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The Good Oils

If your hair is dry and prone to flyaways, and even the salon quality leave-in conditioners have little to no effect, then it might be time to go back to nature and try oiling your hair. Using hair oils is a beauty secret originating from India that has been steadily increasing in popularity in Western society. If you’ve ever seen an Indian woman with extra long and thick, yet incredibly shiny hair, now you know why: chances are, she oils it rather than using a chemical-laden, store bought conditioner. There are several different oils to choose from; the right one for you will depend on your hair’s texture and overall condition.

Beautiful shiny hair

Silky, manageable hair that shines with good health? Yes please!

 

For hair that is dry and fine, the best oils to use are those that are light, and will leave your hair shiny without weighing it down. I personally use jojoba oil and vitamin c serum, which is very similar in composition to the hair’s natural oil (sebum). Other oils that work beautifully for fine hair include apricot kernel oil, coconut oil, and emu oil. Most of these will be available in health food stores, otherwise you can order them online.

If your hair is coarse, curly or chemically damaged, you’ll find that heavier oils like olive oil or sweet almond oil will be most beneficial. Another option is cocoa butter in its melted form: it’s rich in moisture, and will make your hair smell simply divine. There are also a variety of commercial oils available which have been specifically designed for girls with coarse hair, however you needn’t go beyond the basic oils to find one that suits you perfectly.

When it comes to the application of the oil, technique really is everything! To begin, wash and towel-dry your hair, then take a dime-sized amount of your chosen oil and rub it between your hands. Then, starting from about ear level, gently smooth it down the length of your hair, then run your fingers through it to distribute it evenly. Comb it through with a wide-toothed comb, taking care not to get the oil near the roots of your hair, and repeat if you see no effect the first time.

An important caveat: don’t try this for the first time just before you leave the house, because often you’ll be too liberal in applying the oil – like many other beauty techniques, the correct application requires a skill that only comes with practice.

You’ll know, after a few tries, which amount is right for your hair, but be prepared to alter this amount depending on how moisturised your hair becomes in the coming weeks. Very dry hair will absorb much more oil than moisturised hair, and once hair oiling becomes a part of your beauty routine you’ll probably find that you need less of it as time goes by.

 

Scalp massage

Hair oils make for excellent scalp massages

 

Using oils as a leave-in conditioning treatment is ideal for long haired ladies but it’s certainly not for everyone. If your hair is short, then it’s likely that the oils will make your hair greasy, as they’ll find their way to your scalp much faster than they would if your hair was long. This is not to say that you can’t still benefit from oiling in other ways, however.

Some women use hair oils as an overnight deep conditioning treatment, while others – myself included – use them while having a relaxing, DIY scalp massage. Here, I typically mix a few drops of rosemary oil (which is renowned for its ability to stimulate hair growth) with a liberal amount of jojoba oil, and spent a few minutes massaging it into my scalp. I leave it in for a few hours, then shampoo it out, with the result being extra-shiny, conditioned hair that often still has a lingering scent of invigorating rosemary.

I leave it in for a few hours, then shampoo it out, with the result being extra-shiny, conditioned hair that often still has a lingering scent of invigorating rosemary.

So if the products available in stores are no longer working for your hair, or if you simply want to embrace the natural way (and why wouldn’t you?) then give hair oiling a go! It’s time-tested, it won’t break the bank, and you may just find that it beats every other conditioner you’ve tried by a mile.

How to Fix Four common hair problems?

Beautiful, lustrous hair is at the top of many women’s wish lists, and if you’ve already got it, then good for you! Your hair is likely to be a source of envy for those around you, but more than that, having gorgeous hair is a confidence-booster like no other. If you’re finding the road to great hair is a bit tough to navigate, however, then chances are you need to take a closer look at what may be preventing your hair from looking its best. Here are four of the most common hair problems, along with advice on how to fix them and get that fabulous hair you’ve been chasing.

Pretty hair

Regardless of your hair dilemma, there’s a solution to be found.

Problem One: Oily hair.

Oily hair is caused by the over-secretion of sebum (the hair’s natural oil) from the sebaceous glands in the scalp, and while it’s often a hereditary problem, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fixed. Minimising the fats in your diet, refraining from touching your hair too often, cutting back on styling products and using a non-silicone-based shampoo will go a long way towards getting rid of the oil slick.

Another thing to remember is to not wash your hair too frequently: while it may be tempting to shampoo every day, this will only worsen the problem, as your scalp will likely overcompensate for the removal of its natural oils by producing even more sebum. Put it up on the second day instead, cover it with a scarf, hat or hairline-covering headband, or try a dry shampoo which will soak up the excess moisture at the roots without drying out the lengths of your hair.
If your oily hair problem is persistent, however, then it’s possibly due to a hormonal imbalance and will need to be checked out by a doctor.

Problem Two: Dandruff.

Ahhh, dandruff. Don’t you just love it? (Um, not really, no.) If you’ve already tried a medicated shampoo and it hasn’t worked for you, then it’s possible that your diet is deficient in certain nutrients: specifically, zinc and/or Vitamin C. While you can easily take a supplement of these in tablet form, you’re far better off eating foods that are rich in these nutrients instead, as they are absorbed more efficiently by the body than tablets are.

There are a number of topical treatments you can try as well – some women swear by lemon juice as a scalp massage treatment for dandruff, while others claim coconut oil works best for them. Making sure you use warm water rather than super-hot in the shower will also help, as will using sulfate-free products, but if the dandruff is still there after you’ve given it all you’ve got then it’s time to get yourself to your GP who can prescribe something stronger than what you could get over-the-counter, and can (hopefully) discover the root cause of the problem.

Grow hair faster

Hair not growing fast enough for your liking? Read on.

Problem Three: Slow-growing hair.

Your hair’s growth rate is largely hereditary, but it can still be given a boost by optimising your diet and lifestyle. Eating foods that are rich in iron and protein will help, as will taking a vitamin supplement such as biotin, zinc, or the more expensive (but, in my experience, very effective). Doing a weekly scalp massage and getting plenty of exercise should also increase your hair’s growth rate, as the boost in blood circulation will stimulate the hair follicles in your scalp, resulting in faster growth.

Keep in mind, however, that some medications can also negatively affect your hair’s growth rate, as will illness and severe stress. Getting healthy is the ultimate fast track to good hair growth, so chances are you already know which part of your life needs attention – deal with that issue, and the growth rate of your hair will likely increase as an added bonus.

Short blonde hair

Hair dull and dry? It could be over-processed.

Problem Four: Dull hair.

If high shine seems an impossible goal to you, then your hair care routine may be to blame. Too much heat styling, too much bleaching and dyeing, and too many products built one on top of the other will all result in lacklustre locks. It could also indicate deficiencies in your diet: minerals like zinc, iron and silica are all essential for shiny hair, so if you’re not getting enough of these then your hair will suffer for it.

An improvement to your diet (the usual – more leafy greens and less processed foods) should see an improvement to your hair’s shine factor, but if that doesn’t work, then it’s possible that you have an underactive thyroid gland – once again, something that can only be diagnosed and prescribed for by your doctor. You should never feel embarrassed about seeing a medical professional for something that you consider to be merely cosmetic, because often, the problems that relate to your hair are symptomatic of something more serious happening within your body.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, I hope that it’s given you an insight into what may be causing your own hair dilemma! Hair is, and always has been, reflective of your inner health, so if something is lacking there then it will be taken out on your crowning glory. As with most health issues, you can treat the symptoms, but the best way of eliminating any hair-related problem is to transform yourself into the healthiest person you can be.