Beauty Thought Leader – Lakshmi Devi Ethirajan
Put these healthy hair tips to work for you to maintain strong, shiny, tresses—despite sun, wind, and styling stresses!
At its very roots, your hair is typically strong, pliable, and well-nourished. Yet special care is needed to ensure the part you see, brush, and style, stays looking shiny and bouncy. Why? Because it’s made of layer upon layer of cells that can’t take in nutrients; in fact, they are basically “dead.”
So, these delicate layers need your protection to remain healthy-looking!
The key to maintaining your best hair is gentle treatment:
- choose natural ingredients and products that protect hair’s surface, and those that will soothe and nourish your scalp;
- avoid any actions that will do damage.
“Why? Because it’s made of layer upon layer of cells that can’t take in nutrients; in fact, they are basically “dead.””
Here’s what to look for, and what to avoid:
Tip #1: AVOID Ingredients That Tend To Dry And/or Strip Your Hair:
Research is uncovering more and more negative effects of chemicals and their byproducts; several of the ones most likely to strip, dry, and/or damage your hair are:
- Surfactants (they’re used because they create lather to make us think more cleaning action is happening) — the most common to watch out for have “sulfate” in the name. These strip hair of its natural oils, and can often be a contributor to frizzy, damaged hair. The higher up the label listing it is, the more it contains, and the more the drying effect is likely to be.
- Retinyl Palmitate: causes irritation and peeling at the scalp, as well as make you want to scratch, all which can damage your hair follicles and make it hard for your hair to grow healthy and strong. Since it can also promote hair loss, it’s especially bad for people with thinning or aging hair.
- Alcohol-based ingredients of any type should also be avoided as they are very drying, and can make your hair brittle.
If you use smoothing/straightening techniques and products, also be on the look-out for Formaldehyde and FRPs (formaldehyde-releasing preservatives). These releases very toxic, known cancer-causing, substances!
“They’re also helpful in protecting and smoothing the cells that make up the hair shaft, encouraging a smooth, shiny, tangle-free finish.”
Tip #2: Add Natural Emollients To Achieve Healthy Hair:
Quality emollients add moisture, soothe, and often seal the surface of hair (skin, too). They’re also helpful in protecting and smoothing the cells that make up the hair shaft, encouraging a smooth, shiny, tangle-free finish.
Unfortunately, some that provide good short-term results, are damaging over time. Silicone, and in particular a form of it called dimethicone, is one to avoid. It’s commonly found in hair care products, but it actually blocks moisture from being able to get into your hair shaft—and it can clog your pores too, which may become a problem for both your scalp and long-term hair health.
Good options to choose instead are plant oils, aloe, chamomile, and honey. Two of our favorites:
- Rice bran oil, which contains a high concentration of Vitamin E, is a fabulous antioxidant that helps protect hair against free radicals and UV damage. It also has soothing properties that can help reduce itchy scalp and the damage scratching can cause. Its Omega-6 fatty acids also help plump the hair shaft without leaving any greasy residue.
- Moringa Oil (from the Moringa tree, a.k.a. the Miracle Tree in many parts of India), is a wonder at moisturizing and protecting both hair and scalp, sealing moisture in, and even helping to slow the fade of colored hair. Its packed with nutrients, as well as oleic acid, so if added shine is something you’d like, this is a good emollient to try.
“Ideally, choose an every-day style that requires no extreme heat to maintain.”
Tip #3: Be Gentle When Styling:
Dry hair tends to be stronger than wet, so your first step would be to smooth and de-tangle by running your fingers through your hair while washing or conditioning it.
Then, when you comb or brush, do it gently, and at the right time according to your hair type:
- if your hair is straight, comb when hair is dry;
- if your hair is curly or highly textured, comb when hair is wet.
Ideally, choose an every-day style that requires no extreme heat to maintain. (Even letting your damp hair dry naturally, in soft rollers, with a little alcohol-free hair spray can do wonders!)
Follow these healthy hair tips, and your trusted stylist will be able to help you find one that naturally highlights the unique type, form, and beauty of your hair!
About the Author:
Lakshmi is a holistic skincare specialist. She is the founder of Srida Herbals an organic and vegan-friendly skincare line. She aspires to create products that help people feel confident their own skin and ditch the harsh chemicals in their skincare routine.
By founding Srida Herbals, she wants to influence the skincare world around her. She focuses on bringing together her knowledge about centuries old skincare traditions and her 20+ years of pharmaceutical skills to create products that are toxin-free and safe. In her products she uses ingredients in their righteous quantities to maximize the effect of the skin. She wants others to understand that skincare is a holistic ritual and it’s not the active process of using chemicals filled products that give an instant effect. Follow Lakshmi on Instagram and shop her products in the Kuel Shop.