Monsoon hair care

Monsoon affects a lot of things, including your hair. But you can manage it and minimise the typical hair loss if you know what to do and what to avoid

woman combing her hairThe onset of monsoon marks the beginning of numerous hair problems such as hair fall and hair breakage. The humidity robs hair of its bounce often leaving it dull, limp and lifeless. The scalp constantly sweats, leading to itching, scratching and aggravated hair loss. So, bad hair days are bound to haunt most of you during the monsoons. Rain water carries atmospheric pollutants that weaken the hair roots causing hair fall. To add to the plight, the municipally-treated water, with additional chlorine weakens the roots even more.

Make sure you wash your hair every time it gets wet in the rains. The fact behind excess hair breakage during monsoons is the high levels of humidity, which causes the hair to swell; swollen hair is prone to breakage. To strengthen hair from the roots, apply oil to your hair at least an hour before washing it, without fail. Frequent hair washes drain the scalp of its moisture, making oiling a must.

Furthermore, a hot oil massage once a week allows better absorption of the oil, conditioning the hair shaft and follicles that prevents flaking. Oiling replenishes and rejuvenates dry and damaged hair, reduces the excessive brittleness and also relaxes your mind and nervous system.

Hair types and wash regime

Washing your hair regularly is an essential part of a hair care regimen. Here is how you can wash your hair depending on your hair type:

Oily hair: Wash frequently, if necessary every day. Use a gentle wash-off conditioner. Oil your hair once or twice a week one hour prior to washing.

Dry hair: Wash your hair 2 – 3 times a week. Oil every time, overnight prior to washing.

Normal hair: Wash your hair as often as required. Use a good wash-off shampoo conditioner system. Oil your hair once or twice a week, one hour prior to washing.

For all hair types use a wide-toothed comb, rather than a brush.

I am blessed with strong healthy hair but it always takes more efforts to maintain it. My personal hair care regimen during the monsoon is to apply coconut hair oil on my hair every night and wash it off every morning. Since I wash my hair often, I make sure that I use a mild shampoo. Mild shampoos are low in chemicals and therefore do not cause much harm to your hair. Also try to use normal amounts of shampoo while washing your hair.

Hair care commandments

There are two important rules in hair care: oiling your hair at least one hour before hair wash to retain its moisture content and remembering never to comb wet hair. Wait for hair to dry completely and then comb your hair thoroughly from root to tip. Wet hair can increase in length by up to 30 per cent and still return to normal length after it's dried. If you stretch your hair too often you can damage it and cause breakage to the hair shaft.

How much to shampoo?

At any given time, 10 – 15 per cent of all hair is in the telogen phase. During this phase the hair follicle is completely at rest. This phase lasts for about 100 days for hair on the scalp. Pulling out a hair in this phase will reveal a solid, hard, dry, white material at the root. Frequent shampooing can lead the hair in the telogen phase to fall out faster and in more numbers. This is why, whenever you change your shampoo or conditioner, or move to a new brush, loose hair is often found for 2 – 3 days after the change. The extra hair loss has nothing to do with the product and will settle in a day or two. Usually, you will find that the hair that you lost will start to grow back almost immediately.

Highlighting a few facts

Using driers: Using hair driers and blowers definitely does not blow your hair off as is commonly believed. Unless you are using hurricane-class hair blowers, such products can only cause brittleness. Hair breaks if it's too dry or hot. Besides that, using such products is quite safe. It is, however, recommended to use blowers at a normal distance.

Using styling products: There are numerous hair fall myths, which need to be solved so that people are eventually aware of the actual causes of hair fall. Many people ask 'Is changing hair products the cause of hair fall?' or probably 'Is hair styling harmful?' Well, there is some truth in it. Normal styling of your hair won't cause your hair to fall, but certain hair styles like corn rows and tight ponytails can cause traction alopecia, which is a kind of hair loss. Using hair sprays and colouring your hair might damage the hair strands to some extent, but it does not affect the hair follicles below the scalp causing hair loss.

Brushing your hair: Brushing your hair is good for stimulating the follicles. Although this is true, make sure that the bristles of the brush are straight and not crisscross. Using a wide-tooth comb is best advised. Brushing helps to stimulate your scalp in a way similar to a massage, but when you comb your hair, be gentle. Brushing brings the oil from the scalp down to your hair strands.

Wearing head gear: Wearing tight caps can cause the scalp to sweat, which leads to hair fall. Wear loose-fitting caps or hats, preferably cotton.

Tackling split-ends: People often ask measures to repair split ends. The only way to get rid of them is to cut them off.

Hair dos and don'ts

Usually, people will only notice that you are balding when you have lost almost 50 per cent of the hair in your scalp. When you reach that stage, it might be too late to recover all your hair. Hence prevention is better than cure:

Do:

  • Wash your hair every time it gets wet in the rain.
  • Oil your hair at least one hour before hair wash.
  • Hot hair oil massage will stimulate blood circulation in your scalp thus rejuvenating it.
  • Use a wide toothed comb when hair is completely dry.
  • Leave your hair loose when wet.
  • Natural drying is the best.

Don't:

  • Comb wet hair.
  • Use a fine-toothed comb.
  • Indulge in excessive brushing of your hair.
  • Tie wet hair.
  • Tie your hair tight.

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