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Tress-ure hunting

Even if you’re not style conscious, you’re always aware of your hair. No matter what you do with it, you know it’s got to be healthy.

health and fitness Updated: Oct 23, 2010 20:02 IST
Veenu Singh

Even if you’re not style conscious, you’re always aware of your hair. No matter what you do with it, you know it’s got to be healthy. That means, says wellness expert Blossom Kochhar, that it’s thick, silky, glossy, pliable, full-bodied and grows properly.

There are three types of hair: oily, dry and normal. Each type requires a different maintenance approach.

Oily hair: When the oil glands in the scalp secrete excess oil, it travels down the hair shaft, causing oiliness on the scalp and hair. Oily hair is lank and coarse. “Therefore, emphasis is laid on cleansing and toning,” says Kochhar. “The hair has to be washed often, so a natural shampoo formulated of herbs such as amla, shikakai or trifala is ideal.”

HairDry hair: Dry hair is the result of a lack of sebum. The hair looks limp and is susceptible to damage. "Your aim is to replenish the oil in the hair. So the emphasis is on conditioning. Strong-action shampoo is prohibited. Often a generous oil massage is recommended before washing the hair," says Alka Katar, director, spa, Radisson Hotel, Delhi.

Normal hair: It is healthy, silky hair without over-dry ends or over-oily roots. “All you need is good regular cleansing,” says Seema Goel, director, Berkowits Hair and Skin Clinic. Other hair care techniques include:

Oiling: You should oil your hair at least twice a month, says Goel. “If it’s dry, oil it once a week. Apply the oil on the roots of the hair. This helps improve blood circulation. If you have oily hair, wash the oil off after an hour. If you have dry hair, keep the oil on overnight.”

Colouring: In general, dermatologists suggest that you colour your hair as infrequently as possible. “But the frequency of colouring depends on how fast your hair grows,” says Goel. “If your hair grows faster than 1/2 inch a month, you will need to touch up your colour sooner.”

Conditioning: “Conditioners that are applied immediately after a shampoo and rinsed off in five minutes provide only minimal conditioning because of their short contact time with your hair,” says Goel. “But deep conditioners, which are usually marketed as hair creams, are good. They have to be left on the scalp for 20-30 minutes before rinsing.” Or you can try a leave-in conditioner, adds Kochhar. This is applied after the hair has been dried and left on till the next shampoo.

Stop hair fall
Eat oily fish or avocados for their essential fatty acids
Avoid a warm, dry room as this will zap your skin of moisture
When you shampoo, alternate hot and cold water to increase circulation
— Courtesy Dr Francesca Fusco, Sunsilk International hair expert