Hair & how!
Ideals of beauty have always laid great importance on hair. The look of the hair and the way it is worn make a great deal of difference to one’s appearance. Down the ages, particularly in India, thick, long, lustrous hair has been considered one of the main beauty assets. Ancient records contain details of treatments with oils, lotions, infusions and pastes for hair’s beauty and health. Today we see so much hair damage mainly due to the use of chemicals for styling and colouring. Damaged hair is delicate and tends to break or fall easily. In most cases of damage, the basic structure of the hair is affected, which, in turn, affects the texture, making it rough, weak and lusterless.
Healthy hair is not difficult to achieve. What one needs is an awareness of the kind of treatment it deserves. In terms of nourishment, the first thing to remember is that the body must be in a state of good health. A diet that is low in nutritional value, lack of sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, stress and illness, will reflect in the hair. Hair is fed by the blood flowing to the follicles, which means that diet and good blood circulation are extremely vital to healthy hair. It also needs external nourishment, in terms of regular hair care.
Hair is like a delicate fabric - we must learn to treat it that way. In this respect, natural ingredients are ideal and some of these are easily available at home. You can make your own shampoo. Plant ingredients like reetha and shikakai are powerful natural cleansers, yet they have a gentle action. They also have other beneficial properties. Amla is rich in Vitamin C and helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. Take one handful each of dried reetha, shikakai and amla, drop them into a litre of water and allow them to soak overnight. The next day, simmer the herbs with the water on a low fire, till the water is reduced to half. Do not boil it on a high flame. Allow the mixture to cool and strain it through a clean cloth. Use the liquid to wash your hair. This quantity should be enough for four washes. Keep your home-made hair cleanser in the refrigerator for further use. Make small quantities at a time. Large quantities should not be kept over long periods of time.
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The application of oil as part of a light massage helps to stimulate blood circulation to the follicles and also softens hair texture. The hair should not be rubbed vigorously. Only the finger tips should be used, to actually move the scalp in small rotary movements. Oils have their own particular properties and benefits. Olive oil, for instance, helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. It is useful for oily hair with dandruff. Castor oil is said to have hair darkening properties. While it will not turn white hair black, it will restore darkness to hair that has turned brown due to excessive exposure to the sun. It is also useful in cases of damaged hair. Pure coconut oil is most commonly used in India. It helps to improve hair texture and is said to promote growth. Almond oil is very nourishing for extremely dry hair. Oils can also be mixed with various other ingredients and applied on the hair.
Egg is another versatile ingredient. It contains silicon, sulphur and fatty acids that help to nourish the hair. The white of the egg has a powerful cleansing action too. Applied on the hair, egg coats the hair shaft and adds thickness, shine and body. Beat an egg with a little milk to form a thickish consistency and apply it on the scalp and hair. After half an hour, rinse the hair well with water. If you add a few drops of eau-de-cologne to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse, it will help to get rid of unpleasant odour.
It is important to nourish your hair regularly with natural ingredients. They are non-toxic and are ideal for protective, preventive hair care.
For dry, damaged hair with split ends: First cut off the split ends. Once or twice a week, heat pure coconut oil or almond oil and apply on the scalp and hair. Then dip a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap the hot towel around the head, like a turban. Keep on for five minutes. Repeat the hot towel wrap routine three or four times. Hair is actually porous and this helps the hair and scalp absorb the oil better. Leave the oil on overnight and wash your hair the next morning.
For split ends and dry, brittle hair: Take two tablespoons honey, one tablespoon sesame seed (til) oil and one egg yolk. Mix together and apply on the scalp and hair. Wearing a plastic shower cap will help. Wash your hair after half an hour.
For oily hair and dandruff: Heat pure coconut oil, sesame seed (til) oil or pure olive oil and apply on the scalp at night, using cotton wool. Rub gently as you apply the oil, to dislodge dandruff flakes. Leave the oil on overnight. Next morning, apply the juice of a lemon to the scalp and wash your hair after half an hour.
To improve hair texture and colour: Mix one teaspoon castor oil with one tablespoon pure coconut oil. Heat and apply on the hair and scalp. Leave on overnight. Castor oil helps to improve the colour of hair that has suffered damage due to the sun.
Hair oil with amla and methi: Take 10 to 15 g of dry amla and one teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds. Grind both amla and methi seeds coarsely. Add them to 100 ml pure coconut oil or sesame seed (til) oil. Put all the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Keep the jar in the sun daily for 15 days, shaking it each day in order to mix the ingredients. After 15 days, strain the oil through a clean muslin cloth and keep the oil in a glass jar. This oil can be used to treat dandruff as well
Amma just bought a bottle of Almond Oil for our hair. Which I'm sure Teenu won't use. But anyway, I just wanted to see how beneficial it is. So anyway I found one website from Femina. For those who believe in Natural stuff, this may be useful! Dunno how much of it is true but here it is anyway: