Winter Hair Help! My Top Product Picks and Tips for Shiny, Glossy Hair

hair products 7I still have one more tropically-inspired recipe that I’m really excited to share with you, but before I do that, I thought I’d pop in to share some fabulous finds for dry winter hair.  These products and treatments actually fit in perfectly with my recent island theme/obsession, as they all feature coconut or cocoa butter.  These smell good enough to eat, my friend.  As a matter of fact, one of them you can eat!  Want to give yourself a fun treat?  Whip up my coconut-sweet potato rounds and avocado-lime dip (as well as my upcoming surprise recipe – ermergerd you’re gonna love it!), turn on some relaxing beach sounds/video, and give your weary winter tresses some serious TLC with the following awesome hair goodies.  Instant tropical spa vacation!

I don’t know about you, but my hair has been in an awful state of dry-as-a-desert despair.  I’m sure I could use a good trim, which I keep meaning to schedule, but never seem to find the time.  My hair tends to be on the drier side, but when winter rolls around it really gets parched.  As in I was beginning to fear that wrapping it around a curling iron might cause it to sizzle and ignite. Freezing cold temperatures and dry indoor heat can really take a toll.  So, I hopped on Vitacost, my favorite site for ordering all things health and beauty at a discount (I have no affiliation with Vitacost, I’m just a big fan!) to shop for some hair repair magic.  It was high time I re-ordered some old favorites, and I also wanted to try a new conditioning mask.  In addition, I did a few DIY coconut oil treatments.  I’m happy to report that my money and time were well spent, and my hair is soft and shiny!  Below are my favorite picks for dry hair, as well as some extra tips for boosting that glossy moisture!

1. Desert Essences Coconut Shampoo and Conditioner

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Although this product brand, in my opinion, bears an unfortunate marketing snafu (never mention an arid, scorched landscape when trying to sell softening skin and hair products) it is my favorite shampoo and conditioner.  It’s 100% vegan and cruelty free, and features (mostly) organic, natural ingredients.  And it actually works!  This is a difficult combination to find.  Even better?  It’s affordable!  I order mine from Vitacost, where it is often on sale for only $3.97 each.  In fact, this morning when I checked, it was still on sale.  I think normally it is only around $5-$6, so still not a bad deal.

2.  Alba Botanica Hawaiian Deep Conditioning Minute Mask – Cocoa Butter

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I was really excited to try this when my package arrived a couple weeks ago.  I pored over the reviews before I purchased it, because it’s been a long time since I tried a hair mask, and I didn’t want to be disappointed.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised and really love it!  It smells like fruity chocolate (umm.. yeah my nose was very happy) and it has the perfect, thick, creamy consistency that rinses completely leaving your hair with that tell-tale “slip.”  I always know when a conditioner works based on the “slip” factor while it’s still wet.  Once dry, my hair was soft, tangle free, less frizzy, and had a deep glossy shine.  Yay for fruity chocolate hair miracles!  This one is also cruelty free and features mostly natural ingredients.  It is labeled as having 100% vegetarian ingredients, however I scoured the items and couldn’t see any obvious animal ingredients, so not sure what is keeping this from being vegan.  It also comes in “Gardenia” scented.

3. Unrefined Coconut Oil

I just love using coconut oil!  I bake with it, cook with it, make chocolate and treats with it, and use it on my skin and hair!  There’s a couple of ways I like to use it on my hair as a treatment.  The first way is for when I plan to take a shower first thing in the morning.  I simply rub about a teaspoon of unrefined virgin coconut oil in the palms of my hands and rub into my hair, mostly concentrating on the ends.  Then I braid it or pull it back very loosely.  I put an old pillowcase on my pillow, and then sleep with the oil in my hair. In the morning, I shampoo it out and follow up with a conditioner.  Makes my hair nice and soft!  The second way I use coconut oil as a hair treatment is to gently heat about a tablespoon or slightly more (depending on hair length, my hair is now about 4 inches past my shoulders).  Once it’s melted, I let it cool down until it’s warm but not hot (be careful!), then coat the entire length of my hair, especially the ends.  I massage a few drops into my scalp as well.  Then I pop on a plastic shower cap and let it sit for as long as possible, but at least an hour.  Sometimes, I also wrap my shower-capped head in a warm towel.  Then I shampoo it out in the shower and follow up with conditioner.  You can also do this treatment with argan, jojoba, or olive oil.

More Hair Tips!

1.  For extra shine, I always end my shower with cold water, and I try not to take super hot showers.  It’s better for your skin too.  Sometimes it’s hard to turn on the cold water, especially if it’s chilly in the bathroom, but tough it out – it’s worth it!

2.  Invest in a shower head filter.  We have a relatively inexpensive shower head filter, but it seems to improve our harsh city water.  There are all kinds of different makes and models, some filter out more than others.  If you have city water, or a lot of mineral deposits, it might be worth looking into.  (Check out this handy comparison guide)

3. Use a humidifier while you sleep.  This is something we just started doing because it seemed like our noses were stuffy and dry every morning.  The added bonus is that my hair and skin seem less dry.  While you probably can’t carry around a portable humidifier all day to combat the changing degrees of dryness, at least you’ll get a good dose of moisture during the 8 or so hours you spend your bedroom.

4.  Maybe this is a no-brainer, but try not to blow dry your hair if you don’t have to.  I hardly ever blow dry my hair anymore, and when I do, my hair is at least 80% dry. I also try not to wash my hair every day.

5.  Last, but not least, drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and beans.  Also be sure to include healthy fats like avocado.  Need some ideas?  Check out my recipe page for inspiration!

Here’s to happy, healthy, winter hair!

Please share! What are your favorite products and tips for shiny and glossy locks?

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