Hair care

August 15, 2008

Hair care

Did you know that the constitution of your body determines the characters of your hair? If a person is of vata constitution, he would have coarse and dry hair prone to be dry and have split ends. A person with pitta constitution would have thin, silky, light brown or reddish brown hair and they tend to gray easily. Most people with pitta tend to have premature gray hair. On the other hand people with kapha constitution have thick and wavy hair. These are sometimes difficult to manage and straighten.

Just as the characters of hair is different for each hair type, the problems and complications arising due to the hair structure is also different. Before we go ahead to understand the various problems of hair, reasons for problematic hair and their management, we need to understand what healthy hair means and get acquainted with its structure.

Hair is nothing but a protein fiber strand complex. Several million fibers of hair constitute a hair strand. If these strands are superimposed over each other in a clear and straight manner without any waves or curves, the hair strand is healthy strong and shiny. However if any waves or curves lie on the protein fibers superimposed on one another, damages on hair in form of breakages and curls result in addition to the hair being dry and coarse. Now that we know about the composition of hair, we also need to know how the protein strands can be strong enough to avoid any breakages. This is by taking a protein rich balanced diet and avoiding spicy and oily food. Good intakes of water is indispensable and vitamins and minerals for body metabolism need to be adequate in supply. Moreover, the natural oils produced by the scalp keep the hair shiny and lustrous, but excessive oil production could give it an oily and lumpy look. Apart from these factors, the cleanliness of the scalp also influences the quality of hair. Dirt and excessive oil if not cleaned regularly can give rise to itchy skin and dandruff. Fungal infections and clean scalp is the most common factor responsible or dandruff which in turn results in hair breakage and excessive hair loss.

Hence apart from dietary regimens, cleanliness of the scalp is also a critical issue in maintaining the health of the hair. This is done by good shampooing and conditioning regularly. This starts from the right selection of shampoo and conditioner. Oily hair should select a mild herbal shampoo whereas dry hair should be washed with egg shampoo. Moreover the importance of conditioning is more pronounced in dry hair as there is a need to retain moisture.

Shampooing technique

Prepare the hair for shampooing. Before wetting your hair for shampooing, comb through with a wide toothed comb to prevent tangles. Mix and adjust the water flow. Mix the water to a comfortable temperature and avoid excessive heat as it may damage the proteins of the hair.

Wet the hair and scalp thoroughly. Apply the shampoo to the hair by first pouring it into your hand and never directly. Apply with the hands and fingers, massage firmly in rotating and circular movements. Massage the whole head. Rinse the hair and scalp thoroughly and carefully. Apply more shampoo and massage for the second time if needed, finally rinse all shampoo from the hair and scalp with clean water. Finally check the hair lines and make sure that the dirt and shampoo has been removed from hair and scalp. Dry the hair gently. Don’t rub just blot the wet hair with a towel and then smooth the towel along the length of your hair. Avoid blow drying as far as possible. If you shampoo regularly there is no need to lather twice.

Method of Conditioning

1. After shampooing gently squeeze the excess water.

2. Comb the hair with the fingers or with wide toothed comb from the roots to the ends gently. Remove tangles.

3. Apply little conditioner and rub the conditioner through the hair with the fingers. Never rub on the scalp.

4. Keep it on the hair for 5 minutes

5. Now gently massage the hair to loosen the conditioner.

6. Rinse the hair and remove all traces of conditioner. Now dry the hair

Ayurvedic care for hair

  1. Apply castor oil for good hair growth at the roots of the hair with your finger tips on alternate nights.
  2. Apply coconut oil or mustard oil every week for on the scalp and hair for god oil supply and massage for better blood circulation.
  3. Brush or comb your scalp at least twice every day for better blood circulation and stimulation of secretions from the scalp.
  4. Wash the hair weekly with tea water.
  5. A gentle wash should be given with shampoo and conditioner every three days.
  6. Soak a handful of gooseberry in a cup of milk for two hours. Make it as a paste and apply in the hair.
  7. Do a ‘steam-towel-wrap’ once in a while, if your cuticles are damaged, as this steaming opens out the pores and absorbs the oil.
  8. Deep condition with curd, beer and egg.
  9. Mix a little vinegar in warm water and rinse your hair with this solution. This will add bounce to dull and lifeless hair.

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