Is your hair falling, your scalp itchy and those lustrous locks getting sticky this monsoon? Worry not, experts have a host of suggestions, including simple homemade remedies like vinegar and methi seeds, to keep your hair healthy and sorted.
The problems occur because humidity leads to excessive perspiration and the scalp gets oily.
"Oil and sweat secretions tend to stick to hair and scalp. It also attracts grime and pollutants in the air. To handle all this, one needs to shampoo hair more frequently, especially if hair is oily," renowned beauty expert Shahnaz Husain told IANS.
Her advice is to use shampoos containing herbal extracts like shikakai, reetha, brahmi, amla and henna.
But won't your hair get spoilt with frequent washing?
Not at all, says hair stylist Renee Malik.
"Wash hair as often as required but choose your shampoo wisely. Go for a mild cleansing shampoo for regular use and pair it up with a suitable conditioner for your hair type," Malik told IANS.
Apart from hair fall, itchy scalp is something that troubles many people during this season.
According to Geetika Mittal, medical director of the International Skin and Anti-Aging Centre (ISAAC), it could be a sign of unhealthy hair.
"Itchy scalp is a symptom of unhealthy hair; so cleansing and nourishing of hair is important. Besides that, using hair mask and getting hair spa treatment is also a good idea in this season," Mittal said.
Husain adds that the itching could be due to a scalp infection.
It is best to consult a dermatologist to rule out a fungal or other scalp infection, she said, offering a homemade solution for relief.
"Add a tablespoon of vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse after shampoo. It helps to relieve itching," said Husain.
Oiling your hair is usually a good nourishment but one needs to take care about how long it stays during the rainy season.
"Oiling is good for nourishing hair roots. But one has to keep in mind that during the monsoon, the scalp anyway gets oily; so oil your hair two hours before washing. This will not let your scalp get oily and will also prevent your hair from being frizzy," said Mittal.
Oil can also help remove dandruff.
Heat olive oil or sesame seed oil and apply on the scalp with cotton wool, rubbing gently, to dislodge the flakes, said Husain.
Husain, known for her herbal beauty products, also recommends a rinse of marigold flowers to improve hair texture.
"Add a handful of fresh or dried marigold flowers to three cups of hot water. Allow it to stand for an hour. Strain and cool the water and use as a final rinse. It benefits oily hair, adding shine to it," she said.
"Also, one can soak methi seeds overnight in water. Strain the water next morning and use it to rinse the hair to tackle all kinds of hair trouble," she added.
Other homemade remedies to bring back the shine to dull and lifeless hair include vinegar, banana and avocado oil.
"Wash scalp with vinegar or mash a banana and add avocado oil and apply it on hair as a mask and rinse hair after an hour. It makes your hair smooth and shining," said Mittal.
Eating right is important too.
"Drinking amla juice first thing in the morning is advised for healthy hair and skin as it is loaded with vitamin C, iron and calcium," said Malik.
One needs to include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in the daily diet. Also, drink at least eight glasses of water daily and avoid oily food.
Monsoon hair care tips
Wash hair with mild shampoo
Use hair mask
Oil for a few hours
Eat fresh fruits and raw salads
Drink amla juice on empty stomach
Don't neglect itchy scalp
Don't use strong shampoo
Don't keep oil overnight
Avoid spicy and oily food