How many nightmares have started with the word “hair-fall”? Too many I guess! Hence I decided to wrestle today with one of the most important issues that consistently troubles both men and women alike. Hair-fall can take place for a number of reasons such as hormonal imbalances, Pcos problem in women, poor digestion and prolonged stomach issues, too much stress and anxiety, sleeplessness, hereditary hair-loss problems or external reasons like shampooing in the wrong way, not oiling your dry strands, dandruff, lice, lack of heath of your hair, combing wet hair or tying up wet hair etc! So as you can see, the reasons behind hair-fall are varied and hence, you need to find that out and fix it, if possible. We often run for quick remedies, such as medicines, tablets, supplements etc when either the problem has become so severe that it can only be helped by a dermatologist or when we are too lazy to consistently carry out simple hair care routine.
And I have learnt it in the hard way. Whenever you are in medication, your hair looks and feels great, but the moment you stop using those, your hair-fall will become worse! So medications are temporary and pose quite a few side effects as well. So why not go for a natural home-made remedy free from side effects and customised according to your own need? Here I am going to discuss some ways in which you can combat hair-fall problems, re-grow your hair and maintain your hair health.
Shampooing your hair
Many of us have this misconception that shampooing everyday will make hair cleaner, oil free and better looking! But the point we miss out on is not all oils are bad for hair. The oil produced at the root of hair creates a protective sheath around each hair strand but when that oil accumulates, it becomes greasy and attracts dust, dirt, dandruff and induces hair-fall. So technically, the dirt is in fault and not the natural oils, got it? (Well, as long as it is not making you feel uncomfortable of course!) Shampooing daily strips our hair of that protective sheath of natural oils leaving our hair rough, dry and limp, in turn making you more prone to hair-fall. Shampooing your hair 3 times a week is good enough even if you need to go out regularly for work.
The shampoo you use also has a major role to play! Your shampoo should be free of Parabens, Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) / Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and Toluene. Now to get extremely pure cleanser you do need to make one at home or time travel back some thousand years when women cleaned up their mane of pride with Reetha water. Since that is not a very practical thing to do, we need to check the ingredients list in our shampoo bottle and take the responsibility on ourselves to save our hair. Although shampoo is a very subjective thing, the one shampoo that has been of extreme benefit to me is Khadi Pure Herbal Aloe Vera Shampoo, which is Ayurvedic, completely free of SLS and Parabens and caused me zero hair-fall!
What is the easiest way to get healthy hair and grow hair naturally? Guess? Well! Just comb it! Hence “A 100 strokes of the brush before bed” is not just an old wives’ tale! Combing your hair for 3 to 4 times a day, very thoroughly, from the root to the tip, necessarily once before bed-time at night, increases blood circulation that brings with it more oxygen and nutrients which nourish the hair roots and promote hair growth. When you comb, you stimulate the scalp and activate the sebaceous gland, which produces sebum (scalp’s natural oil).
But combing your hair when it is wet due to washing or due to too much of sweating, is a very bad idea! It will only lead to tremendous hair fall. Hence, let your hair loose and allow them to dry. Then slowly and mildly start off with a wide-toothed brush.
Well, I guess the moment you read the heading you started having conflicting thoughts storming your mind because oiling hair is a very debatable issue indeed! Doctors say No! Bloggers say Yes! Whom should you believe? Well, I’ll try untying this complex knot of conflicts for you! To start with this, let us not forget that our hair follicles are already producing the natural oils, so if we are talking about oiling, it is an extra or additional oil which we are putting on our scalp. The reason why doctors are against oiling is because oil may block the hair follicles and disbalance the ph level of your scalp. More oil, meaning more greasy scalp which like we have discussed, means more dirt, dandruff, hair-fall and itchy scalp due to infections. So, the point is we are not supposed to leave in this oil in our hair. Meaning, if we oil every day, we must shampoo every day, as well. And we have observed before, how shampooing everyday is not a very good idea!
Gracious! That was complex indeed! Hence to keep the whole balance, taking a hot oil massage once or twice a week at night is great which should be followed by shampooing the very next day.
The Magic Serum
Internet is crashing down by the weight of tons of D.I.Y.s by thousands of bloggers and Youtubers, each one claiming how great their recipe is! So, here, I’ll talk about the one that has helped me a lot and the one thing that I constantly reach out to during the winters especially, when my hair is falling and breaking due to excessive dryness. Well, I call it The Magic Serum! And true to its name, this serum has worked wonders for me to help my hair grow faster, thicker, to provide my hair with moisture and in turn preventing hair loss, managing dandruff and again, this works well, to stop premature greying of hair. You need:
- Amla or Indian Gooseberry cut into pieces
- Fresh aloe vera gel (Readymade ones containing preservatives are not preferred)
- Rosemary Essential Oil
- Ginger pieces
- Cold pressed Castor oil/ Coconut Oil
- A clean bottle
Procedure: Chop off a big part of an aloe vera leaf and extract the gel from it. Keep it aside. Chop the amla and ginger; add a little water to it and grind these 2 ingredients in a mixer grinder till they form a find paste. Filter and strain the juice from this paste. Add about 4 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel to 5 tablespoons of this juice. Add 2 teaspoons of Castor oil, if your hair is very dry or Coconut oil, if you have normal to oily scalp. Along with it, add 4 – 5 drops of Rosemary Essential oil. Mix all these ingredients together to get a fine serum-like consistency. Pour it in a clean bottle and store it in a fridge. Remember, you can store this for a maximum of 10 days beyond which, this same serum will cause tremendous hair-fall.
Usage: Pour a generous amount into your palm and massage your hair well with it, from root to the tip. Wrap a warm towel around your hair for about 15 minutes and allow it to soak into the scalp. Leave it over-night and wash it off, the next day with a mild shampoo.
False daisy or Bhringaraj is rightly named the King of Herbs for its amazing benefits to stop hair-fall and covering bald spots in scalp. Bhringaraj boosts the blood circulation to the scalp which triggers hair growth and provides the best nourishment for your hair follicles making the hair-roots stronger. This is also an excellent remedy to cure dandruff and hair fall problems related to it. No wonder why most hair care products flashes the name of Bhringaraj on their labels!
Now if you have absolutely no time or you are not into d.i.ys at all, then you can simply massage well for 15 minutes with Bhringaraj oil, leave it on for the whole night and shampoo the next day. For me, the Biotique Bhringaraj oil has worked wonders for me! I can assure you, if you are not allergic to this particular oil, this will solve your problem of hair-fall and dandruff! Yes, I can swear by it! But if you need a holistic treatment for your hair, then you need to make this bhringaraj hair mask which several other essential substances that make your hair healthy, thick and strong. For this you need:
- 1 – 2 tablespoon of fresh yogurt, depending upon the length of your hair
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of Bhringaraj powder
- 1 – 2 Vitamin E capsules
- 1 teaspoon of Olive oil/ Coconut Oil
Procedure: Mix the yogurt and the 2 eggs thoroughly, in a mixer and when it is done, add the bhringaraj powder to it. Cut the Vit E capsules slightly and then add the contents to it. You will get a good amount of 5-6 drops of Vit E. Mix it again. Add extra virgin olive oil or if olive oil is not available, use coconut oil. Mix it thoroughly yet again.
Usage: Apply this mask starting from your scalp to the roots, covering your hair strands to the tips. You need to leave it on for a minimum of 2 hours before you can wash it off with your regular shampoo.
So that was my hair theory! But please remember, sudden heavy hair-fall is a sign of some internal disease or illness which no bhringaraj or any fashionable oil in the whole world will be able to fix! So, the ultimate mantra is to stay healthy, avoid junk and oily food and eat green vegatables, fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein-rich food and yes, lots and lots of water! My intention was not to load you with tons of D.I.Y.s but to inform you about some of the best techniques that had worked wonders for me and will work for you as well, provided you are patient with them. Take care! And let me know what you think!