Health & Wellness Articles

Ditch the Winter Itch

Tips for Treating Dry Skin & Hair

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Soothing Your Dry Hair and Scalp
The same environmental factors that can cause dry skin can also dry out your hair.
  • Don't shampoo every day. If your hair is dull and brittle, shampoo it a little less often, such as every other day, to allow the natural oils to coat each strand between washings. Simply rinse your hair with water on the days you don’t shampoo. Brushing your hair will also stimulate the scalp and help distribute the oil down to the ends.
     
  • Use a shampoo with humectants. When you do need to wash your hair, use a shampoo that contains humectants, which attract moisture from the air. Look for panthenol or glycerin on the ingredients list.
     
  • Avoid heat styling. Styling your hair with blow dryers, curling irons or flat irons is especially drying, so avoid heat-styling as much as possible to minimize dryness and damage. Try the "cool" air setting on your hair dryer too, and allow your hair to air-dry for as long as possible to minimize the amount of time you have to use your hair dryer.
     
  • Consider switching shampoos. A dry scalp (and the itching and flakes that go along with it) can sometimes be caused by harsh shampoos. Try switching to a plant-based, ph-balanced shampoo that doesn’t contain sodium laurel sulphate, a harsh cleanser that strips away your hair’s natural oils.
     
  • Apply oil. You can also treat dryness by applying moisturizing oil directly to your hair. Flaxseed and safflower oils are both rich in essential fatty acids and won’t make your hair greasy when used in small amounts. Place a drop or two of oil in your palms and rub your hands together. Squeeze the ends of your hair to apply a light layer of oil and work up towards your scalp. Since the amount of oil is so small, you don’t need to rinse it out. Do this as often as needed—both of these oils are also natural humectants that will attract and retain moisture.
You don’t have to suffer through the long winter with dry skin or brittle hair. With only a few minor changes to your beauty routine you can have soft, comfortable skin all season long!
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • Interesting article. I never really thought about using a humidifier in the Winter. That's smart! - 1/22/2014 12:04:53 PM
  • Great article. It took me forever to realize that it was dry skin making me so uncomfortable. Now, I do many of the things described...and, of course, drink lots more water. - 1/28/2013 9:40:29 PM
  • I put on lotion every day after my shower. Using a humidifier is not an option as I have allergies that recommend keeping the humidity below 50% in my house, and I'm lucky if I can get it to 45%. - 12/23/2011 8:09:36 AM
  • I live in the high desert I have dry skin 12 months a year never a month without it I have always drank a lot of water and used a good moisture cream, for my age and where I have lived all my life my skin is in very good condition. - 12/22/2011 9:16:40 AM
  • A trick from the frozen north (aka, a friend I have in Edmonton): Switch your bedsheets to satin or silks. Cotton WILL dry your skin, especially a higher thread count. At least replace your pillowcases, especially those of a high thread count variety.

    - 12/22/2011 8:40:14 AM
  • TEALADY77
    I found the hair-oil tip to be interesting; I will try it. I use a damp washcloth with oil to "dry" myself all year round since menopause, and that has helped with itching and dry skin. - 1/21/2009 12:21:07 AM
  • I don't even bother with towels anymore. As soon as my shower is over I put on Vaseline. We all know how slippery it is...by the time you're finished putting it on all over your body, your body is almost dry. I normally wait a few more minutes & then go ahead and get dressed. I find when I use Vaseline right after a shower, it does not make my body appear greasy. It has a nice, shiny oiled look....the look of someone with moisturized skin. :-) - 5/26/2008 7:46:00 PM
  • Great article. Neutragena products have helped me since I went through menopause, which made my skin drier. I use to think the products were too expensive and silly, but now that I have extra sensitive skin, I'm glad for them. - 4/6/2008 9:55:53 AM
  • Here's something I discovered... after "towel drying", I blow dry myself with my hair dryer. Sounds silly, but it seems to help me keep from getting such dry skin! (And it feels good when it's cold!) - 1/11/2008 10:58:05 AM
  • The article on dry skin is very good. Some of the things I do, like putting lotion on my skin while it is still wet. The ideas on putting moisture into my hair are ones that I will try. - 12/26/2007 6:53:06 AM

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