Here’s how to protect your hair from dryness and damage

How does your hair look under the light? If it gleams, it means it is in good condition. If it is coarse and dry, you need to take care.

Let’s first understand why hair turns dry. In some cases, it happens when the sebaceous glands don’t produce enough sebum. Massaging the scalp for 15 minutes between shampoos should help. Hair is also weakened by over-perming, over-bleaching and colouring.

Constant retouching of the roots with colour can lead to hair becoming brittle; sometimes, it can even break off at the ‘overlapping point’. In case of long hair, regular trimming is the only way to deal with split ends. Conditioners don’t mend split ends; they only prevent them.

As you grow older, conditioning is even more necessary, especially around menopause, since hormonal changes can accentuate dryness.

Also, ill health can rob hair of its shine. Re-condition your hair by switching to protein-enriched shampoos and protein conditioners, by eating sensibly and increasing your vitamin intake. If necessary, introduce little more butter or cod liver oil in your diet.

Surprisingly, only a few of us use conditioners regularly. So, what do conditioners do? They are specially formulated to cling to the hair, help it regain lost flexibility and control and build texture. Cream rinses show instant results, and work well unless your hair is really dry or damaged. They help unsnarl tangles, and reduce static electricity in fly-away hair. So, it is easier to comb, the hair feels softer and is more manageable.

If you are out of your regular conditioner, you could opt for home remedies such as beaten egg. Rinse this off with cold water or milk. Follow it with a rinse in warm water to which a few drops of lavender or rosemary oilhave been added.

In case of deep-conditioning treatments, start off with shampooing your hair in the correct manner. Opt for a mild or protein-enriched shampoo, and rinse with warm, not hot water.

Go easy on the shampoo; use as little as is necessary; dilute it in a cup and then apply. Towel-dry by gently blotting the hair. Apply the conditioner working up from the ends to the scalp (in case of oily scalp, stick to the ends only).

Comb with a round-tipped wide-toothed comb. Rinse well after 15-20 minutes, unless stated otherwise.

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