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Updated: August 24, 2009 17:52 IST

Tress stress?

JAWED HABIB
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What would you say is your biggest hair dilemma? Dull hair, oil slick locks, louse infestation or loads of frizz? Whatever it is, rest assured you’re not the only one with this problem. And, the good news is that these common tress distresses can be rectified. Here are some simple solutions to the most common hair problems:

Dull hair: Hair without any shine.

Solution: Build-up of styling products is the main culprit. If you go heavy on the gels and pomades, or use too many styling products, substitute you regular shampoo with a clarifying one once a week or so.

Often, your hair’s condition or any conditioner residue is the problem. Switch to a shampoo and a conditioner for dry or damaged hair — and if you don’t condition after every shampoo, start now.

Don’t use hot water for washing hair; luke-warm water will do. And, the final rinse should be with cold water as it locks in moisture and shine. Use hair serum on towel-dry hair. If necessary, apply a styling gel. And, once a week or so, deep-condition your hair till the shine-level improves. If you blow-dry your hair, take the temperature down a notch — i.e. instead of hot, go with warm — and once the hair is nearly dry, switch to cool.

Oil slick : Hair that looks as if it emerged from an oil slick just hours after shampooing.

Solution: If you have greasy hair — which is, in fact, a greasy scalp — you need to shampoo every day with a cleanser specially formulated for overactive oil glands. You should also go easy on styling products. Limit yourself to one or two light products and keep them away from your scalp. Bear in mind that your woes might not be the result of an oily scalp, but a styling product build-up. If you suspect that’s the case, use a clarifying shampoo instead of the usual cleanser once a week.

Louse infestation: Itchy scalp is the clearest sign of this.

Solution: Use an anti-louse shampoo twice a week, and your regular shampoo for other washes. Never allow children to use anti-louse shampoo on their own. Also, wash the combs, towel, pillow cover and head bands after every hair wash to stop them from spreading.

The night before you shampoo, apply camphor-mixed coconut oil on the scalp and hair. Wrap a white towel or cloth on the head.

This mixture effectively kills the lice and nits that cling to the hair shaft. This is safe and has no side-effects; so, use once a week before shampooing.

Frizzy hair: Dry wire-like hair even after styling.

Solution: Use a deep moisturising conditioner or a mask once a week to control frizzy hair. After shampooing, leave the conditioner on for a few minutes before rinsing. If you have extra time, wrap your hair in a hot towel after you condition it, and leave it for five to 10 minutes.

The hot towel will activate the ingredients in the product and help repair frizz. After rinsing with cold water, gently blot excess water. Towel rubbing and harsh brushing can lead to hair breakage and make the hair more vulnerable to frizz. Spray a leave-in conditioner on towel-dried hair; you can even apply it later in the day to control frizz.

Another way to stop frizzy hair is to use frizz-control products such as specially formulated serums, gels and sprays. Among these, aerosol sprays are the least messy.

Replace your old blow dryer with a ceramic one that generates negative ions and renders hair less frizzy.

A good cut is also very important. A blunt cut is usually best.

If you need a more textured look, ask your stylist to point cut it.

Avoid thinning shears or razor cutting. Thinning shears crush the ends of your hair and razors slice the ends, giving frizzies a place to start.

If your hair is too thick, ask your stylist to layer it to remove bulk and improve manageability.

Be gentle with your hair, use a deep conditioner at least once a week, trim hair regularly, and beat the frizz.

Keywords: beautytipsfashion

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