Hair Care – An alternative way

There isn’t much difference chemically between your hair and the fine wool that comes off a pashmina goat (Pashmina refers to a type of fine cashmere wool). There are at least 100 000 hair fibers on our head and, like wool, each stretches and absorbs moisture.Because our hair is so much like a fine fibre in our wardrobe, we suggest that we should care for it as we do a fine cashmere sweater. Think on how you treat a fine wool sweater – do you wash it with the usual washing detergents? No, you use a special soap and softner.Sodium/Ammonium Lauryl Sulphate or Laureth Sulphate, detergents/soaping agents used in most shampoos, can also be found in dishwashing liquids – and while they do a great job of degreasing and cleaning our pots and pans in the kitchen by cutting grease. That is however, the last thing you want for your hair! Our hair should always retain some natural oils because by stripping the hair of necessary (natural) moisture and amino acids, it makes it dull, dry, frizzy and easily breakable.

Care for various types of Hair

Straight Hair Characteristics and Care

When clean and healhty, the scales of the cuticle, (outermost protective layer of hair) of each hair strand naturally lie flat, reflecting light that results in high shine. Straight hair swings and is not prone to frizzing. Each strand can be either fine, medium or coarse in texture and the hair in general can be either oily, normal or just shy of dry. Straight hair can withstand the most abuse, but should still be treated very gently.Care :Shampooing of straight hair should be limited to twice per week. On non-shampoo days, use a simple hair rinse and a scalp massage with your favourite conditioner. This routine will keep your hair and scalp clean and at the same time maintain the natural protective oils on the hair strand.

Wavy  Hair Characteristics and Care

Wavy hair can often masquerade as nearly straight during times of low humidity or semi-curly and slightly frizzy when humidity is high. The surface scales of the cuticle don’t lie quite as flat as those of straight hair, allowing more moisture to penetrate (and escape) the shaft. This hair tends to shine when healthy and can be fine- or medium textured (though it isn’t often course). It does tend to be slightly drier than straight hair.Care :Limit shampooing to once or twice a week. On non-shampoo days, use a simple hair rinse and a scalp massage with your favourite conditioner. This routine will keep your hair and scalp clean and at the same time maintain the natural protective oils on the hair strand.

Curly / Kinky  Hair Characteristics and Care

As a rule, each strand of curly hair is very fine and fragile, though due to the volume of curls, it may appear that the hair is quote thick or course. Actually, curly haired people have less hair on their head than their straight and wavy haired counterparts. This hair type is generally very dry, porous and brittle, mainly because the natural oils at the scalp have a hard time reaching the ends. Overall, it must be handled with the utmost care. Because the cuticle stands out instead of lying flat, curly hair tends to have less shine. When it is healthy however, curly hair can shine and be simply gorgeous.Abandon the idea that you must shampoo your curls daily, or even weekly. The trick is to not think of shampooing .. but rather of moisturizing. Shampoo, even mild ones, are drying as they strip the natural oils from the scalp and hair. Care :Simply perform a daily water rinse through and scalp massage with a super-dydrating conditioner, follwed by a thorough rinsing in the shower to loosen and get rid of excess sweat, sebum and conditioner.

If you follow this regimen, you will start to notice far more “good hair days” because your hair is not constantly dehydrated.

Conditioner becomes your best friend. If you feel you must shampoo, then do so only once a week.

Treatments

All hair types can do with a weekly treatment. This not only gets rid of sweat, sebum and build-up, it also nourishes your scalp and hair.

Food

As Mary Beth Janssen explains in her book “Naturally Health Hair : Herbal Treatments and Daily Care for Fabulous Hair“, the root of each hair on our head is buried in the dermis of your scalp and is in direct contact with the bloodstream via capillaries and therefore “any imbalances or toxicity in the body are interpreted and transferred to the hair through the blood supply”.

I am sure you’ve noticed that in times of stress, hormonal fluctuations, illness and poor diet or when you are exposed to pollutants – your hair registers these changes much as the rest of your body may.

Therefore, where possible, ditch the stress, wear a hat in the sun, minimize the use of heat appliances such as hair dryers, curling tongs, straighteners etc. and start eating a balanced diet full of hair essentials full of good protein, biotin, iron, iodine, Vitamin B12 and Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids.

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