Tress woes in winter? NIMMI MATHAI presents healing herbs to your hair rescue.
The winters are a season of amazing weather, hot chocolate and warm and fuzzy blankets. Unfortunately, the same weather also brings cold and dry winds that can be harsh on the scalp and strands. Dryness, frizz, lack of volume, dull, dry tresses and static are all issues common with winter season.
Your precious strands are at a greater risk, during the cold months than during any other month or season. So, what do you do to minimise the harsh effects of winters and prevent damage to your strands? You turn to healing herbs, of course! Instead of putting your hair through chemicals, opt for simple, easy-to-make hair masks or hair packs with beneficial herbs and get lovely tresses in the bargain.
Nature has been a go-to source for hair and beauty remedies since the beginning of time. Herbs in particular have been used by people for centuries as a solution to various scalp and hair problems. They have been used to naturally soften strands, increase manageability and restore sheen, volume, body and bounce.
Use these healing herbs as part of your haircare regime this winter and watch your turning just the way you want it to be – strong, healthy, shiny, smooth and free of problems.
A-loe you vera much
The sticky gel found in aloe vera leaves strengthens your hair and makes your scalp healthier. The leaves and gel have strong anti-fungal properties, thereby reducing scalp issues. The gel is extremely soothing and cooling and is used as a heat protectant too. Unlike other ingredients and chemicals, aloe vera is extremely gentle on the hair and the scalp.
How to use: Mix 2 tbsp aloe vera gel, 2 tbsp curd and 1 tbsp honey. Whisk all the ingredients together to form a paste. If the paste is too thick, add a few drops of water to it. Apply on the scalp and hair for 20 minutes or longer before rinsing with warm water.
The takeaway: Aloe vera the soothing healer, when mixed with moisturising curd and nourishing honey, rejuvenate dull, dry and frizzy tresses and add a natural shine.
The wonder herb or the king of herbs, bhringraj could well be your ticket to darker, thicker, lustrous, fuller and healthier hair. While bhringraj is known to make the hair darker, it also fights hairfall, hair loss and baldness. Known as an all-in-one-hair-treatment, the wonder herb restores and nurtures lifeless hair back to life.
How to use: Bhringraj leaves may be hard to find, hence if not for leaves, use 3 tbsp bhringraj oil, mix 2 tsp lime juice and 1 egg. Beat the three ingredients together to form a smooth paste. Apply this paste for 30 minutes before washing it off with cool water.
The takeaway: The three power ingredients together strengthen hair, lend a refreshing smell and make for a perfect hair treatment.
Shake-a-kai it off
Shikakai has excellent cleansing properties. It has low pH value hence does not strip hair of its natural oils. It contains antioxidants and a range of vitamins – A, C, E, K that help in treating a number of scalp and hair issues right from preventing split ends, dry scalp and hair to getting rid of lice, detangling hair and nourishing it, making it ideal for haircare.
How to use: Take 1 tbsp shikakai powder, 2-3 neem leaves and 2 tsp coconut oil. Grind the neem leaves and mix it along with the coconut oil and shikakai powder to form a thick paste. Apply this paste onto your scalp and hair for 20 minutes and rinse with herbal shampoo.
The takeaway: Try this simple-to-whip-up-at-home recipe at least 2-3 times a week for healthy, good-looking hair.
Very berry luscious
Looking for an ingredient that will boost volume, reduce greys, promote healthy hair growth, condition your scalp and strands, prevent hair fall and more? If you answered yes, then make the gooseberry (commonly known as amla in India) your best friend. Packed with phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals, amla is the heavenly answer to all your hair woes.
How to use: Take 2 tbsp amla powder and mix sufficient amount of olive oil to it. Mix well to form a paste. Apply this onto the scalp and hair and massage for 30 minutes. Let it then stay for 40 minutes. Rinse off with a mild shampoo.
The takeaway: The mask improves hair texture while providing the scalp and strands with adequate nourishment and moisturisation thus making it voluminous.
Tulsi or the holy basil is a magical herb that is big in the world of Ayurveda! Tulsi contains a number of vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium that nourish the hair from the inside out. Considered to be extremely therapeutic, basil leaves can help resolve a number of hair problems like frizz, breakage, thinning of strands and premature greying.
How to use: Crush a handful of tulsi leaves in a grinder to form a paste and add 2 tbsp coconut milk to the paste. Mix the two ingredients well and apply it to your scalp and hair. Let it remain for an hour before you rinse it off.
The takeaway: Combine tulsi and coconut milk for nourished, moisturised and problem-free scalp and hair.
Will you rose-mary me?
Rosemary herb has a plethora of benefits. It is used to improve hair growth and thickness. It stimulates scalp circulation thus encouraging hair growth and is a useful treatment against dandruff, hair loss and hair fall, scalp itchiness and irritation. This aromatic herb is also known to slow the appearance of greys.
How to use: Take a handful of fresh rosemary leaves, 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds and almond oil. Mash and blend the three ingredients together to form a thick paste. Apply this paste on the scalp and hair for about 30 minutes. Rinse off with a mild shampoo and conditioner.
The takeaway: The stellar combination of ingredients in this hair pack will spring your dry locks back to life in a jiffy.