Care for your scalp the right way this monsoon
The rains can lead to scalp infections and hair troubles. Here is your detailed guide to taking proper care of your scalp this season
The monsoon brings relief from the heat but can also lead to hair and scalp issues. While you switch for skincare routine, don’t forget to make a few tweaks to your haircare regimen as well. Without the proper TLC, common issues like oily scalp, greasy hair and dandruff can lead to weakened hair roots, and cause monsoon hair fall.
According to Dr Nishita Ranka, MBBS, DDVL, consulting dermatologist for Fixderma Pvt Ltd, a healthy scalp is “clean and doesn’t have any dirt, sweat or excess oils” She adds, “It should be free from inflammation, or irritation and doesn’t have any infections caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses. Hair shedding is normal but a lot of hair loss can be a sign of an underlying scalp issue.”
Avoid harsh hair products including those with silicone suggests Dr Navnit Haror, dermatologist, aesthetics and hair transplant surgeon, who adds, “With the ever-increasing range of hair products, it is best to stick to natural, gentle options. Use a nourishing scalp serum and pay attention to your sleep cycle. Avoid too much direct sun and include folic acid in your diet, too.”
Here are some suggestions from experts to maintain hair and scalp health in the rains:
Wash your scalp to remove any dirt, sweat or pollutants that might accumulate due to moisture in the air.
After washing your hair, dry it properly as damp hair is prone to fungal infections.
Use a gentle, pH-balanced shampoo that is suitable for your hair type and scalp condition. It helps cleanse the scalp without stripping away essential oils.
Keeping your hair tied in a loose bun or braid to reduce exposure to rainwater, frizz and prevent tangling.
Avoid going out with wet hair as it is more susceptible to breakage and damage.
Avoid using hot water while washing your hair as it can strip away the natural oils from your scalp, leading to dryness and potential scalp irritation. Instead, use lukewarm or cold water.
Resist the temptation to scratch your scalp if it feels itchy as it can worsen any existing scalp conditions.
Avoid sharing combs or hair accessories with others, even family members, as it can spread scalp infections or fungal conditions.
Hair oiling routine
Hair oiling is an ancient technique that has been used in Indian households. We have been using various oils to strengthen and protect the hair. Some experts suggest that one should oil their hair at least twice a week in the monsoons to maintain scalp hygiene and prevent the buildup of impurities. Harror says, “It is best to allow the oil to sit on your scalp and hair for a few hours and then wash it off with lukewarm water.” On the other hand, Ranka says, “The rainy season is characterised by high humidity levels that leads to excessive moisture retention in the hair and scalp. Applying oil may create an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria. It can also make the hair appear limp and greasy.”
To deal with dandruff during the monsoon, opt for medicated shampoos and moisturise the scalp with natural oils. You can make and apply a mask made with fenugreek. Leave it on for an hour. The nicotinic acid works to rid your scalp of the dandruff.
For oily scalps
Use a clarifying shampoo that is specially designed for to get rid of the excess oil and build-up on your scalp. One can also consider using a gentle exfoliating scalp scrub once a week to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Avoid using heavy conditioners or styling products and don’t over wash your hair as it can cause the production of more oils. Those with oily scalps can use tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar.
For dry scalp
Apply coconut oil once or twice a week and moisturise the scalp by using a hydrating and gentle shampoo and conditioner. Add more moisture to your home by drinking more water and using a humidifier at home.
Food for healthy hair
Balanced diet: It’s generally recommended to consume a well-balanced diet including nutrients such as protein, vitamins like vitamins A, C and E, minerals (zinc, iron, and selenium), and omega-3 fatty acids. Lean meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are good sources.
Protein-rich food: Hair is primarily made up of protein called keratin, so consuming an adequate amount is important for healthy hair. Also add poultry, dairy products, legumes and plant-based protein sources such as tofu or tempeh to your meals.
Iron-rich food: A common reason for hair loss is iron deficiency. So eat iron-rich foods such as leafy greens and fortified cereals, too.
Omega-3 fatty acids: To nourish the hair follicles and promote a healthy scalp eat omega-3 fatty acids which is found in salmon, sardines and mackerel, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
Limit processed foods: Highly-processed foods like sugary snacks and unhealthy fats don’t provide necessary nutrients for healthy hair.