As in the case of many other things in our lives, today we are going back to the natural options to remain healthy and safe. This is also true in the case of hair care, wherein slowly we had adapted to a shampoo based culture, even for babies. There used to a time when babies in India wouldn’t be bathed with soaps and shampoos, as they were considered to be harmful. It is no secret that most shampoos and soaps do contain some chemicals or detergents. One way or the other, these are bound to harm us, in the long term, if not in the short term. There are many people, who have sensitive skin and scalp and hence, search for the natural or organic options to stay safe.
Luckily, in India, we do have a rich ancient heritage that tells us about many options for hair and skincare. It is true that in many parts of India, people still use these natural options for their hair care and are satisfied with the same, and do not opt for any chemical-based soaps and shampoos. Also, let’s not forget that soaps and shampoos come at a recurring cost, and may lead to extra expenses to treat your disorders as well. So, what are the options that can be tried in their place? Here are a few tips that have been suggested by people who have tried these out.
While earlier people used to oil their hair regularly, nowadays oily hair is a big ‘No-No’ as far as fashion goes. Hence, we have reduced the oiling of hair or stopped it altogether and resorted to non-sticky oils and serums and so on. But the truth is that there is nothing more beneficial to your hair than oiling it at least two times a week (more if the hair is dry and once if it is naturally oily). Coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil, etc. are the various oils that can be used for this purpose. These oil massages help in hair growth and also helps it fight any damage caused due to pollution, sun, heat, etc.
Oil provides necessary nutrition to the roots, improves blood flow when you massage it in and improves natural oil secretion in the head. It also helps in exfoliation by removing dead hair follicles. A little warm oil that is massaged and left on while going to sleep and washing the hair the next day is good for hair growth.
Another common option for hair care that has been in use in India since ancient times is Shikakai. This is a natural hair care lover’s delight, as it protects as well as cleans your hair. It also helps you fight that irritating and persistent dandruff, delays greying of hair, is a natural conditioner and prevents entangling, and makes it shine. This is why it is used in many hair care products. However, it can be bought and used in its natural form as well. You could choose to buy the powder from an Ayurvedic shop or boil the fruit in the water at home and use the concentrate. Even a mixture of Shikakai, Reetha (Soapnuts) and dried Amla pieces in equal measure can be used to make a natural shampoo concentrate by boiling and straining the mixture.
While Henna is popular globally now as natural hair colour, Indians have used the paste of Henna leaves for centuries. Apart from providing colour to the hair, it also helped in hair growth, made it shine, and stronger too. Henna also has antibacterial and antifungal properties as well and reduces dandruff. If you have access to Henna leaves, you could try using a paste made from it, or resort to hair masks from Organic Henna powder. This can be left on for a while and washed off.
The leaves and flowers of Hibiscus are a popular hair care method in many parts of India. The components present in it, rejuvenate and promote hair growth, while it produces a natural lather that helps in cleaning the hair. It is a mild cleanser and will not harm your hair or scalp in any way. It also nourishes your hair follicles and softens the hair and acts as a conditioner. While it also helps prevent dandruff, it can also be used in combination with a few other ingredients for many other benefits for the hair.
So, the bottom line is that if you have tried and tested many of those off the shelf hair care products and are at your wit’s end, perhaps you can give a shot with these natural ingredients. Unless you are allergic to any of these, these are guaranteed not to give you any side effects, as they have been in use in India, since centuries.