The gorgeous summer sun, has many benefits to your health and well-being, but can play a number on your hair, leaving it dry and coarse, instead of luscious and soft.
It’s not just the heat of the sun that’s to blame, but a combination of factors.
A daily swim in a heavy chlorinated pool can be detrimental to your hair – not to mention bleached hair! The main cause of damaged and dry hair in the summer is the need for a daily wash, which only strips your hair of its natural oils, creating an oil imbalance.
The more you wash, the more it seems to be greasy, yet dry. Which is why the whole process keeps repeating itself. Towards the end of summer you begin to feel confused (much like your hair), oily scalp, with very dry ends.
Getting your hair healthy again is fairly simple, yet requires a bit of patient pampering. Instead of jumping to a conventional store-bought hair product, that is in my opinion, full of chemicals and fillers, I urge you to try out some ancient Ayurvedic rituals using natural plant oils and extracts, combined with a scalp massage.
Unfortunately, you’ll also have to resist the urge to wash your hair for a couple of days as well, so that your oil production can balance out. Hard I know! Once balanced, you’ll notice you’ll only need to wash it every 3 -4 day’s or so, which your hair will thank you for!
Olive Oil – My favorite hair oil has always been olive oil – it’s a pantry staple that is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and always does the trick.
Castor Oil – My second favorite would have to be castor oil. Castor oil has growth properties and makes the hair shine. It’s a bit thick on its own though, and rather tedious to apply so I usually mix it with olive oil and use it as a scalp masque.
Argan Oil – I had the pleasure of going on holiday with my family to Morocco a few years back. We took a trip in the mountains and stopped in a few Berber villages on the way. There I discovered argan oil first hand. I saw them crush it into a fine sheep smelling oil (Yup, real virgin argan smells like sheep!) Most of the time when you buy a product with argan oil slapped in big writing on the front, you may be surprised to know you’re only getting 5% or so of actual argan oil, the rest is cheap mineral oils that are put in there to “dry” out the oil quickly upon application. I personally don’t see the point of wasting time and money on fillers. I prefer to use the oil straight up. Feeling it soaking in as I enjoy the ritual.
Avocado Oil – Avocado oil is similar to Olive oil, it’s rich, shares similar properties, and great for dry or damaged hair. The only difference is it can be hard to source in some countries, and may also be on the pricier side.
Coconut Oil – It’s a given that coconut oil works wonders not just for the hair, but for the whole body. The scent alone is to die for, making you feel like you’re on some exotic island, drinking cocktails and basking in the sun. Coconut oil has huge anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-oxidant properties – perfect for giving your scalp a good cleanse. Product build-up can lead to dandruff and unwanted dry skin. Using coconut oil on your scalp, helps to clean clogged hair follicles that could be the cause of the problem. It also works well against pesky lice!
Rosemary Essential Oil – Rosemary essential oil is great for stimulating hair follicles which will promote hair growth, and is often found in shampoo’s. It’s a very strong, potent oil, and wouldn’t be recommended for use on its own. Adding a few drops to a carrier oil, such as olive, castor, or coconut will make it safe and effective.
Lavender Essential Oil – Here is another amazing plant extract. It’s easy to find just about anywhere, and smells divine! Studies have found this refreshing oil to assist and improve conditions such as, alopecia (hair loss). It won’t give instant results, but with consistent use you will notice significant re-growth.
Combining a nourishing treatment oil with a scalp massage is a match made in heaven.The act of kneading and rubbing increases blood flow to the scalp, stimulates the follicles, conditions the scalp, and enhances the strength of the roots.
I usually try to do a hair masque on the weekends, this way I can leave it in for a few hours, but I have been known to sneak in to school pick-up with it on, looking like I’ve been flipping burgers! Hey, no pain, no gain, right! A scalp masque works best if you wrap your hair in a towel to keep it warm, which is why I usually try to do it on the weekends, or evenings when I know I don’t have to dash out of the house.
Vitamins For Hair
Just like our body, hair problems can also be related to diet, hormones, medication, or health issues. Being aware of adding a few more nutrient rich foods to your diet, or even taking a supplement can be beneficial.
There is absolutely no need to go for a “scam” hair-growing pill, as you can easily get nutrients from regular vitamin pill, or better yet from food. Below are a few idea’s.
Iron & Zinc – Iron carries oxygen to the hair follicles, and zinc is a good hair growth mineral. You can find both of these in egg yolks, lentils, spinach, pumpkin seeds, leafy greens, and chocolate
Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids – Eat fatty fish like salmon once or twice a week for silky shiny hair.
B-complex – Biotin and niacin, are the more common B vitamins, and are good for thickening, strengthening, and restoring shine to your golden locks. They can be found in avocado’s, eggs, legumes, grains, poultry, banana’s, and seafood.