The Ultimate Hair Care Guide

Someone once said the your hair is the best accessory.. And that is indisputably accurate. Don’t we all wait for those good hair days to come by? That’s the charisma and power of your mane. Healthy and luscious hair has the potential to affect your mood in mere moments.

Over the years of realizing the importance of hair health and conjuring up a set routine for the same after some trial and errors, the quality of my hair has only gotten better. It has definitely taken some time and effort, some experimentation, some good products, some lifestyle changes along with consistency but I bet you that you can definitely have healthy, bouncy and shiny hair if you follow everything mentioned below. Here’s the ultimate hair care guide along with some tips, tricks and recommendations.


1. Understand your hair type

It’s so important to know what kind of hair you have so you can use the right products and treat your mane accordingly. Notice if your scalp is too oily, too dry or just normal? Is the hair frizzy, wavy, straight, you have split ends, is it damaged? Only once you know your hair you will be able to tackle it well. As for me, my scalp is just normal, my hair is a little dry and can get frizzy when humid or if I use the wrong hair products.

 

2. Steer clear from all chemicals and styling products
This is a no-brainer… No chemicals = Good Hair. If there’s one rule I stick to then that is avoiding all kinds of chemicals that are present in these styling sprays and other products that make your hair curly, stiff, voluminous etc. I almost never use any of these products and steer clear from it unless it’s really necessary. In the short run these products will style your hair as desired but they’re only going to ruin it later. I personally adore and prefer my natural texture and like to keep it that way. I hate the feeling of having any product in my hair. It’s absolutely pointless to use any of these on a daily basis, I would suggest using it only when you have a special occasion.

 

3. Maintain Good Scalp Health
If there’s one thing that is taken for granted then that is the health of your scalp. This is as important as any other part of your body. Infact the health of your scalp is a direct result of your lifestyle and eating habits. While regular washing is certainly a good habit, washing your hair everyday can be fatal to its quality and texture and it might leave your scalp too dry and also result in hairfall. But washing it too less can lead to an oily scalp. The number of times you wash your hair should depend on your activity level, the humidity in your country and your lifestyle. Once in two three days is just appropriate. As for me, I was my hair every alternate day since I work out and I’m quite active.

 

4. Shampoo & Conditioner
What shampoo do I use? This might be the most commonly asked question. We need to understand that everybody has a different hair type and hair quality hence what might suit others might not suit you and vice versa. This is something you need to find out for yourself. Test out a brand to know if it suits you well, if it leaves your hair shiny and voluminous then it’s good, if it turns frizzy, rough and starts to fall then it doesn’t suit you but give it atleast one week and then judge. All I can say is that invest in a good shampoo, don’t just go for the foamy supermarket choices, buy the ones that are exclusive to salons and avoid the parabens/chemicals as much as you can..

I too keep changing and testing out different shampoos to see which works the best for my hair. So far, Redken and Sebastian Penetraitt are my favourites and I keep switching between the two. I have been using Redken all this while and recently switched to Sebastian and I’m loving the results. I use the shampoo, conditioner regularly along with a hair mask twice a week. I don’t use conditioner on the scalp, just on the ends, if used on the scalp it makes the hair very flat and the scalp feels oily. The hair mask is also used on the loose ends which are damp, I leave it on for about 7 to 10 mins and then rinse it. You don’t need to use a conditioner when using a hair mask. I definitely recommend using a hair mask as it really helps repair damaged ends. I don’t use any hair serum/ leave-in creams/ leave-in conditioners, even though there are some great brands in the market but it’s strict no no from my dermatologist.

These are the products that I use:
Redken (India)
Redken Mask  (India)
Redken Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner Other Countries
Redken Shampoo & Conditioner Other Countries
Redken Mask (Other countries)
Sebastian Shampoo & Conditioner  
Sebastian Mask


5. Blowdry or Airdry?

Usually after washing I let my hair dry naturally, I don’t even comb my hair because it is wavy and once combed the waves open up and become frizzy. So I just leave it to dry and clip up my side fringes with a hair pin while they are wet. That way they become straight and the rest of the hair is wavy. I just love my original hair texture and prefer to maintain that.

As convenient as hair dryers are when it comes to styling or even drying your hair, it is wise to keep its use minimal. Exposure to direct and perpetual heat is likely to tamper with the hair quality. I avoid blow drys as much as possible, unless there is a wedding or some shoot, I do them once in 40 to 50 days. Just try and embrace your natural hair, you don’t always have to be dependent on blow drys to make you look good. You are only going to ruin your hair texture in the long run. Try and stay away from straighteners, hair dryers, and curling wands and if you have to use them make sure to use a heat protector before using any of these hot equipments.

Heat Protection Spray –India
Heat Protection Spray- Other Countries

 

6. You are what you eat and so is your hair!
Well, all mothers didn’t just bluff when they connected a healthy diet to long, silky and lustrous strands. The impact on the quality and strength of my hair has been predominantly good because of my healthy diet. I eat fish almost five times a week and include a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and good fats like ghee, avocado, eggs, coconut along with rice in my daily diet. It is absolutely crucial to maintain a good gut health to have a shiny and strong mane. If you’re going to eat processed food and junk your hair and skin is going to look like it. Also a bad digestion will reflect on your skin and scalp. Get a good mix of fats, proteins and carbs in your daily diet and see the change in your hair quality and please stick to fresh home cooked meals.

 

7. Shower Filters
Having lived in Dubai since the last 8 years my hair texture has become a little rough and brittle all thanks to the hard water the country yields. I’m sure everyone living in the Gulf can relate to this. Before I moved here I didn’t have a single grey hair and my mane was super shiny and so voluminous but my hair situation isn’t the same anymore. Luckily it can be controlled and taken care of. I’ve been using shower filters since the last few years and I’m guessing it is making a difference. Basically it filters out the tap water, cuts down sodium and chemicals and purifies it completely before it touches the scalp. Well if you’re living in the Middle East then this is something I definitely recommend. I’ve used the filter from Carrefour before and currently using one from this brand called Blue. You can also try these ones-

Shower Filters- India
Shower Filters- Worldwide

 

8. Hair Supplements and Vitamin
In today’s rat race, it is tricky to get all the necessary vitamins and nutrients solely from the food we consume which is why it is so important to supplement our food with extra vitamins. Yes they do make a difference to your skin, to your hair and your overall immunity, I can vouch for that. For everyone who’s wondering what supplements are good for hair then here is your answer.

I have been taking Vitamin C 1000mg, Vitamin E, B Complex 100, Omega 3 (2 tablets) every single day along with a tablet of Vit D3 (Uprise) once in 10 days, this was recommended by my dermatologist and nutritionist a few years ago and I’ve been having them ever since. In case you’re facing extreme hairfall then Biotin 5000 mg daily for three months could work wonders. I’ve tried it in the past and have seen a visible difference. But remember, this alone is not going to work, you have to follow everything else in this article for the supplements to work.

These are the brands I use
Solgar Vitamins – For India
Solgar Vitamins – Worldwide 
Omega 3- For India
Omega 3- Worldwide

 

9. Use your Grandmas Hair Oil Mixtures
As you grow older, you realise that every little thing your mother and grandmother told you was so true, including the good old oil massage you got every Sunday as a child. I still try and get a head massage once every 10 days with a mix of  hot coconut oil and olive oil topped with castor oil (do not heat this); Sometimes, I mix coconut oil with curry leaves, heat it till the curry leaves turn black and then massage it on my scalp. This works well for grey hair too. My mother and grandmother used to insist on on massaging the hair every week so the blood circulation increases. You can even opt for simple coconut oil or good old ghee, whatever you prefer. Keep it on for about an hour or two, let your scalp soak it in and then wash it. Do this once a week for three months in a row to see the difference.

 

10. Hair Colour
Well, colouring your hair can be fascinating but be prepared for the immense damage it causes. If you’re looking at maintaining good hair health then avoid hair colour as much as you can. I got it done two years back because I was really really bored of my look. I have to admit my hair got so dry and the ends were totally damaged. It took a while to revive the hair health again. So if you are planning to get your hair coloured then please do take good care, try hair treatments, oil massages to make sure that you repair the damages.
Will I colour my hair again? Yes of course but probably once in two years.
If you’re just looking at covering your greys then pick any ammonia free colour. I absolutely love Dia Richesse by Loreal.

Dia Richesse –Worldwide
Dia Richesse- India

 

11. Hair Spas and Treatments
If you have damaged hair from colouring or any other reasons, there’s never a better time for hair spa treatments. Of course, these treatments need to be constantly done over a period of time (one sitting won’t make a difference) but they have shown results. There are tons of options available in salons these days and you have to try them out to see what suits you. I personally don’t like any treatments that make your hair permanently straight or flat, so I keep away from them. Infact I have recently tried Olaplex a couple of times and I’ve seen a visible difference. I usually get it done at any salon in Dubai or Mumbai. Alternatively you can also do the Olaplex treatments at home(buy it from the links below), get the first one done at the salon to see how it works and then you can try it at home too. You can also buy their shampoo and conditioner (I’ve heard it’s amazing). I have also tried one session of Nashi’s filler therapy and I was amazed, the results were better than Olaplex, I got it done at a salon in Mumbai and will definitely do another session soon. The key here is to try out different things and see what works for your hair type, once you know the correct option then make sure to try out a couple of sessions and be regular with it. I would definitely recommend these two treatments.

Olaplex – India
Olaplex- Worldwide

 

12. Dandruff
It’s so important to understand that dandruff is nothing but just skin flaking off the scalp making it super dry and itchy, It’s nothing serious and can be definitely treated. Firstly, the main cause of dandruff is a bad diet/lifestyle, irritated skin, bad hair products, no hygiene (not washing hair for too long), stress, dry scalp and fungal infection. So you really need to fix all of these and also try these home remedies. If it still doesn’t improve then please see a dermatologist.

Home Remedies (be consistent and try them often for a month atleast to see a difference):
– Coconut oil + pure tea tree oil head massages
– Massage fresh lemon juice onto your scalp and leave it in for 5 minutes. I recommend testing a drop of lemon juice on a small part of your scalp first, if it really stings, then dilute the juice with water.
– Apply a hair mask made of yoghurt and leave it on before a shower
– Mix half a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar with half a cup of water. Massage it well into your scalp and then leave it in for about 10–15 minutes. Rinse off with cold water. Repeat this routine regularly every few days until you start seeing results.
– Mash two bananas with one avocado and apply all over your scalp where it is itchy. Leave it in for at least 30 minutes. Rinse it out with cold water and repeat this regularly until the itchiness subsides or goes away.

 

13. Premature Greying:
This is one of the biggest issues today but since it’s also irreversible I’ve given up worrying about it. A lot of us, especially in the Middle East face the problem of premature greying. Now in some cases, it could either be genetic, an autoimmune disorder, stress, hectic lifestyle or maybe none of the these. Whatever it is, nothing can be done to the hair that is already grey. For the ones that are not, try and put a water filter, check your vitamin levels, especially B12, zinc and copper, do headstands/handstands everyday so that the blood flow increases and try home remedies like:

-Heat curry leaves along with coconut oil until it turns black. Then, set this mixture aside and let it cool for a while. Once the oil has cooled down, massage your hair with this oil, right from the roots to the tips. I try and do this once a week atleast.
-Mix 2-3 tsp of onion juice, 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1 tsp of olive oil. Massage into the scalp and wash off after half an hour.
-Have a spoon of Blackstrap molasses in warm water every morning, it’s supposed to be one of the best way to stop premature greying and hairfall.
– Massage your hair with amla oil every two days.
– Massage your hair with pure ghee.
– Two to three times a week, eat a tablespoon of black sesame seeds to slow down and possibly reverse the graying process.
– One of the most natural ways to colour your hair is to brew a strong pot of coffee and then, let it cool down and then pour the coffee onto your hair and massage with your fingers. Let it be in your hair for 20 mins after which it will temporarily stain your hair dark brown. Later, rinse the coffee off with cold water.
– Heat organic Amla powder with coconut oil until the powder starts to char. Let this mixture cool down. Gently massage it onto your scalp and spread it over the entire length of your hair.
– Heat Curry leave with coconut oil till it turns black. Massage your hair with this oil every alternate day.

 

14. It’s important to get a good haircut!
Firstly, it is extremely important to find a stylist that knows what you want, what suits you and someone who can make your hair look good. I know it is difficult to find the perfect one but keep looking because it can change your life and once you find one then just stick to them. I don’t like changing my hair stylists, there are very few people I trust with my hair and only go to them. Also I’ve had a couple of experiences where my hair started falling a lot and wouldn’t grow back after I got a cut from a certain stylist. After that incident I am really finicky and picky about my stylists. Once I feel my hair grows well with a particular one then I only go to them. I’m funny that way, I kind of believe in lucky hands.
Getting the right hair cut can change your entire look. One of the reasons your hair could be looking flat or dead is because there are no layers, there is nothing to add volume so ensure that you find someone who can suggest a good haircut and bring some life into your mane.

 

15. Should you trim your hair often?
It is important to keep your hair healthy which is why you need to trim often. But how often should you do it? This totally depends on your hair texture and hair growth. If you are someone who is trying to grow your hair longer, then wait for about 4 to 5 months before you get a trim. But you also need to keep a check on your hair quality. For example: My hair grows really fast but the bottom is not so thick so it starts looking like a thin tail and comes across as unhealthy, so yes I do like to grow my hair but as soon as I notice the thinning ends I go and get a slight trim, about an inch or so. According to me a little trim makes a lot of difference, you lose the split ends, hair looks healthier and better. I get a trim every 4 months and it just looks so healthy and starts to grow faster. So yes I would recommend anything between 3 to 6 months depending on your hair quality.

 

16. Homemade Hair masks
Home remedies are actually the best. Every 15 days I try some homemade hair masks, depending on what’s available at home. I keep trying these various hair masks and ingredients from the fridge
– Yoghurt + Eggs + Honey
– Olive Oil + Avocado + Honey
– Coconut Oil + Honey
– 2 egg yolks + Coconut Oil
– Mashed banana + Honey + Olive oil
– Wash your hair with beer, rub it all around and then rinse with cold water (after shampoo & conditioner)

 

17. Hairfall:
One of the most sensitive topics and crucial too. Hairfall is just the most commonly faced issue by every single human today. But you know what, is is extremely normal to lose a little hair everyday so don’t stress if you find a few strands here and there. The problem arises when there are more than that. There are a lot of things that cause hairfall and they all need to be in place to see results.

– One of the biggest reasons for hairfall is stress. So first start relaxing more, living more and stressing less. Do a lot of yoga, try meditation and keep your mind relaxed at all times. Also take frequent trips out of the city, just disconnect.
– Get your blood test done. You could possible have magnesium and iron deficiencies because of which your hair is falling. Also hormonal issues like thyroid and PCOD could cause hairfall. So look for these and start treating it immediately.
– Please change your diet. Include lot of fruits, nuts, vegetables, ghee, coconut, avocado, fish, eggs etc. A good diet helps in hair growth.
– Never ever wash your hair with hot water. It leaves your pores open and the hair just falls out. Wash it with cold water every single time or atleast your last rinse should be with cold water.
– Biotin 5000 mg is one of the best vitamins for hair growth. Take it three months in a row and you will see a difference, but yes, consult a doctor before taking it. I’ve tried it so many times and I swear by it.
Take other supplements and vitamins that promote hair growth (list is mentioned above).
 –I’ve also heard that Black Strap Molasses is a great solution to all these issues. (never tried it but was suggested by a dermatologist)
– Get regular head massages to increase the blood flow in the scalp. I’m currently trying out the famous Bringraj oil from Forest Essentials.
– Use a water filter incase you’re living in the Middle East.
– Tie your hair up when sleeping at night. I generally braid them.
– Drink a glass of Celery juice every single day or a green juice with amla inside. It’s great for your skin and hair.

All of these solutions when tried together will definitely work but don’t expect overnight results. The key here is to be very consistent. Try this out for three months and you’ll be amazed.

 

18. Drink a glass of Vegetable Juice everyday
I’ve been doing this since the last eight years and trust me it is magical in every way. I always say this, good hair and skin is more about internal well being than external. A glass of vegetable juice is like a magic potion, it has all the essential vitamins, nutrients and fiber that your body does not get otherwise. So usually I try different combinations depending on my mood and I drink this atleast 4 to 5 times a week. Have it between your breakfast and lunch around 12 noon, works like a great mid meal. You can try any of these mixes:

a) Spinach+ Half Tomato+ Carrot + Fresh Amla
b) Celery Juice
c) Cucumber + Spinach + Ginger + Amla + Celery + Mint Leaves

In the summer I’ve been having option B and C. I chop them up and blend it in my mixer along with a little water. I then sieve it, pour it in a glass and add little salt and lime. If you prefer then you can add a little bit of fiber by not sieving it completely. Trust me just include this in your daily diet and your skin and hair will be shine.

 

19. Do not wash your hair with hot water
One of the most important thing to remember is – DO NOT WASH YOUR HAIR WITH HOT WATER! It is the most common mistake we all make. What we don’t realise is that hot water leaves your pores open, weakens the strands, causes direct hairfall, creates frizz and flattens the hair along with making your scalp very dry. On the other hand, cold water closes your pores and adds lustre and shine into your hair

 

20. Be Happy & Grateful
Sometimes between all this we actually forget to be grateful for the things we have in our lives. If you’re worrying about your hair problems then just be thankful that you atleast have hair on your head, a lot of people don’t and would love to be in your place. Be thankful that you are in the best of health and stop worrying about petty issues that can be solved easily.cLive your life with a happy heart and it will reflect externally. Above all, just accept yourself the way you are, your hair, your body but don’t forget to take care of it. We’re all gifted, we’re lucky in every way so just make sure to maintain what has God given us. Take some time our every single day to admire what you have, to fix what’s going wrong, after all everything can be solved, right?

 

Everything I’ve mentioned above are things that personally work for me. You really need to take good care internally and externally. They key is to try, experiment, knowing your body, what it lacks, and what needs to be taken care of; all in order to maintain a stellar hair health. After all, your hair is your crown, isn’t it?

 

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