Hair woes? Resort to natural solutions

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Plagued by problems like hair loss and greying, most young women’s crowning glory is no longer their hair. With help from experts, convert the bane in your life to a boon by trying out natural solutions.

According to a random survey by IANS, hair loss, dandruff, greying and split ends top the list of hair problems faced by women in their 20s.

“At this age, the body undergoes lots of hormonal changes along with (sometimes stressful) landmark events happening in women’s lives, like marriage, pregnancy and job worries.

“All of these events occupy a great deal of time, which means hair can go unattended. Not taking adequate care, combined with nutritional changes, can lead to havoc for hair,” Kapil Dua, co-founder and chief hair transplant surgeon at Delhi-based AK Clinics, told IANS.

It is also the time when women want to look their best and stay in shape, for which some end up doing crash dieting. Seema Saadikha, an expert in clinical nutrition, says it is one of the causes of hair loss.

“Crash dieting causes nutritional deficiencies like magnesium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D3. People on diet should get their blood investigation done and consume proper nutritional supplements,” she said.

Beauty and hair expert Shahnaz Husain suggests including oil in your beauty regime for luscious locks.

She says oiling the hair once a week a night before washing it off is a good idea, and using olive or pure coconut oil are conducive for healthy hair. A tip — try not to vigorously massage your head as in case of hair loss, the roots are already weak.

“Use only fingertips and move the scalp in small rotary movements. If the hair is dry, shampoo twice a week. Those with oily hair should avoid oil applications and shampoo three or four times a week. But use less shampoo. Dilute it with water and then apply,” said Husain, who also advises to keep dandruff in check as it is one of the reasons for hair loss.

But you can’t battle dandruff if you don’t know its root cause!

Sachin Dhawan, Dermatologist, Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), explains what leads to dandruff.

“Dandruff is caused by malessezia yeasts naturally growing on the scalp. It happens more on oily scalps and due to hard water. Dry allergic dandruff happens due to shampoo allergies and use of hot water.

“Natural ways to treat dandruff include using apple cider vinegar mixed with water to wash off and using a mix of lemon and hung curd as a hair pack for 20 minutes,” he said.

Though every star promotes ageing gracefully, no one really wants salt and pepper look when they are just in their 20s. Sadly, grey hair is the story of many young women’s lives.

Use gooseberry, says Husain.

“Soak a handful of dry gooseberries in two to three cups of water overnight. Next morning, strain the water, but do not throw it away. Grind the gooseberries. To henna powder, add the ground gooseberries, four teaspoons each lemon juice and coffee, two raw eggs, two teaspoons oil and enough gooseberry water, mixing into a thick paste.

“Keep the paste for two to three hours and then apply on the hair. Make sure the entire head is covered. Keep it on for at least two hours and wash off with plain water,” she said.

Another way to maintain black hair is to use a mixture of beetroot juice and coconut oil.

“It will give white hair a crimson colour, but if there are a few white hair strands, the colour will mix with the rest of the dark hair and provide coloured streaks,” she said.

Young women also complain of split ends, lack of shine and frizziness.

Sirisha Singh, founding member and partner consultant of The Skin Center, says these problems are related to the hair shaft.

“The hair shaft is composed of keratin, which is essentially dead. These problems of the hair shaft are generally related to hair styling products, use of other hair care products and the general hair care,” she said.

The problems can be greatly minimised by using a conditioner first. Also, minimise the use of hair dryers and hot irons.

“When the hair is wet, there’s water inside the hair shaft. Use of a heating device causes the water inside the hair shaft to bubble. These bubbles make the hair rough and increase the tendency to split ends,” she said.

Natural ways to to prevent split ends is to have a healthy protein-rich diet, especially animal and milk proteins and soy proteins, says Dhawan.

“Use a combination of rose hip oil and castor oil for hydrating the hair and conditioning with egg white,” he added.

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