Mane Magic: hair care tips

Follow these simple hair care tips and watch your hair bounce with sheer joy

Combing hairNothing indicates the state of your health as much as your hair and skin do. Depending on the type of your hair, it is possible to plan a careful regimen and have it looking shiny and healthy - even during the bothersome monsoon months.

Hairy facts

We lose about 60 strands of hair from our scalp everyday. It is important to understand that every strand of hair only has a life span of 2-7 years. When it eventually falls, a new hair takes its place. So, there is no reason to lose sleep over the hair you lose everyday — as long as it is being replenished by new hair.

General hair care tips

  • The first step to healthy hair is cleanliness. It is perfectly okay to wash your hair every alternate day as long as you are careful about the quality of shampoo you use
  • Shampoo and conditioner must be used separately as their benefits are quite different
  • Henna has a drying effect on hair, so it is advisable to avoid it
  • Make it a point to trim your hair once every six weeks. It helps to keep split ends at bay and maintains your hairstyle
  • Treat yourself to a head oil massage once a week. After the massage, steam hair with a wet towel. This helps better absorption of the oil and conditions the hair shaft and follicles
  • Remember, hair is at its weakest when wet. Disentangle hair after a shampoo using only your fingers, or a wide-toothed comb
  • Change your shampoo and conditioner every two months. Your hair has a tendency to get used to these products, and a chemical deposit accumulates on your scalp when you use a brand on a continuous basis over a period of time
  • Regular blow-drying weakens hair roots. But, if your cut requires a blow dryer to set and style, let your hair be half-dry when you use it. Use dryer only to style. This will reduce the duration your hair is exposed to direct heat from the dryer. It is always advisable to use the "cool" setting
  • What you put into your body is as important as what you put on your hair. Remember to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Premature greying: Causes and prevention

There are a number of reasons for those strands of grey that sneak in well before time. Diet deficiencies and mental tension are the primary causes. Hereditary factors also predispose a person to premature greying.

  • Indian gooseberry or amla is said to be beneficial as a preventive for this condition. Pieces of the fruit are boiled in coconut oil until the mixture resembles charred dust. Applying this dark oil on the scalp is a good remedy. Massaging the scalp every night with a tsp of amla juice mixed with a tsp of almond oil and a few drops of lime juice is also said to work well
  • Butter made from cow's milk, if consumed or massaged into the hair roots twice a week, is supposed to arrest premature greying
  • Curry leaves boiled in coconut oil are excellent. The oil, used as a hair tonic, stimulates hair growth and restores pigmentation
  • Applying the fresh juice of amaranth leaves helps hair to retain its ebony shade and keeps it soft.

Monsoon tips for hair care

  • If you have frizzy hair this can create real problems for you. Apply a good leave-in conditioner to beat monsoon blues. Shampoo your hair, apply the leave-in conditioner, and let it air dry. Do not wash off
  • Avoid hot hair treatments. Harsh heat on your hair is very bad during the monsoons. Put your hair dryers away during this season and say a big no to straightening and perm treatments
  • It would help to sport a shorter hair style for better maintenance
  • If your hair gets wet in the rain, wash as soon as you get back home to keep potential scalp infections at bay
  • Avoid hair sprays and restrict the number of hair care products you use
  • Use a mild shampoo
  • Drink 10-12 glasses of water daily
  • Apply conditioner more on the hair shaft than on the roots and scalp
  • Eat a protein-rich diet and be sure to include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your meals
  • Preferably, avoid a hair dryer. If you must use one, make sure your hair isn't dripping wet when you turn it on, and hold it at least six inches away from your scalp
  • A regular henna treatment is good during the wet weather
  • A hot oil massage once a week keeps your hair in good shape.

Help from the Kitchen

By Team CW

If commercial products are not your thing, you can concoct some hair care solutions from ingredients found in your kitchen at home itself. Here are two mixes that work well for your hair in the rains.

Honey and olive oil mask

Olive oilMix two parts olive oil with one part honey in a cup. Warm slightly and then apply the mix evenly through your hair. Try and avoid the scalp as it tends to get oily in the rains. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then wash off with shampoo. This works to condition and repair your hair.

Banana mash

Here's a quick, effective mask for your hair. Mash a banana, add a dash of olive oil if you like, and smooth over your hair. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then shampoo off with warm water. This works well in combating frizz in the monsoon.

Lemon delight

Lemon juice mixed with water can also be used as a last rinse to give your hair a shiny and bouncy look.

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Uma Girish
Uma Girish is a grief guide, a certified life purpose coach and author. Her latest book is a transformational memoir Losing Amma, Finding Home: A Memoir About Love, Loss And Life’s Detours published by Hay House. She is the co-founder of the International Grief Council.

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