Choosing a Product For Hair Care


There are varied hair care products available in the market and each affects the hair in different ways. In all cases you are dealing with the hair shaft, that part of hair which is visible and dead.

 

SHAMPOOS

 

They constitute an essential part of grooming.

 

An effective shampoo must:-

  • Strip the hair of dirt and excess oil.

  • Clean the scalp to remove the top layer of dead skin cells.

A shampoo might contain one or more types of following ingredients:- 

 

(a) Soap:- Soap-based shampoos used as active cleansing ingredient may leave a residue on the hair if used in combination with hard water, thus leaving the hair dull. However, the residue can be removed with dilute lemon juice.

 

(b) Synthetic Detergents:- They do not tend to leave a residue, as they do not interact with hard water. The strength of the synthetic detergent will determine whether a shampoo is designated for dry, normal or oily hair.

 

(c) Acid:- To balance the alkaline nature of many shampoo that might leave hair looking dull and lifeless, mild acids are added to many shampoos to achieve a "pH-balance".

 

(d) Conditioners:- The purpose of a conditioner is to replenish the oils that detergents remove so as to make the shampooing process more convenient. Shampoos that contain detergents and conditioners, counteract one another to some extent, thereby reducing the overall effectiveness of the product.

 

(e) Medication:- Some shampoos contain ingredients to treat skin problems on the scalp, e.g. dandruff. Medicated shampoos contain agents which slow the growth of the skin of the scalp, and bring the inflammation of the oil glands under control, relieving the itching. They do not encourage hair growth.

 

CONDITIONERS

 

Choice of using a conditioner is one of personal experimentation and choice.

 

The active ingredients in these conditioners are proteins. They also contain quaternary compounds which help to control fly-away hair, a common problem in dry, cold climates and air-conditioned rooms. Besides the oils in the conditioners help to replenish those which have been stripped from the hair in the cleaning process.

They reduce the trauma of combing hair when wet and squeaky clean.

They contain ingredients which help to temporarily mend damaged hair by binding ruffled hair and split ends.

 

Not everyone needs a conditioner. 

 

HOME MADE HAIR CONDITIONERS
 

Healthy hair stretches up to 35 percent of its length before snapping off; dry hair breaks more quickly because it does not have much elasticity. If your hair feels dry and looks dull, try one of these conditioning recipes.

 

i) AROMATIC AID: Combine the following oils in 50 ml/ 2 fl oz of base carrier oil and 10 ml/2 tsp jojoba oil:

  • 10 drops of rosewood oil.

  • 5 drops of geranium oil.

  • 5 drops of sandalwood oil.

  • 5 drops of lavender oil.

Apply the mixture to the ends of your hair and leave it on for at least half an hour before washing and rinsing thoroughly.

 

ii) KITCHEN CURE: Boil a handful of ground sesame seeds in a little water for 10 minutes, strain, cool and apply the mixture to your hair to boost shine, suppleness and softness.

 

COLORING HAIR

 

Hair color preparations range from temporary coloring agents, to permanent coloring agents. The temporary dyes which simply coat the hair with color, do not irritate the scalp or damage the hair.  Whereas, permanent dying or bleaching of hair may cause both the problems as they actually penetrate the hair.

Semi-permanent dyes offer a reasonable compromise because they last longer than temporary dyes and are less likely to irritate the skin or damage the scalp.

 

HAIR COLORING CHOICES

  • Permanent colour particles change your natural pigmentation by penetrating the hair cuticle; if you are going lighter, hydrogen peroxide is applied to strip the colour out of your hair before it is replaced with chemical dye. The effects last for up to six weeks before you have to have the roots re-done.

  • Semi-permanent colour particles lodge into the cuticle layer but no further. Ideal for Afro, and Asian hair, semi-permanents tend to fade after five or six washes.

  • Tone-on-tone colour is quite a new idea; the basic principle is that it lasts longer than semi-permanent but not as long as permanent colour.

  • Temporary rinses coat the strands with colour; they are not absorbed by the cuticle, are very subtle, good for grey hair, and last for only one wash.

  • Vegetable dyes do not lighten your hair, they simply enhance colour, depth and shine.

Source: Get Fit for Life by Kate Shapland

 

MOUSES, GELS AND HAIR SPRAYS

 

Hair mouses and gels are popularly used for hair styling and to provide them a hold for longer time. You need to however test a product for allergic reaction, before regularly using them. They can in some cases, aggravate acne and milia on the face and neck, particularly in areas the hair touches, such as the forehead, cheeks and the back of the neck.

Hair sprays may also cause allergic reactions and have been reported to cause irritation to the eyes, respiratory problems and even irregular heartbeats. When using a hair spray protect your face, especially the eyes. Besides take care that you do not inhale the mist.

Source: Get Fit for Life by Kate Shapland


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