By Kalwyna Rathod
Colouring hair too often has become a fashion statement, and a shallow one at that. These habits are causing more harm than good, inevitably leading to consequences that last longer than the colour itself.
Chemical colours remove your hair’s natural moisture, quickly transforming smooth hair to rough. Often, due to so many chemical treatments that are
rampant right now, most of us experience damaged hair as it loses all natural oil and moisture that coat the outside of its cuticle. Our hair loses its shine and thus, becomes dull and lifeless.
Here’s how you can help heal chemically treated hair naturally:
Add enough moisture
If you colour your hair too often, you need to pay extra attention to moisturise your hair and avoid blow-drying or straightening for a couple of weeks after. Also, choosing a colour close to three shades of your natural colour, or opting for shades that are darker, rather than lighter, will help limit damage. Look for natural colours in the market too.
Rice water rinse
The age-old practice of applying rice-soaked water on your hair at least once a week will benefit your hair tremendously. Inositol, a hair-friendly ingredient found in rice water, has been shown to penetrate damaged hair and repair hair from inside out in just five applications.
Use traditional hair oils
Apart from coconut oil, almond, sunflower and olive oils are highly recommended to help heal hair damage due to excessive colouring. All these oils are rich in Vitamin E and vital antioxidants which reverse hair damage, providing moisture to the outer layer of hair.
Heat a combination of a tablespoon each of coconut, almond and castor oil. Massage this combination gently onto your hair and cover with a towel. Leave it on for 30-40 minutes or even overnight. Wash off your hair with a natural shampoo. This remedy will strengthen hair and make it shine.
Yoghurt oil mask
For generations, the combination of yoghurt and oil has been a very effective treatment to treat dry and brittle hair. Blend half a cup of yoghurt with about two tablespoons of olive oil. Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil and mix well. Apply this mixture to hair after you have shampooed. Cover your hair with a shower cap for about 15-20 minutes. Simply rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water.
Avocado or banana hair mask
Avocados are rich in vitamins A and E, healthy minerals and saturated fats. All these nutrients are great for dry hair and will make them strong inside out, thus moisturising and repairing them. Mash a peeled avocado and blend it with one egg. Now just apply this mixture on your hair and let it stay for about 20 minutes.
Bananas, too, are rich in moisture and potassium, making them extremely effective to treat damaged hair. Dealing with split ends or softening hair and rebuilding elasticity of hair can be improved with the use of a banana mask. Mash one ripe banana and just apply it on hair, from roots to ends. Leave it for an hour and simply wash your hair with a natural shampoo. Finish off with a leave in conditioner or serum.
Teas can be used to not only treat cold and cough or cure headaches, but a tea rinse is a great way to add instant shine to damaged hair too. A word of caution though, the colour of tea is capable of changing your hair colour, so depending on the natural colour of your hair, brew some chai and after shampooing your hair, just rinse with some lukewarm tea and see the difference.
Use sandalwood oil
This is an ancient recipe to treat dull, lifeless hair. Mix a few drops of sandalwood oil with a tablespoon each of almond and coconut oil. Rub the mixture between your palms, then smooth it through the ends of your hair for an immediate fix and condition brittle, dull and flyaway baby hair.
Apart from using these tips and tricks for hair care, remember to eat a balanced diet. Include whole foods, fruits, vegetables and grains in your daily diet. Biotin, vitamins A and C, and iron are vital for strong, luscious hair, and whole foods can naturally induce these into your body. Increase intake of omega-3 and antioxidants in your diet to heal damaged hair. Walnuts, broccoli, tomatoes, blueberries, kidney beans, paneer, etc. are also ideal.