Care for your mane

Care for your mane

From investing in a good hairbrush to shampooing the right way, Shahnaz Husain lists out all the things you can do to pamper your precious locks this year.

Who doesn’t love shiny, bouncy hair that’s healthy from the inside? But many of us don’t know what to do when it comes to our mane. Be it the right kind of washing or brushing, every aspect of hair care is foggy. Here are some tips that can help you nail the right hairstyle, sans the damage, every season. 

Washing them clean
The first step in hair care is shampoo. Select a mild herbal shampoo, according to your hair type. Rinse the hair very well with water, in order to get rid of all soapy residues. The way you wash and dry the hair are also important. Oily hair should be washed often, probably three or four times a week and even daily during hot and humid weather. Dry hair in the same weather should be washed twice a week.

The important aspect to bear in mind is that washing does not harm the hair; what causes harm is the quality and quantity of the products utilised for every wash.

Vigorously rubbing shampoo into your hair just won’t do. There’s a proper procedure. First wet your hair thoroughly. Apply the shampoo and use your fingertips to rub it lightly 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 impurities.

After washing the hair, avoid rubbing with a towel. Wrap your towel around the head for a few minutes to soak up moisture. Avoid brushing wet hair as it can cause the hair to stretch and break. Use a wide-toothed comb to comb out the tangles, starting from the ends and going upwards towards the scalp.

It may sound ridiculous but brushing and combing your hair also has a say in the overall quality. Here are some guidelines:

Use a firm, regular stroke and pull the brush through the hair gently, close to the scalp, in a smooth motion.

Long hair should not be brushed in one stroke. Hold the hair with one hand and brush the hair in lengthwise sections.

Avoid using a brush when the hair is wet. Use a wide-toothed comb made from natural materials like wood. These are better than plastic combs. The teeth should be smooth and well rounded.

For styling, brushes with wide-spaced, plastic teeth and a full-round brush are better.
n For your handbag, get a comb with even, closely-spaced narrow teeth.

If you are suffering from hair loss, hair breakage or split-ends, avoid brushing the hair, instead use a wide-toothed comb.

And contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need many products to help you nail your favourite star’s hairstyle. With a few professional tips, you can use your blow-dryer to set short hair into a chic style quite easily:

For very short hair, use your fingers to push the hair into the style in which it has been cut. For longer hair, you will need a styling brush. Use a brush with soft, natural or plastic bristles.

Hair should be slightly damp for setting. Divide the hair in sections and hold them back with clips or hair pins. This allows you to work on one section at a time.

The hair on the top of the head should be lifted upwards with the brush, so that hair gets more body and bounce.

For layered cuts, the heat should be given across the hair on either side.

If you like tight curls, wind sections of hair around small rollers, before using the dryer.

To add volume to your hair, bend forward and brush the hair from the nape of the neck to the ends.

To add fullness on top of the head, divide the hair on the crown into four sections. Wind them around four large rollers, before drying the hair.

When the hair is totally dry, brush it into the style, so that all the sections have blended together into one.

If you aren’t a fan of curls, you can easily straighten your hair with a handheld hair dryer, albeit temporary.

When the hair is damp, divide it into sections. Hold each section with a brush, holding it straight and slightly downwards. Dry it with the blow dryer. Do this with each section. The effect lasts till the next shampoo. Hold the dryer at least six inches away from the hair, so that it doesn’t dry out the hair.

(The author is a beauty expert)

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