Friday, September 19, 2014

How to choose the right hair spa treatment?

During our daily routine, our hair is often subjected to unfavourable environmental conditions and chemicals. Over exposure to the sun or humid weather, chlorinated water and unnecessary exposure to heated styling appliances cause excessive damage to the hair. This means, you need timely hair treatments for damage control and to help restore the lost nutrients. Here are hair spa treatments you could opt for each of your hair problems: 
Dry and frizzy hair - Power, protein dose hair spa

If you’ve had enough of dry and unmanageable frizzy hair, this type of hair spa treatment is ideal. It helps in healthy hair growth and helps regain its lost lustre. The number of sessions for this treatment depend on how damaged and dry your hair are. 

Keratin treatment

This treatment is often associated with straightening or rebonding. However it is meant to tame down unruly curls and soften them. Your hair is shampooed and blow-dried, after which the solution is applied with a brush and combed through the hair, and left for 20 minutes. Hair is then blow-dried once more and flat ironed. Says celebrity hairstylist Vikas Marwah says, ‘This hair treatment leaves the hair with a gloss effect and straightens it up to 50%. You will see your hair soft and smooth within one session, lasting you for at least 3-4 months. Also, you should use a sulfate free shampoo, so this treatment lasts you longer.’ Know how effective it is here. 

Moroccan Oil Treatment

This hair treatment is a favourite of many. Coming from argan oil, it is non-greasy and comes to the rescue for dry and damaged hair. You could also pick up a bottle of Moroccan oil and massage your hair and scalp at home. 

Hair Fall - Ozone, high frequency hair spa treatment 

This hair treatment helps eradicate dry skin cells from the scalp and increases the blood circulation. Hence, this helps in strengthening the hair follicles and  increases hair growth. This is a multi-functional hair treatment as it also curbs excessive dandruff. Vikas says, ‘If you are suffering from a severe hair fall problem, it is best to stick to a mild shampoo and keep away from chemical based ones. Or you could mix some water with your shampoo for a lighter consistency.’ 

Dandruff - Refining  hair spa

Having an itchy and flaky scalp is a very common hair problem and a regular hair spa treatment could definitely give you some relief from it. Vikas says, ‘This spa includes fusing in  an ‘m-fule’ pill to clear off the dandruff completely. The sessions, again depend on how dry and how severe your dandruff problem is.’ It helps your hair rejuvenate and relieves the scalp of the dryness and irritation caused.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The worst hair and skincare mistakes you may be making

When it comes to looking after your hair and skin, you know exactly what to do, but do you know what not to do? Here are some of the hair and skincare mistakes you may inadvertently be making.
You’ve bought the expensive make up, got a fancy hair cut and are all set to dazzle the world with your sleek look. But are there some things you may be doing wrong? Find out if you’re making these skin and hair care mistakes.

The worst hair and skincare mistakes you may be making

Sleeping with make up on – After a long night of partying, it’s so tempting to just take off your shoes and hit the bed. But sleeping with heavy make up on is one of the worst things you can do to your skin. Not only are you clogging your pores, which can lead to acne; you’re also subjecting your skin to the free radicals from the environment that your make up clings on to. This can result in eeks! premature ageing and who needs that?

Washing your face with scalding hot water – Hold back on the super hot water for your face as that can damage your blood vessel. Instead, wash your face with lukewarm water and you’ll be fine.

Too much or too little exfoliation – Exfoliation is an important part of skincare as it removes the dead cells from your skin. However, be careful not to overdo it, or conversely, not exfoliate at all. Ideally, you should exfoliate your face once or twice a week (never on two successive days) and if you have dry or sensitive skin, try and stick to just once a week or once in 10 days.

Leaving oil in your hair all day – Ladies! Read carefully because this is important. When it comes to oiling hair, it’s the massage that’s really important. Do not leave oil in your hair all day as it will just attract dirt and clog your pores, leading to hair fall. Massage your scalp well, leave the oil in for an hour and then wash it off.

Not moisturising for fear of acne – There is a myth amongst those prone to acne that applying a moisturiser will aggravate the acne. This is untrue and can actually lead to excessive oil production from the skin, which may cause another acne breakout. Pick an oil-free moisturiser and ensure your skin is well-hydrated at all times.

Not getting enough sleep – This one’s a rookie mistake! The best care for your skin is a nice long restful sleep. So don’t be up watching movies all night if you have college or work the next day. Make sure you get your beauty sleep and keep your skin looking young and fresh.

Smoking – That’s right, guys! In addition to being bad for your lungs, heart and general health, smoking is one of the fastest ways you can age your skin. Smoking can cause bags under your eyes, darkening of lips and even increases your chances of getting psoriasis. Sigh! Still need a reason to quit?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Brittle hair - causes, treatment and home remedies

Does your hair break easily and looks dull, frizzy and dry? You probably have brittle hair which if ignored can lead to hair loss eventually. But there are tips and tricks which can help you manage this condition yourself. We asked renowned hair and skin expert Dr Jaishree Sharad to tell us more about brittle hair – its causes and ways to manage it.
Why does hair become brittle?

Your hair can turn brittle without you even realising it. Even people who have luscious locks can have brittle hair if they do not take good care of it. According to Dr Sharad, ‘Brittle hair is generally caused by various chemical and physical treatments done to the hair fibre such as excessive curling, dying, or the improper use of other hair straightening products, excessive sun exposure. Because so many environmental and cosmetic factors may be at once, it is difficult to pinpoint one factor as THE CAUSE of hair weathering.’

Tips to reverse this condition

A few dietary changes and DIY tips can help you tackle brittle hair with ease. Lack of certain essential vitamins such as vitamin C, B complex, iron too can result in weak and brittle hair. Since the hair is made of keratin which is a protein, it is vital to feed your hair that to increase its strength. Here’s what Dr Sharad advises:
  • Eat a high-protein diet comprising chicken, eggs, fish, sprouts, soya, paneer, milk, yoghurt to make hair stronger from within.
  • Use mild hair shampoos to wash your hair.
  • Avoid blow drying and other heat treatments such as perming or straightening.
  • Avoid sun exposure or cover hair with a hat or apply hair sunscreen to protect it from harmful rays.
  • Check your hemoglobin level and if low, take supplements.

DIY hair packs for brittle hair

A simple hair pack which you can make at home is of aloe vera gel and honey. Mix the two in equal proportions and then apply the mixture on your roots and hair and let it stay for 15 minutes. Then rinse hair with plain water or a mild shampoo. Do this twice a week to see results. The gel will make your hair less frizzy and honey will provide the moisture it needs.

Another hair mask which you can make at home is using the yolk of an egg and adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with it. Apply it the same way and leave for 15-20 minutes before washing it off. This will not just strengthen your roots but add a shine too. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Summer Beating Up Your Hair? Follow These Expert Tips

I just got back from a week at the beach to restore my mind and body: endless dips in the salty ocean, laps in the pool, snorkeling for hours on end. Ahhhh. But my blissful state was upended when I went to see my hair stylist. “So, let me see the damage,” she said. My carefully highlighted hair had lost its lustre - the blonde was brassy, the ends fried.
Note to stylist: I did hear you last time, when you warned me about chlorine after I spent a mere 30 minutes in the pool at that Orlando resort. Understandably, it was highly chlorinated to deal with dozens of children swimming around.

This time, my stylist cried out, “Oh my God! What happened?” I feebly explained I’d been down the waterslide just once or twice. I guess my hair got damp when I rocketed into the water at the bottom of the slide. Who knew that even a tiny bit of chlorine could wreak havoc?

Protect your hair from the elements with a great hat.

Kyle White

Lead hair colorist at Oscar Blandi, who counts Mariah Carey and Julianna Margulies among his clients

Hair advice: White says sun exposure is the equivalent of bleach and fades color: “You need to use a sunblock every time you wash, even in winter if your hair is going to be in direct sunlight.”

Salt water and chlorine will not only fry your hair, but it will turn your blonde locks into orange straw. White advises using an oil with SPF, like Phytoplage, that will fill the cuticle of your hair so it won’t absorb chlorinated water. Rinse your hair with fresh water when you get out, then reapply the oil and put back on your hat.

Rinse hair with fresh water after hitting the pool.

If you get chlorine on your hair, an easy at-home solution is to use an apple-cider vinegar rinse that will remove chlorine deposits, take out highlight-dulling product build-up, remove dead skin cells, and unclog hair follicles.

Just as your black or bright colored clothes fade in the hot clothes dryer, heat styling fades your hair color. So if you are using heat styling tools, be sure to use a thermal protector like “Its a 10,” which is also a leave-in treatment with protein and vitamins.

After sun exposure, frequent shampooing is the second biggest fader of hair color — so cut back and use a dry shampoo (Oscar Blandi has one called Pronto). “Your scalp’s natural oils are Mother Nature’s deep conditioner,” he says.

Oscar Blandi

Hair advice: Get a trim before you go on vacation. “Playing on the beach, in the chlorine water — the ends can become dry and brittle,” he says, especially if you are going out and using hot, damaging tools like hair dryers, straighteners, or curling irons.

Alonso Salguero

Hair advice: Products can make all the difference. A deep-conditioning treatment like Kerastase Elixir Ultime cream, and another product, Aqua-seal by Kerastase covers the hair cuticle and keeps moisture in.

The simplest and easiest advice is saturating hair with water before leaping into chlorinated or salt water because hair can only absorb so much water - says Salguero - and getting it wet prior to swimming keeps some of the chemicals out.

You can also apply a glaze like the Christine Hair Glaze from Van Thomas Concepts. This protective layer helps minimize the damage and gives your hair an extra bit of defense against the elements.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hair rebonding, smoothening or keratin treatment - which one is best for your hair?

Wondering what will be the next hair trend in 2014? According to industry experts, straight hair is back in vogue. Straightening hair is a good way to reinvent a person’s look and the sleek sophistication lent by straight hair is a big fashion trend for 2014. Rather than straightening your hairevery single morning with straighteners, you can opt for semi-permanent options that last a good few months, are hassle-free and all you need to do to set is to run a comb through them. Read more about the pros and cons of straightening hair.
According to Adhuna Bhabani Akhtar, celebrity hairstylist, there are three basic ways to chemically straighten hair – by rebonding, smoothening or by keratin treatment, depending on how straight the hair is required to be. Find out which one is best-suited for your hair. 

Keratin treatment

According to Rod Anker, Creative Director of Monsoon Salon and Spa, keratin treatmentrelaxes the curls and frizziness of the hair – making it only appear to be straight. It not only promises to make your hair smooth, shiny and frizz-free, it also makes it straight but not in an unnatural-looking, poker-straight strands. It softens your curls and with the help of other chemicals, helps retain the look for a good few months. Read more about keratin treatment for your hair.

Hair rebonding

This treatment is quite suited for people who have very curly hair and the end result is poker straight hair. In this process, the bonds of your hair are broken with the help of a chemical formula and then again neutralisers are applied to restructure the bonds. By doing this, the existing bonds that exist in curly hair are broken and once the hair is straightened, new bonds are made to rearrange the physical structure of your hair. This is a more permanent method than keratin or smoothening. However, if you love your curls, here are some tips to manage very curly, dry hair.

Hair smoothening

This process is similar to keratin but instead of keratin a different cream is used. It is best-suited for people who have wavy hair or even straight hair which is frizzy. It will smoothen out the frizz and make the hair more manageable and straight but not make it look too unnatural. People with very curly hair may not like the results as it won’t stay for too long. But if you wish to have natural-looking, straight hair which does not look artificially straightened, opt for this. The results won’t last too long unless you have very light waves or straight hair but will save you from having bad hair days. Here are some more tips to manage frizzy hair.

Anker advises to opt for either rebonding or smoothening as the re-growth in rebonding is completely natural and in case of smoothening, while it won’t make hair extremely straight, it looks more natural and does not damage hair as much. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Hair loss mega guide – causes, treatments, medications, home remedies and more

Hair loss is a feared condition which in addition to one’s hair also results in a certain loss of self-esteem and confidence. The sad part is, it is quite prevalent in youngsters these days but the good news is, it can very much be controlled and reversed with the latest advancements in technology.
There are certain common causes which lead to hair loss. These include:

Stress: Fast-paced and hectic lifestyles can sap a lot of energy out of us and increase our stress levels. Numerous studies hold stress responsible for many health problems ranging from smaller ones like a headache to life-threatening ailments like a heart attack. True, a good percentage of people who shed a bit of extra hair are susceptible to a lot of stress, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that stress is the only factor responsible for baldness.

Hair styling tools: Blow drying your hair after a shower may seem to be an easy and no-fuss method, but numerous studies suggest that blow drying your hair on a daily basis could contribute to a lot of hair fall. Other styling treatments like straightening and curling if done frequently, contribute to a few extra strands on your hairbrush.

Junk food: Junk food is criticised and held responsible for almost all health conditions, and it’s mostly because junk food hardly gives your body any nutrients. Living on junk food could lead to nutritional deficiencies, which may contribute to baldness. People having eating disorders are also more likely to suffer from extensive hair loss.

Not just these, hair loss could also be a result of certain conditions: 

Psoriasis: Dandruff is a common problem that can be easily treated with an anti-dandruff shampoo. But if your dandruff is starting to turn into thick, scaly patches, it could be a sign that you have psoriasis. It is a long-term skin problem that causes skin cells to grow rapidly that leads to thick, white, silvery, or red patches of skin. 

Protein deficiency: Another sign of a more serious problem could be dry and brittle hair that breaks easily. Your hair is made up of a protein called keratin, and if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, it could weaken your hair. This could also be another sign of a thyroid issue, so be sure to check with your doctor if this is the case.

Home remedies to treat hair loss

If you are experiencing hair fall, you can control it with inexpensive home remedies. These help in strengthening the roots to initiate new growth. Some of these are:

Onion: Squeeze an onion and take juice out of it. Add one to two teaspoons of honey to it. To do away with the odour, you can use rose water with onions. Mix and apply it on your hair. Keep it for 40 to 50 minutes. Then wash your hair. 

Coriander: Make a paste with freshly chopped coriander leaves and water. Use its juice to apply on the scalp. Keep it for about an hour and then wash it off.

Curry leaves: You can make an effective hair tonic by boiling some curry leaves in your hair oil and applying it on your scalp. Massage it well for at least 15-20 minutes. Follow this procedure twice a week to stimulate your hair growth.

Coconut: Coconut provides a host of ingredients that naturally condition and promote growth of hair. The milk of the coconut contains proteins, essential fats and minerals such as potassium and iron; using it regularly can reduce the breakage of hair. Coconut oil also carries the same rich ingredients and it helps to make the hair stronger right from the root, through the shaft to the tip. Regular use of this oil to massage the scalp has a protective action against hair loss. Grate coconut and squeeze out the milk by mixing in a little water. Apply this to the specific area where you notice thinning or balding. Allow to stay overnight and the next morning, rinse off with water.

Amla: Packed with vitamin C and rich in antioxidants, amla is the perfect solution for most hair loss woes. Besides applying to the scalp, it is also helpful to consume it on a regular basis because the vitamin C is good for your body. Crush the amla fruit to extract a juice or buy the amla powder available at an herbal store. Add 2 teaspoons of the juice or the powder into an equal quantity of the juice freshly squeezed from a lime. Mix well, apply to the scalp and leave it to dry; then rinse using warm water.

Other treatments

Hair transplant: This is perhaps the most permanent solution for hair loss. It is broadly achieved by removing grafts/follicles from the back of the head which are more resistant to hormonal changes, and placing them in areas of scanty growth or baldness. There are two methods to remove the grafts – Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).

Hair restoration: This procedure consists of regrowing hair on the scalp without any linear scarring. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area before the procedure and hair follicles are removed from the non-testosterone sensitive zone at the back of the head. After this, the hair follicles are placed on the scalp. On an average, 6,000 to 9,000 hair follicles are placed on the scalp. The hair begins to grow after about three months of the treatment and thickens up between the fifth and eighth months. Patients can see a full growth within 10 months of the procedure. This method of hair restoration does not use cutting objects like scalpels or sutures which cause scarring and takes up to six hours for one sitting.

Hair extensions: Hair extensions are a temporary solution for people who have lost hair either made of human hair or synthetic hair fibre supplements. They can make your thin hair look voluminous. Wax, glue, adhesive or silicon rings are used to attach the extensions to hair. If you are using human hair, you need to take care of it by keeping it well-conditioned. On the other hand, synthetic fibres lose shine and colour due to frequent washing. So be careful with them.

Stem cell treatment: In this process, a small amount of fat is taken from the waist area of the person whose hair is being treated through a mini-liposuction process. This fat, which contains dormant stem cells, is then put in a centrifuge and spun to separate the stem cells from the fat. Once that is done, an activation solution is added to these cells. The cells might have to be multiplied in number depending on the size of the bald area that needs coverage. Once activated, the solution is washed off so that only cells remain. Now, the stem cells are injected into the scalp where hair loss has appeared. One can find some hair growth in about two to four weeks.

In this technique, a thin and transparent membrane containing human hair is applied to the scalp and woven with rest of the hair for a natural look.

Wefts and strand-by-strand procedures: The process involves selecting the hair type and membrane that matches best with the patient so as to give the hair a very natural look and feel. The colour, hair type etc. need to be similar to their existing hair. Next in line is the adhesive used for bonding the membrane to the scalp. Due to technological advancements, the adhesive used these days is very strong and does not come off due to sweat or water. 

Apart from these, there are also medications to control hair fall depending on the type of hair loss you are suffering from.

For male pattern baldness

Finasteride: It is a pill that blocks the action of natural hormones in scalp hair and reduces hair loss. Approved for use in only men with androgenic hair loss, this drug is found to be safe in postmenopausal women. 

Dutasteride: It may help in hair loss by blocking the production of or binding of testosterone in the scalp hair follicles. You are not permitted to donate blood before the six-month clearance time after taking this medication.

For patchy hair loss

Small amounts of steroids like triamcinolone may be injected into your affected scalp patches to stimulate hair growth. 

Other options such as oral steroids, immune-suppressants or ultraviolet light therapy are available for severe cases but they have potential side effects or risks.

Though these are the available options you can choose from if you suffer from hair loss, in order to avoid it, eat a healthy diet and nourish your hair to keep it from falling. Massage using oils like olive, coconut, almond, etc.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tips to Maintain Dry Hair This Monsoon

Dry weather can make your hair brittle and impossible to tame. It doesn’t just stop with your hair. When there is a nip in the air, your scalp starts getting itchy and flaky. “Varying temperatures mean trouble for your hair as  the moisture from your hair and scalp gets sucked out. This makes the scalp flake easily, leading to dandruff,” says trichologist Leena Nair from Chennai.
Fight the dryness

In the shower: Never wash your hair with piping hot water, no matter how tempting it is. Lukewarm water works better. Weather may have a drying effect on your hair. Opt for a mild shampoo. Make sure not to shampoo your hair too often, as it will strip the hair of its natural oils. You can choose oil-infused shampoos that are available in the market today.

Go for a hot massage: Massage with lukewarm coconut, olive or almond oil once a week.  It increases blood circulation in the scalp, promotes healthy hair growth and curbs hair fall. Applying jojoba, jaborandi or rosemary oil is also a great way to give your hair and scalp a healthy dose of nutrients. Moroccon oil also provides good nourishment. However, go easy on the application if your hair feels too oily; you’ll end up shampooing it more than necessary. This will make your hair drier and the whole purpose of a hot oil massage will go to waste.

Well-conditioned: A rich conditioner is a must-have. Condition your hair every time you wash it to increase its elasticity, strength and shine. If you have unmanageable curls, use a leave-in conditioner to keep them in place and make them look healthy.

Beat the frizz

Hair static: Static happens when your hair picks up an electrical charge from the dry air. “It’s common in the chillier months because the air has less moisture during winter,” says Nair. Fight it by switching to a more hydrating shampoo and conditioner for your hair. If you have fine, straight hair, apply an anti-frizz cream on the tips to avoid product build-up. If you have wavy thick hair, use a rich conditioning spray to lock in moisture and beat static. Apply it on damp hair and instead of using a plastic comb, use a wide-toothed wooden comb. Avoid brushing your hair when wet. Another way to combat static is to apply a small amount of hair spray on your hairbrush and brush the hair from the top to the bottom.

Tame the itch: Wash your hair with a good anti-dandruff shampoo to keep infections at bay. It’s a good idea  to cut down the use of styling products, as they may also attract dirt and grime. Brush and comb gently to avoid causing scalp damage. Don’t tie your hair up when wet, as this can make the ends brittle and trap the moisture in your scalp, which in turn can cause flakes.

Lock up: Give your curling tongs, straightening iron and blow-dryer a rest. Blow drying already brittle and dry hair will only make it worse.

Gloss it up: A hair serum is your hair’s best buddy for the winter. It cuts out the frizz, tames flyaways and adds shine to make it look healthy.

Superfoods for great hair and scalp

Omega-3s: “Omega-3 fatty acids help keep the scalp healthy, reduce inflammation and support strong hair follicles, which makes hair look fuller,” explains Nair. Fish like salmon, halibut and sardines are packed with nutrients that deliver beauty benefits. Vegetarian options like flax seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds also help.

Proteins: Proteins are the building block for new hair follicles. Without them hair will become fragile and break. Chicken and other lean meats are excellent sources of protein. Oysters, crab, beef and pork are also great sources of zinc, which helps in curbing hair loss. Veggie options are tofu and beans.

Nuts: Packed with proteins, vitamin B5 and other nutrients, nuts keep your hair in good condition. Nuts such as almonds, pecans and Brazil nuts add both selenium and zinc to the diet. Zinc and magnesium (almonds are a great source) are also crucial for hair growth. Peanuts contain vitamin B5, which help hair grow stronger. Choose unsalted nuts and eat them as snacks or in salads.

Green veggies: Eating dark, leafy, green vegetables like spinach and broccoli help in maintaining the scalp’s pH balance. They’re rich in vitamins A and C.

Home spa

Coconut milk rinse, is a great natural and rich conditioner.
Try a lemon or vinegar rinse, for wonderfully shiny hair. Apply some diluted lemon juice or cider vinegar all over your hair and scalp before your final rinse. It’ll help prevent your hair from becoming greasy.
Neem paste: You can wash the hair with a paste made from neem leaves, as it’s best for keeping dandruff and other scalp infections at bay.