If you are anything like me, your scalp is starting to tell you that the cold months are upon us! Every year, around this time, my scalp starts to get flakey and dry and in need of more moisture than was required during the Spring/Summer months. My haircare regime changes during the winter to products with a higher water and glycerin level and I must seal in the moisture with a natural oil such as the Sweet Trinity Aloe Vera Body Oil I make and sell in my Etsy shop.
When it comes to selecting a moisturizer that will work for your hair, there are many forms you can choose from (e.g., lotions, creams, gels, balms, etc.). Even though there are many forms of moisturizers, they all fall into three basic categories according to Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist in NYC and founder of BeautyStat.com. The three categories of moisturizers are: occlusives, emollients, and humectants.
Occlusives are a type of product that create a barrier so moisture can not escape (think of using Vaseline on a child as a diaper balm!). Occlusives are like wrapping the skin and hair in shrink wrap so that the moisture will not escape. Common ingredients in this type of moisturizer are: petrolatum, dimethicone, lanolin, and mineral oil.
Emollients are softeners that smooth your skin by preventing moisture loss from your cells. Common ingredients in this type of moisturizer are: keratin, ceramides, and stearyl alcohol.
The last type of moisturizer are humectants. This type of moisturizer acts like a sponge by attracting water from deeper layers of the skin into the top layer to boost moisture. Common ingredients in these moisturizers are: hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
It is important for you to experiment a bit with different products to determine what works for you during the cold months. I have a few favorites that are tried and true in my regime. My favorite wintertime occlusive type of product is KeraCare Dry and Itchy Scalp Glossifier. The product is meant to soothe and prevent dry and itchy scalp. Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid, Menthol, Sulfur. Inactive Ingredients: Petrolatum, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Castor (Ricinus Communis) Seed Oil, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Polyethylene, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E). I only use this product during the winter. After I wash my hair, I oil my scalp with the product and the petrolatum locks in the moisture while the menthol soothes my scalp.
My favorite emollient during the winter is Lusters S Curl Moisturizer. I like this product during the winter because it really provides my hair a good amount of moisture. I am not a huge fan of the fragrance so I am very light handed when using this product. S-Curl Moisturizer contains glycerin and Vitamin B5, which together eliminate breakage and keep your curls, waves and natural hair soft and healthy.
I have other favorites when it comes to shampoos, conditioners, stylers, and gels but the two products above along with the Sweet Trinity Aloe Vera Oil are my wintertime staples. These products work especially well when I wear braids and weaves during the winter as well. However, even when my hair was in a short tapered style like below, I am able to use the KeraCare on my scalp immediately after shampooing (I use only after a shampoo), use a little S Curl Moisturizer as a daily refresher and seal in the moisture with Sweet Trinity's Aloe Vera Body Oil.
What are your favorite wintertime products? Please share so that others can learn from your experience!
Until next time...Be Sweet! ;)