While genetics play a key role, one can not ignore the impact of diet, environmental stress, lifestyle, hair care routine, or health on their bouncy hair! It is really important to build a hair care routine that gels in well with your hair needs. After diagnosing 80,000 plus unique Indian hair profiles & getting feedback from thousands of real users, Freewill’s (A personalised hair care solution ) formulation team has pinned down some practical hair care tips that you might find useful.
According to the hair assessment report, 60% of women in India have oily roots and dry ends. Now, one of the factors for it is genetics but there is more to it. You may be experiencing this because of:
- Shampooing too frequently
- Using products with harsh chemicals
- Scalp conditions
You could easily balance your oils by following the right hair care routine. Also, at the end we have talked about the ideal frequency of hair wash for each hair type and which ingredients to look for as well which ones to avoid!
Firstly, let us deep dive into most common hair issues and what tips Freewill experts have to share with you.
1) Hair Fall
73.5% of women in India are facing hairfall issues and are actively looking for anti-hair fall solutions. But before you take too much stress about this, you should know that according to American College of Dermatologist, losing 50-100 strands in a day is absolutely normal. It is part of the natural hair growth cycle known as telogen phase, which is the shedding phase. This is an important phase and kind of promotes new healthier hair growth.
Even if you are losing more than 100 strands a day then also you do not have to worry as stress will increase your hair fall further if nothing else. Instead follow a healthy routine and take care of these things as suggested by experts:
- Use a mild shampoo (SLS Free shampoo)
A mild shampoo usually does not contain harsh detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate(SLS) or Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). These detergents do awesome work on cleaning your scalp but can be drying for your hair. Dry thin hair is more susceptible to break. So, if you are losing strands due to breakage, then shifting to mild shampoo with no sulphates is proven to be beneficial. Many beauty experts suggest using sulphate shampoo for oily scalp but instead of using a harsh shampoo you can use mild shampoo twice in every wash, that will also remove oils and will not make your ends dry.
- Choose the right brush & combing technique
As simple as a right combing routine can reduce hair fall by significant percent. Use a soft bristle hair brush (preferably natural bristles) and gently comb in one direction from top to ends. This will ensure your healthy sebum (natural oil) to distribute till ends, naturally conditioning your hair at molecular level. Brush at least twice in a day especially before going to bed and just before head bath, this will save dozens of hair falling during showers due to untangling your wet hair. Many studies suggest hair is weakest when wet as they show maximum tension or friction in wet state and any force such as untangling can cause significant breakage.
- Stay away from styling tools or chemical treatments
Stay away from styling tools for a while as we found 80% of people facing hairfall use one or other styling tool or have chemically treated hair recently. The only way your severely damaged hair can be restored is when a new unexposed portion of hair strand towards roots grows to overtake damaged portion towards ends. As per American Academy of Dermatology, average hair grows by 6 inches in a year so you need to stay away from these tools for 1-2 years to get naturally healthy locks. It is important to use the right hair care routine during this time to minimize damage to newer portions of hair & keep taking frequent hair cuts every 2-3 months.
Also, if your hair is already so brittle it is advisable to stay away from hair styles that put force on your hair such as a tight pony, teasing, etc . No pulling, twisting or rubbing.
- Eat healthy & balanced diet
It might be the most common tip when people talk about healthy hair but it is actually a very important one. Formulations can work to a level but cannot make up for nutrient deficiency. We recommend to include iron supplements and take them with a glass of juice rich in Vitamin C to increase its absorption.
41% of women in India have reported persistent dandruff. Scientifically, dandruff is a fungal condition where a fungus called malassezia triggers dandruff. This fungus feeds on oil so oily scalps are more prone to dandruff. This type of dandruff results in yellowish large flakes. Often, dry scalp people complain about dandruff. The white flakes with dry scalp is usually a drying condition. One should know the difference to find the right hair routine.
- For oily scalp look for below ingredients
Find a good anti – dandruff shampoo with effective ingredients such as antifungal drug (Ketoconazole, Pyrithione zinc etc ), Exfoliator (Salicylic acid ), & Scalp soothers. Wash your hair frequently ( alternate or at least 3 times a week) to constantly remove build ups. You must use a light weight conditioner on the ends to keep them moisturized as the above ingredients can be drying for your ends.
- For dry scalp follow these things
You still can use anti dandruff shampoo with an exfoliator & scalp soothers to remove the build up and ease out itchiness but you have to take extra care for your dry scalp. Every time before washing, massage your scalp with coconut oil which is known for its quick absorption due to small molecular size. Always, follow up with a deep conditioning using a mask or conditioner with active conditioning agents.
3) Frizz control
38.4 % of women in India chose anti-frizz as one of the three hair goals. Well, you can follow some of these things to control your frizz:
- Look for a pH balancing formula
Natural pH of your hair is somewhere around 4 and it needs a similar pH to close your cuticles so that they won’t lift and cause frizz. It is difficult to know the pH of your shampoo & conditioner but you can try switching products and brands till you find the right perfect formulation or try brands which claim a pH balancing formula.
- Hydrate your hair
Dehydration is a common cause of frizzy hair. if your hair is not hydrated, then they soak in moisture from the atmosphere and swell up. That is why you see frizz more common in monsoons or humid areas such as beaches. To hydrate you can use a good conditioner and follow it up with a light weight serum on damp hair. Leave on serum locks in moisture into hair and help them stay hydrated longer.
- Stay away from plastic comb
Well, plastic combs do not cause frizz directly but due to static charges your hair gets lifted and creates a frizzy look (Often confused with actual frizz). So, use soft bristle or wooden combs
How to choose right hair care products:
It is important to select a shampoo as per your scalp type and condition. The primary function of shampoo is to clear your scalp and build ups. Though many arctives and conditioning agents are added into shampoo formulation but the time for which shampoo is in contact with your hair is so less to make them very effective. So one shall try to choose a shampoo which solves their cleaning goals.
In India conditioner is still not that common and there are many Myths around it but there is science behind the requirement of conditioner. Your hair is negatively charged (damaged hair is even more negatively charged) and conditioners are cationic (positively charged) in nature. Negatively charged hair attracts positively charged conditioner molecules which results in conditioner getting deposited on the hair, based on simple positive-negative attraction law of physics. Shampoo (positively charged) on the other hand opens up cuticles and makes hair more positive which results in dry, damaged and frizzy hair. You need to reduce static charges and seal your cuticles which can be achieved with conditioners.
It is a common belief that the conditioner causes hair fall. Scientifically, it is possible but it depends upon formulation of the conditioner & your hair condition. If you are facing hair fall during conditioning, either your conditioner is very heavy for your hair type, in that case, you need to find a lightweight conditioner or you apply a lot of force after applying conditioner to spread it & untangle your hair,in that case, comb your hair before wash & try switching shampoo which is not too drying for your hair. Also, you can focus more on the scalp while shampooing and avoid rubbing your length too much so that they do not tangle and break while applying conditioners.
Exclusive advice: Even if a lightweight conditioner is causing hair fall then try applying a lightweight mask before shampoo. Just apply a mask after combing and leave hair for 15- 20 min and then wash off with a shampoo.
You can try a mixture of oil to leverage the benefits of more than one oil or mix any home ingredient such as onion juice. This is the best part of oils! Look for cold pressed or virgin oils to reap maximum benefit. Always apply oil 2 hours before shampooing as leaving overnight may cause breakage and dirt deposition. It is tested & proved that absorption of oil increases if followed by steam or hot towel. Stay away from mineral oils as they may cause clogging in the scalp but there is no proven studies for the same. Look for these ingredients & avoid them in your oil as they are alternative names of mineral oil – Liquid Petroleum, Paraffin, Petroleum or Paraffin Wax.
The Bottom Line
Read, read & read! Freewill formulators suggest to read labels before buying your hair care solutions as choosing the right one is very important. Make an informed choice and do not fall for marketing claims or fads.