Hair care: Oil, shampoo, condition and more

For long, strong and lustrous hair, take special care of your scalp

We all focus on conditioning or oiling the hair, but the actual place that houses our hair and where the nourishment takes place, is the scalp. Our entire body is covered with skin, and scalp is simply that. While we take lots of care of the skin on our body, with different products and treatments, we tend to ignore our scalp.

Dandruff

The most common problem of the scalp is dandruff, which is a non-inflammatory increased scaling of the scalp cells. It causes itching and irritation and, if not taken care of, may lead to infection of the scalp. In addition to hair, dandruff also affects the skin, causing sudden acne or breakouts on the skin.

Several factors lead to the formation of dandruff. Like the rest of the skin on our body, our scalp too has commensal bacteria—friendly bacteria and yeast—that help in its day-to-day functions. When the bacteria multiply, it may infect the scalp thus causing irritation and dandruff. Accumulation of dead skin too causes dandruff.

Hair fall

Hair fall is another common hair complaint. And no, like it is commonly believed, washing hair every day does not cause our hair to fall. Dandruff and nutrition deficiency are main reasons for hair fall, say doctors.

So, it does not matter if you use expensive hair products for dandruff and hair fall; what you need is, to make the base healthy.

Shampoo

Wash your hair everyday with a mild shampoo [look for ones that are meant for daily wash] to clean all the dirt, grime and sweat. it is the most basic way to prevent infections and dandruff.

If you have dandruff, use dandruff shampoos till the symptoms subside. The ones available on the market are very effective. For a severe case of dandruff, visit a dermatologist who will analyse the exact condition and give required solution.

Oil

Oil your hair often. Just like your skin needs moisturiser, your scalp and hair need it too. Massage the oil into the head; it increases blood flow and has a calming effect on the nerves, besides being an excellent conditioner for hair. For oil to penetrate better, leave it on for 12 hours or more. Skip the massage if you have a lot of dandruff, as it aggravates the condition.

Don't rinse your hair more than twice. Also, avoid using excessive quantities of shampoo to remove oil. Dilute the shampoo instead for it to spread evenly and be more effective.

Condition

Make using conditioner a habit, no matter what your hair type. It forms a protective layer on the hair, keeping dust from directly coming in contact with the hair.

Always apply conditioner to the hair and not the scalp to avoid hair fall and flakes. A common problem mistaken for dandruff, is a conditioner build up on the scalp.

Condition hair tips exclusively and for longer than the rest of the hair, as they are the driest part. While oiling too, apply extra oil to the tips to moisturise them thoroughly.

Sun block

UV rays harm our hair. The best way to protect your hair from wind and sun is to cover it. You can even use special sun protection shampoos to protect your hair from harmful rays.

Hair is a very important part of our body and hence must be treated with care. It adds to our beauty and personality. However, besides all the care taken, we need to go to the basics of hair care, i.e. have healthy food that has proteins and minerals. Many a times, hair fall, dandruff and excessive hair growth happens due to hormonal imbalance or stress. It also depends on our mental state. Hence, it is also important to be happy and calm from within.

Hair Colour

Go for styling only once your hair is adequately healthy. However, know that all chemical treatment to hair causes certain amounts of damage and colouring is no exception. It opens up our hair cuticle, making it vulnerable. To minimise damage, use a hair colour with no ammonia and make sure the stylist uses foils to keep it away from the scalp. Also, opt for darker colours, as for a lighter colour to show, the stylist rips off your normal hair colour with peroxide. This makes your hair dry and brittle.

Unwanted ones

While we care for the hair on our heads, we want to get rid of the unwanted hair on our body. And we use several means to the job ones, the most popular being waxing, shaving and using hair removal creams. But there are others.

Cream it

  • Test the hair removal creams for allergies on the skin before you apply it to your body.
  • Make sure the cream is completely wiped off the skin so that no chemicals remain on the skin.
  • Avoid using hair creams on the sensitive areas of the body like underarms and pubic area.

Shave it

  • Take extreme care to avoid cuts when shaving off body hair. They can cause infections.
  • Add a few drops of antiseptic liquid to the shaving water to be safe.

Wax it

woman waxing her legs

The most popular method is waxing, but one has to wait for hair growth for waxing. However, you must be careful with the wax used, as too hot wax may leave your skin soar and red. Thicker hair, if not removed properly can cause irritation and infection of the hair follicle.

Laser it

Laser techniques for permanent hair removal have proven effective, and are hence becoming popular. Hair on the upper lip, under arm, chest, shoulder, can be removed with the help of lasers.

There are two types of lasers: Nd-YAG laser and Diode laser. The diode laser is found to be more effective.

It may sound easy but a lot can go wrong, if the procedure is not done by an experienced doctor. The laser beams destroy the hair follicle inside leaving you with hairless, smooth skin in minutes.

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Rashmi Shetty
Rashmi Shetty is a cosmetic physician with a diploma in cosmetology from Chester. She also has a diploma in acupuncture and a certification from the Fellow of Royal Society of Health, England. She has been a panellist for Sahara Mr and Miss Bollywood and practices in Bombay, Bangalore and Colombo and is a member of the Parachute Advanced Hair Care Advisory.

2 COMMENTS

  1. heena does tend to dry out the hair and make it brittle so make sure you don’t use it too often. Stop using henna for a few months. To make the hair soft again use curd or aloe vera. Apply it as a hair pack, leave for 30 mins and rinse with cool water. Also using an aloe vera and avocado shampoo will help, but it should be a mild one and preferably organic [less chemicals].

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