Summer calls for squeaky clean hair. Hair experts part with know-how on care for your crowning glory

Hair care during the summer is a daily, losing battle. True, the Malayali woman is bestowed with gorgeous curly tresses. But when humidity reaches its peak, there's frizziness to add to the grime which doesn't help at all. Some of the city's hair experts reveal how to improve your hair care regime.

“Retaining moisture is the key to keeping hair hydrated in such weather. A sweaty scalp can produce flaky dandruff,” says Girija Satheesh, supervisor, Tulips Beauty Parlour. “So shampoo your hair every day as part of a cleansing routine, especially if you've been outdoors. But follow it up on a weekly basis with toning and conditioning, just like you tone and moisturise your face.” Tea water is a good toner and a conditioner, she says: “Malt vinegar is another toner, four to five drops of which can be added to the last wash.” She suggests avoiding detergent-based shampoos.

Applying serum

Serum, though not a new product anymore, is still the best bet for those who want a shiny, moisturised look for the hair. Hair stylist Viji of Fair Professional Hair Designers reveals the best way to apply serum so that it doesn't weigh down the hair: “Put 10 drops on a flat brush and comb it through. This will spread the serum evenly and only on the hair. Serum is not for the scalp.”

Viji says it is the crown that is at maximum risk of sun damage: “So opt for a hair mask treatment or use shampoos and conditioners which provide moisturising. A smoothening shampoo will help retain at least 10-15 percent moisture. The effect should last a few days.” He, however, emphasises the need to choose products of a good brand.

As hair makeovers involving smoothening and straightening are the norm nowadays, Girija maintains that most people fall behind on post-treatment care. Treated hair, she warns, will be damaged if not cared for the right way: “Shampoos and conditioners for coloured or treated hair available in the market should be used. Conditioning is very important.” She also says a hair spa treatment can moisturise and reduce hair fall and split ends.

What's good about the summer is that it leaves the pores open, thereby promoting hair growth, says Girija. She adds: “It is the best time for a weekly hot oil treatment as it absorbs the oil and encourages hair growth. Dead hair falls off.”

She also recommends henna treatment as it cools the scalp. “Just be sure to oil the hair first if it is prone to dryness as henna tends to make the hair dry,” says Karthika Ajith who runs Strands Aroos Spa.

Customised treatments

She says there are a lot of takers for customised spa treatments because of the natural ingredients used to help condition the hair. “Most often, the pH balance is affected which leads to frizziness. Hot oil treatment is the most preferable course of action one can manage at home. Of course, lack of time is a major concern these days.”

For those with time to spare, Girija offers a variety of DIY treatments: fenugreek soaked overnight and made into a paste, mixed with green gram powder is an effective shampoo.

Coconut oil and almond oil mixed in equal quantities and massaged onto the scalp is an effective treatment for the summer.

At the end of the day, treatments, Karthika says, depend on one's hair type: “Most hair problems arise from not using shampoos and conditioners properly or even overusing them.” So perhaps this summer, it is time to have a heart-to-heart with your tresses.

Keywords: hair care