Beauty & the Brush: A quick hair fix

Hair care companies are now providing women everywhere with help for their time constraints.

Maria Saadat December 16, 2010

It’s 8 am. You should have been out of the house fifteen minutes ago, but you slept through your alarm. You’re jumping like a madwoman to get one leg into your pants while you furiously brush your teeth and send a message to your colleague on your BlackBerry. You then run back to your bathroom and groan as you catch a glimpse of your oily bangs in the mirror. There is no time for a cup of coffee let alone a wash and blow-dry. So, what do you do? Do you walk into your meeting with your hair plastered against your forehead? No, ladies. Let’s try to avoid greasy hair in the boardroom.

Lucky for us, hair care companies are now providing women everywhere with help for their time constraints. They have begun en masse to market a product known as “dry shampoo,” basically a glorified form of baby powder that soaks up the oil in your hair/roots upon application. Unfortunately, these products are not readily available in Pakistan. But, there is an alternate solution.

However, before we get into it, we want to issue a disclaimer: in no way do we condone this method as the answer to sheer laziness — it is only to be used in a pinch. For some women, a change in weather means oilier hair, causing roots to appear greasy even after just washing the day before. It’s not only difficult to lather up your locks daily, but it’s also incredibly unhealthy as you risk stripping your natural oils. In these cases, dry shampooing may be a good alternative between washes.

For those of you that can’t get your hands on beautifully bottled high-end dry shampoo, you can turn to products already present in your household — baby (talcum) powder or cornstarch. Baby powder is more finely milled, however, cornstarch is healthier as you don’t run the risk of inhaling as much of the powder as you would with talc. Both kinds of powders can leave your hair looking dull and grayed, but if you follow our technique, we’ll help prevent you from resembling Indira Gandhi.

Using a large, fluffy powder brush, pick up a little powder/cornstarch and get rid of the excess by holding the tool in one hand and tapping the handle with the other. Apply the powder to any greasy areas near your scalp until the oil is soaked up. Start with small amounts and build your way up - as with most beauty products, powder is easy to add but a nightmare to take out.

Turn on your hair dryer and quickly blow the excess powder out of your hair. If you don’t have a dryer handy, rapidly comb your fingers through your hair and pat your head in a dusting off motion.

And finally, whether you use regular baby powder or dry shampoo, soaking up oil causes your hair to look dull. Apply a little shine spray on your fingers and run them through your hair. Just make sure to use very little and avoid your roots, especially if they are prone to oiliness - or you will end up right where you started!

Again, keep our simple plea in mind - this is for desperate use only - try not to make dry shampooing a habit. If you have the time, give your locks a thorough wash down. After all, even though we’re here to offer you grooming tips and shortcuts, we at Beauty and the Brush still like to promote good hygiene!

Maria Saadat is author of the popular desi beauty site Lipstick Masala.


Do you have a question about make-up? Can’t figure out a hairstyle for an upcoming wedding? Do your attempts at smoky eye make-up leave you looking like a raccoon? Have no fear! E-mail your questions and issues to [email protected] and Maria Saadat will respond to them in an upcoming column.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 17th, 2010.

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