Find the right shampoo for your hair type, scalp type and washing frequency, and use only lukewarm or cool water. Fortnightly or monthly, use a clarifying shampoo to deep-cleanse your hair of product build-up.
Mumbai-based hairstylist Nisheeta Bavadekar says, “When wet,hair stretches by over one-third of its length and requires extremely gentle treatment. Avoid rough, vigorous shampooing and sleeping/leaving home with wet or dripping hair.” Sweat, friction and windy days can damage the hair shaft terribly.
After every shampoo, condition mid-lengths and ends, and very delicately, untangle knots with a wide-toothed comb before rinsing. Always use a towel to blot dry (never rub) excess moisture. Then, quickly blast-dry with a blow-dryer on a cool setting.
Nisheeta says, “Conditioning helps untangle hair when it is most vulnerable to breakage. When drying, always towel it till it’s 70 to 80 per cent dry, before using a hairdryer.” Don’t forget that a hair dryer is used to give shape and set hair. So use sparingly to avoid damage.
Even if you’re growing your hair, you need to trim it once in three months for healthy new growth. For very dry hair, seek professional help. Avoid tying it too tightly or in the same place, to prevent thinning or traction alopecia. Change your parting regularly.
Nisheeta says, “The hair up to two inches from your scalp gets nourished from your diet. The rest of your hair needs continuous external nourishment via serums, conditioning masks and salon treatments. Regular trimming is a must, as split-ends travel upwards towards the scalp and must be cut off.”
Healthy hair comes from within; aim for a balanced diet rich in protein, nuts and greens as well as plenty of water. Hormonal imbalances, new medications, lifestyle changes and deficiencies play havoc with its health.
Nisheeta says, “Hair loss is usually internal. Hair products do not penetrate the shaft, and therefore cannot cause worrisome hair loss. We spend so much time indoors that we don’t get enough sunlight and thus develop vitamin D deficiencies. Proper diet and a little care go a long way towards body, mind and hair health.”
You live in artificial AC temperatures and tropical outdoors that dry your hair out. Use leave-in conditioners, serums and heat protectant sprays to coat hair with protective layers. Extreme sun exposure, straightening, extensive blow-drying and constant hair processing for colour or
change in texture can damage it irreversibly. So, it is important to protect your hair from harm as much as possible.