With all these hectic festive goings on to contend with, you’d be forgiven for letting your hair fall prey to the elements. Winter is far from a follicle’s best friend, and can leave our locks looking dry and tired. With all the get-togethers we’ll be attending, this simply won’t do!
But here’s the rub…all those fancy hair treatments we see in the shops can seem a bit of a frivolous purchase when you’re trying to stick to a budget.
It’s all very well for our hairdressers to insist we abstain from the cheap stuff with all its chemicals, but when things are tight, lustrous locks are the least of our problems.
I’ve been doing some internet detective work, and it turns out there are some fantastically thrifty home remedies to keep your tresses in check. I even have some of my own tricks of the trade to share too…
All that blustery wind and bitter rainfall can leave the tips of your hair feeling frazzled, resulting in dry and brittle split ends. The only way to really rid yourself of split ends is by getting regular trims at the hairdressers, but that can be time-consuming, not to mention expensive!
A simple and cheap way to keep split-ends in check is to condition the tips of your hair with coconut oil. I’m a huge fan of coconut oil as it can be used for so many things – moisturising your skin, banishing dark circles under the eyes, even prolonging the last dregs of mascara. It only costs a couple of quid at your local chemist, and because it’s a solid you only need a small bit per treatment, it lasts ages.
In this case simply work a teaspoon of it in your hands and rub through the ends of clean, damp hair. Leave in for five minutes then wash out for smooth and silky tresses.
We all want to have lovely clean hair. Washing your hair too frequently, however, strips away your hair’s natural oils which your body then rushes to replace. This vicious cycle soon leads to you having to wash your hair every day, taking you back to square one!
To avoid this, try using a dry shampoo for those in-between-washing days. You can buy dry shampoo for pretty cheap on the high street, but you can also make it at home using simple cornflour.
Just sprinkle the corn flour directly onto your hair parting and rub in with your fingertips. Leave for 5 minutes then brush it through (or comb through with a wide-toothed comb if you have curly hair). The flour absorbs the oil leaving you with fresh looking-locks. So easy!
Cocoa powder, food colouring and cinnamon
Your hair colour can also become dull over the winter months. This is due to the sun’s tendency to lighten our hair…the sun, of course, making less of an appearance during this time of year.
Luckily, there’s a way to liven up your locks no matter what the shade:
- Brunettes can refresh their colour using cocoa powder and other ingredients found in your kitchen cupboard. This tutorial provides a simple-to-follow recipe to do this.
- Blondes can mix two drops of red food colouring with 3 drops of blue food colouring in a container to make a purple mix. Add a few drops of water so you can check that the colour is right. You can then mix this in with your shampoo and/or conditioner. This will remove the yellow build-up you can get in blonde hair and will leave you with a bright, fresh tone.
- Redheads can put the fire back into faded hair with good ol’ cinnamon. It warms the lowlights of red hair, bringing out those lovely rust and copper tints while making your hair smell amazing – not to mention festive! Try this step-by-step guide on WikiHow.
The humble egg yolk is bursting with natural fats and proteins, making it an elixir of life for winter-worn hair. Granted, slapping slimy egg yolk on your barnet can prove a little messy, but trust me, it really does work! Here’s what you do:
Separate the yolk from the white and put the yolk in a cup. Whisk gently in order to break it up and then apply to clean, damp hair. Leave the yolk on your hair for 30 minutes then rinse off with cold water (warm water can cook the egg). This will leave your hair revitalised and in much better condition. Also, why not whip up your leftover egg whites with sugar and make a cheeky meringue while you wait?
Apple cider vinegar
Straight after I wash my hair, I like to spritz it with a few squirts of apple cider vinegar. I usually do this twice a week.
Why, you ask? No, it’s not because I have a secret aspiration to smell like my local chip shop. It’s because apple cider vinegar literally BLASTS through the residual build-up that’s left on my hair from the various products I use, leaving it super soft and glossy!
Despite its fancy name, you can get apple cider vinegar for pretty cheap from any of the big name supermarkets. All you need to do is combine a half cup of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Wash and condition your hair as normal, then once it’s rinsed just spray the mixture on while your hair is damp.
For an all-over clean feeling, get busy working the mixture into every lock of hair. If you have long hair like me, be prepared for a bit of an arm twinge making sure you’ve got full coverage. Let it sit for five minutes then rinse thoroughly.
Once dry, your hair should look so shiny people will be donning sunglasses in your presence – as if you weren’t radiant enough already, eh?
Honey and olive oil
Now this…THIS is a treat for your tresses. Honey is a natural humectant, which means that it attracts moisture, literally drawing it right into your hair. It’s also packed with antioxidants and nutrients to feed hair follicles, encouraging hair growth.
The problem is, honey on its own usually just results in a sticky mess. Adding olive oil to it not only means an even coverage, the oil also nourishes thirsty scalps and makes coarse hair silky-smooth.
This hair tip might seem a little on the la-dee-daa side, but you’re likely to spend the same amount on this combo as any of the mid-range hair serums and conditioners out there. The difference is that these natural ingredients really are healing your hair, instead of disguising the damage with silicone and other nasty stuff many hair products contain.
Follow these tips on how to make an olive oil and honey hair mask.
It’s particularly important at this time of year not to cause additional damage by drying, curling or straightening too often. So if you, like me, get a routine telling-off from your hairdresser for straightening your hair too much, you can put your hair up instead in a hair donut fashioned from an ordinary pair of old socks. You can watch the tutorial here. Throw an ‘up-do’ into your routine every other day to give your hair a holiday from heat damage.
Do you have any cheap and cheerful hair rescue remedy tips to share? Tell us about it in the comments. Don’t forget to sign up to our monthly newsletter for more tips and tricks!