Beauty

5 ways to protect your hair and skin this winter

Elle Canada
Beauty

5 ways to protect your hair and skin this winter

The cold, the wind, the dry heat -- it may feel like you're at war with winter and the way it ravages your hair and skin. Which is why we wanted to arm you with some expert advice on how to protect your assets from Canada’s blustery conditions, so you'll look chic no matter what the weather conditions are.

Managing your mane
As the barometer drops, it can be easy to forfeit hairstyle for function - locks looped into a ponytail are easier to maintain than those that are straightened or curled - but that needn't be the case. Just follow this simple tip from celebrity hairstylist Greg May of Greg May Hair Architects in Toronto: Never load up on too much product to keep hair in place (it will only dry locks out). “Less is always more in this case.”

He also suggests pulling hair back into a chic bun before putting on a hat - this will prevent hat head. "My secret weapon? Try spraying dry shampoo through hair whenever you take your hat off. It will refresh and add body to hair without creating stiffness."

Say so long to static
When it comes to preventing the static cling that comes from peeling off layers, May suggests using alcohol-free hair products that contain lanolin. "Alcohol causes hair to become dry and damaged promoting static; lanolin is a natural static fighter that also conditions." Other suggestions include turning to oil or silicone-based products as well as hairsprays that contain an anti-humectant - they all fight frizz and static without leaving hair damaged or stiff.

Protect against brittle, dry locks
"This is easy," says May. "Properly shampoo and condition your hair and do a conditioning treatment once a week." Doing all of this, he adds, will keep hair supple and healthy and less prone to breakage or damage. "Also, never shampoo more than you need to - it will dry locks out. And avoid too much flat ironing." May says it’s a good idea to look for sulfate-free shampoos (sulfates have a drying effect) and products containing argan oil (argan is the highest form of vitamin E available and will penetrate into the hair shaft better and faster than any other product). Get more winter hair care tips here.

Protect your skin from winter's harshness on the next page ... 5-ways-to-protect-your-hair-and-.jpg

Put your best face forward

According to Natalia Jakimtschuk, Spa Director at Village Wellness Spas, there are several things you can be doing now to protect your skin from winter's ravages. "Collagen reaffirming facials with alpha hydroxy acids are perfect for tired, cold-weather weary skin. They're highly concentrated and designed for deep hydration, brightening and plumping. After a treatment, you'll notice your skin feels smoother and it will be visibly more radiant." It will also hold up against winter wear and tear.

Another product that Jakimtschuk recommends is Babor’s High Skin Refining (HSR) Line. The company produces facials that combat fine lines and wrinkles, but they can also be used to hydrate dry skin - a good thing when cold winter winds start blowing and you want to stave off epidermal cracking or irritations.

"Due to the high concentration of active ingredients, your skin will be working to fight the causes of weather damage long after you leave the spa," she adds.

There’s also the ever popular oxygen facial. "An O2 intraceuticals rejuvenation infusion is a unique experience providing instant results." Used in combination with other treatments - like microdermabrasion or chemical peels - the oxygen facial can visibly improve and prevent some common ailments that crop up in the winter, like rosacea and eczema.

You should notice an improvement in your skin's condition and its ability to stay healthy in cold weather within two to three weeks of starting any skin treatments, Jakimtschuk adds. If you don't, you'll want to start reevaluating your skincare routine with a dermatologist.

“Doing a few small things now can help you protect your skin from long-term winter damage. It’s easier than dealing with a major problem down the road.”

Photography by Jean-Cladue Lussier

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Beauty

5 ways to protect your hair and skin this winter