Rains bring respite from the hot summer months, but they also bring along a host of seasonal illnesses and skin and hair woes.
“Rains disrupt the pH balance and cause scalp infections and other hair problems like dandruff, and increased hair fall. Also, did you know that hair fall can increase by up to 30 per cent during monsoons?” says Dr Rinky Kapoor, consultant dermatologist, cosmetic dermatologist and dermato-surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics.
But a little care and some simple home remedies will help keep the scalp problem-free and avoid sticky or frizzy hair.
According to the expert, the key to taming your tresses lies in:
*Oiling twice weekly: Just a little oil will keep the hair happy. Take a small amount of oil and gently massage it on the scalp. You don’t want to rub the oil in, just massage and moisturise to improve circulation. Shampoo after 15-30 minutes. You can use the oil at room temperature or warm it up a little before applying. Virgin coconut oil is a good choice or even those with antimicrobial ingredients like neem, tea-tree, and herbs like amla, and brahmi.
*Good shampooing practices: It goes without saying that you have to shampoo after getting wet in the rain. Rinse your hair with regular tap water first before applying shampoo. A SLS-free shampoo is gentle on hair and scalp and removes residue effectively.
*Using the right conditioner: Conditioning is mandatory. It reduces fizziness and prevents sticky tangles. Apply from mid length to ends. Don’t go overboard with the amount of conditioner, a little is enough. Leave for about 10-15 minutes for best results.
*Air drying: Once you have rinsed out the conditioner, use a micro-fibre towel to soak excess water and let your hair air dry. This helps trap in the moisture in hair and avoids heat damage.
*Covering up your hair: One option is to cut your hair short, but if that does not appeal to you then make sure to keep your hair tied in ponytails or braids. When going out, use a scarf or a hat/cap to protect the scalp from humidity.
*Home remedies: Simple tried and tested home remedies go a long way in nourishing the scalp. Here are some which suit all hair types:
*Neem and turmeric paste: Both neem and turmeric are loaded with vitamin C, other antioxidants and also have antimicrobial, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties that make them excellent dandruff fighters. Use a few drops of neem juice with turmeric powder and apply on scalp with the help of cotton. Wash after 15-30 minutes.
*Mango and mint: Take some fresh mango pulp and mix with crushed mint leaves. Apply this hair pack and leave for about 30 minutes. Wash with a chemical-free shampoo. This pack helps control fizziness.
*Make a fine paste of hibiscus leaves, fresh mint leaves, and few drops of lime juice. Apply this on the scalp and wash after 30 minutes. This solution helps hydrate the hair, and prevents scalp infections.
*Fenugreek: One option is to grind curry leaves, soaked fenugreek seeds, tulsi leaves, and green gram in equal proportions and apply on scalp and hair. Leave for about 30 minutes and wash with normal water. Do this twice a week. Or you can use a simple fenugreek seed pack for hair rejuvenation.
*Mix a mashed banana with honey and apply on scalp and hair. Leave for about an hour and wash. This will take the dryness away and leave your hair soft and manageable.
*Make your own hair oil by mixing olive oil, honey, cinnamon powder and some crushed curry leaves. Use it to oil your hair once a week and rinse with warm water before shampooing and conditioning.
“Make sure that you diet is balanced. And if you feel that hair fall is more than normal or scalp is itchy and inflamed then consult a good trichologist for a professional opinion,” said Dr Kapoor.