shampoos to help absorb some of the oil.

Turn Your Shower Down

Hot showers may feel better and better as cold weather creeps along, but hot temperatures can actually do more harm than good when it's cold outside - think of it as shock treatment for your already embattled hair and skin. When your friends and neighbors are hunting for the hot water heater's adjustment, take it easy and keep it at a reasonable level - your hair will thank you.

Use Warm, Natural Oil

Hot oil haircare products can have a detrimental impact on the health of your hair - especially during winter months. Olive oil, on the other hand, is an incredibly beneficial alternative that can be lightly massaged into your scalp and hair. If you keep it in your hair for a few hours before shampooing it out, you'll be able to moisturize and condition your hair and scalp with little trouble.

Use Conditioner

This is a major mistake that few people recognize. Conditioner is meant for your hair, not your scalp. Natural conditioners have a considerable impact on the health of your hair, helping to keep it shiny and free from loose ends or breakage.

Air Dry

While it's not wise to go out with a head of wet hair (for several reasons), air drying your hair is the healthiest way to ensure your hair stays strong and in good condition. Blow dryers and curling irons dry out your hair far too quickly, but if you don't have time to allow your hair to dry out naturally before you head out the door, you should switch to a leave-in conditioner before breaking out the blow dryer. 

Wear a Loose-Fitting Hat or Shawl

Too-tight hats can trap your hair and cut off airflow, leading it to dry out too quickly and restrict healthy blood flow to your scalp. Using a looser-fitting hat, shawl, or wrap will help maintain healthy airflow and protect your hair from the harmful effects of the wind and cold. 

Use Natural Ingredients 

Natural haircare products that contain coconut oils, honey, vanilla, or natural oils and butters can help keep your hair voluminous, bouncy, and healthy throughout the harsher winter months - just avoid hair sprays, oils, and conditioners with high concentrations of alcohol or you can say hello to dry hair once again. 

Keep a Humidifier Indoors

Especially important if your climate takes a harsh, bitterly cold turn that drives you to seal up your entire home, using a humidifier indoors will help offset the harmful effects of home heating systems, which can cause your hair and skin to dry out and crack. 

Get a Regular Trim 

Human hair grows at an average rate of 1/2 inch every three to four weeks. Longer hair, while not displaying as much visible changes over longer period of time, can produce split ends. Getting a regular trim (every 2-3 months at minimum) will help your hair stay - and look - healthy. More frequent trims during the winter will help offset the harmful impact on cold weather and wind that can cause your hair to dry out and break prematurely.

Want more info on keeping your hair, skin, and scalp healthy throughout every season of the year? Keep an eye on Momma's Homemade's official blog or contact us today for more information.

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