By Janet Dunkley, Hair Stylist

Winter is fast approaching and our hair will need tender loving care. During this change of climate it is imperative we take special care of our precious locks.

Cold weather can cause slow hair growth, dry brittle hair, and ultimately breakage. I would highly recommend getting into a routine, one that encompasses regular conditioning treatments. These treatments could be moisture, protein, or oil. These types of treatment are highly beneficial to the hair, because it provides the essential nourishment that the hair needs. Of course everyone’s situation is unique, so each individual needs will be different. I highly recommend you consulting with your hair care specialist; he or she can best advise you on what your specific needs are.

A moisturizing treatment is recommended when the hair is very dry from being dehydrated due to the weather, and the heaters at home. Protein treatments are good for breakage, this helps to strengthen the hair. Oil treatments are also beneficial to the hair and even more so for the scalp. Sometimes one may need a combination such as protein and moisture. Again, having a hair care specialist will help to determine those needs.

Steamers are recommended when getting a treatment. It’s the best way to infuse moisture in the hair. After applying the type of treatment for your hair, you then go under the steamer for about 15 to 20mim. If one does not have a steamer, the next best thing would be the hair dryer.  Once again you would apply your desired treatment, place a plastic cap over the head, and sit under the dryer for the same 15 to 20 minutes. The plastic cap and dryer assimilates the steamer.

Covering your hair with a satin scarf or cap when going to bed, or sleeping on a satin pillowcase is a good way to go. The scarf and cap of course keeps your style in place, but more importantly covering your hair helps to protect your hair from any friction that would have been caused sleeping on cotton. Too much friction will definitely result in breakage.  I would also recommend using a silk scarf around your neck as appose to wool. Please take care when wearing hats especially knitted hats again this is to avoid the friction. Look for hats that have satin linings.

Some people like to wear extensions in the winter months such as braids etc. If you choose to do so, be careful of pulling too tight, especially around the hairline. This could weaken the hair and eventually damage the follicles over time. This is what is called Traction Alopecia; in some cases the hair never grows back. Find a good braider, one that cares about the health of your hair.

DRINK LOTS OF WATER. I can’t stress that enough. This is so essential to our well being. Just like how the summer makes us dehydrated, so does the winter.  Drinking water helps our hair, skin, and nails.
I highly recommend taking vitamin supplements. Vitamin E is a rich source of nutrition for hair, skin, and nails. Look for a good multivitamin that will support that. Eating well is really the absolute best way to support good health. So I recommend having good nutrition.

Finally get a good night’s sleep every night. Sleep aids with growth and repair. Try to get 8 hours a night.

Writer: Ms. Dunkley is an independent hair stylist in the town of Bloomfield and serves as educator and technical consultant for one of the industry’s leading manufacturers, teaching stylists in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey. Ms. Dunkley is an Independent Distributor for Organo Gold coffees, teas, and hot chocolate for the past five years.  She is passionate about serving people and helping them to achieve a healthy lifestyle.