Caring for our nails and hair isn’t just a luxury: it’s also a way of communicating self-respect. We make snap judgments about people everyday based on their appearance, and how the hair looks is a big part of that. The question is, what do you want people to see when they look at you? If the answer is somewhere along the lines of “A person who takes care of herself, and who probably demands respect from others,” here are some beauty tips that may come in handy during the long winter months.
Minimize Styling Heat
Heat is helpful for styling and drying, but it sure can damage your hair. Try to eliminate as much heat from your daily routine as you can. Air dry instead, or avoid jumping right to the blow dryer after your morning shower—let your hair dry as much as possible while you dress and do makeup, then blow dry the rest!
Brush Hair Gently
Brushing your hair rigorously many times per day can create a lot of tension and breakage. Wet hair is particularly susceptible, so brush with a wide-toothed comb after showers rather than with a brush, and always brush your hair from ends to roots to help prevent breakage.
If your hair is particularly dry, try leaving a bowl of water next to your bed as you sleep. The evaporating water will add a boost of moisture to the air (this of this as a cheap DIY humidifier). For hair that really needs an extra kick, try leaving an oil treatment in your hair overnight, then shampoo it out in the morning.
Omega-3 fatty acids are great for your overall health, but they aren’t made by our bodies naturally, so we have to integrate them through dietary choices. They’ll help to keep your nails, scalp, and hair hydrated, even in the dry winter months. Get your Omega-3s from oily fish like salmon, or delicious produce like avocados and winter squash.
Protect at the Pool
For hair and nails, it’s important to take extra precautions at the pool. The chemicals in the water can be quite harsh, so moisturize with conditioner and wear a swim cap if you can. If you swim with your hair out, be sure to shampoo thoroughly right after swimming. And remember to wear flip-flops or other foot protection in public areas to keep possible infection away from your toenails.
Quick-dry nail polish seems like a great idea, especially for women who are always on the go. These products tend to be more alcohol and formaldehyde, however, which can dry out and split your nails. Try dipping your fingertips in ice water for a minute or so after each coat instead to set the polish without chemical assistance.
Rubbing cuticle cream into your nails will help keep them from becoming brittle and breaking by locking in a healthy amount of moisture. Make it a daily regimen to keep splits, cracks, and breaks at bay.
Hair and nails are fun to play with, can enhance your sense of style, and can make you feel like a million bucks; considering all this, why not treat them well?