Who doesn’t love a dramatic hair makeover?
Bring on the flattering highlights and the blow-dried waves.
But the real deal is what you’re stuck with when the compliments fade away. The red crop turns into a dry, messy mass. The waves are gone at the first rinse and just when you thought you’d managed to tame those curls with a smoothing treatment, you begin to lose volume. What was once a cascade of brown, turns into a colourless trickle.
Hair issues are not life-altering but they can dampen your spirits every time you look in the mirror. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! With a few tweaks in your hair care regimen, you can increase your chances of having a good hair day, every day.
Beat the frizz
Life in the urban jungle is hard on your hair. The pollution and the dust causes a lot of damage to your hair, making it significantly frizzy. And, when it frizzes up, we try to tame it with chemical treatments, heat styling and a shelf full of hairstyling products, which makes the situation worse. Thence, it’s important to seal the cuticles of your hair with a regular hair oil massage. Drinking at least two to three litres of water every day and including foods rich in vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids such as almonds, walnuts and flax seeds in your diet will also help. Avoid very hot showers and heat styling and use shampoos with mild surfactants. These days, a lot of salons have a range of hydrating spa therapies. You could either take your pick from those, or whip up a homemade mask with honey, yoghurt, banana and avocado.
Treat the fall
Losing 50 to 100 strands a day is normal. But excessive and sudden hair loss is worrying and scary. Now, what could possibly be making your hair fall? These are the usual suspects: stress, genetics, hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies. Get to the root by consulting a trichologist. In the meanwhile, be gentle when washing your hair. Don’t rub vigorously, or scrub, or pull hair as it may lead to hair fall. Avoid hot showers as they can leave your scalp dry and flaky and your hair brittle. Also, excessive washing leads to depletion of natural hair oils. While you could always opt for specially designed hair fall treatments at a spa, you must cure the problem from within by taking time out to relax and eat right. Besides, you can use natural remedies to treat hair fall such as rubbing garlic, onion or ginger juice or even green tea on your scalp and massaging it with essential oils such as almond or sesame once in a week. Rich in vitamin E, coconut milk will not only nourish your hair, but also act as a natural conditioner.
Bulk it up
While our genes do play a major role, there are many other factors such as hormonal imbalance, low thyroid levels and nutritional deficiencies that trigger hair thinning. These cause degenerative changes, and make the hair follicle (or root) age prematurely. Switch to chemical-free hair products. Use a sulphate-free shampoo and look for a conditioner that doesn’t contain silicones as these tend to weigh down the hair and require sulfate shampoos to rinse out. Also avoid using heat styling tools and keep your natural hair texture till the volume is restored. Massaging your scalp regularly with cold-pressed castor oil is another, more natural route to a thicker mane.
Nix the flakes
The coming not-so-cold and dry weather can make your scalp flaky. Using a good antimicrobial shampoo thrice a week will help nix these flakes. Massage the shampoo into the scalp, leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes and rinse it off. Avoid heavy conditioners. Instead, pick one with volatile natural oils like mint and rosemary. The trick here is to achieve the right balance, so your scalp is hydrated but not oily. Also, include more zinc in your diet with whole grain, cereals and sprouts, and add essential fatty acids through almonds, walnuts and flaxseeds. Massaging apple cider vinegar onto the scalp for five minutes will remove the dead cells that clog follicles and cause dandruff. Besides, you can also massage your scalp with warm olive oil to keep scalp problems at bay.
Get rid of the splits
Split ends occur when hair follicles become dry, brittle, and lose their protective outer layer. This can be due to excessive use of heat styling tools, chemical treatments and environmental conditions. A good way to get rid of these splits is to trim your hair regularly (every 8 to 12 weeks). Skip the hard bristle brush and instead use a wooden wide-toothed comb. If you are stepping out with wet hair, keep it covered with a scarf. Deep-conditioning treatments at the salon will help restore moisture and soften the split ends while adding shine.
Maintain the colour
It’s not permanent but you want your hair colour to stay vibrant and shiny at least for a few weeks. To get there, start with choosing your hair colour wisely. Blonde and brunette hues stand the test of time better than the red shades. Also, wait for a couple of days before you wash your hair to allow the colour molecules to set in. Stick to a shampoo formulated for colour-treated hair as coloured tresses need special care. Furthermore, before you hit the beach or jump into the pool, use a good leave-in conditioner with high SPF value of at least 35+ to prevent it from soaking up the chlorine. Hair colour fading happens with the use of wrong hair colour developers. Sometimes, when the hair is extremely porous in nature, porosity balancers need to be added to the hair colour to prevent the colour from fading away. These days, there are special colours available in the market for a 10-minute root touch-up as well.
Cut the grease
Excess sebum production tends to make the scalp all greasy. Even genetically, you might have bigger oil glands or perhaps they have enlarged thanks to hormonal changes. It could also be due to the use of heavy conditioners, which make the scalp sticky.Whatever might be the cause, but an oily scalp requires conditioners infused with volatile oils such as rosemary and mint. If your scalp is too greasy, shampoo regularly and cut out saturated fats from your diet. Avoid rubbing or scratching your scalp excessively as it may stimulate sebaceous glands to produce excess oil. Home remedies packed with aloe vera, egg yolk and witch hazel oil are also good ways to clean a greasy scalp.
Bring back the bounce
You flaunt those tumbling, flowing curls when you step out of the salon. But by the time you get home, all you see is a mess of limp locks.This may happen due to hair product buildup or humidity. Chemical treatments such as straightening can also make the hair limp. Lasting limpness indicates that your hair is not healthy, or it has started thinning or ageing. If you want your hair to have lots of body, make sure you don’t overwash. Switch your parting every morning to naturally lift the roots and scrunch the ends as much as you can to take attention away from your roots.