LAHORE: Everyone wants to have great hair but few are willing to put in the effort required for it. Shiny, soft tresses don’t just happen overnight. Your hair surely needs some TLC at least once in a while to continue looking its best.
Having said that, hair regimes don’t have to break the bank or take up all of your time and energy either. Did you know, your existing hair care practices might actually be harming your hair, no matter now comprehensive? We at The Express Tribune spoke with some of Pakistan’s biggest names in hair care to identify common hair care pitfalls and the most effective ways to maintain the natural luster we once used to have.
If your hair tends to get greasy and itchy just a day or two after its last wash, you are likely to be suffering from oily hair. This oil is natural secretion from your scalp that actually keeps your hair healthy. The problem, however, lies in the fact that it’s the result of excessive oil production in your body.
This could be due to hormonal changes, excessive stress, binge eating or genetics and makes your hair look dull and dirty. Fortunately, acclaimed hair stylist Nabila prescribed some easy home remedies to ease the grease. “Oil secreted through the scalp protects hair from external damage and may not be such a bad thing,” said the beautician. “However, when it makes you appear dirty, you should definitely try shampooing more often.”
According to Nabila, lemon juice can do the trick. “Juice one lemon without pulp or seeds and apply it to the hair for 30 to 60 minutes before rinsing it out. You can also dilute some vinegar in water and wear it on your head for five to 10 minutes and see if that works,” she shared. “Baking soda also cuts grease. Sprinkle some on your scalp and brush it off. It works just like a dry shampoo.”
Amna Shaikh, owner of Aaramish Spa and Salon in Lahore suggests an aloe vera and neem mask. “Simply extract one teaspoon of gel from an aloe vera plant, mix it with about eight or 10 neem leaves and grind it with water to get the juice out,” she said. “Apply it to your head, let it dry for 20 minutes and then wash your hair with tepid water. This detoxifies your scalp and controls oil secretion, while nourishing the roots. It can also reverse hair fall, dandruff and lice.”
Apple cider vinegar is another effective remedy as the acid in it helps balance the pH level of the scalp, which ultimately curbs secretion.
Dry, damaged hair
Frizzy, brittle hair can rear its head (pun intended) any time of the year but it exacerbates in winters because of low humidity. Not to mention all that heat-styling that we unsuccessfully try to refrain from doesn’t help much.
Luckily, Juju Haidar from Toni&Guy Islamabad has the ideal fix. “Take one egg, a quarter cup of yogurt and mayonnaise each. Beat the egg till it’s foamy and add in the other two ingredients. Mix well and apply,” she advised. “Leave it on for about an hour and shampoo with cold water. This mask is packed with natural ingredients which promote hair growth and moisturise.”
Celebrity stylist Asma Mumtaz prescribes essential oils such as olive oil to infuse shine. Simply combine the oil with aloe vera gel to make a fine paste and apply. “Olive oil contains antioxidants which remove harmful free radicals from your scalp, which can otherwise contribute to premature ageing. It is also an emollient, which means that it penetrates the hair shaft better than other types of oils,” she said.
Thin, fine hair
It’s hardly breaking news that the health of your hair is a direct reflection of the health of your body. Ruby Hasan of the Split Ends Salon believes in balancing the vitamins and minerals in the body and how they can affect your hair.
“The main reason for hair fall is a deficiency of Iron and calcium in the body. Ultra-fine or thinning hair could be an indication of dietary shortcomings like vitamin B12 or zinc. It could also be a sign of a more serious condition like a thyroid disorder, so it is important to check with your doctor to clue the cause,” Ruby explained. “Therefore, take complete nutritional supplements along with a healthy diet. “Stimulation and blood circulation is also very important. Use oils such as coconut, olive and almond and make sure to have deep head massage twice a week for increase blood flow to your scalp as this will carry the nutrients to the roots of your hair.”
Styling tools are a real tease. They give us what we want in the short term but then then rob our hair off shine and moisture later on. Hairstylist Natasha Saigol recommends an all-natural avocado wrap to teach them a lesson. “Mash one avocado and mix it with an egg. Apply to hair for half an hour before shampooing,” Saigol said. “Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals, perfect for restoring luster in normal to dry hair.”
Another time-tested method is an apple cider vinegar wash. “Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with two teaspoons of olive oil and three egg whites. Whip it up and apply to damaged parts of hair,” she added. “Wrap your hair in a shower cap and leave the mask on for about 30 minutes. Shampoo off and say goodbye to brittle, inelastic hair!
Published in The Express Tribune, December 11th, 2016.