September 28, 2022
hair care expert, dermatologist

Who doesn’t love a head full of glorious mane? But it’s not always easy, especially if you are into tying up hair in tight ponytails or combing through your wet strands. Those are bad hair habits that you need to break if you want to revive your weak, breakage-prone hair. Dr Apratim Goel, Dermatologist & Medical Director, Cutis Skin Studio tells us about healthy hair and the changes in your hair care practice you should do to restore glory to your mane.

Who doesn’t love a head full of glorious mane? But it’s not always easy, especially if you are into tying up hair in tight ponytails or combing through your wet strands. Those are bad hair habits that you need to break if you want to revive your weak, breakage-prone hair. Dr Apratim Goel, Dermatologist & Medical Director, Cutis Skin Studio tells us about healthy hair and the changes in your hair care practice you should do to restore glory to your mane.

Sign of healthy hair

Hair is one of the important factors for self-esteem, confidence, and identity for many people. It is considered a sign of youth and beauty. Having healthy scalp and hair is important to prevent various kinds of hair issues like breakage brittleness and hair loss. Your hair can be straight, wavy, or curly; black, brown, or blonde, but certain factors that indicate healthy hair are common for all hair types.

You know you have healthy, strong hair when the texture is shiny and smooth and detangles easily. It has good elasticity and minimal breakage. It has a low shedding rate and remains easily manageable. Also, condition of your hair depends a lot on the condition of your scalp. If you have healthy scalp, then your hair will also be healthy. So, healthy scalp is one that is free of any itching, flaking, redness, flakiness, acne, cysts, excessive hair loss or any other scalp disease like dandruff, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis etc.

Myths around hair growth

There are so many myths regarding hair, some commonly heard hair myths are:

  • Frequent hair washing causes hair loss.
  • Using a conditioner causes hair loss.
  • Cutting hair causes hair growth.
  • Shaving head causes hair growth.
  • Plucking a grey hair causes more graying.

You know you have healthy, strong hair when the texture is shiny and smooth and detangles easily. It has good elasticity and minimal breakage

Bad hair habits to avoid  

Besides internal factors, some bad hair habits that most of us have also affect the health of hair. Avoid too much heat damage while styling hair. Always use a heat protectant mousse or spray if you are using a straightener or tongs. Avoid blow drying daily, allow hair to air dry once in a while, especially after a deep conditioning treatment. Wash hair frequently If you have an oily scalp. Listen to your hair, every hair needs a different washing routine. If you have dry scalp, you can wash your hair once or twice a week. Avoid tying your hair too tight. It can lead to continuous tugging on the roots, making it weak. This causes hair fall eventually leading to traction alopecia.

Get gorgeous hair like Disha Patani

The first step to lush locks

You have to start by being healthy from within. Various internal factors like diet, stress, immunity have a direct association to having good hair. Start by focussing on your diet. A nutrient dense diet helps keep the hair shiny and strong. The key nutrients needed for good hair are iron and protein. Do a blood test to check if you are anaemic. Add lots of leafy vegetables to your diet and foods that are rich in protein are eggs, soyabean, spinach, fish, avocadoes etc. Avoid sudden, drastic diets used to reduce weight as that can lead to hair loss. Make sure to take supplements while you are on a change in your diet plan.

Manage your stress. A stressful body and mind make the body divert the nutrients from hair to body. Meditation, yoga, exercise are some ways of reducing mental stress. If the body is going through a sudden stressful event like losing a dear one or going through a disease like a severe infection, or undergoing a surgery, sudden hair loss occurs – this is called telogen effluvium. However, once the stress passes, hair grows back and resumes normal hair growth. Help your hair by getting adequate sleep and boosting water intake. Smoking can also have a negative impact on your hair health, so avoid it.

Essential vitamins and minerals for healthy hair

Following are some of the essential nutrients that you need to add to your diet on a daily basis. They not only help your hair but is good for your general health.

  1. Protein – Hair is essentially made up of keratin which is a form of protein and so an inadequate intake can lead to hair loss.
  2. Iron – Iron deficiency leads to anaemia and is a major cause of hair loss. Best sources of iron are eggs, meat, spinach, lentils. If you are anaemic, take treatment in the form of supplements or injections.
  3. Vitamin B complex – The most common cause of hair loss is Biotin or vitamin B7 deficiency. So this is a must. Common sources of B complex are green leafy vegetables, whole grains, meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts and avocadoes.
  4. Vitamin E – It is a powerful antioxidant and helps in keeping cells healthy and ad moisturization to skin and hair. Spinach, fish and almonds help you get the right dose of vitamin E.
  5. Vitamin C – Though hair loss is not directly linked to vitamin C deficiency, but low vitamin C can lead to hair structure abnormalities. Vitamin C Is also essential for absorption of iron so if you are deficient in iron consume those citrus foods rich in vitamin C.
  6. Vitamin D – Its deficiency leads to alopecia, so taking vitamin D supplement can help fight this issue.
  7. Zinc – It helps in tissue repair and hair growth. So, eat nut, beans, cereals to load up on this mineral.

Steps to maintaining healthy scalp

Wash your hair as frequently as it needs. If you have oily scalp, you can wash your hair daily. However, if you have coloured hair, it can be dry and brittle, so you have to allow your scalp’s natural oils to form a protective layer. So, you need to wash hair less frequently – just once or twice a week. Also, as we get older the scalp becomes dry and may need less frequent washes. Concentrate on shampooing on your scalp and conditioning along the strands. Make sure you choose a shampoo and conditioner according to your scalp and hair type. Protect your scalp while swimming. Wear a tight cap so that the chlorine doesn’t damage your scalp and hair. But, if you see flaking, itching, redness – contact your dermatologist.

Is oiling hair and scalp a necessity or hype

Massaging your scalp with a good hair oil helps in relieving stress and inducing relaxation. It is also good for moisturizing a dry scalp. However, it plays no role in inducing hair growth and you can choose to avoid it, especially if you have greasy scalp. Oil can be used on very dry and weak strands for pre-wash conditioning. If you have very curly, brittle hair then you can use a lightweight oil to smooth over your strands after washing your hair as a serum.

Favourite hair care practice

My favourite hair care practice is deep conditioning once a week. This replenishes the strands from any heat damage done while styling and adds moisture, shine and bounce to the hair. Just like we take care of our body, our skin, a little extra care to our hair too can take us a long way in maintaining our crowning glory!

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