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Get gorgeous: Simple hair and skin care tips

June 23, 2014 09:16 IST

Get gorgeous: Simple hair and skin care tips


Delilah Adams

It isn't very difficult to keep bad hair and skin days at bay. Here are some home remedies:

Bad hair and skin days are the ultimate mood killers. They become the biggest bane when you don’t have the time or energy to trudge to a salon to have them fixed. Here are some easy tips and tricks to tame your hair and care for your skin.

The 'mane' game

For naturally shiny and luscious hair, Shirin Merchant, Kut & Make Salon, Mumbai, swears by olive oil an hour before you wash it. You may also use a hair mask once a week. Shampoo your hair and follow it up with any mask. Then, wrap your hair with a towel dipped in hot water and wait 45 minutes before you rinse.

The easiest and of the most effective hair packs is a paste of amla. It works wonders to combat common hair woes such as hair fall, greying, and dryness.

Shirin also advises to go easy on products such as hairspray, mousse, and strong gels to avoid dryness.

If the pool beckons you during the hot summer days, Akshata Honawar, Creative Director, Runah Salon, Mumbai, has some useful hair advice. "Wet your hair before you enter a pool. When your hair has absorbed regular water, it will negate the damaging effects of the chlorine water. Follow this up with a snug swimming cap," she says.

Nourish your hair from root to tip with this easy hair pack. Mix equal portions of castor oil and almond oil with the content of a Vitamin E capsule. Add one tablespoon of honey and aloe-vera juice to the mixture and apply it to your scalp and hair. Leave it on for an hour and rinse with warm water for soft and strong hair.

Akshata also recommends the use of almond, coconut, or extra-virgin olive oil soaked up in a cotton ball on the scalp only. This can be left for half an hour and rinsed. Make sure to finish your hair wash with a cold rinse, which will ensure flat cuticles for softer hair.

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Image: Want gorgeous hair? Apply oil before shampooing.
Photographs: Courtesy Perfect Relations


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The wrong notion

Shirin busts the myth that conditioners cause hair fall. Hair that has detached from the scalp gets tangled together and a good conditioner will help smoothen your tresses -- especially for those with curly/wavy hair. "Treat your hair like silk and not a mop!" she says.

Do not comb it harshly when it is wet or dry. Be patient and segregate it carefully before gently combing. The biggest cause of hair breakage remains its mishandle. 

"A myth we believe is that regularly trimming the hair will make it grow faster, which is definitely not true," Akshata informs.

"On average, hair grows at half an inch per month whether it is cut or not.

"A trim may make it look longer minus the split ends and damaged hair but it doesn’t make it grow faster. The speed of hair growth depends on your hormones and protein intake."

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Image: A good conditioner will smoothen your tresses.
Photographs: Bipasha Basu for Pantene

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Foods that heal from inside out

Dr Apratim Goel, Dermatologist, Cutis Skin Studio, Mumbai, advocates the use of at least a 30+ SPF sunscreen at all times. For oily skin, mix it in a little calamine lotion or dab it with talcum powder.

Beat the humidity by mixing half a lime's juice and a spoon of glycerin in a cup of boiled milk. Rub the mixture all over body, wait for half an hour, and rinse.

To make your skin petal soft and bright, you can also apply a pack of apricot and honey.

If you have rough or dry skin thanks to the heat wave, Dr Manjyot Gautam, Consultant Dermatologist and Cosmetologist, SSD hospital, Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai is all for aloe vera-based moisturising lotions.

Although he doesn't recommend a face pack, Dr Gautam advises a healthy diet filled with fresh fruits, salads, and vegetables that will reflect on the face.

"Avoid eating oily foods and bring plenty of waters and liquids," he says.

"Always wear sunscreen, even if you're indoors.

"Moisturise your face and body before you sleep.

Dr Goel recommends munching on the summer-special Kiwi fruit for moisturised skin and tomatoes for your daily dose of Vitamin C and lycopene (helps to reduce fine lines).

Orange helps in the reduction of fine lines too. Get rid of a tan by apply fresh tomato juice on the area twice a day.

A clay mask (made of fuller's earth or multanimitti) works wonders on oily skin.

Or, clean your skin with an astringent made for your skin type. It will draw out excess oil and give you about four hours of shine-free skin.

A face wash that includes one to two per cent of salicylic acid is an excellent means to reduce oiliness too. Another pack for you could be grated potato and multani mitti with a few drops of lime. Rinse it once it dries. This removes dead cells and will make your face glow.

Use rose petals and basil leaves in lukewarm water for bathing -- another wondrous formula for a glowing skin. An easy homemade scrub is rose water mixed with refined flour.

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Image: For glowing skin, moisturise your face and body before you sleep.

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A common skin-related myth is that moisturisers are only meant for dry skin.

These are, in fact, important for all skin types including oily and pimple-prone skin. Simply pick the perfect one for your skin type, according to Dr Goel.

Dr Gautam says, "It is a myth that we frequently need to use soap or face wash to remove dirt from our faces. Using soap or face wash all the time is only detrimental to your skin -- they deplete its natural moisture and give it a dull look."

Restrict washing your face to twice a day. Simply use water to remove oil from your face and pat dry. Never rub your face hard.

"Scrubbing the face regularly is a big misconception. Scrubbing often actually damages the skin and can give rise to pigmentation and milia (milky white, cyst-like spots) on the face," observes Dr Shefali Trasi-Nerurkar, MD Dermatology, Mumbai.

If you suffer from dry skin, mix haldi and lemon juice and keep it on for 15 before rinsing. Do this for healthier-looking skin.

Image: Wash face with plain water. Using soap or face wash all the time depletes natural moisture.
Photographs: Reuters/Parth Sanyal

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