Dry January Tips: Here’s What to Do if the Holidays Trashed Your Skin and Hair

I’m not talking about using a clarifying shampoo to get rid of party hair. And I don’t mean using undereye concealer because you’re still trying to catch up on sleep. Noooo. I’m talking about dull, rough skin and hair. There’s a reason for it, and it’s nothing to do with sleep or smells.

Welcome to the holiday season oxidant after party. If you were out there glamming it up, your skin and hair are probably still suffering from the extra helping of oxidants. So I’ve got some Dry January tips for you.

Holiday Oxidants Are Mean

Sugar, fats, alcohol, tobacco smoke, frigid winds and overheated indoors to push the damage further… getting the picture? The holidays are when oxidants have a field day. And even if you don’t smoke, your hair and skin probably got a good waft from an older aunt. (Noticed how poorly her skin has aged? Ah.)

Naturally, most oxidants behave even more poorly when they are partying in your bloodstream. You can flush them out with water, lots of water. But what about when it comes to your hair?

Hair is dead, but your scalp is very much alive. If you’ve got oxidants living in there, the quality of hair your scalp pushes out is going to be compromised. Oxidants like the thought.

How to Shut Down the Oxidant After Party

But there are things you can do to get rid of oxidants, internally and externally. There are benefits to Dry January, so make water or citrus tea your drink of choice for your next self care day. (More alcohol will not shut down the after party.)


  • Use a clay mask. Clay draws out impurities. You can use it on your hair to remove tobacco smoke and other forms of buildup that hide between your hair cuticles. Clay will also remove unwanted oxidant residues that emit from your bloodstream onto your scalp and skin. Try it weekly for a month.
    • Note: Clay is drying. So make sure the mask you purchase contains hydrating ingredients to balance the drying effect.
  • Use an antioxidant serum. Clay will pull the impurities out of your scalp and skin, but you can only use it once a week. You’ll need something to help lessen the oxidants that will still be present. This is where a serum like vitamin C for the skin and scalp and a pycnogenol supplement can be useful.
  • Give your hair a break. Even if it weren’t for the extremes of dry cold and heat, some oxidants are also drying for the hair. Try oil slugging your hair a few nights a week and avoid heat tools to restore softness and shine.

And improve your diet. It’s harsh to say after all those roast meats and pastries, but a balanced diet will help you put the oxidant after party to rest, once and for all.

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