Care for your hair

BEAUTY CORNER

The texture of the hair, i.e. whether it is straight or curly, depends on your genes. Of course, due to fashion trends, people have their hair straightened. If your hair has been straightened with chemical lotions, or direct heat applications, it will entail deep conditioning and careful handling.

If you have had your hair straightened or used direct heat applications, after care is extremely important.The first step in hair care is shampoo. Straight hair may need more frequent shampoo in order to maintain its style. Select a mild herbal shampoo according to your hair type. First, wet your hair thoroughly. Apply the shampoo and use your fingertips to rub it into the scalp and hair. Work up a lather.  Start at the scalp and go downwards. Be gentle with your hair. While washing, run plenty of water through the hair, so that you can get rid of all the soap, along with dirt, dead skin cells and other pollutants. After washing the hair, do not rub it with a towel. Wrap the head in a towel and allow it to soak up moisture.

Do not brush wet hair. Hair is porous and its elasticity increases when it is wet. Brushing can cause the hair to stretch and break. Use a wide toothed comb, to comb out all the tangles, starting from the ends of the hair and going upwards towards the scalp. Allow your hair to dry naturally as much as possible.

Oils and other ingredients can be used to give the hair a pre-shampoo treatment. For normal to dry hair, apply oil the night before, with a light massage, leaving it on overnight. Pure coconut oil or any vegetable oil, like sesame seed (til) or olive oil, may be used. Once a week, give your hair hot oil therapy.

After care

If you have had your hair straightened or used direct heat applications (ironing), after-care is extremely important. Use mild shampoos and extra-rich conditioners. After shampoo, apply a creamy conditioner. Leave on for 2 minutes and wash the hair with plain water. The use of hair serums helps to give shine and added protection too.
Give yourself a deep conditioning hair treatment at home to have it looking great. It helps to counteract stress caused to the hair by chemical colourants, excessive sun-exposure, dust, grime and air pollutants. Have it looking silky and shiny.

Mix together one egg, one tablespoon castor oil, the juice of a lemon and one teaspoon pure glycerin or honey. These ingredients should be well mixed. You can use an egg beater if you like. Massage this well into the scalp and apply on the hair too. Wear the plastic shower cap and relax for an hour. Then wash the hair with shampoo, rinsing well with water.

A beer rinse also helps to add shine and soften the hair. After your shampoo, use beer as a last rinse. Add the juice of a lemon to the beer. Pour the beer over the hair after shampoo, leave on for a few minutes and just rinse off with plain water.

We see a great deal of hair damage today, caused by chemical styling lotions. In fact, we have formulated specialised products to deal with it, like shampoo with built-in conditioning, hair serum, shampoo with sunscreen, leave-on conditioner with sunscreen, etc. Such products, help to maintain the look of the hair and also protect it. During head spa treatments at our clinics, we provide massage and also use hair packs, containing ingredients like amla, bael, brahmi, henna, mint, trifala and so on. Apart from conditioning the hair, these treatments strengthen the hair and also add body and lustre. Ayurvedic treatments have been used to restore health to damaged hair.

Sometimes, after washing, the hair can look slightly wavy. You can use a hand-held dryer at home to straighten the hair. The effect will last till the next shampoo. After washing the hair, while the hair is still damp, divide it in sections. Hold the end of a section with a comb or brush. Holding it straight and slightly downwards, use the hand held dryer to dry the hair. Repeat this with each section. Hold the dryer at least six inches away from the hair. Please note that excessive use of the hair dryer can cause dryness of the hair.

Every month, Living features a column by our grooming expert, Shahnaz Husain.Send in your queries to dhliving @gmail.com

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