Take up the 8 week healthy hair challenge with me and see the benefits for yourself. I would be posting my hair care regime, some natural remedies and also the results - what worked and what did not for me over here. Since I am a busy woman, interested in doing many things other than beautifying myself (I am not the one who hits the salon every month), the regime would be simple and quick enough tricks for the busy ladies to follow them before work. So watch out for more updates in this space!!
Healthy Hair Challenge Criteria and Goals:
# More Shiny and Lustrous Hair
# Moisturized enough and Bouncing with Life
# Stronger Hair strands
# Considerably more volume and less hair fall
My Pre-Challenge Hair Condition:
I have very fine and soft hair, 80% straight with wavy texture, more on the dry side because of Bangalore's climate (You can get a glimpse of my hair in the cover photo.. More pics to come. I had really long, thick and healthy hair in childhood!! Gone days!!) My hair starts becoming limp and dry, and oily scalp 2 days after hair wash. I also get mild dandruff on the scalp and increased hair breakage if I dont shampoo for more than 2 or 3 days. It is because of dryness... my hair just drinks any moisture!! I usually oil my hair and leave it overnight or 1 hour before shampooing. Then too it needs more!! I have normal to intermediate hair fall, highly depends on my bad moods now and then :( I occassionally use straightner in lowest heat to have tangle-free hair.
My Current Products:
# Parachute Coconut Oil
# TBS Rainforest Shine Shampoo (But I loved their Moisture range, waiting to finish this one)
# Park Avenue Beer Shampoo
# Pantene Conditioner
# TBS Grapeseed Glossing Serum
Are you with me??? Post your suggestions and your progress in the comments. Let's do it together!!
Get Set... Start!!
My General Guidelines/Rules for Healthy hair for this 8 weeks:
(I believe that small sustainable changes are more beneficial in the long run)
# Use wooden comb/brush with wide bristles
# Drink 8 glasses of water everyday (Hardest one for me :( )
# Drink one fruit juice/tender coconut/sugarcane juice everyday
# Trim my hair first, since it's been 5 months after my hair cut. It's necessary to regularly trim your hair for better hair growth and give a positive feel about your hair.
# Eat two pieces of dates everyday for Iron content. Can also have mixed dry fruits like raisins, almond, walnut, apricot, fig, etc. for inbetween breaks.
# Do not comb wet hair.
# Clean your combs regularly.
# Excercise or do Yoga daily for 30 minutes, to remove everyday stress.
# Drink Amla Juice how much ever possible (Available in cartons from B'Naturals - 1 carton for two weeks)
# Try not to get into bad moods whatever be the reason!!
# Plait hair before going to bed, to avoid breakage and improve hair growth.
Will add to the list as and when I start following new rules... :)
WEEK # 01
Before marriage I had taken so much pains for my hair care, I used to apply Henna+Olive Oil+Eggs+Curd pack on my hair, leave it for 30 minutes and then wash. I also used shikkakai once per week (Thanks to mom). But now, all this looks so tiring and strenuous :(
I have read a lot about curd/yogurt pack for hair and its moisturizing benefits. I thought let me try it for once before I do not believe in it's benefits.
Yogurt Gyan/ Properties: Yogurt is high in lactic acid, has natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. The yogurt works to stimulate hair growth and fight dandruff by acting as a natural cleanser that tightens and clarifies the pores on your scalp. The protein properties help to strengthen and moisturize your hair and to tame persistent, pesky fly-aways by smoothing your strands. The creamy consistency and antibacterial ingredients help to soothe your scalp and reduce any itchiness.
DIY Hair Pack 1: First thing in the morning on a Weekday, I whipped a tbsp of hung curd/yogurt (Take two days old curd for best results) with a tsp of lemon juice. You can skip lemon juice, if you do not have any itchiness or dandruff. Lemon cleans the scalp off impurities. I first applied coconut oil on my hair.. My hair needs oil like anything!! Then I applied the yogurt pack on the scalp and hair shafts till the tips. Clipped my hair into a bun and did my other morning work. After 30 minutes, I washed my hair with mild shampoo (TBS rainforest for now - no chemicals) and did not apply any conditioner for the first time... and you should see the results (Conditioners usually suck for me.. they don't give enough moisture for my hair!! I have tried many... but this pack is worth a million... at no cost at all. Wowww!! I am going to add curd in most of my hair packs here on.
Pros: It feels so good to touch my hair - soft, shiny, moisturized and bouncy.
Cons: The effect lasts only for 2 days :(
Try this pack for your hair and let me know your experience.
My mom and grandmom used to do a lot of hair care recipies at home , during my childhood. They take pains in making shikkakai powder - collecting ingredients like shikkakai, fenugreek, green gram, ritha, hibiscus flowers, amla, rose petals and many other herbal products, drying them first in hot sun and grinding them in a nearby mill. I became tired just by writing the process.. uff!! They also make different kinds of hair oils in combination with coconut oil.
Karisilankanni Oil - karisilankanni (Eclipta Alba or Bhringraj) leaves are roughly ground to take its juice and added to warm coconut oil. Store the filtered oil or store with the sediment for deep penetration of its nutrients in the oil. A study shows that this plant is more faster and efficient than the generally prescribed 2% Minoxidil.
Karuvepillai Oil - Similar to the previous one but with curry leaves roughly powdered and dried in sun, and then added to warm coconut oil. For Shiny black and strong hair.
And so I'm going back to my childhood days of hair care, I pestered my mom to get me powdered and dried curry leaves. So sweet of her that she got me the dried curry leaves this time. You can also trouble your mom or make it by yourself. :)
Get 1 cup of fresh Curry leaves, roughly grind them and make small patties and dry them in the sun or microwave. You can store these patties for a long time. Add it to warm coconut oil and leave it overnight for the nutrients to get absorbed by the oil. Filter and store the oil for usage.
I have also asked her to try getting Bhringraj leaves when she finds them in my native next time. ;)
You would be wondering how exercises would help in reducing hair fall???!!! Yes exercise does help increase blood circulation to hair follicles and reduces your everyday mental stress. And we all know that exercise is a must to keep ourselves fit... so tats why we have to Jog/Brisk walk/Yoga for 30 minutes everyday.
But wait... there is something more.. and easier too for us!! We have heard a lot about rubbing your finger nails might increase your hair growth and give it a shine... atleast I have heard a lot from my Mom!! But i did not bother to follow, thinking it sounded so stupid!! I did a bit of research now (Thanks to Google!!) and found that nerves below the nail bed are connected to the scalp and regular nail rubbing stimulates blood flow and oxygen to the scalp. It is a yoga technique and based on accupuncture therapy. This technique is claimed to work for anyone at any age. It takes time to show results but definitely works!! So let's try guys... no harm, no cost to try! Let's see the benefits after 8 weeks...
Benefits: Prevents hair loss, baldness and pre mature greying. Restore natural color and shine.
Links about this exercise in detail if you want to read before believing: Site1, Site2
DIY Hair Pack 2:
I read a lot about the benefits of using coconut milk for hair, through many of my friends and internet too. Known for its conditioning and strengthening properties. Here is a link about Coconut Milk. So I thought of using it in my next hair pack to check it out.
I grated a coconut, grinded it in a blender until smooth and extracted the milk. I added 2 tsp honey, 4 drops of essential oil like lavender/rosemary to 1/3rd cup of coconut milk and whipped it up. You can also use plain coconut milk as an hair mask. As always I had pre-oiled my hair, applied this pack with a cotton ball on my scalp (as the pack was too runny) and also applied it to my strands. Kept it covered for an hour with a shower cap, and then shampooed as usual. I had also used conditioner in the end this time.
Pros: Very soft and manageable hair. People with rough and dry hair, can give it a try.
Cons: Hair not bouncy/volume, Not shiny as the Yogurt pack :( My hair looked limp.. may be the conditioner was the culprit. I'll give it a try again without using conditioner.
Try this pack for your hair and let me know your experience.
I have stored the remaining coconut milk in the fridge, for using it my next pack or as a cleanser or even add it to my gravy for dinner. :) I had some dry patches on my face due to a strong soap... Grrrrr!!! So I tried the plain coconut milk on my face and removed it with a cotton swab after 15 mins. Beleive me... my skin was so smooth and healed instantly :)
DIY Hair Pack 3:
I wanted to try a protein treatment for my hair by adding eggs in my hair pack. Eggs are a great source of protein. Until now, I have used only the egg whites for some hair packs before marriage, but never used the whole egg. Egg white is said to remove oil and dirt, so it is mostly used for hair packs for oily hair. Egg yolk/yellow is the most nutricious part, adds more protein to dry dull hair and conditions it. Eggs in hair pack give thicker and stronger hair eventually. So I used a whole egg, to take the benefits of both white and yolk. But I was very skeptical in using eggs, because of it's smell :( My husband hates it, if I dirty the bathroom or something starts stinking all over at home. But I dared to try it this time.
I whipped 1 whole egg with 1/2 cup curd, added 1 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp olive/almond oil and 1 tsp honey. The pack was runny and difficult to apply. I applied with great struggle and covered my head with a shower cap. Left it on for 30-40 minutes and then washed with shampoo twice to remove the egg smell and used conditioner. But don't ask me, I couldn't bear the egg smell from my hair while the pack was on my head. (Though I love to eat eggs!!) After washing my hair, my whole bathroom stinked for 2 days!! Even my hair stinked for 1 day.. thank God it was a Sunday!! Got nice scoldings from my husband.
Pros: The benefits were not so visible for one time use. My hair was soft and conditioned.. but nothing great. My instinct said that my hair fall was reduced for those 3 days.. but it can be a psychological effect of using heavy protein pack ;)
Cons: Coudn't stand the smell of eggs for 2 days and had to clean my bathroom!!!
You can try eggs in your pack if you can bear the smell of eggs. I would prefer to use only egg whites hereafter if required or search for a good egg protein shampoo instead of this mess.
At last I got a hair cut done.. trimming off my dull hair ends. I got almost the same layer hair cut to show volume on top. Din't want to reduce my hair length shorter than this... 3-4 inches chopped off. It's much easier to wash my hair and condition now.. Uffff! Great relief! Let me start again to take care of my tresses :)
As you can see in the pic, my hair is frizz free after the salon wash. But I dont get this effect at home with any shampoo (See above pics - frizzy and fly away hair). Not able to find the reason. Do you know how to get the salon wash like at home??
To admit frankly, I had not taken any extra care for my hair these two weeks since I got my hair cut done. The weather is too cold here and I'm getting sick often... so avoiding any hair packs.
Wash your hair thoroughly:
But I have learnt to wash my hair properly. :) I made it a point to use hand spray gun or hand faucet to remove all traces of dirt, shampoo and conditioner from my hair before getting out of the shower. This has helped me a lot, my hair doesnt look limp right after washing!! I can feel my squeaky clean hair now :) I still follow most of the rules i have mentioned above.
Long way to go... two more weeks to gear up and take care of my hair properly.
I can see my hair healthier than before... healthy in terms of the texture, healthy ends and shiny too. I ve been doing a few things quite religiously: Methi+Curd Hair mask once in two weeks, 20 mins Yoga everyday, drinking enough water, oiling my hair with a combination of the healthiest oils. I changed my shampoo to Matrix, it works fine and reduced my hairfall to an extent. So you too try these things at home, a little of what we can do to save our tresses.
My Oil Combination:
10 ml Coconut oil + 10 ml Almond oil + 1 tsp castor oil + few drops of rosehip/rosemary oil - Then infuse dry curry leaves powder into this oil mixture. Massage scalp and roots to ends with this warm mixture of oil. Pure Olive oil can also be added.
Methi+Curd Hair Pack:
Use any organic Methi powder (readily available in super markets). Add sour curd to it and a few drops of essential oil like rosemary/lavender. Apply the pack on your scalp and hair strands too. Keep it for 30 mins and wash with shampoo as usual. Conditioner can be used if required. This pack gives an amazing conditioned hair, smooth and shiny result. Hair fall is also reduced until next wash. Only trouble is it takes time to do this every time we was our hair and a little messy while applying too.
So friends... keep following these tips for a great hair. Most of all be happy and stress-free for getting healthy skin and hair.
Take care until our next challenge :)
Friends I had my previous haircut as shown above in June last week... In 3 months it's grown back to the old length (abt 3-4 inches)!! Thats cool right?? but I had to try a new short hairstyle, coz of my husband's sweet order!! So I got a new haircut, which is very short... my shortest haircut in my life but I'm loving my new avatar!! It feels so good and younger like a kiddo!!
It will grow back in a few months time though ;) I can start all over to grow a healthy long mane!! :P