Whatever be your hair type - keep them long, lustrous and shiny


The first step in that direction will be to understand your hair. On an average we human beings have about ten thousand hair strands on our heads. Every shaft of hair is constituted of three layers. The outermost layer or the cuticle is responsible for protecting the two more delicate inner layers from damage. A healthy cuticle ensures bright and shiny hair. This in turn is proof that the two inner layers are well protected and healthy.

A person's hair type may be oily, dry or normal. People with normal hair are blessed. They do not need to take any additional care of their hair. A regular wash, clean and moisturize routine should take care of their hair.

Causes and care of dry hair:

It is important to remember that heat is probably the worst enemy for dry hair. Heat causes the natural moisture content in the hair to evaporate, leaving it rough and shine less.

So, rule number one is- protect your hair from heat. When going out into the bright sunshine on a hot day cover your head with a dupatta or a scarf. Other options are to wear a hat or carry an umbrella.

Avoid washing your hair too often. This will show almost immediate results. Use shampoos and conditioners that contain humectants. These attract moisture and help to contain it as well.

Choose a shampoo that contains protein. This will strengthen your hair. Low ph shampoos are better for dry hair as they don't lift the cuticles.

Avoid chemical hair treatments like perming and straightening. These are not favourable for the humectants that are so necessary for dry hair. However, once you have nursed your hair back to health you can go ahead with these treatments.

Drink a lot of water. Make sure that your diet contains enough essential fatty acids. Sometimes malnutrition or not enough of the right kind of food can be the biggest cause of drying out of hair.

Causes and care of oily hair:

A common misconception about oily hair is that it is caused by an oily scalp. While the exact opposite is what causes it- a dry scalp.

Choose a shampoo that is very mild. Normally shampoos for dry scalps, oily hair and baby shampoos work well for oily hair.

Oily hair needs to be washed daily. However, remember to keep the shampoo away from the scalp. Wash the shampoo away thoroughly. Soap residue on the hair makes the problem of oily hair worse.

Hot oil treatment works wonders. The oil should be rubbed on the scalp and then thoroughly washed away. Rinsing oily hair with diluted lemon juice or vinegar gives the hair a shine.

For very oily hair avoid using conditioners. If you really have to use a conditioner restrict its use to the ends of your hair.

-Sangita Kanjilal

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