Care Hair

Your Monsoon Fix-It Bible

We were barely over summer (and the fury it unleashes on our hair) that we now have the monsoon to deal with. Help is at hand though, as Shweta Vepa Vyas brings to you a handbook for haircare regimen, tailored to the season.

It’s that time of the year—of rainy days and dreamy drives—albeit with a head full of frizzy hair. That’s right, the monsoon is here and it isn’t sparing your hair—think frizzy hair, limp hair and hair fall, not to mention the host of scalp problems.

So, what is it about the season that wreaks havoc on the hair? Dr Apoorva Shah, trichologist and founder, Richfeel offers some answers. “The weather along with the effects of environmental pollutants and dust particles present in the atmosphere impact the hair. High humidity, dirty rain water and acid rains are typically the reasons for rapidly falling hair. These factors make your hair dry and brittle. Excessive humidity also makes the scalp oilier and greasier.” And when all of this adds up, it basically spells disaster for your hair. Well, you needn’t fret because we have an action plan in place.

We give you the lowdown on the perfect haircare regimen to combat those monsoon hair woes.

Wash your hair (every alternate day)

A clean scalp and hair is the cornerstone of a good hair care routine. This is particularly important if your hair comes in direct contact with rain water while commuting or if the nature of your work requires you to be outdoors. “The rainwater is contaminated with acidic substances and toxic pollutants that can damage your hair as well as scalp,” explains Dr Shah. He strongly advises against letting the rain water sit in your hair for long hours. Switch to a mild shampoo and conditioner during these months so that you can even wash your hair every day, if required.

Deep condition your hair

Come rain or shine, thou shalt never forget to condition thy hair. Applying conditioner seals in the hair cuticles (that shampoo opens up) with nutrients and keeps it safe from the elements. The deadly frizz that this season brings on makes it all the more important to condition your hair every time you wash it. Remember, the conditioner should be used on your lengths and ideally be washed off with cool water to close the hair cuticles and give the hair a beautiful sheen.

Clint Fernandes, hair stylist and makeup expert suggests using a leave-in conditioner. “Towel-dry your hair and follow with a leave-in conditioner. When the hair is almost dry, add some hair serum to lock in the conditioner.” He also believes one should ditch excessive hair styling during this season and avoid styling creams and lotions. Instead, you can experiment with funky hairdos like pony tails, French braids or up-dos. Dr Shah seconds this thought. “The alcohol contained in some styling products coupled with the heat can make your already frizzy hair even drier. Hair sprays and gels are also a big no-no as they contain lacquers and gum which can stick to the scalp and cause dandruff.”

Cover up your hair

While your conditioner certainly protects the hair from the elements, sometimes it becomes imperative to physically cover up the hair when you’re outdoors. In fact, keeping our harsh weather in mind, from the unforgiving summer to the torrential monsoon, this is a great all-weather tip. If not a hat, make sure you keep a scarf handy in your bag at all times. Dr Shah also reiterates the importance of protecting the hair from rainwater. “Covering the hair protects it from over-exposure to sunlight, rain and pollution. Wetting your head in the rain damages your hair and also makes you prone to catching colds.” So, make sure, you always carry a raincoat or umbrella, when you step out during this season.

Pamper your hair

Research has proved that our grandmothers certainly knew what’s best for our hair. Yes, we’re talking about that staple oil massage and Dr Shah explains why it’s so good for our hair. “An oil massage for the scalp is needed in all seasons and the monsoon is no exception. Your scalp needs nourishment and stimulation for hair growth. Also, excessive washing may strip the hair and scalp of their natural oils that then need to be replaced with an oil massage.” So, make sure you oil your hair at least once a week. It’s best to heat the oil to facilitate better absorption (not to mention relaxation!) In addition to this, it’s certainly important to do hair spas at least once in 15 days. If your schedule doesn’t permit you, you can even do a deep-conditioning treatment at home. Apart from these good hair habits, ensure that you always follow a healthy diet for overall good health.

Dr Shah recommends foods rich in vitamin C—citrus fruits, baked potatoes, oranges, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes—that help in the absorption of iron and also in boosting immunity. Apart from this, stock up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts and flaxseeds; foods rich in vitamin B such as lentils, soybeans, sunflower seeds, wheat and walnuts as well as foods rich in zinc such as peanut butter and pumpkin seeds.

Armed with your healthy diet and hair habits, we promise you can throw caution to the winds and enjoy that dance in the rain with careless abandon!

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