Though we all look forward to the monsoon for respite from the sweltering heat, rainy days often signal bad hair days. But problems like taming frizz and reducing hairfall are manageable. Here's a handy guide for easy monsoon hair revival with expert ideas to keep your strands healthy and shiny.
Your hair, just like your face, tends to show signs of ageing as you grow older. Make sure your hair stays strong and healthy with these expert-approved tips. Plus, some suggestions to make colouring easier this monsoon season.
A SHOW OF STRENGTH
Just like muscles and bones, hair too can get more fragile and sparse as we age (thank you, hormones), which means it needs targetted care. Incorporating these treatments will help you get to the root of the problem.
What: Hair Thinning
"It's a bit like fertiliser for the hair," says Paradi Mirmirani, MD, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. "Minoxidil has been well studied and there's good evidence that it increases the diameter of each strand, the density of hair and the rate at which hair grows." Minoxidil is available both as 2% and 5% formulations in lotion, gel and foam formula. You can buy the 2% formulation without a prescription and it's generally recommended to tackle hair loss termed telogen effluvium', explains Dr Navin Taneja, medical director, The National Skin Center, New Delhi. However, experts add that the effect may take time to show up. It's advisable to consult a dermat-ologist before using minoxidil since it may have side-effects, says Dr Aparna Santhanam, Mumbai-based dermatologist and author of Hair.
What: Slow Growth
Try: Anti-dandruff shampoo
It sounds surprising, but research suggests that the zinc pyrithione (ZPT) in anti-dandruff shampoo may promote hair growth-even if you don't have flakes. A time-tested ingredient, "it is especially good if you're dealing with build-up or scalp scaling," says Mirmirani. Try Head & Shoulders Cool Menthol Anti-Danduff Shampoo, Rs 135, which also helps cool the scalp. Besides that, a high-protein diet may also help accelerate hair growth.
What: Weakened Strands
Try: Natural oils
"Oils improve hair's tensile strength," says Mirmirani. There's a bonus too: "They help smoothen the cuticle which can be lifted by wear and tear." Give yourself a head massage to boost blood circulation and nourish strands with Omved Rs 540. Besides promoting hair growth, it has bhringraj to prevent premature greying. You can also support weak strands with Wella Professionals Oil Reflections, Rs 850, which has macademia seed oil, avocado oil and Vitamin E. It can be used for conditioning post shampoo to style your mane. The serum also boosts shine and makes your hair feel softer.
Prevention spoke to natural beauty expert Suparna Trikha for easy, natural remedies for 4 common hair woes during monsoons.
FIX: FRIZZY HAIR
What causes it: Curly hair gets frizzier than straight hair as their cuticles are more open compared to straight hair in which the cuticles are flat, explains Coleen Khan, hair stylist and Pantene hair expert based in Mumbai. Rinse your hair with cold water: it allows the cuticles to stay flat and also smoothens frizz, advises Mark Hampton, Global Ambassador for Toni & Guy.
What you need: A hair mayonnaise
How to make it: Take 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise (used in salad dressings), add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of honey. Blend well, apply on hair and keep it on for 20 minutes. Rinse clean.
FIX: FLAT-LOOKING HAIR/LIMP HAIR
What causes it: During the monsoons, our strands tend to absorb a lot of moisture from the air. If you have straight hair, the extra humidity leaves your hair flat, explains LA-based hairstylist Marcus Francis for Tresemme.
What you need: A leave-in conditioner How to make it: Take 200 ml flat beer (no fizz) and add 200 ml water to it. Use it on scalp after shampoo. Let it dry naturally to get a beer bounce.
FIX: HAIRFALL What causes it: Hair trauma could be a combination of harsh detergents in shampoos, weather, poor nutrition and more. Look for sulphate-free shampoos that don't strip your hair of its natural oils, says Dr Kiran Lohia, medical director, Lumiere Dermatology, New Delhi. Make sure you nourish your strands and boost blood circulation with a good Ayurvedic oil massage, advises Trikha.
What you need: Hair mask.
How to make it: Take 2 cups of fresh hibiscus leaves, 2 cups of neem leaves, 5 bay leaves. Add 10 peppercorns and 20-30 holy basil leaves to it. Blend it until it becomes a green smoothie. Smear on hair after an oil massage, like a henna application. Use a mild shampoo to rinse off.
FIX: CLOGGED SCALP
What causes it: Sometimes over usage of serums, oils, shampoos and conditioners can clog your scalp too. The sweat and humidity at this time of the year only adds to it. Make sure you wash your hair thoroughly without vigorous rubbing. "Look for shampoos containing salicylic acid which may reduce the residue, allowing your scalp to breathe," suggests Lohia.
What you need: A wake-me-up shampoo
How to make it: Take 1/2 cup fullers' earth, juice of 1 lemon, 50 g powdered mint and 1 teaspoon honey. Add some toned milk and water in equal quantities to make a paste. Shampoo with it to get a flake-free scalp that leaves you feeling fresh too.
There's nothing like a neat colour job that'll keep others guessing your age. But this season can even make colouring more tedious. The humidity in the air effects the hair porosity leading to more frequent applications and breakage, explains Santhanam. Here are some factors that you may want to keep in mind:
Choose an age-defying shade. Most experts believe that one should pick a hue within a shade or two close to your natural hair colour. In almost any brand, you can opt for shades which have a base of shade numbers from 1 to 4, these are the basic shades of black and brown, says Agnes Chen, Streax Expert based in Mumbai.
If you go too dark, it may sometimes get more attention to your face and its imperfections (read pigmentation, fine lines etc). If you go too light a shade, it may just not suit you, warns Lohia. With dark brown and black hair, warm tones usually look better because it complements the skin tone rather than washing it out. Colours like golden brown, chocolate, caramel and burgundy work best with brown or black hair. Light brown hair can play a bit more with cooler tones but still needs the balance of warmer tones to perfect the look, says Francis.
Know the formulas. Pick a colour on the basis of how many greys you have and then pick demi or permanent colour. Semi or demi hair dyes are ammonia-free and have little to no peroxide, explain both Chabbra and Taneja.
Since the colour molecule is smaller, it does minimal damage to the hair shaft and rinses out in 12-24 washes. Permanent hair colour alters the pH balance of your hair, says Lohia. You can lighten your hair since it has peroxide allowing the colour to attach to the hair shaft. If you have more than 40% greys on your crown, then permanent colour is a better option. The molecule is bigger and stronger and grows out with your hair, explains Francis.
Break the monotony with highlights. Light-hued highlights can actually hide imperfections and take away attention from them. It may help accentuate your colour, making your hair seem thicker and more voluminous. Choose a shade 2-3 shades lighter than the global colour. So if you have medium brown hair, then go for honey-blonde or light brown highlights, suggests Chen.
Go pro with at-home touch ups. Frequent salon trips can sometimes be a bit too steep and cumbersome. And with easy-to-use home kits, colouring at home shouldn't be too problematic or time consuming. Start with doing a patch test behind your ear or inner side of the arm to prevent contact allergic reaction, advises Taneja. Make sure you have your tools in place: brush, towel and colour kit in place. Put a thick layer of petroleum jelly on your face, neck and back to avoid staining. A good tip if you're going darker is to start from the back; if you're going lighter start in the front, shares Francis. Make sure you rinse thoroughly.