The holiday season is upon us, and the nights are full of good smells and twinkling lights. Parties, family dinners and a welcome break from the grind are definitely something to celebrate!
But what does it all mean for our hair? Just like the rest of our bodies, hair needs to be treated right to look and feel healthy. This holiday season, keep the following tips in mind to keep your hair vibrant and gorgeous:
What are you feeding your hair? Hair health depends on a diet rich in nutrients, so make sure to pile your plate accordingly. Traditional holiday favorites have what to offer: turkey is a relatively low-fat source of iron and protein for hair growth, sweet potatoes provide biotin to combat hair loss, and pumpkin (like sweet potato) is packed with beta carotene for moisture and shine. Even cinnamon contributes to circulation, a must-have for a healthy scalp and nourished hair follicles.
Not all holiday treats are created equal. Nutrient-poor foods (we’re looking at you, candy cane lattes) don’t have what it takes to support healthy hair. Too much sugar and refined carbs can hurt your circulation and raise levels of androgen, a male hormone that messes with your hair follicles. A diet of greasy foods can give you limp, oily locks that struggle to grow. We’re not saying you can’t indulge in the occasional gingerbread man or potato latke—life is for living, after all—but moderation is key.
We know: the drinks flow freely when the holidays are here. But don’t forget that (in addition to its other health ramifications) alcohol isn’t kind to your hair. Drinking too much dehydrates your hair, leaving it brittle and prone to breakage. Alcohol also diminishes the amount of zinc in your body, which can cause your hair to thin or shed. Do drink plenty of water to promote healthy hair growth and a non-itchy scalp.
During the holidays, it’s tempting to stay up all night, every night—but please don’t. Your body gets a lot done while you snooze, synthesizing proteins and regulating hormones. When you don’t get enough sleep, your hair suffers. While you’re awake, try to keep your stress in check. Stress hormones can negatively impact your hair (along with the rest of your body), and no perfectly prepared meal or gift list is worth that.
If your calendar is loaded with holiday get-togethers, have a blast! Just don’t blast your hair while you’re at it. Be conscious of how often you’re drying, straightening or curling your hair with hot tools. To minimize heat damage, opt for heatless styling at least some of the time and use a heat protectant when you do decide to turn up the heat.
Cold weather brings with it lower humidity and more time spent cooped up with the heat on: a recipe for dry, dull hair. This holiday season, treat your hair to a moisturizing conditioner and regular applications of a good hair mask. (We recommend the Madison Hair Intensive Hair Mask, rich with organic argan oil and other goodies.)
There’s so much to love about this time of year, and you can enjoy it all without hurting your hair. We hope these tips help you float through the days with a sparkling holiday smile and a headful of beautiful, healthy hair!