Staying Fabulous This Winter Season
by Ebony Clark-Bomani
So, this is the time of the year that people get sick the most---subzero temperatures, change in weather, and GERMS. Bipolar weather happens a lot in the south. It can be 30 degrees this week and 70 degrees next week. Here come the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, and hacking. Your greatest natural defenses are: quality rest and exercise to boost immunity, dark greens (such as spinach, kale, wheatgrass, etc.) fresh ginger root, local, raw honey, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, lots of water, and lemons!!!! Use these ingredients to supply your body with nutrients by adding them to your green smoothies, fresh juices, teas, and tonics. Remember to consume enough fresh fruits and vegetables, and quality protein. Drastically minimize or eliminate processed foods, sodas, refined sugar, and alcohol.
This is also the time of year when hair and skin care are a major concern. Here are the things that are the most important to me for my hair and skin during this time: WATER, BUTTERS, and OILS!
Staying hydrated from the inside is uber important. Since our bodies are made of mostly water, it's vital that we drink enough of it so our cells, organs, and tissues function properly. We lose water just by breathing, so imagine how much more you lose when you perspire, go to the bathroom, smoke, and consume caffeine. Certain ailments and sicknesses, like headaches and joint pain can come from not drinking enough water as well, so it can definitely have an adverse effect on your skin and hair. When you get a chance read, Water for Health, for Healing, for Life: You're not Sick, You're Thirsty by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj.
Remember, you can get water from food sources as well. Foods including, but not limited to, watermelon, cucumbers, celery, and cabbage have high contents of water. Your body, skin, and hair NEED that.
As with most people, my hair and skin care practices are different this time of year. For my skin, I use butters and oils while I'm still in the shower or just after, before drying off. Skin tends to lock in moisture, more efficiently, if oils and butters are applied while the skin is still damp. If I'm showering at night, I apply something lighter, like olive oil. If I choose to shower in the morning, before facing the weather, I'll use something heavier like shea butter or coconut oil. My skin is baby soft ALL day!!!! I choose oils and butters over lotion because they mimic our natural lubrication, sebum, a protective layer of oil that secretes from our sebaceous glands.
I shampoo my hair less frequently and my conditioner is a little heavier and is used more often. Conditioners, for me, don't necessarily always come from a hair care line. Every two weeks, I use a homemade hydrating mask in place of my regular conditioner. It contains 1 smooth avocado, 1 tbsp of coconut oil, and 1 tbsp of honey. After shampooing I apply it, cover it with a processing cap, and leave it on for about 30 minutes. The fat and vitamins in the avocado and coconut oil, and the humectant (attracts moisture) properties of the honey, leave my hair extremely soft and conditioned. When styling, I apply a little castor oil to my favorite styling products to increase moisture retention. Castor oil is pretty thick and adds a heavier barrier of protection to our hair and skin. A combination of all of the aforementioned is what keeps my hair and skin thriving during the cooler seasons.
What about you?