If one has to find a new nickname for our dear Bengaluru, first choice would be the ‘Trichological Capital of India’ in place of ‘Silicon Capital’. The number of trichological (science of hair) clinics that have come up has beaten the rate of growth of IT sector. Even before shifting to Bengaluru I had heard about how bad this ‘Garden City’ was for one’s hair. In fact it all started when youth from all over India started migrating to this city for work opportunity. Hard work, lots of stress and quick junk food should have been blamed instead of air and water of this beautiful city. Anyway there are some mistakes in our hair care which no tricological expert will ever tell (doesn’t want to stop his/her business). Taking care of these will reduce many of hair issues and the environmentally harmful treatments.
Water related mistakes-
Mistake#1 Hair Wetting- Everyone knows that hair should be perfectly wet down to each strand for the cleaner to act properly but no one takes into account the oil (natural or applied) doesn’t allow hair and scalp(most important) to be wetted. This makes it difficult for any cleanser (herbal, commercial, homemade) to clean the hair properly. Many shampoos write about re-rinse due to this. Messaging scalp with lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) or applying any quick hair packs before shampooing can solve this problem, reduce the use of shampoo, water and over drying of hair. Rinsing with lemon water before applying shampoo is a good practice.
Mistake#2 Hard Water- Water is blamed for most of the hair issues and rightly so. Hard water is alkaline in nature and our skin is slightly acidic. Use of hard water changes the pH of skin. Hard water stops natural soaps to act and produce scum which sticks to the skin. This is the reason for cleansers moving from natural soaps to harmful detergent based products. All for the need of foams.
People use water softeners which are very good for plumbing and water based appliances but water out of softener is still very alkaline( more so as it contains sodium salts). Since it does not react with soaps we think it’s good. In fact I have observed that using water out of softener is even more harmful to hair. Now really soft water is only available in Himalayan springs or from RO water purifier or harvested rain water. Last one seems the best solution. One can also add Chelating agents to bind the hardness in water which I’ll take up in a separate article. Boiled, cooled and strained water is also soft.
Mistake#3 Hot Water- Hot water is very bad for hair as it removes the skin of the hair making it thin and brittle. One should always use tap water or slightly warm water for cleaning hair.**
Mistake#4 Large amount of water- One should rinse shampoo properly but over rinsing has a negative effect. Slowly pouring water and parting hair with one hand will remove shampoo from the scalp and reduce water consumption. Washing should start from the crown so that entire hair is cleaned while rinsing.**
Mistake#1 Oiling before shampoo- As I said earlier the hair with oil can not be wetted with water properly and one tortures hair from scrubbing using hot water and shampooing several times to take out that oil. I don’t want to comment on the oiling process as it is taken as an insult to traditional views .I would only say that when we were kids my grandmother used to wash my hair and then oiled clean hair. Whole week it would stay and keep hair nice and soft and by the end of the week it used to be almost gone. Oiling after washing doesn’t clog the pores with oil and dirt mixing. Instead of chemical laden conditioners one should use few drops of essential oils shaken with a litre of water for a final rinse.
Cleanser related mistakes-
Mistake#1- Amount of shampoo- One should get salon hair wash at least once in life time to understand the mistakes in shampooing. They use very less shampoo and apply it to scalp only. Rest of the hair is washed when soapy liquid flows down each strand. They never overuse shampoo and salon washed hair is never frizzy or limp.
Mistake#2- Direct application of Shampoo- Soaps, detergents are alkaline in nature unless its Ph has been balanced. Much more so with our herbal products. Never apply a shampoo directly on the scalp without diluting it first. Like in salons where they dilute it with floral waters or simply plain water. Though they do it for cost benefits. Diluting a shampoo with water will make it easier to pour on scalp only. Lemon water or orange peel extracts too can be used to dilute shampoo as they reduce the ph. This not only reduce the amount of shampoo but clean the scalp without damaging its acidic nature.
Mistake#3- Two in one shampoo- Combining two steps in one does no good to hair. It neither cleans properly nor conditions correctly. If time is the reason for using shampoo with built in conditioner, there are quick conditioning DIY hair rinses which are very good for hair like ACV, lemon water, green tea, honey water , Aloe juice and many more which can be made and stored for multiple uses.
Mistake#4– Natual/ Herbal is good- Natural method is always the best but the natural product which we get is very little natural as it’s mixed with whole lot of chemicals to stop its perishing. Which can be much more harmful that a simple soap made with oil and lye. A simple soap solution without fragrances should be preferred over shampoos with additives.
Try to avoid these mistakes to keep the Trichologist away.