As magical as the winter season can be, it’s not always comfortable – outdoors or inside. Cold temperatures, biting winds, and the constantly running heater can lead to less-than-ideal conditions for your skin. Dry skin, chapped lips, and an irritated, flaky scalp are common winter skin ailments.
Here are some tips from our dermatology specialists on keeping your scalp healthy and happy when the temperatures drop:
- Watch Your Products. If you tend towards an oily scalp, you might have a good clarifying shampoo in your weekly routine. Consider taking a break in the winter. Clarifying shampoos, products with sodium lauryl sulfates, and hair products that promise to lighten hair or add softness can all be too harsh for a scalp that’s already suffering from the winter weather. Try gentler, moisturizing hair care – ask a dermatologist about specialized products if needed.
- Watch the Heat. There’s nothing like a long, hot bath on a chilly day, but be aware that the extra heat directly on your hair and skin can aggravate dryness. Resist the temptation of the scalding shower – your scalp will thank you! Instead, opt for warm water and only stay in as long as needed. Similarly, using tools like a flat iron or curling wand can also sap moisture from your scalp.
- Watch Your Diet. “You are what you eat” rings true when it comes to your skin reflecting the amount of nutrition you put in your body. It’s easier to ignore proper hydration in the cold, especially with the lure of hot coffee or mulled wine. Caffeine and alcohol often have negative effects on your skin, and your scalp is no exception. Take our dermatologists’ advice and drink lots of water! Additionally, keeping a balanced amount of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids in your winter diet will help replenish your skin, head to toe.
If this winter is hitting you especially hard, come by and speak to one of our skin care doctors about a custom plan that can help. As a Minnesota dermatology clinic, we’re very familiar with the effects of a cold winter, and can put you on a path towards your best skin yet. Connect with one of our six Twin Cities locations or schedule a virtual appointment to get started.