Posts tagged ‘hair conditioners’

January 6, 2014

DIY Tips to identify and manage dry, curly, oily or damaged hair


 healthy hair

It has been rightly said that your hair is your crowning glory- any wonder that we all worry about it so much;) One of our foremost desires is to have thick, healthy, shiny , bouncy hair isn’t it… and we would do anything to get them looking absolutely fabulous!!

For that we need to know more about our hair type, its porosity and density so that we can choose hairstyles or products that are best suited to it and highlight its strengths . Find out more in detail about your roots and the detailed structure of the hair here.

Did you know that the angle at which the hair comes out of the follicle is related to its shape??The shape of the follicle determines the shape of the cortex, and the shape of the fiber is related to how straight or curly the hair is!!!Straight hair shoots straight out from the scalp and is round in cross section.Wavy hair is oval in shape and comes out of the scalp at an angle,whereas curly hair is flattened and comes out of the scalp at an extreme angle…so blame whatever hair you have on your genes;)

The thumb rule to distinguish between dry, oily and normal hair and scalp is to watch its behavior for 4 days post a hair wash with your regular shampoo and conditioner with a test called the DAY 1234 test courtesy Dr Aparna Santhanam- a leading hair& skin specialist -am a big fan of hers!!
Day 1. After a day, If both the scalp and hair feel greasy to touch- You have OILY HAIR/SCALP
Day 2. 2 days after a shampoo, if your hair needs a wash and your scalp is greasy-you have NORMAL HAIR/SCALP
Day 3. 3 days after a shampoo, if your scalp feels greasy and your hair is limp, you have NORMAL TO DRY HAIR/SCALP
Day 4. 4 days after a shampoo,if both your scalp and hair are still dry – then you have DRY HAIR/SCALP

 Few more pointers to distinguish the different hair types :
dry-hair
A. DRY HAIR/SCALP , FRIZZY HAIR

Dry,frizzy  hair is dull, lackluster and usually characterized by a feeling of dryness, split ends or hair that is brittle and breaks easily. This type of hair feels rough,and not smooth and silky and is generally indicated by frizziness, fly away hair  and a lack of shine .Dryness can be caused by insufficient oil production by the  sebaceous glands on the scalp or due to hormonal imbalances, diets deficient in proteins and vitamins or due to chemical treatments.

People with dry hair need to deliver moisture to the hair’s inner cortex while keeping the cuticle well lubricated and tight.
Dry hair needs protection in the form of emollients and lubricants like herbal hair oils which will lubricate the outside cuticle layer of hair,and create a shine as well. Humectants like aloevera are also needed to retain the moisture within this type of hair.

B.   Curly Hair
 :

curly hair Curly hair gets tangled easily is difficult to manage & is also often prone to becoming extremely dry. That’s because the curl keeps the hair away from your scalp and sebum which is the scalp’s natural moisturizers sebum does not reach the hair strands . Therefore  the trick is to  moisturise curly or frizzy hair  without weighing it down with heavy, damaging residues or making it oily and more likely to collect dirt. Light products like aloe vera based gels or light hibiscus or aloe vera based  shampoos suit curly frizzy hair better.
Tips for people with dry hair or curly frizzy hair:
1.Massage your hair with nourishing  oils like olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil or pamper your hair with a natural hairmask  of eggs,curds or  papaya   before a hairwash . Use  a pre -wash hydrating conditioner as far as possible
2. Wash your hair 2 times a week with a mild shampoo and products formulated  for dry hair containing natural moisturising conditioning agents like aloe vera, hibiscus etc.
3. Use a rinse off  or leave in conditioner based on natural oils like olive, jojoba oils
4. Have  a healthy diet fortified with proteins&vitamins  like eggs, sprouts etc &drink lots of water

C. Oily Hair and Scalp:

oily-hairOily Hair usually  goes hand in hand with an oily scalp.The sebaceous glands in this case work overtime& hair tends to take on a  limp,greasy look. A diet rich in oily and junk food can also lead to an oily scalp

Tips for Oily Hair/Scalp:
1.Wash your hair 3-4 times a week with a natural shampoo and products formulated  for oily hair with amla ,shikakai,reetha to cut down the grease and restore the bounce.
2. Apply light oils or gels before a shower or a paste of fenugreek , but avoid leave in conditioners which can make the hair very limp.
3. Add flaxseeds &  chia seeds  to your diet , and cut down on oily food and junk.

Normal Hair:

normal hair
Lucky are the ones who have normal hair!!! Normal hair is hair that is strong,resilient, moisturised and shiny and a normal scalp is one that is moist and pink without any flaking,irritation or bumps.The goal of people blessed with normal hair is simply to maintain it in the same balanced state.
Tips For Normal Hair:
1.Wash your hair 3-4 times a week with a natural shampoo formulated  for normal hair .
2. Apply  a pre wash conditioner or hair mask or lightly massage the scalp with coconut or olive oil to maintain the shine and bounce of your hair.
3. Condition with a mild conditioner
4. Add colored fruits, strawberries, peppers and asparagus to your diet

Colored,  Straightened or Permed Hair:

coloured hairIsn’t it ironical that   those with curly hair get it straightened and those who are bored with poker straight hair get it permed or curled…Well,the grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it’;) …..C’est la vie!!:D
However it is our poor hair than bears the brunt of all these chemical treatments which include colouring hair as well.

The hair’s outer cuticle is normally made up of a very tightly packed network of cells which do not allow moisture to escape and keep it moisturised and soft and is responsible for  shiny, healthy hair,. The alkalis used for Colouring ,perming or straightening  treatments  first cause swelling of the cells that form your hair’s outer cuticle.  The chemicals used in dyes  then    penetrate the swollen cuticle and move into the underlying cortex, and peroxide first  bleaches out the pigment that’s there in the first place,so that the pigments can then change the colour of your hair. The first one or two times,the cells may shrink back to its original tight mesh.But the problem arises when we repeatedly subject our hair to chemical treatments.The  more often you do this, the less likely it is that these cuticle cells will shrink back into the tight, smooth network and thus become dry and frizzy. There is no way to totally replace damaged cuticle on existing hair -the only solution is to wait for new hair to grow.
Use  a good conditioner like aloevera or jojoba oil will act by filling in the gaps formed between the damaged cells and replacing  the lost moisture,thus restoring some softness and shine to the hair.

Tips for people with coloured, straightened or permed hair:
1.Massage your hair with nourishing oils like olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil or pamper your hair with a natural hairmask  of eggs, curds or  papaya   before a hairwash . Use  a pre -wash hydrating conditioner as far as possible
2. Wash your hair 2  times a week with a mild shampoo formulated  for damaged hair containing natural moisturising conditioning agents like aloe vera, hibiscus  etc.
3. Use a moisturising rinse off conditioner or leave in conditioner based on natural oils like olive, jojoba oils
4. Have  a healthy diet fortified with proteins, chia seeds &vitamins.

Hope this helps you decide on the right products and regimen to suit you hair type. Will be updating soon on tips to also estimate the density and porosity of your hair with simple DIY tests…keep watching this space 🙂

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September 21, 2012

Hibiscus…a godsend to reduce hair fall &dandruff



Lord Ganesha’s favourite flower-the lovely red hibiscus or the shoe flower as it is popularly called has unique medicinal properties in its flower and leaves & is truly a godsend for reducing both hair fall and dandruff, and conditioning our crowning glory beautifully .

In the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda,  the humble white hibiscus and red hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), have always been  considered to have medicinal properties from the age old times.  As a hair treatment, the flowers and dried leaves are boiled in oil along with other spices like fenugreek to make a medicated nourishing hair oil. The leaves and flowers are ground into a fine paste with a little water, and the resulting lathery paste is used as a natural shampoo plus  conditioner.
Read more at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus

The leaves and flowers are good for  promoting the growth and dark colour of hair (Nadkarni 1954, Kurup et al 1979) and reducing dandruff and hair loss.
Home made Hibiscus Hair oil :The flowers and dried leaves are boiled in coconut or gingelly oil with fenugreek seeds and then applied to the hair. About 10 flowers or a handful of dried leaves can be used for about 150-200 ml of oil.
Natural Hibiscus Shampoo:  Natural dyes are also prepared from extracts of the flower. The leaves and flowers are mucilaginous and condition the hair . They can be ground with soaked fenugreek seeds and applied to the hair for a cooling effect and to reduce dandruff and hairfall.

So make the most of this lovely God’s gift… available at your very doorstep 🙂

July 27, 2012

Brighten up your skin with the divine king of fruits-the mango!!


Look like a queen with the help of the yummylicious mango -any wonder the Mango is called the king of fruits???
The lovely golden mango  is simply bursting with the goodness of vitamins ,minerals a nd antioxidants.It has large quantities of Beta carotene which gets converted to vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant.Isn’t it  great to know that we have a natural source like  mangoes at hand to fight the age old problems of acne&aging 🙂

Skincare and Haircare  Beauty Benefits of the Mango:


1.A treasure house of  Vitamin A  : Vit A  is universally known for its anti aging ,rejuvenating properties and helps heal acne &pimples as well. Vitamin A is the greatest friend to good skin and its deficiency can cause dull skin, open pores, acne, as well as horny eruptions on the arms, elbows and knees.
2.Antiaging: Promotes collagen formation,Moisturises  dry skin &Regenerates new cells,thus helping in reducing wrinkles and fine  lines.
3.High in Fibre&Iron ,low in calories: Rich in vitamin A , B and C as well as Potassium, Calcium and Iron..
4.Mangoes for Healthy skin and hair:
High content of  antioxidants,the enzyme mangiferin,&vitamins are very beneficial for healthy skin&hair
5.Rich in AHA:the skin of the fruit is rich in AHA which sometimes gives that tingling feeling

6.Protects against eczema&wrinkles: Even the mango kernel which would otherwise be thrown away ,yields valuable mango butter on cold pressing.Mango butter is a very  effective emollient,moisturizing the skin and protects the skin from dry skin conditions like eczema and  is very effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

So, what are you waiting for? Include those ripe and juicy mangoes in your daily diet and begin leading a healthy and beautiful life!
Do keep watching this space for some yummylicious mango recipes&DIY mango facials…..:)

May 17, 2012

Spritz away dryness of skin and hair at work!!



Did you know that long hours at your desk in a closed dehumidified airconditioned environment all day long takes a toll not only on your mind,but your skin and hair as well…!!!!Are you fed up with your dry lifeless skin and hair????
Some very handy tips to safeguard your skin at work and keep dryness away……
1.Moisturise:Keep a moisturizer in the desk drawer or top shelf at work and use it regularly during the day.

2.Spritz dryness away!!
Spritz your skin and hair with water or a solution of aloevera gel at regular intervals throughout the day

 3.A simple make at home aloevera gel   spritz  solution:

1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup aloe vera gel, 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil or vegetable glycerin, 3-5 drops of an essential oil.Mix well in  a blender or in a spray bottle.Spritz over skin and hair at regular intervals,and the magical moisturising powers of aloevera will keep dryness away.

4. Use water as a humidifier.
Filling a bowl with water and leaving it on your desk or in a tucked-away corner.
5.Hydrate yourself all through the day:
Drink water regularly throughout the day. Avoid having too many caffeinated drinks, preferring water for most of your hydration.
6.Take regular Breaks:
Whenever  possible, schedule regular breaks to stretch and exercise. Maintaining your body weight is an important step to keeping healthy skin.
7.Take Computer Breaks :
If your skin is red, blotchy and puffy, it may be as a result of sitting for too long and being faced with the computer visuals and radiation.
8.Cover that screen:Take regular breaks and use screen covers on your monitor to prevent exposure to radiation.
9. Have the air-conditioning or heating inspected.
If the artificial air feels uncomfortable for any reason, e.g., too hot, too cold or blowing too hard etc., have the system inspected.
10. Open windows and doors where possible. If you work in an environment that does have windows that can be opened, open them!

So do try out these simple handy tips and bring life back to your dry hair&skin…they deserve a bit of TLC ,don’t they!!:)
Information courtesy wikihow

March 3, 2012

Fenugreek-Nature’s Boon For All Round Health!!


Fenugreek is truly Nature’s boon to mankind and has always been a part of my childhood days,my motherhood,and my beauty care and health care routine for my family as well…I remember when we were kids,whenever someone had an upset stomach or a stomach ache,the first thing our elders used to give us was a spoonful of powdered ajowain,jeera and methi seeds,and the pain would just go away.Have you experienced this yourself???
Rich in protein,Vitamin C,Calcium,Phosphorus and Iron in their natural forms, Fenugreek seeds and leaves have high  mineral and vitamin content which are easily absorbed by our body.
The oblong,flattened,brownish seeds have a slightly bitter taste,are roasted and ground, then used to flavour curries.The fresh leaves have a strong smell and they are extensively used,either fresh or dried,in Arabian countries,Turkey and India.

Both the leaves and seeds of this slightly bitter-tasting vegetable are widely used in traditional Indian cooking;the seeds are generally used as a condiment and for flavouring.Fenugreek when taken regularly not only reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels,but is also used for the treatment of various ailments like heartburn,diarrhoea,fevers etc.Thus fenugreek not only has exceptional medicinal uses,but can be used as a beauty aid as well.

Medicinal Uses of Fenugreek(Methi)

1. Reduces blood sugar levels:Eating a teaspoon of methi seeds or drinking the juice of methi seeds,the first thing in the morning or an hour before each meal is found to be highly beneficial in the treatment of diabetes as affirmed by  many naturopaths.Soak methi seeds in water the previous night and then drink the water or grind the seeds to extract a paste or juice.)

2.Reduces cholesterol levels:Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight.Strain and drink the water,first thing in the morning.Research has shown that the regular long-term use of methi seeds reduces deposits of fat in the body and lowers cholesterol.

3. Reduces  skin inflammation:Fenugreek is a good cure to treat skin ailments like acne,boils, eczema, abscesses, burns as well as gout. Make a paste of the fenugreek powder or leaves and apply to the affected part.Read more about reducing acne at https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/fenugreek-reduces-hairfall-and-dandruff-naturally/

4.Decreases Heartburn and Acid reflux:

Fenugreek contains  large amounts of mucilage which  coats the stomach and intestine lining and reduces heartburn and ulcers. One teaspoon of fenugreek seed powder can be sprinkled on your food or swallowed with water before having your meal to minimize heartburn.

5. Reduces  fever:

Fenugreek seeds help in reducing fever. You can add two teaspoon of fenugreek powder in a herbal tea of your choice along with half a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice,or just have fenugreek herbal tea mixed with lemon and honey.

6. Enhances milk production in lactating mothers:

Fenugreek seeds are traditionally used to enhance milk production in lactating mothers especially in India.Studies have indicated that the production of milk can increase by up to 500% within 1-3 days of consuming fenugreek seeds regularly as it contains Diosgenin -a compound having estrogen like properties. Even today a yummy fenugreek based sweet is a must for lactating mothers in  South India!!!

7.Reduces Fatigue and Back Ache:
Methi seeds which are rich in iron and vitamins,are nourishing and rejuvenating.If you experience fatigue or are troubled by backache and other body aches, just eat a teaspoon of methi seeds daily or  include lots of fenugreek leaves in your diet.

8.Effective against Cough and Cold:
A lukewarm decoction of methi seeds if taken with honey is beneficial in cough and  helps relieve sore throat, throat pain and tonsillitis.

9.Effective against urinary infections and diarrhoea:  

A teaspoon of methi seeds powder if taken with water is highly beneficial in treating dysentery,diaorrhea and urinary infections.

10.Increases Memory:Now don’t we all need that?;)
Fenugreek contains Lecithin which  is an important nutrient for the brain and  helps in increasing memory power.

11.As an excellent Beauty Aid:

Fenugreek(methi) seeds reduce hair fall,dandruff and hair thinning and makes hair silky smooth.They replenish hair growth as they are a good source of  protein&amino acids.Many scientists have confirmed that fenugreek contains a large amount of lecithin which is a natural emollient and makes hair smooth,healthy and strong.It also tones the hair,making it silky and shiny.
Two tablespoons of fenugreek or methi seeds should be soaked overnight in water and ground into a fine paste in the morning. Apply this paste all over the scalp and leave for half an hour. Wash your hair thoroughly with shikakai shampoo or a herbal shampoo. This dandruff home remedy is especially effective for those suffering from dry dandruff. You will need to use this anti dandruff treatment at least twice a week for the first two weeks and then once a week for another two weeks. You could also use the water that you soak the seeds as an after-shower hair tonic. After you shampoo your hair, allow it to dry naturally and then soak a cotton ball in this liquid and apply it to your scalp. This is one of the simplest and most effective dandruff solutions and it can also be used as a preventative measure again

A coconut fenugreek hair mask has been used traditionally to reduce hair fall and dandruff.Read more at ttp://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/fenugreek-reduces-hairfall-and-dandruff-naturally/

With its innumerable benefits,sure makes a lot of sense to adopt this nature’s boon in our daily diet &reap all its benefits!!!Do share your stories about how fenugreek has contributed to your life as well!!

February 23, 2012

Go Coco Nutty!!A coconut fenugreek hairmask to reduce hairfall,and dandruff…



A coconut-fenugreek hair mask to reduce hairfall,dandruff ,promote hair growth and nourish dry hair

If you have been to Kerala,you will notice that the older women have lovely luxurious black hair…..The secret of their lovely locks is the natural products that they use for their hair.They regularly apply coconut milk,coconut oil to their hair&wash it off with ritha and shikakai based natural shampoos.
Sharing their time tested recipe for hair growth with you:
Make a paste of 1 teaspoon of powdered fenugreek seeds and  3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk extracted from coconuts.Apply this paste to the scalp,cover with a hot towel or showercap for 30 mins ,and wash off with a herbal shampoo.Condition with a jojoba conditioner.Repeat twice a week for 2 months and check out the hair growth  for yourself!!
Fenugreek seeds replenish hair growth and are a good source of nicotinic acid,lecithin  and protein and also moisturizes hair and reduces dandruff.Coconut milk nourishes the scalp and has been proven time and again to promote hair growth.

So what are you waiting for??Make this age old  priceless recipe your own,and a part of your weekly haircare routine to resolve all your hair problems!!!

February 23, 2012

Reduce Hair fall and dryness of hair with natural remedies!!


Healthy shiny black hair


It is widely known that lovely healthy hair  is our crowning glory and can totally transform your looks.But sadly today loss of  hair is the bane and fear of almost everyone’s lives and a big source of stress itself!!
Did you know that a  hair loss of  25-5o strands/day and even upto 100 strands /day is considered absolutely normal???Isn’t it such a  relief to know  that-Was a huge relief to me at least,how about you’ll???!!!:)
I’m sure you would be glad to know that  the hair that you lose each day was just bound to be shed and only signifies the growth of a new hair….. just like you lose your milk teeth and get new ones when you were kids……:) So stop stressing over the hair in your hairbrush,unless of course it crosses 100 strands/day or falls out in clumps or leaves bald patches behind,you don’t have to worry too much!!Of course it doesn’t hurt to take care of whatever precious hair we do have, before it starts to disappear,right???
So for starters, let’s first understand the structure of hair and get to the root of the problem of  hair loss!!

Hair is  composed mainly of the protein keratin   filaments and  grows from follicles in our skin.  The base of the root is called the bulb or the papilla, this is from where the hair that we see actually grows.Our hair actually grows amazingly fast- approximately at the rate of 1/2 inch  per month.Hair grows approximately at the rate of 1/2 inch per month.The active growing phase of our hair is called the anagen phase,and then it passes into a transitional state or the catagen phase and telogen  phase where it rests for a 100 days and then falls out. Thus a Hair loss of  50-100  strands/day and even upto 100 strands /day is considered absolutely normal.It’s only when it crosses 100 strands/day ,suddenly starts  falling out in clumps or leaves bald patches behind ,that it is  considered to be the condition called Alopecia or Hairloss.

Causes of Hair Loss and Dry Frizzy Hair:

1.Imbalanced Diet
2.Deficiency of Protein and minerals like zinc and selenium  in the diet
3.Hormonal imbalances in women during  adolescence ,pregnancy or menopause.
4.Hormonal imbalances in men-Male pattern baldness(Alopecia areata)  is sometimes caused by a hormone called   DHT(Dihydrotestosterone) which shrinks and eventually kills the hair follicles causing bald patches.An enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into DHT which causes hairloss.
5.Stress
6. Lack of sleep
7.Low intake  of Water
8.Overuse of Chemical products for the hair or washing with hard water
9.Chemical treatments like Colouring,Perming and Straightening
10.Exposure to Pollutants and  Chemicals in the environment
11.Overexposure to UV Rays
12.Anaemia
13.Genetics
14.Thyroid imbalance or chemotherapy

Do check out which of the above may be the cause of your hair problems,and take professional help for the medically rooted problems like thyroid or hormone imbalance.The other causes can be reversed by taking necessary preacautionary steps
Sadly we only wake up when these conditions get really bad,and then shortcut chemical solutions only end up causing more harm than good.I’m sure all our grandmoms have much much better hair than us& that’s only because they would have followed the age old herbal traditions of haircare,healthy diets and preventive care..So isn’t it time we got back to nature &its natural solutions  for restoring  health&shine and reducing the very much prevalent problem of  hair loss which now plague men and women alike!!

1..Eat right&Nourish your hair from inside out.…….
Hairfall,and dry frizzy hair are more often caused due to deficiencies of Proteins and Omega 3 fatty acids in the diet. The first step in tackling these problems would be to  increase protein and omega 3 fatty acids uptake in your diet-especially from eggs,nuts like walnuts,almonds,flaxseeds ,pumpkin seeds,cashewnuts,groundnuts ,soyabeans,olives,legumes, and lots of fruits&veggies….you have to nourish it from inside out as well!!
Good hair nutrition begins with getting enough protein, which is the building block of your hair which is composed of 70 percent keratin protein.Egg whites contain a large amount of protein–ranging from 3.6 to 6.5 g per egg–and help rebuild damaged hair by filling in weakened spots along the hair strand, which  strengthens the hair.They are also rich in several minerals, including zinc,selenium, iron,potassium and sodium, esential amino acids vitamins like choline which regulates hormones,as well as Vit E,Vitamins from the B family and Vit D which are all essential for healthy hair.
Walnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E,and omega 3 fatty acids  strengthen the hair and keep it well protected from dryness .Munch just 7 walnuts a day and you will have met the recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, and protein.Drink lots of water as well as deficiency of water can cause dryness and frizziness due to lack of moisture in the hair.

2.Supplement your diet with Zinc ,Selenium and Iron:
Deficiency of Zinc ,Selenium and Iron have been found to cause hairloss in both men and women .
Zinc inhibits the production of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase which converts testosterone into DHT,which is responsible for baldness especially in men.Zinc  and selenium is  found in high concentrations in most  protein-rich foods,seafood and eggs. If you are a vegetarian, you will most probably intake less zinc that those who have meat-based diets. Vegeterian sources of Zinc are dairy products such as milk and cheese, yeast, peanuts, beans, and wholegrain cereals, brown rice, whole wheat bread, potato and yogurt. Of all these, pumpkin seeds offer one of the most concentrated non-meat food sources of zinc.
Anaemia can cause severe hair loss  and cause it to fall out in clumps.Add Olives& walnuts to your diet to fight anaemia :
they  are both very high in iron content which reduce anaemia thus reducing hair fall as well.

2.To overcome hair fall,Keep your cool literally!!:)
According to Ayurveda ,excessive heat generated in the scalp(pittha)causes hair loss.Ayurveda recommends keeping the scalp moist and cool with oil massages of herbal hair oil made by infusing coconut oil or sesame oil  with extracts of amla,brahmi,hibiscus and fenugreek which cool the system and scalp and encourage growth of hair.
Pamper your hair with a herbal hair oil massage the right way:With 2-4 tsps of warmed  hair oil,use 4 fingertips to start massaging at the base of the neck.Massage the scalp with  circular  and zigzag movements of the fingers gently.Cover the hair with a  hot towel or showercap for 30 minutes,so that the body heat helps the herbal oil get absorbed better.Wash off with a mild herbal shampoo.Repeat twice  a week for best results.

3.Go coco-nutty!!……A coconut-fenugreek hair mask to reduce hairfall,dandruff ,promote hair growth and nourish dry hair-Apply this hairmask  twice a week for 2 months and check out the hair growth  for yourself!!
Fenugreek seeds replenish hair growth and are a good source of nicotinic acid,lecithin  and protein and also moisturizes hair and reduces dandruff.Coconut milk nourishes the scalp and has been proven to promote hair growth.

4.  Apple Cider Vinegar  rinse reduces  dryness and  frizziness of  hair,as well as hairloss:It acts by  removing deposits of minerals from hard water and residue styling products on the hair strands.Use as a final rinse after shampooing with a herbal shampoo and conditioning with a jojoba based conditioner.You could either spray it as a final rinse,or pour it over your hair bending over a sink.Towel dry,and your hair will be softer and shinier.

5.Aloevera  gel helps in healing the scalp, balances the PH level of the scalp and cleans the pores. An excellent home made nourishing conditioner for promoting hair growth and reducing frizziness of  hair:Take 1-2 aloevera leaves,soak overnight.Peel off the skin.Mix 1 tbsp of thick aloevera gel inside,with 1 tsp of olive oil,1 tsp of  herbal hair oil or coconut oil and 2 tbsp papaya pulp. You can use ready  aloevera gel for this mix as well.Mix in a blender,and apply this pulpy mixture to your scalp and hair.Leave for an hour. Wash off thoroughly&see how soft your hair feels:)

6.  Aromatherapy  is recommended for reducing hair loss and conditioning the hair.Essential oils promote hair growth by improving circulation to the scalp, cleanse and nourish the hair follicles. Mix 1 tbsp of jojoba oil,3 drops of rosemary oil,3 drops of lavender oil,3 drops of lemon oil with  a wooden or plastic spoon and massage well  into the hair roots.Wash hair using a herbal shampoo and condition with a jojoba conditioner. Rinse well.

7. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea reduces hair loss as well,especially by inhibiting the action of DHT which causes baldness,especially in males.Male pattern baldness is caused by the action of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which kills hair follicles and causes baldness.Green Tea  inhibits the production of 5-alpha reductase,which converts testosterone into DHT.

8.Nourishing and conditioning egg and olive oil or herbal hair oil hairmask .Use a jojoba conditioner or a protein based conditioner to tame dry and frizzy hair.
Method:Take 2 eggs in a medium-sized bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Add 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or herbal hairoil and continue to whisk until foamy. Apply entire contents of bowl to your scalp and hair and massage well. Cover the head with a shower cap and leave for 30 minutes at least. Wash hair using a herbal shampoo and lukewarm water. Rinse well.
Truly  following all these natural tips,to make your own natural green hair remedies not only protects your health,saves you money and supports the planet – three great reasons for giving these natural hair treatments a try!Feel free to add your feedback on these natural treatments ,and your own time tested tips of course!!!

February 14, 2012

What type is your hair????Know your roots first……


From time immemorial,Healthy beautiful hair has always been one of our biggest beauty assets&at the top of our  wishlists as well!!Well,just like each part of our body needs care, so does our hair!!So let’s start at the very roots by understanding the complex structure of hair &why it behaves the way it does……….
Did you know that the hair shaft that we see is actually considered dead technically as it does not have blood vessels,and nerve cells and the only “living” portion of the hair is found in the follicle??? That’s why it doesn’t hurt when you cut hair,but when you pull it out,it does-right!!….;)
Just like a beautiful plant  sprouts forth from a bulb within rich fertile soil,so also the hair germinates in and sprouts from the hair bulb,and grows well when the root or the papilla is well nourished.Hair is  composed mainly of the protein keratin   filaments and it is the  structure of these filaments that provides strength to the hair shaft. Hair grows from follicles in our skin. Follicles are pit-like structures with layers of cells with different jobs. The base of the root is called the bulb or the papilla, which contains the cells that produce the hair shaft which is nourished by a network of blood vessels; this is from where the hair that we see actually grows. Other structures of the hair follicle include the oil producing sebaceous gland which lubricates the hair and the erector pili muscles, which are responsible for causing hairs to stand-up and giving us  goose bumps.

The structure of a single  hair strand comprises of  the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. The medulla is the innermost core of hair and has soft keratin cells. The cortex is the second layer and gives your hair inherent strength and elasticity. It contains the pigment melanin, which is responsible for the colour of your hair and the absence of which causes greying. The outermost layer is the cuticle which acts as a protective shield. Its complex structure slides as the hair swells and is covered with a single molecular layer of lipid or sebum that makes the hair repel water.The hair strand may not be biochemically alive,but it still contains cells in all the 3 layers which are responsible for the colour and type of hair we have……

Hair follicles grow in repeated cycles. One cycle can be broken down into three phases.

  1. Anagen – Growth Phase-85% of our hair is in this phase and is actively growing.The Anagen phase or growth phase can vary from two to six years.
  2. Catagen – Transitional phase -lasts about one or two weeks
  3. Telogen – 10-15 %  of our  hair is inthe Resting Phase ,occurs after  the catagen phase and normally lasts about 5-6 weeks.
    At the end of the Telogen phase the hair follicle re-enters the Anagen phase. The dermal papilla and the base of the follicle join together again and a new hair begins to form. If the old hair has not already been shed the new hair pushes the old one out and the growth cycle starts all over again.
    Being  the maths and science freak that I am,I had to check  out the widely known 100 strands /day normal theory for myself….So here goes-The average number of follicles in our scalp is between 1 lakh to 1.5 lakhs, 85-90% of which is in the growth cycle at any given time and 10-15 % are allowed to fall every 2-6 weeks.Even if we consider the lower limit of 10% of 1 lakh,it equals 10,000 hair every 6 weeks-that gives us a permissible normal hairfall  of 222 hair strands/day..so upto 100 strands/day can be considered totally normal..Superduper confirmed news!!!:)

Different Types of  Hair:

Did you know that the angle at which the hair comes out of the follicle is related to its shape??The shape of the follicle determines the shape of the cortex, and the shape of the fiber is related to how straight or curly the hair is.!!!
Straight hair shoots straight out from the scalp and is round in cross section.Wavy hair is oval in shape and comes out of the scalp at an angle,whereas curly hair is flattened and comes out of the scalp at an extreme angle.
DRY HAIR
Dry hair is dull,lacklustre and usually characterized by a feeling of dryness, split ends or hair that is brittle and breaks easily. This type of hair feels rough,and not smooth and silky and is generally indicated by frizziness,fly away hair  and a lack of shine . This dryness can be caused by insufficient oil production by the sebaceous glands on the scalp or due to hormonal imbalances . However,  hair can also become  dry through the use of aggressive, stripping hair treatments ,perming,hair dyes or chemical shampoos,styling products etc or due to an imbalanced diet which dos not contain zinc, essential fatty acids and vitamins.
Let’s look at what happens when the hair feels dry: The cells of the outermost layer of the hair , known as the cuticle   form a smooth, protective network. When the cuticle is healthy, these cells lay tight against one another with very little space between them for moisture to escape. However, a lack of natural oil (sebum) can lead these cells to dry and harden, thus rendering this ideally smooth outer layer rough and course. When this happens, moisture from the inner cortex of the hair escapes and the protein chains in the cortex become dry and lose their elasticity. People with dry hair need to deliver moisture to the hair’s inner cortex while keeping the cuticle well lubricated and tight.Dry hair needs protection in the form of emollients and lubricants like herbal hair oils which will lubricate the outside cuticle layer of hair,and create a shine as well.Humectants like aloevera are also needed to retain the moisture within this type of hair.

Frizzy or Curly Hair : Frizzy or Curly hair can be difficult to manage. Easy to tangle and especially prone to change shape and body with the weather – curly hair is also often prone to becoming extremely dry. That’s because the curl keeps the hair away from your scalp and your scalp’s natural moisturizers, called sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands produce an oily substance called sebum which helps seal the hair’s cuticle and protect the protein chains of the inner cortex, keeping them moist and elastic. As curly hair often needs more moisture and protection, the trick is to get it this moisture without weighing it down with heavy, damaging residues or making it oily and more likely to collect dirt.

Oily Hair and Scalp:
Oily Hair usually  goes hand in hand with an oily scalp.The sebaceous glands in this case work overtime& hair tends to take on a  limp,greasy look.This is sometimes seen in adolescents,pregnant women or after menopause,but it settles down once the hormones stabilise.A diet loaded with fried food and saturated fats from red meat and dairy products may also cause overproduction of sebum.

Coloured or Permed Hair: The hair’s outer cuticle is normally made up of a very tightly packed network of cells which do not allow moisture to escape and keep it moisturised and soft and is responsible for  shiny, healthy hair,. The alkalis used for Colouring ,perming or straightening  treatments  first cause swelling of the cells that form your hair’s outer cuticle.  The chemicals used in dyes  then    penetrate the swollen cuticle and move into the underlying cortex, and peroxide first  bleaches out the pigment that’s there in the first place,so that the pigments can then change the colour of your hair. The first one or two times,the cells may shrink back to its original tight mesh.But the problem arises when we repeatedly subject our hair to chemical treatments.The  more often you do this, the less likely it is that these cuticle cells will shrink back into the tight, smooth network and thus become dry and frizzy. There is no way to totally replace damaged cuticle on existing hair -the only solution is to wait for new hair to grow. But a good conditioner like aloevera or jojoba will act by filling in the gaps formed between the damaged cells and replacing  the lost moisture,thus restoring some softness and shine to the hair.

Normal Hair:
Lucky are the ones who have normal hair!!!Normal hair is hair that is strong,resilient,moisturised and shiny and a normal scalp is one that is moist and pink without any flaking,irritation or bumps.The goal of people blessed with normal hair is simply to maintain it in the same balanced state.
With a little bit of extra effort and regular care with natural products and age old Nature given solutions ,a well balanced diet  and a stress free lifestyle,we could work towards that final goal-Beautiful Healthy Hair!!!! 🙂 Do let us know about your specific hair problems,as we will be running a series of articles on natural remedies to overcome the normal hair concerns most people have-Hair fall,Dandruff,Dry&frizzy  hair etc…….Read more about simple natural  tips for all  your hair concerns at  https://prakritiherbals.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/fenugreek-reduces-hairfall-and-dandruff-naturally/

October 12, 2011

Unveil Nature’s Beauty Secrets…….



Have you ever  wondered why the women of yore had much better hair and skin than we do today??Did you ever hear of our elders using or needing chemical  hair conditioners,sunscreens,astringents,toners,peel off masks,anti aging creams or worrying about acne,falling hair,dandruff,frizz and premature greying???Not likely at all!!!

Well,it’s time we shared their secret with you…..They actually had a secret valuable friend to help them out;)Guess who!!!!…She was none other than Mother Nature-“Prakriti“…..Truly Nature has proven herself not only to be  an ace cosmeticologist,but also a healing doctor and an expert chemist . From the ancient times,natural ingredients in plants that were used for skin and hair care had amazing curative,protective and preventive properties and being natural were harmfree and totally free of any side effects.The ancient natural skin and haircare recipes which are integral parts of our  Indian herbal heritage have been handed down for generations &have truly stood the test of time .

Applying turmeric to a young bride-to-be is an essential  part of traditional Indian weddings even today,and has its roots in the natural beautifying and antiseptic properties of  Turmeric.There are countless  myriad  examples of  natural cleansers like lemon and shikakai,moisturisers like aloevera,astringents like lemon,humectants like  honey,sunscreens like sandalwood and aloevera,haircolourants like henna,nourishers like almond,jojoba  and wheatgerm oil,exfoliators like papaya and walnut,and antiseptics like neem and tulsi……and these are just a few of the countless gifts of nature available to us.
Products created from natural ingredients available at home have essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and healing properties that work with your body to heal and protect the skin naturally.………So why look elsewhere when we can make simple beauty remedies from  ingredients found in our kitchen or home gardens ??

Just remember these  basic rules for home made beauty care :
Use simple at home recipes with fresh ingredients .
Use clean equipment and containers.
Make small batches of the product that you would use each day.
Do a patch test before trying out any home made beauty recipes to avoid any side effects.

 Nature’s treasure trove  of  natural cosmetics is truly endless which is precisely the reason we thought it was about time we unveiled all  the bounties Mother Nature has had in store for us…………………….:)