Many of us take our hair for granted and do not give it the care it really deserves. Hair consists of a protein called keratin and each hair has a follicle, which determines the nature of the strand. It is imperative then that we ensure that each follicle is nourished adequately in order to have healthy hair. A head of Healthy hair is great to look at and helps to increase a person’s self-confidence. Let us look at some of the things that we can do to retain sheen, luster and strength.
Hot water although good for the body is not really good for the hair. As the temperature of the water increases, the ability of the hair to absorb water also increases. Too much moisture can cause the hair shaft to swell and gradually the surrounding cuticles are fissured. Healthy hair requires closed cuticles, as this is the key to attaining a super shine. When you use a shampoo, ensure that the pH of the shampoo is as low as possible. If you have thick, coarse hair use shampoos that have “ moisturizing” on top of the bottles. These shampoos have some extra emollients in them that make the cuticles lie smooth. If you have thin, fine hair, try those deep-cleaning shampoos. A little bit of clarifying shampoo can do wonders for the hair. This helps to extract all the dirt, grease and debris before rinsing.
Conditioning prevents damage to the hair and is an essential step towards maintaining healthy hair. While shampoos remove the grease and dirt from your hair, conditioners actually deposit a light coating and help to nullify to some extent the damage caused to cuticle layers. Do apply conditioners in small quantities and do not rub it into your scalp. Protein filled conditioners help to ward off damage to the hair shaft–damage caused by over brushing or blow-drying. Wheat germ or soy protein conditioners are good for stubborn curly hair. During the final rinsing of your hair, use a wide comb, de tangle your hair and finish with a flourish of cold water. This helps to close the cuticle.
Now that you have finished shampooing and conditioning your hair, you have to dry and style it properly. Blow-dry in such a way that the cuticle is not damaged or fluffed up. Using the dryer in a downward direction should ensure that. If you use a diffuser, you can use the dryer starting at the roots, but if you have curly hair, it would be wise not to flip over the curls and blow dry. This could cause the hair to frizz. While coloring hair, ensure that you use hues that match your natural shade and if you have blond, use light blond highlights. . Using color-enhancing conditioners once every 5\6 washes to add those extra highlights,
Strangely, from time immemorial, in India many households do not resort to shampoos and hair conditioners. Hot Gingelly oil is applied to the head once a week and washed with shikakhai powder. Yogurt and fenugreek powder are still used to condition and all this has actually worked for many. A head of natural healthy hair is the result.
Remember, if you do not eat right, your hair suffers. The nutrients in food are used by the body to keep the internal organs in good shape, and the remaining nutrients are used for the skin, hair and nails. So a variety of foods, the correct amount and minerals and lots and lots of water go a long way in ensuring that your hair looks good. There are healthy hair vitamins, which must for a part of your diet. Vitamin A produces healthy sebum in the scalp. Vitamin C is required for good hair health and Vitamin E enhances circulation in the scalp. Biotin is helpful in preventing hair loss, and inositol ensures the health of the follicles. Vitamin B6 produces melanin, which is responsible for the color of the hair. Calcium,and copper augur healthy hair growth and prevent hair loss. Iodine prevents hair from drying, while iron and magnesium promote hair growth. Manganese, potassium, selenium, silica and sulfur strengthen hair, keeps scalp elastic and regulates circulation. Now all that really looks like a lot to do just to keep your hair healthy, but the end result is worth all the initial trouble. ~ author Karishma Bajaj.
The structure of hair is like the scales on the skin of a fish that has overlapping scales around a central core called the cortical. Smoother overlapping more shiny and smooth the hair looks. This also leads to easy combing while a tangled or roughed-up structure makes the hair look rough and dull.
Diet and lifestyle are two major factors that influence the health of the hair. Poor diet, illness and deficiencies of any particular vitamin and mineral affects the quality of hair and problems like dandruff, thinning hair, balding, premature graying etc. spoil the hair.
In an individual the condition of the hair is a reflection of the complete constitution of him. If the person is not healthy then the health of the hair will be deplorable.
Example: If a person has vata constitution, the hairs are dark, dry, coarse, wiry or frizzy and tend to tangle easily, are prone to dullness, split ends and dandruff. The constitution comprising of Pitta has hair that is light brown, blonde or red and tend to grow gray or thin prematurely and are fine and silky with a tendency to become oily. Hairs are thick, wavy and shiny if the composition is of kapha.
Regularly cleaning and brushing the hair is very important. When the hairs are brushed, oil-producing glands in the scalp get stimulated. This natural oil makes the hair glossy and healthy. To give extra shine to the hair, after washing rinse the hair with some lemon juice mixed in a cup of warm water.
Some common hair related problems are as follows: