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“I’d just love to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair – Bette Davis.”
The winter months are here at last and as much as we rejoice in sweet anticipation for all the good things this season brings, we aren’t oblivious to the not-so-good things too. The dearth of moisture does summon all the moisture-locking products to come out tenfold and when skin feels taut and heels show telltale signs of cracking and hair begins to lose its luster, we know we need that extra dose of TLC to keep all these nuisances at bay.
Here (Hair) Today Gone Tomorrow:
Let’s talk about hair shall we, as that’s, after all, our crowning glory. Wow suddenly remembered Dimple Kapadia in her Crowning Glory soap ad and boy what hair did she have! I just went to Youtube to see the ad and it cracks me up (yes thankfully advertising is much better and classier these days), but when you think of her hair, you know you’d want to own those tresses.
My hair has been through a lot over the past years in terms of colouring, constant blow drying and using hair products, so as the cold season seeped in, I noticed the ends were drier than I had fathomed and had lost all sheen too. At home, my hair’s usually in a messy bun and only when I need to go out, does my open hair reveal the unpleasant dryness (read a few split ends here and there..Arrrgh!!). So since I don’t want to cut my hair and lose the much-awaited length that I have been working towards, I thought it was high time to look into the matter before it was too late. (By the way, I do trim the split ends myself as they have drastically reduced).
My hair is long (not as long as the princess in Rumplestiltskin…phew!), quite thick, gets very frizzy and keeps shedding. Had I not had the length, it would look like an afro. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a wee bit, but you get the drift! My frizzy hair isn’t just limited to the humid monsoons, but all year round. What a bummer! Till date, I have not found a shampoo or serum that has tamed my hair except when I use a straightener or do a blow dry. Now, I have stopped using a hair dryer when at home and only if I go to a party/function do I use those heat-evoking gadgets, otherwise I stick to regular oil massages and less frequent shampooing.
So through trial and error, I found a very simple hair care routine for myself that actually worked (yes, I tried many, trust me) and the best thing was that it was easy-peasy and barely takes long especially if you have to go out and are short of time. I began this around mid-November and since then I and some friends too have noticed a difference in my hair. It’s no rocket science: the routine consists of a thorough oil massage with (ANY) pure Almond Oil followed by shampooing with a herbal shampoo and then culminating this with an ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) rinse.
I have always used good old coconut oil since as long as I can remember, but now that I have switched to almond oil, I dislike the heaviness coconut oil can give and that it takes at least 3 washes to rinse it all out. Almond oil is much lighter on the head as washes out easily. Almond oil also is rich in magnesium, polyunsaturated and mono fatty acids as well as vitamins E, D, B1, B2, B6 and A. Oilve oil and any oil of your choice works, but I am currently using almond oil as it’s suiting me for now.
I use an ACV rinse mainly because apple cider vinegar does wonders to balance hair and scalp pH, removes any product buildup (even oil), treats hair loss and makes hair super shiny. Best to use the organic version but since I couldn’t get my hands on one, I went for the non-organic one from Heinz which works just as well. Will go scouting for the organic one once I’m through with this bottle. If it’s good enough to eat, it’s good enough for your hair!
Here’s what I do:
1. I damp my hair as almond oil readily absorbs into wet hair better than dry hair.
2. Massage a few drops on my scalp and roots to stimulate hair growth and condition it.
3. Divide my hair into 4-5 sections and again take a few drops and massage each section from roots to ends working my way through the whole hair length. (No need to drench hair in oil, a few drops will do on each section).
4. I take a shower cap and wrap my head (this allows the oil to seep in and prevents my pillow from staining).
5. Leave on overnight. (If your husband/partner is in the picture, advisable to oil after he’s asleep if you know what I mean 😛 … No one likes an oil-clad head in their face. How unromantic! )
6. The next morning, I wash if off with an herbal shampoo, preferably sulphate free.
7. Mix one part ACV with one part warm water and pour into a spray bottle to spray all over hair from root to ends. (I use a spray bottle as it’s easier to apply the ACV rinse throughout the whole hair and does not drip all over my face as it can sting your eyes).
8. Using fingertips, I massage this on my scalp to remove any build up, but pay special attention to my ends.
9. Leave this on for a few minutes (3-5 minutes will do).
10. I then rinse it off with cold water to lock in all the moisture and seal the cuticles.
After my hair has dried, the end result is soft, shiny, hydrated and squeaky clean hair and less split ends too…Voila!
Optional (Adding Rosemary to the ACV rinse):
I have tried this a few times, but currently have run out of rosemary, but you can infuse rosemary oil into the ACV rinse too as it is good for slowing the progress of premature hair loss by stimulating the hair follicles. Rosemary also fights dandruff and dry, itchy scalp and keeps your hair shiny and soft. Either add a few drops of rosemary essential oil in the rinse or boil rosemary leaves in the ACV rinse and allow it to cool before you spray it on. Adding rosemary is optional and works just as well without.
Don’t worry about the ACV stench as it’s vinegar after all and will smell but when your hair is dry, the smell goes away. Almond oil conditions hair hence I don’t require using any extra conditioner and opt for 100% pure almond oil and Apple cider vinegar (organic or non-organic), but stay away from synthetic ones. Please remember that the ACV rinse should not be done frequently, so stick to once or twice a week to start with and then once you see results, you can reduce to twice a month maybe as per your best judgement.
Hope this helps in keeping your hair luscious this season and you can continue all year round too! Now my hair is happy and so am I 🙂
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