Towards Stronger Strands: Hair Care Routine
They say a future is found in a good routine and that is a fact that applies to your hair care as well. A strict regimen for your hair which includes the right diet, lifestyle and care could contribute to those healthy tresses that look and stay good for a long time. There are many ways of going about it but finding out the right one could take you some time, as you go through a process of discovery for your hair.
Two individuals with the same hair type might react differently to an identical routine so you have to work out the correct combination for yourself. Strong and well-nourished hair is the result of the right routine. Let’s find out how you can get the right one for yourself.
Why to Maintain Hair Care Routine
A hair care routine is important to ensure that your hair stays soft, silky and healthy. A proper system helps you avoid infections, hair fall and breakage, and contributes immensely to the quality of your hair. This has a big impact on your appearance and presence. The journey to destination healthy hair demands some effort however. A hair wash from time to time is not enough, nutritious food and the right products which contribute to a good hair care routine are equally important.
How to Maintain Healthy Hair Care Routine
Hair care is as organised a process as any other. Before setting out to get that shine into your strands it would help to make sure that your body is free from any ailment that impedes its growth. Once done, a proper plan that includes a balanced diet is a prime requirement for healthy hair. Your hair needs to be robust to withstand the effects of pollution and the daily wear and tear that could be the result of many other factors. Though the maintenance processes vary according to the hair type of the individual, some standard procedures do apply, which are an integral part of your hair care routine.
The right diet: Include iron and protein as part of your food intake and this will help ensure that you are on the right track as far as your healthy hair routine is concerned. Meat and eggs for protein, sweet potato for biotin, pumpkin for iron and vitamins, yogurt for probiotics, salmon for omega 3 fatty acids are only some of things that you could include in your diet.
Fruits are a rich source of vitamins and fibres. Preparing a good plan in consultation with a dietician could bring about a great change in the health of your hair. Fruits like bananas, papayas and oranges could be part of your daily hair care routine.
A good oil massage: Prepare a mix of an essential oil with a carrier oil and warm it before applying it to your scalp. This is an essential part of your hair care routine for hair growth. This will improve blood circulation and also moisturise your hair at the same time. Massage well for 5 minutes and shampoo it off after an hour with lukewarm water.
A hair mask: You can also use a number of DIY hair masks that are excellent home remedies for great hair. You can get back the shine and lustre into your hair with the help of these easy options.
Add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 spoons of honey to a mashed ripe banana and make a mixture. Apply this to your hair and scalp and wash it off after 40 minutes.
For the ones seeking remedies for dry hair mix together 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 egg and I tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and apply it to your hair. Wash it off after 30 minutes. This hydrates your hair and also provides excellent nourishment to your hair.
The correct way to shampoo: While people normally tend to shampoo only once in the shower, shampooing twice would be more beneficial. This is because the first wash loosens the dirt and debris in the hair, while the second wash actually washes it away. When you shampoo focus on the roots and the scalp for this is where the dirt and impurities gather.
You can either use a clarifying shampoo or a daily shampoo. Clarifying shampoos help in removing extreme levels of grease and dirt from the hair. However, they could also remove your natural oils and so, you should use it once a month if at all. Once done, apply conditioner along the length of your hair to keep it moisturised.
You can then brush through it and remove any tangles. If you want to blow dry after that add some nourishing serum to prevent split ends.
A hair trim: A hair trim once every 2 months is good to prevent split hair and should be a very intrinsic part of your hair care routine. It is not possible to repair spilt ends and not cutting them would aggravate your problem.
Do not tie frequently: You would be well advised not to tie your hair too frequently. The constant tug and pull can weaken your hair and might cause breakage.
Reduce the use of products that produce heat: Try and reduce the use of products that use heat to style hair. They make your scalp dry and contribute to hair frizziness. Use a heat protectant whenever you use a blow dryer or roller.
You should ideally give some time for the hair to dry out on its own before using the blow dryer. This is because the longer you expose your hair to heat the greater the chances are, of damaging your hair.
Head gear for protection from the sun: The sun oxidises your hair and makes it dry. You should ideally wear a hat when you are out in the sun.
Suggested Hair Care Routine for Your Hair Type
The first and most essential step towards creating those strong strands is to ensure that the hair and scalp are clean. This applies to every individual regardless of whether he has been blessed with strong and healthy hair or weak hair. A quality shampoo to wash away the impurities is a good way to start. Once this is done the difficult part comes into play wherein you have to create the best hair care routine for your hair type. You therefore have to identify the sort of hair that you have.
Straight hair: This sort of hair is supposedly stronger and easier to maintain than the other hair types. This is because the natural oils have an easier journey down the length of your hair. You however need to take care and ensure that your hair does not look flat and greasy as straight hair could also result in excessively oily hair in some cases.
The hair needs to be washed with a sulphate-free shampoo which is very effective against greasy hair. Wash your 2-3 times a week and use a conditioner. Do not apply the conditioner to the roots but along the length of your hair. Putting it on the roots might encourage build-up.
Wavy hair:Wavy hair needs to be taken care of in a special way as it could be greasy near the scalp but dry towards the ends. This hair is a blend of the straight and the curly and hence the different methods required to take care of it. It needs to be washed every 3-4 days and you would need to condition your hair to be able to organise your tresses in the right manner.
Massage your hair with coconut oil and leave it overnight or do it an hour before you have your bath. When you use it before and after your hair wash you can reduce the protein loss from your hair.
One thing you can do supplement all these efforts is to braid your hair before you go to sleep. This will contribute to more well-defined waves.
Hair scrunching goes a long way in helping style your hair. You need to apply a leave-in conditioner after a shampoo. This is a very crucial part of the hair care routine for women as it helps them keep their tresses soft and easy to manage. Bend down and as your hair falls forward, grab bunches of hair with your fist to apply the leave-in conditioner. Let your hair dry this way and you will find your waves have become more prominent.
Curly hair: Curly hair is difficult to maintain as it gets frizzy and dry very quickly, and the curls lose their shape as a result. This is because the natural oils of the scalp find it difficult to travel the entire length of the hair. You can preserve the natural oils with a sulphate-free shampoo. It is advisable to use a softer shampoo which would not remove the natural oils.
This type of hair needs to be moisturised regularly. Wash your hair with conditioner twice a week and wash your hair only with a conditioner (co-wash) every alternate day. This will help you clean your hair without having to go through the hassle of drying it.
Apply a curl-defining cream after you have shampooed to ensure that your curls stand out distinctly. You can also detangle your hair in the shower itself with a conditioner.
Coily hair:Coily hair has very thick and small curls which are very fragile as the natural oils dry out very quickly. Therefore, the efforts should be directed towards keeping the hair regularly moisturised.
Wash your hair only once a week, though you can put water to keep it hydrated. This is very essential to maintain the curls. Also, deep condition the hair once every 2 weeks to keep it nourished.
A good way to keep your tresses hydrated is by mixing a leave-in conditioner and water in a spray bottle, and using it from time to time on your hair. Take the extra effort and go in for a hot oil treatment half an hour before washing your hair. This is guaranteed to keep the hair in good health. Use a satin pillow or tie a satin scarf around your hair to prevent breakage.
Detangling coily hair is a tough task. One would be well advised not to do it when it is dry, but with a conditioner in the shower. After washing your hair you can apply a leave-in conditioner and a curl defining cream to make those curls stay.
Tips for Hair Care Routine
Since hair care depends largely on the hair type of an individual many variations are possible. There are also those hair carers who would innovate further to make their tresses look better. Let’s take a look at some tips suggested by hair experts to help you design the right hair care routine for your hair.
- Use a dry shampoo to wash your hair if it is oily and greasy. Also take care to choose a shampoo with the ingredients that add to the health of your hair.
- Use a deep conditioning treatment from time to time. Leave the conditioner on for no more than 1 minute before washing it off.
- You need to be as gentle as possible while combing wet hair. Use a wide-toothed comb because wet hair tends to break very easily when combed.
- Keep your heat tools on either low or medium heat as extreme temperatures can cause extensive damage to your hair and disrupt your hair care routine. If you blow dry your hair, keep the nozzle away from your hair and opt for a heat protectant spray if possible.
- Use products that use natural ingredients like coconut oil. They ensure good health for your hair. Using ayurvedic oils infused with the goodness of natural herbs helps fight hair fall. This remedy could be part of your hair care routine for hair fall.
- If you cannot use natural hair products there are a number of items that you use in the kitchen like honey, ripe bananas and curd which could be used as conditioners for your hair.
- Cotton pillowcases dry out the moisture from your hair. Wrap a silk scarf around your head to protect your hair.
- Brushing your hair once a day is enough. Brush the lower end of the hair to clear the knots, do not brush hard near the roots as you could cause damage to your hair. Use brushes with softer bristles, preferably plastic.
- A warm oil massage is more beneficial than a cold oil massage as the scalp absorbs the warm oil better. Dry hair responds very well to this sort of massage and one can leave the oil overnight on the scalp to wash it off the following morning. But if you have naturally oily hair the advice of an expert should be taken before you decide to oil your hair.
- Foods rich in biotin, protein, vitamins B, B12 and E should be a part of your diet.
- If you experience high levels of dryness, a deep conditioner is recommended. They are to be left for a longer duration as they help moisturise the hair well. Use a silicone-based hair serum that contains moisturising elements such as aloe vera gel. This will give a coating to your hair and make it easy to detangle.
- If your hair is looking flat, opt for a volumizer. They will make your hair look thicker despite still being light and soft.
- Using a hair conditioner 3 times a week is an essential part of the hair care routine for men. However, adjustments could be required depending on hair type.
- Using hair colours frequently can damage the hair as they contain strong chemicals. If you need to colour your hair, try and stretch the gaps in between. Avoid bold shades, as far as possible, as these are even harder for your hair to manage.
The Factors on Which Hair Care Routine Depends
The hair care routine that you need to adopt really depends on a number of factors. These will decide the way that you need to treat your hair and the products that you need to use to take care of your hair effectively.
- Your hair type makes a big difference as the oiliness of your hair is to a great extent dictated by the type of hair you have, whether it is curly, straight, coily or wavy.
- The condition of your scalp and hair will be the determining factor as to what diet and treatment you need to pursue to bring back the health to your strands. For e.g., Frizzy hair will need a conditioner, while a flaky scalp would need a warm hair oil treatment.
A hair care routine could be detailed and comprehensive depending on the general condition of your hair. For more recommendations on how to take care of your hair, opt for a consultation with our experts at Traya; they will walk you through our methods of dealing with hair of different types and also help you with a customised hair routine.
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Dr. Shailendra Chaubey, BAMS
A modern-day Vaidya with 11 years of experience. He is the founder of Dr. Shailendra Healing School that helps patients recover from chronic conditions through the Ayurvedic way of life.