For some good nourishment

Hassled by your dry hair and skin? Here are five ways to combat hair and skin dryness...

Spending some time moisturising your skin and hair will ensure long-lasting benefits.

UVA rays, pollution and dust adversely affect our hair and skin on a daily basis. Our hair is subjected to harsh effects, which surface in the form of subtle dryness, frizz and split-ends. Though markets offer myriad choices in appealing fragrances and packaging, the truth is, on-rack products have trace amounts of chemicals that can do more harm than good to your skin and hair.

No more dryness

According to ayurveda, too much ‘vata’ leads to dry skin, thinner hair and makes our fingernails brittle. There are many natural remedies ayurveda gives us for better skin and hair care which are not only safe but also protect us against skin desiccation and unhealthy tresses. Here are some tips:

• Abhyanga: Abhyanga is an important ayurvedic treatment for dry skin and hair. It is a self-massage of the body with nourishing natural oils. Abhyanga is best done before a shower. Hot oil stimulates hair and body to absorb nutrients better. Coconut, almond and sesame oil works best as they get easily absorbed by the hair follicles and skin cells. These oils are also known for their deep nourishing and hydrating properties which help protect against dryness and frizz. You can also opt for lighter oils like apricot kernel oil, argan oil or essential oils like lavender, geranium or carrot seed mixed with base oils. These oils help keep your body supple, increase blood circulation, and reduce water retention.

• The morning after: After a good night’s rest, the body is dehydrated and in need of some tender loving care. Wake your body up with a refreshing glass of room temperature water which kick-starts the digestive system and refreshes the cells of our body. Water is the best source for hydration inside out. It keeps our lips nourished, skin supple and hair soft. Drinking ample water also helps flush out toxins giving your hair and skin a natural glow.

• Avoid hot baths: Bathing is a daily ritual in all Indian households. However, the temperature of the water also plays an important role in the texture of our hair and skin. Hot baths can also open up the pores of our skin, which if left unattended, can attract dirt and oils to settle causing acne and rashes. Further, hot water strips our hair of its natural oils causing frizz and dryness. Ayurveda suggests bathing in tepid water instead to reap its overall benefits.

• Tender Loving Care: TLC is a beauty must-do. Spending some time moisturising your skin and hair will ensure long-lasting benefits. You can add minute ayurveda resources to your everyday routine to reap its maximum benefits. Choose an aloe vera-base moisturiser for oily to combination skin daily. Those with dry to normal skin can apply shea butter, avocado oil and argan oil. Swap out store-brought shampoos and conditioners for natural ingredient-based cleaners for hair. 

• Serums: Serums leave out occlusive moisturising ingredients such as petroleum or mineral oil that keep water from evaporating. Serums contain fewer lubricating and thickening agents, like nut or seed oils, and are a direct source for deep hydration and nourishment. Layer on with serums with essential nourishing ingredients.

(The author is ayurveda doctor, Shankara India)

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