Contributed by Dr. Sravya Chowdary Tipirneni, Consultant Dermatologist & Cosmetologist, Columbia Asia Hospital
All of us want beautiful nourished hair and now that we are in lockdown, let’s see what magic we can work at home with those tresses! Hair quality and quantity is totally dependent on genetics, scalp health, lifestyle and health issues. Since we only have scalp health and lifestyle in our control, here is some advice.
Maintaining scalp health:
- Double cleansing is the right way!
It is suggested to get the grime and oil off the scalp to allow healthy hair growth. This can be done by gently washing your hair with a non-harsh shampoo twice. The second wash is targeted at the scalp.
Oils can be applied to the hair and scalp. This depends on the type of hair and the nature of your scalp. Avoid if your scalp has a lot of dandruff or other fungal infections. They can work wonders for the hair shaft to get nourished and repaired when applied half an hour before shower. A gentle massage increases circulation to the hair roots and improves hair health.
A popular myth is that oil works best when applied overnight. This is absolutely not true. The hair shaft does not absorb anything extra after 30 minutes There is no additional benefit that you get by leaving it on overnight.
- Nourishing and hydration
Try to have a schedule of intense hair masks twice in a week to get back that shiny look once your hair is hydrated. You can also try some DIY homemade masks.
Extremely dry hair:
• 2 tbsp almond oil
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp jojoba oil
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
Apply warm oil for 30 minutes to the scalp and hair and wash off with shampoo and conditioner. Follow double cleansing.
• 1 banana
• 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
• 1 tbsp honey
Blend or mash the banana along with the yoghurt and honey. Apply the mask to damp hair, starting from your scalp, and working it to the tips. Once you’ve sufficiently coated your hair with the mask, tie it up and cover with a shower cap or towel. Double cleansing after that.
Chemically damaged hair / split ends :
Yes, Mayo! The high level of fat content in mayo acts as a moisturiser, making your hair soft immediately. Use full fat, plain mayonnaise mask on damp hair and keep it for at least 30 minutes. Double cleanse as usual.
It is rich in fatty acids, vitamins, essential amino acids and minerals like zinc and copper that are known for boosting hair growth.
These have to be diluted with the carrier oils for sure.
these oils are used for diluting the essential oils or just by themselves as well.
- Castor oil
Castor oil has ricinoleic acid and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, which boost blood circulation to the scalp, thereby increasing hair growth.
- Heat treatments
Don’t be too harsh with styling when at home unless required. Hair will recover.
Use the anti – dandruff shampoo twice a week only to the scalp to keep that fungus at bay. Condition well after. People with severe dandruff shouldn’t apply oil to the scalp. Only the hair requires it if dry.
- Eating healthy can make the utmost difference top most hair fall is based on nutritional deficiencies. Always manage to eat a balanced diet with emphasis on the following ingredients to get the maximum benefit for lustrous hair.
We call it the ABCDE diet or the Rainbow diet (a blend of colourful fruits and vegetables!)
Vitamins A B C D and E rich foods are totally necessary.
Make a list of balanced meals containing the above and:
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Iron rich foods
- Biotin supplements
- Primrose oil supplements for postmenopausal women.