With so much humidity in the air each monsoon season, hair tends to frizz and misbehave often. But instead of suffering through those frequent bad hair days, you can keep your mane in top form by following simple tips from the experts.
We spoke to three haircare professionals regarding monsoon haircare and here is their advice to you.
First up we have these tips from Dr Snehal Sriram, Head of Medical Services at Kaya Skin Clinic in Mumbai:
- Good and effective cleansing is vital -- use a volumising shampoo twice or thrice a week, as the hair tends to go limp in this season.
- Post-shampoo use a volumising conditioner, once a week or as required.
- If you need to blow-dry your hair, apply a leave-on conditioner prior to it.
- Avoid excess application of styling products, as this could make your hair very greasy due to increased humidity.
- Do not tie up wet hair .
- Oiling once a week will help.
- Make sure your diet includes foods that nourish your hair, such as milk and dairy products, nuts and soya products.
Next, Dr Rajesh Rajput, Aesthetic and Hair Transplant Surgeon, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai provides these inputs:
Humidity and increased skin secretions make the hair sticky, matted, easily breakable, tangle-prone and difficult to dry after washing. Rain water is acidic due to the high levels of pollution that dissolve in the water as it comes down. It irritates the scalp and causes itching; neglected scalp care can invite fungal infections which are common in the monsoon.
- Wash your hair frequently, at least every alternate day with a mild shampoo which is labelled as safe for regular use. Avoid all formula shampoos meant for dry hair, oily hair, repair formulas etc. Use only mild shampoo meant for daily use or regular use. Use hair softener instead of conditioner and a detangling serum or leave-in conditioner which will form a layer on the hair and provide protection.
- Once a week, use a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo containing the anti-fungal agent ketoconazole (Scalp, V-Druff and Nizoral are three easily-available options).
- Rinse your hair with running water if you get caught in a downpour and are soaking wet -- just drying it with the towel will not be sufficient. You could also use a hair-dryer, although it is recommended that you use the cold-dry setting option, which will blow air to dry your hair without heating up.
- Oil your hair well if you are stepping out in the rain with your friends and expect to get wet; the oil will keep the acidic water from entering your hair shafts.
- Consume more nuts, greens, beans, dals and salads; avoid non-vegetarian food, spices, milk products and bakery products. Eat fruit and avoid juices. Also avoid eating out at roadside stalls.
- Keep your hair short, easy to manage and tie it up if there is a possibility of you getting wet. Short hair is easy to manage and tie up the hair if you are getting wet -- that way, all of it won't get wet and once you free it, it will dry easily.
And finally, we have dermatologist Dr Parul Kolhe weigh in on monsoon haircare. Here is her advice:
- The monsoon is one time of the year when you should dry your hair completely after a wash and not leave it semi-dry as is normally advised. This helps avoid itchiness in the scalp and humidity-induced infestations (lice are very common in the monsoon!).
- Avoid getting your hair treated in this season -- that means no colouring, straightening or perming. Hair tends to frizz in high humidity and the results of such treatments are often unsatisfactory.
- Short haircuts that are fuss-free, quick to dry and easily shampooed are preferable to complicated hair dos.
- People with wavy or curly hair should use anti-frizz serum or conditioners as their hair is more likely to act up in this weather.
- Never try to detangle wet hair roughly -- it is weakest when wet and likely to break. Pat it dry or turban up with a towel for a few minutes. You can also semi-dry it under a fan, work in a little de-tangling serum or a leave-in conditioner and gently run through a wide-toothed comb without pulling or yanking at it.
Illustration: Lynette Menezes