While my skin has always been a struggle for me (as my post about my acne demonstrates), I've always been incredibly blessed to have good hair. My hair is naturally very dark (almost black); it grows incredibly fast; and it's a good texture (very fine, but I have a lot of hair... like double the amount most people have). In many ways, having good hair has made up for my bad skin; if nothing else, my hair always looks great.
Aside from graying pretty early in life (my first patch of gray hair was discovered at age 11), my other hair is has always been having a dry scalp. How is it that I struggle with way too oily of a face, but a bone dry scalp? What is going on there!?
Every winter, undoubtedly, my scalp starts to really struggle. It gets itchy and flaky, even when my hair is greasy. I either wash too much or too little--and I can't tell which is worse! I spend a fortune on fancy shampoos, trying to find something cruelty free to use... only to crawl back to Head & Shoulders because while it is chemically blue and tested on animals, damn, at least it works, right?
This year, I started my research early. I wanted to avoid the Head & Shoulders crawl and find natural, cruelty free products that worked. I was lucky enough to receive a sample of Tea Tree Oil shampoo from Maple Holistics.
I decided to write up my 4 tips for hair care during the winter. These tips will keep your scalp clean, non-itchy, and moisturized, while ensuring your hair looks gorgeous.
1. Find a Good Shampoo
Like I said, I feel like I spend a small fortune every winter trying to find a shampoo that will help my scalp--and yet, I always end up back at Head & Shoulders. I'm so glad I was able to find a shampoo that actually works.
The Tea Tree Oil Shampoo from Maple Holistics* really is one of the best shampoos I've used for my scalp. It has a lovely, tea tree and rosemary oil scent and helps keep my scalp from flaking and getting too dry. Maple Holistics also has an amazing free sample program, so if you want to try some of their products, you can sign up for that here.
While it might not be the perfect shampoo, it's definitely worth a shot--and at $8.95 for a bottle, it's very affordable; as well, it's cruelty free and made with all natural ingredients. And for me, that's worth a lot!
2. Shampoo When Your Hair Needs It
For a few years, there has been a back and forth about how often to wash our hair. Growing up, I was taught to wash my hair nearly every single day. Skipping a day, to my mom, was really gross. However, as I got older, I realized that washing my hair every day made my scalp really dry and my hair really frizzy. In college, I would go 2-3 days between washes, but I still kept a very strict schedule. Recently, my friend said that her dermatologist's advice was: "wash your hair when it needs it."
God, that seems so simple, right? If your hair is greasy, wash it. If your scalp is dry and itchy, wash it. If your hair feels like it needs washed, wash it! Even if it was just yesterday the last time you washed it. You don't have to follow anyone else's schedule for their hair.
3. Use Jojoba Oil
I've seen lots of posts about using coconut oil for your scalp. I've used baby oil and olive oil in the past as well, but as I've written before, jojoba oil is the closest oil to what we produce naturally. Therefore, I just trust it more when it comes to moisturizing! Coconut oil made my scalp break out severely once (it is comedogenic, so never ever use it on your face... seriously), so I don't recommend it. However, a few drops of jojoba on my scalp at night before bed, especially when the weather is cold and dry helps my scalp to not be so itchy.
4. Avoid Wearing Hats & Ponytails With Wet Hair
What's the number one cause of dry itchy scalp? Popping a hat on your hair when it is still wet or putting it into a ponytail or bun when it is still wet. This traps moisture on your scalp, which makes it a breeding ground for bacteria--causing dandruff, seborrheic dermatitis, and more. If you need to wear a hat, make sure you blow dry your hair thoroughly or let it air dry before putting it on; same with a ponytail.
*Disclaimer: As always, use of a single asterisk in the post title denotes that I received free product or payment in exchange for this post. However, all recommendations and opinions remain my own! You can read more about my disclosure policy here.