You’re done with the talk on positivity, groomed and trained the dog, fed kids round the clock for seemingly endless days and morphed into the superhuman multi-tasker on roller skates, now focus on yourself. Bring in a dose of self-care for your skin and hair and beam like the radiant sunflower.
Says Menaka Bhandary, founder, Blown, a luxury wine, hair and nail bar based in Bengaluru and Mumbai, “Oiling your hair brings in vital vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids that strengthen roots. Coconut oil can protect your hair from sun damage, dandruff and remove sebum build-up from hair follicles, accelerating hair growth.” Then there are ways of redeeming your scalp and fobbing off strand loss.
“Try boiling curry leaves in coconut oil (olive oil is a better option if available), strain, and apply. Optionally, mix olive oil with honey and cinnamon powder to massage into your scalp. Leave for 15 minutes and then wash it off,” says Menaka. “The real winner is LOC: Leave-in, oil, and cream. Use water, then a lightweight oil like coconut, olive or almond. Follow this with shea butter or any creamy conditioner. Leave it in for a while and then wash thoroughly,” she says.
Your hair and skin are an index of your dietary intake and emotions. Stay active, be well. A healthy, balanced intake works wonders in strengthening those locks. “Hair is keratinised protein and considered non-essential tissue. The body first distributes protein amongst essential organs, like the heart or liver,” she explains. “If you are consuming enough, then the follicles receive protein. Iron is another crucial nutrient for hair health. As for hair wash, for dry hair types, shampoo a maximum of two times a week; for oily hair types, wash on a daily basis; for normal hair, you have the luxury of washing your hair whenever you feel like you need to.”
Menaka Bhandary outlines the steps to shimmy up your swathe at your own home-salon:
Select your shade. Boxed dyes are usually displayed in colour order on a shelf. Hold a section of your hair up to a box to find a close match. Choose from the next two shades on either side. Buy two boxes, just in case one falls short.
Do the strand test. Colour a few trimmed or hidden hair first, then look at the result before you commit. Wear an old robe or button-front shirt. Cover surfaces (floor, sink) with garbage bags or layers of newspaper you can toss afterwards. Avoid mixing shades for a “custom colour”. Unless you are a professional, combining two different shades of hair colour is never recommended. Pick one shade and follow the instructions.
For hay-like dry hair: Mix egg, curd, and mustard oil. Eggs bring in Vitamin A, B12, D and E, fatty acids and proteins. Protein helps strengthen the roots, while the fatty acids make it a natural hair conditioner and B12 helps add volume. For speedy hair growth: Mix olive oil (2 tbsp), coconut oil (warmed and then cooled, 2 tbsp), egg (one or two).
(Courtesy Menaka Bhandary, founder, Blown, a luxury wine, hair and nail bar)
Your skin is desperate for attention. You cannot complain of a lack of time now that we are all confined to our homes. Bring in the discipline routine for skincare and experience the magical results that unfold.
Says Dr Bharti Magoo, a Mumbai-based aesthetician, and anti-ageing physician of Golden Touch Clinic, “Limit exposure to the sun if you have pigmentation problems. For soothing skin and healing acne scars, aloe vera works beautifully by reducing inflammation and the size of scar tissue. Lemon juice is another effective home remedy to lighten your skin. You can also rub papaya pulp between your palms and dab it gently over the affected areas to gently remove dead skin cells from your face. Optionally apply raw potato juice.”
A home facial is the best way to keep your skin super supple. Exfoliate the dead skin and massage for a rev up. “For dry skin, skip exfoliation and opt for moisturising and creamier applications,” explains Dr Magoo. “For oily skin, skip oil centric applications. Bring in lighter creams. If you have sensitive skin, be very gentle while exfoliating, massaging and masking. Stay away from parabens, chemicals and fragrances.” She advises extra care for hands as each one of us is tackling a fair load of housework as well.
“Soak your hands in warm water (with lavender or rose oil drops) for 10 mins. Apply vaseline or moisturiser every night before you go to bed. Rubbing olive oil and sugar into your palms softens your hands immeasurably," she suggests.
Cleanse your face 2-3 times a day. Gently massage your face in a circular motion.
Stay hydrated. High water content fruits include watermelon, cucumber, orange, strawberry, grapefruit and cantaloupe.
Hot water and long showers or baths sap oils from your skin.
Skip strong soaps while bathing.
Exercise regularly. Running, jogging and yoga boost blood circulation.
For normal skin: 1 teaspoon ground oatmeal + a teaspoon of honey + a teaspoon of olive oil.
For oily skin: 1 teaspoon rice powder + 1 teaspoon of honey + a teaspoon of water a teaspoon of sugar.
For dry skin - 1 teaspoon of honey + a teaspoon of olive oil + a teaspoon of ground almonds.
For normal skin- 1 tablespoon honey + 1 tablespoon yoghurt.
For oily skin - 1 tablespoon Multani mitti + 1 tablespoon honey.
For dry skin - ½ mashed banana + 1 tablespoon honey.
Normal skin- ½ teaspoon almond/olive oil.
Dry skin- ½ teaspoon coconut/argan oil.
Oily skin- 1 tsp glycerin oil + 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel.
(Courtesy Dr Bharti Magoo)