Your hair is your crowning glory! Hair thickness, length and shine have a lot to do with how you treat your mane, but they’re also a reflection of scalp health, which is often ignored and sidelined! But help is at hand, and often the best things to do are also the easiest! You can start at home with these common homemade hair care tips, and other key dos and don’ts to follow.
1 Apply Warm Oil On The Hair
Grandma was right about this! Using a warm, natural oil in your hair can do wonders for scalp health, hair health and texture, and stimulate general wellness too. Here are some oils you should consider including in your regimen.
Coconut oil: This age-old remedy has stood the test of time! It works on all hair types, is locally available and affordable. It does away with dandruff, softens the hair, repairs split-ends and boosts hair growth. It also protects the hair from losing protein. For best results, use extra virgin coconut oil.
Argan oil: Argan oil is non-native to India, but has been catching up recently as a force to reckon with. Extracted from the kernels of the Argan tree, found in Morocco, it is replete with Vitamin E, making it the perfect moisturiser for dry and lacklustre hair, reducing frizz.
Castor oil: The oil extracted from castor seeds has many health benefits, but is particularly good for hair health. It is a great moisturiser and helps prevent the scalp from flaking. It also reduces breakage at the roots, by providing nourishment and lubrication.
Bringhraj: This oil is used extensively in Ayurvedic treatments, and in the beauty industry. Bringhraj oil cannot be used by itself but works best with a carrier oil. It helps activate hair follicles, when massaged into the hair, and stimulates hair growth.
Tip: Choose a natural oil based on your need and hair type and massage well into scalp and hair for optimum hair health.
2 Use Rice Water As A Shampoo And A Rinse For Hair Care
The Chinese village of Huangluo, home to native Red Yao women, is in the Guinness Book of Records as the ‘world’s longest hair village’. The women here boast long, lustrous and healthy hair that is consistently maintained. The villagers believe that it is a symbol of luck, longevity and prosperity. So what is the secret to their fabulously-maintained hair? An ancient but extremely simple Chinese remedy – rice water! This magic potion, used as a natural shampoo and rinse for centuries now, clearly works wonders. In fact, women usually don’t start greying until they’re almost eighty years old! Rice water has a multitude of components with nutritional value for the hair.
Around 16 percent of these are proteins, the building blocks essential to cell health. Triglycerides and lipids each make up 10 percent of the rice water composition, while starch (an extract still used in Japanese cosmetics), is present at 9 percent. Carbohydrates, inositol, phytic acid and inorganic substances are other components in rice water. This is what you get when you boil an average handful of white rice in two cups of hot water and strain out the residue liquid.
Tip: Rice water can be used as a shampoo as often as you shampoo your hair, or as a final rinse, to prevent hair loss and greying.
3 Eggs Can Contribute To Overall Hair Health
An egg mask is perhaps one of the most potent remedies for healthy hair, and for one very good reason – it is the best source of B Vitamins, essential for hair health! Vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin) and B5 (pantothenic acid) are good for hair flexibility, strength and overall wellness. Biotin or Vitamin B7 is especially essential for hair growth, while folic acid can help avoid premature greying. To combat this, eggs make for a fabulous topical application.
Use both the yolk and the white. The yolk works as a moisturiser for dry locks and is also a superfood due to the multitude of nutrients. What’s more, it helps retains the hair’s natural sheen thanks to its moisturising benefits. Crack open two eggs, and then beat its contents well in a bowl. Apply all over hair and scalp and leave on for ten minutes. Rinse well and follow up with your usual shampoo and conditioner regime. Find out how you can make these masks.
Tip: Use raw eggs on your hair at least thrice a week, for strength and shine.
4 Apply onion juice all over your hair
Believe it or not, onion juice is replete with nutrients and benefits for hair growth and re-growth. It keeps the scalp free of infection, due to antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, and also contain sulphur, which prevents hair from becoming brittle and breaking. They also contain antioxidants, to help prevent hair ageing and thereby greying. If you find the juice to be too pungent-smelling, then you can add a few drops of lavender or peppermint essential oils to nullify it.
Tip: Squeeze the juice of three onions and apply all over scalp and hair to replenish sulphur and protein levels. Leave on for five minutes, and then rinse.
5 Apply a paste of crushed amala for hair care
The humble amla or Indian gooseberry is a miracle fruit and is often included in hair products, hair tonics and medical streams. Vitamin C in amala helps produce collagen protein, which boosts cell regeneration, stimulates both hair length and volume. Amala contains over 80 percent moisture, and so has hydrating properties. It is a natural scalp cleanser, removes germs, and is also an antioxidant, preventing hair greying and damage.
Tip: Crush 3-4 amala (gooseberries) in a bowl, and apply the pulp with the juice all over the hair and scalp, for optimum benefit.