Who does not want long, luscious, shining and beautiful hair? But even though we may wish for it, we do not think twice before putting our locks through heat processes and blow-drying. Did you know that every time you subject your hair to heat, you are actually killing your hair, little by little? Its natural strength, colour, thickness, elasticity… you are losing all of them, girl.
Not just blow-drying, even rolling, perming, colouring, straightening – any heat-based or chemical-laden process weakens your natural hair proteins. It may look fabulous in the short-term, but in your very next wash, you’ll see the amazing effects fall away, leaving a bunch of fallen hair strands.
I have nothing about the booming beauty and hair salon industry. We need them to look good on special occasions! But too much of artificial primping and prepping takes its toll on our natural hair health. As someone who is passionate about her hair, I can say this from experience: no amount of products or treatment are a substitute for good-old fashioned TLC (tender love and care).
Here are my top 5 tips for natural hair that shines – without a leave-in gel!
Oiling: It’s as necessary for our hair as food is for our body. So, whenever you blow-dry your hair or subject it to any chemical treatment, make sure to have a hot-oil massage the next day. But don’t rub too hard, gently does it!
Deep conditioning: Buy some deep-conditioning hair masks that address your hair type, and apply once in a month. You’ll find a variety from high-end brands (such as Kerastase, L’Oreal Professionnel, Schwarzkopf and Moroccanoil) to more affordable ones (such as Tresemme, Innisfree, Oriflame, VLCC and Pantene).
Dry with care: Remember, your hair is already damaged, so after every wash, do not rub your towel into your scalp. It damages the roots, and will make your strands brittle and frizzy as it sucks out the temporary moisture on the outer layer of the hair. Just pat your hair with a towel and then let it air dry; this not only prevents hair fall but also helps to keep your hair smooth.
Do not comb when very wet: The reason hairstylists prefer to blow-dry wet hair is precisely why we should not comb it when we have just stepped out of a bath – because they are vulnerable and fragile when wet. The hairstylist uses this weakness to mould the hair into a new shape and give you those beautiful curls for a wedding. But if you do it often, you’re leaving your hair more susceptible to breakage.
If you’re in a hurry, use a wide-tooth comb on your wet hair and let it air-dry later.
Golden rules for washing hair: Avoid very hot showers – they dry and damage your hair. Use shampoo mostly on the scalp not ends, and conditioner on the ends not roots. Wash your hair thrice in a week, and whenever you feel the product isn’t working for you, just change it.
A little bit of common sense: Keep your hairbrushes clean – there’s no excuse not to! And avoid too much sun directly on your hair. It bleaches out the outer layer and the UV rays are as bad for hair as your skin.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.
Renu Chouhan is the resident hair fanatic at Fashion101.in. In between work-related research and writing, she surfs websites for hairstyling trends and has tried practically all hair products available in the market. Follow her on Twitter @Renu7chouhan