Posts tagged ‘shiny hair’

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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March 22, 2012

Go healthy with Fenugreek-traditional recipes from South India


Fenugreek based recipes from South India:
Fenugreek has magical medicinal benefits,not only as a beauty aid for good skin and hair,keeping dandruff,acne and dryness of hair &skin at bay,but also reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels,and has been  used for the treatment of various ailments like heartburn,diarrhoea,fevers,etc  from the ancient times.Both the leaves and seeds of this slightly bitter-tasting wonderful vegetable are widely used in traditional Indian cooking&thought that it definitely deserved to be talked about 🙂 Fenugreek seeds are also 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!!!
So have just put together a few extremely nutritious recipes,courtesy our superchefs……


MENTHE DOSA

Recipe by Padmanayana Shetty, Muscat, Oman

Ingredients:

3 cups raw rice
1 cup  beaten rice or rice flakes
Coconut milk extracted from 1 coconut
1 tsp urad dal
1-2  tsp methi or fenugreek seeds
2 tsp instant yeast or dry yeast diluted in warm water
4 tsp or less sugar

Method :

1. Clean, wash & soak rice, methi, urad dal for 4 hours together.
2. Grind with coconut milk and beaten  rice (cleaned & washed )to a very fine paste.
3. Add yeast and mix the batter.
4. Keep it for fermentation for about 4 to 5 hrs in a warm place.
5. Then prepare dosa with non stick tawa or aapam pan without oil.

2.Methi Sweet porridge(Metheda ganji) in Mangalore

Recipe by Padmanayana Shetty, Muscat, Oman
Basmathi or any other rice-1cup
Methi seeds-less than 1/4 cup
jaggary-1cup(vole bella or palm sugar tastes even better)
coco nut-1 to extract milk
salt -little or pinch
1.Boil methi seeds along with rice in cooker with alittle water for 4 whistles
2.add jaggary(melt and strain to remove impurities)
3.add coconut milk and salt, boil some time
4. while serving add ghee
adjust sweetness and if you want less methe reduce the amount

3.METHI HALWA (Methi Adthina in Mangalore)

Ingredients :

1/2 kg methi seeds

1/2 kg ghee

1 kg jaggery, grated

1 1/2 coconut grated and roasted

1 kg beaten rice, roasted

Method :

Clean, wash and pressure cook methi seeds in plenty of water till soft. Strain and remove water. Grind methi to a rough paste. Fry the ground methi paste in 1/2 kg ghee until the ghee separates and oozes out. Add jaggery and boil till thick and sticky syrup. Add coconut, beaten rice and mix well. Remove, cool and store.

Recipe Courtesy Gladys Elisha nee Soans
Thanks Nayana Shetty,Gladys Elisha nee Soans &The Mangalore Cuisine for your lovely recipes:)
You would  also be interested in the contest winning recipes of our healthy fenugreek recipe contest  and how fenugreek helps reduce dandruff,dryness and hair loss naturally!!!
Do experiment with all these lovely original time tested recipes &add health and beauty to your life

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!!

December 26, 2011

4 types of Olive oil-Which one should we use&When???



What is the difference between Extravirgin olive oil&Regular Olive oil?Which do you  use ,when &how??? I am sure these are the common questions which plague most of us…..so thought it was time to shed light on these questions.I recently read a story about an   Israeli woman  who claimed to be 120 years old and one of her secrets to living to such an advanced age is that she drinks at least one glass of olive oil a day. Thought that may sound gross to most of us,we could still improve our health by making  olive oil a part of our daily diet in much better &more tastier ways. Generally when you go to the  supermarket, you will most commonly see 3 types of olive oil:extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, pure  olive oil&light olive oil.The difference is basically in the taste&purity.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil :
Extra-virgin olive oil is naturally  produced from the first pressing of olives-making it the most pure and least acidic.It also  has the highest content of omega 3 , and is the best tasting of the four. The method for extracting the oil is what is known as “cold pressed,” which keeps the oil from losing its flavor that can be lost when exposed to high temperatures.As it’s expensive, heavier, and more flavorful than other types of olive oil, it’s best used as an accent to dishes , or in salad dressings and vinaigrettes.. If it’s not cold-pressed, the heat from the extraction process changes the chemistry,flavour  and quality of the olive oil.Extra virgin is usually used raw&should never be heated, since its flavor is lost by heating it and it also has  a low smoke point.Use extra virgin oil for beauty treatments for your skin and hair as it contains high concentrations of Vit E&Omega 3 fatty acids -hence reduces dryness of skin,dandruff and hairfall.
Virgin olive oil:
Virgin olive oil  is obtained by some application of heat and from the second  pressing of olive oil.It does not contain any other refined oils but has a higher acidity — up to 2 percent. It has  a fairly good olive flavour&does not burn easily, so can be used for salads or for light cooking.
Pure Olive oil or Regular Olive Oil :
The name Pure olive oil is misleading as it is a actually blend of refined pomace oil and virgin olive oil. Pomace is produced by processing the leftovers of the virgin olive oil extraction. The blend (which usually contains as little as 5 to 10 percent virgin olive oil) is cheaper to produce. It is used mainly when extracted olive oil is of poor quality and the refining process helps it to have a better flavor.It doesn’t have as strong a flavor as virgin olive oils and is best suited for frying and cooking.
Extra Light Olive Oil: Light olive oil isn’t lower in fat — it simply means the oil is made from refined olive oil. “Light olive oil” actually means refined olive oil, not a lower fat content. Extra light Olive oil in fact has 120 calories per tablespoon.HINTS WHILE BUYING &USING OLIVE OIL:
1.Look for bottles that say “cold press” on the label for best quality extravirgin olive oil.
2.Use Extra virgin olive oil or virgin olive oil only in the raw state-for salads,dressings,viniagrettes.Never heat it.
3.Use light  olive oil for stir frying or pan frying. Because of the refining process in regular or standard olive oil, it holds up better when exposed to high heats.
4.Do not use olive oil for deep  frying . It may hold up well when pan frying but has a low smoke point and will overheat when used as a deep fry. If you are looking for a healthy oil to deep fry with, canola is a good oil to try instead.
5.Bottles labeled “100 percent pure olive oil” are often the lowest quality;) Labels mentioning virgin olive oil are better products. 6.Labels saying”Made from refined olive oils” suggests that the essence was captured, but in fact means that the taste and acidity were chemically produced.
7.”From hand-picked olives” may indicate that the oil is of better quality, since producers harvesting olives by mechanical methods are inclined to leave olives to over-ripen in order to increase yield. So beware of the tricks that the manufacturers play on you to sell their products…….
Studies have shown that olive oil helps the body’s heart remain healthy and also aids in regulating cholesterol levels. Aside from consuming olive oil, some people swear of its benefits from using it topically on the skin. In 1997, the record holder for the longest lifespan, a woman from France, used olive oil daily not only in her diet, but by rubbing it on her skin.Hence it just makes sense to choose the right kind of olive oil&make it a part of your daily diet…….