Your hair, your crowning glory, plays such an important role. It defines your outer appearance to a large extent and good, lustrous hair up your beauty quite a bit. If you are looking for proven and easy to use home remedies for dry and damaged hair, you have come to right place.
Apart from that, your hair helps you maintain your body temperature (did you know that?) and cushions your head against shock and injury! You must give your hair some good TLC. You owe that much to it.
Healthy hair looks beautiful and feels beautiful.
How to keep your hair healthy?
It is important to know the structure of your hair before you jump into taking care of it. Your hair is made up of a protein called keratin which gives it its texture. The keratin is cemented together with strong disulphide bonds to make it resistant to wear and tear. Your hair also has hydrogen bonds which give it its flexibility but they are weaker on contact with water. The melanin pigments produced inside the hair follicle gives your hair its colour.
It is essential to figure out your hair type before looking for ways to make it healthier. Every person’s hair differs from the other but,
Hair is broadly classified into 4 types:
- A day after shampooing, blot the centre of your scalp with a tissue paper. If you find any traces of oil on it, you have oily hair which is caused due to the overproduction of sebum.
- If your hair appears frizzy, lack lustre, and has split ends, you have dry hair. This is certainly the most common type because pollution, heat, chemicals, and hair treatments dry out hair and all of that is more common than ever. (Read on to know fool proof dry hair remedies to fixing your problem.)
- If your scalp is oily but the ends of your hair lack shine and softness, you most likely have combination hair. This kind of hair is tricky to fix as the scalp and hair ends need separate attention.
- If your hair is shiny and manageable but absolutely non greasy, then you are blessed. You have what they call ‘normal’ hair and this type of hair requires minimal attention.
What causes dry hair?
Hair has no natural lubrication, and hence it relies solely on the oils produced in the roots to keep it moisturized and looking lustrous. If your hair roots naturally make less oil, your scalp and hair will appear dry and flaky.
Either that, or the moisture that is naturally present in the hair is escaping! Your hair strands have a protective layer around them called the cuticle, the layers of which lie tightly together to retain moisture. If the layers separate or peel away, the moisture escapes. Simple!
What causes the cuticles to separate or peel?
- Most shampoos contain sodium lauryl sulphate, the chemical that strips your hair off moisture, and damages your hair cuticles if used for long periods.
- Blow drying your hair and using heated straighteners and curling irons too often, also plays a big role in stripping away your hair’s natural oils.
- Exposure to sun, dry wind, and pollution also causes your cuticles to break and peel away.
- Chemical treatments such as dyes, perms, and relaxers do more damage to your hair than you ever thought possible.
Here are a few wonderful dry hair home remedies that will fix your hair and make it look silky smooth and shiny:
- Peel and pit a ripe avocado and then mash it in a bowl. Add a whole egg to it and mix till it forms a smooth paste. Wet your hair and apply the prepared paste on the scalp and hair making sure you cover the entire area from roots to tips. Leave for 30 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water several times till there are no residues left. Do this treatment once a week. The essential fatty acids and the minerals present in the avocado will restore the moisture and lustre in your hair while making it more resilient to damage. Do this treatment at least once weekly for a month to see results.
- Olive oil helps smooth out the outer cuticle of the hair making it retain more moisture and its rich anti-oxidant content repairs hair damage. Heat extra virgin organic olive oil till it’s nice and warm. Gently massage the oil in the hair starting with the roots and slowly moving towards the tip. Soak a towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and wrap it around your head, covering your entire hair. Leave it on for about 45 minutes and then wash hair as usual. The heat helps open up your pores helping it absorb more oil and work better.
- Organic apple cider vinegar is the elixir for your hair. Combine a tablespoonful of Apple Cider Vinegar along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 3 egg whites. Beat it till well combined. Massage this mixture into your hair and cover your hair with a shower cap. Leave the mask on for 20 minutes before you shampoo and rinse. The egg whites help rebuild the protein in your hair making it healthy, while the vinegar adds a glossy shine to your hair.
- Mayonnaise makes for an excellent hair conditioner. The egg and the oil content in Mayonnaise effectively moisturize and repair your hair while the acid content renders a shine. Take a generous dollop of this goodness and gently work it into your hair. Leave it on for 45 minutes and then shampoo as usual. Do this treatment twice a week to give your hair a new life.
- Don’t rub or brush your hair as soon as you are out of the shower. This causes depletion of natural oils and also makes the hair more brittle. Instead wrap your hair in a cotton towel and let the cotton absorb the moisture. Once all the excess moisture is out, let your hair air dry. This will prevent more split ends and maintain the quality of your hair.
- Applying henna has been an age old tradition in India. A lot of people owe their lustrous hair to this wonder leaf. Henna powder is now widely available on amazon.com and once you know how magically it transforms your hair, you will ditch your fancy hair spa treatments to this modest one anyway. Take henna powder (the quantity is subject to the length and thickness of your hair) in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it. Now warm a cup of coconut milk and slowly stir it in the henna mixture till it becomes a smooth paste (not runny). Make small partitions in your hair and apply the mixture thoroughly making sure each strand of hair is covered in henna. Cover you head with a plastic wrap and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. Rinse, dry, and apply warm coconut oil to your hair. Leave it on overnight and wash hair the next morning. You will be amazed with the kind of results it gives.
- Mash an over ripe banana and work it in your hair. The rich Vitamin B content and the antioxidant work like magic on your hair. Leave the sweet mask on for about 15-20 minutes and wash as usual. Wake up to softer hair.
- Yoghurt is also a potent ingredient to ward of dryness. A cup of fresh yoghurt mixed with a little lemon juice will effectively help restore moisture in the hair as well as prevent flaky, and itchy scalp (yoghurt is known to fight dandruff effectively). This hair mask needs a good 30 minutes to work its magic. It’s really worth the wait though.
- Who knew pumpkin is amazing for hair? Pumpkin puree mixed with honey serves as the perfect mask for dry hair. Honey being a natural humectant attracts moisture to it while the pumpkin’s Vitamin A soothes and moisturizes the hair and the Vitamin C repairs sun damage making your hair look and feel healthy.
There you go! Adopt these dry hair home remedies and transform the health of your hair. Remember to eat well, stay hydrated, and be sun protected to fix your hair like no therapies can.