Dry, flaky, skin and moisture-stripped hair are an unfortunate side effect of arid air and winter weather. If you have a few moments to pamper yourself, it's easy to give your hair and skin the moisture they need, using inexpensive ingredients you already have at home. Your skin and hair will be feeling as fresh as spring long before the snow thaws.
Basic Steps for Less Dry Hair
The first step in caring for dry hair is to wash it less frequently and brush it more often, since brushing will stimulate blood circulation in your scalp and allow the oils from your scalp to be spread through your hair. Make sure you use a conditioner each time you wash your hair. If you can avoid blow-drying your hair that will help as well.
Shampoo and Condition with Eggs
For homemade hair care that will revitalize, mix together 1 raw egg, 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of cooled herbal tea (we like peppermint). Use as shampoo, and rinse. For conditioner, beat one egg white until it's frothy, then add to 1 cup water. Work it through your hair and scalp, let sit for 1 minute, and then rinse.
Homemade Hot Oil Treatment
In a small saucepan, mix together 1/2 cup fresh rosemary leaves and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Heat on low until the oil is warm but not sizzling. Strain out the rosemary and massage the oil into your hair and scalp. Put on a plastic shower cap and wrap a warm towel around it. Leave it on for fifteen minutes, then shampoo as usual.
Make a Moisture Mask
Just like using a face mask, a hair mask will permeate the outer layer of your hair and provide deep moisture. One simple recipe is to mash a banana and mix with a teaspoon of almond oil or olive oil. Rub the mixture into your hair and scalp, and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse off, then shampoo and condition as usual. You can also make a mask with avocados, yogurt, and olive oil.
Stop Dry Skin Before it Starts
Your skin, of course, is your body's first line of defense against your environment, so making adjustments to your environment can help keep dry air from taking its toll on your skin. If you have a humidifier or vaporizer, use it to increase the humidity of your home. If you have radiators, place dishes of water or damp towels on top of them so the water will evaporate. You can also simply boil some water on the stove every day to release moisture into the air. Always wear gloves when doing dishes and when cleaning -- don't allow harsh chemicals to come in contact with your skin. Avoid beauty products that have alcohol in them, and skip soaps, lotions, and cleansers that are loaded with fragrances and chemicals. Check out the Cosmetics Safety Database to find products that have a low chemical content.
Easy Dry Skin Remedy
Soft, supple skin is as easy as using a little honey. Moisten skin with warm water, then apply honey straight from the jar. Leave for up to 30 minutes, then rinse off. You can also combine honey with egg yolks and olive oil for a moisturizing face mask.
Baths to Soothe Dry Skin
Adding 1 cup dry oatmeal to a warm bath will soothe dry skin. Don't use hot water, since it can strip your skin of its natural oils. Speaking of which, don't use hot water in the shower either! After you get out, apply moisturizer or olive oil to your skin while it's still damp to help lock in the moisture.
What are your best home remedies for dry skin or hair? Share them with us in the comments section below!