15 tips to make your hair soft and silky
The signs of healthy hair include thick, soft, and shiny hair. Having silky hair is something not every person is born with. Your hair may become dry and brittle if your diet is not healthy or if you use hair products that are not meant for your hair type.
When your hair fails to retain the moisture from the natural oils secreted by the scalp, they become dry and rough. Here are a few changes that you can incorporate into your lifestyle and hair care regimen to get soft and silky hair.
- Choose hair care products as per your hair type. Concentrate on your hair type while buying shampoos and conditioners from the market. The formulations of the hair care product have been decided according to the hair types, which are oily, dry, or damaged hair.
- Do not shampoo your hair daily. Shampooing hair daily strips away oil from your hair. Instead, consider shampooing twice or thrice a week. If your hair is oily, then you can try dry shampoos. Shampoo only the scalp, not the tips.
- Always apply a conditioner. Never forget to apply a conditioner for 2-5 minutes and wash it off after shampooing your hair. Use conditioner only on the tips of the hair and not on the scalp or the entire length. Conditioners help lock in the moisture. Reduce the static electricity between the hair strands and can offer some protection from the sun.
- Oil your hair regularly. If you have dry hair, do not wash your hair without oiling your hair for at least 1 hour before shampooing. You can make use of any hair-healthy oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or argan oil. Massaging the scalp with oil is especially good for dry scalp. If you have an oily scalp, apply hair oil only to the strands and ends and avoid the roots of the hair.
- Use hair masks. Making use of hair masks once a week can help retain the oil in your hair. Apply any of the homemade hair masks given below, keep the mask on for 1 hour, wash it off with shampoo, and then, apply a hair conditioner.
- Combination of egg yolk and avocados
- Bananas and avocados
- Aloe vera gel
- Do not wash your hair with hot water. Hot hair dries your hair out. You can either wash with lukewarm water or cold water.
- Rinse off the conditioner with cool water. After conditioning, end the hair wash by rinsing off the conditioner with cold water.
- Try hot oil treatments. Warm any of the oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or castor oil, and gently massage it into your hair for a few minutes. Tie the hair and cover them with a shower cap. Above this, wrap a towel dipped in hot water. Keep your hair in this position for 10 minutes and wash it off with shampoo and then condition your hair.
- Use homemade conditioners occasionally. You can use any of the following products as a conditioner after washing your hair:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Limit the use of heating tools. Styling tools, such as hair straighteners, hot air hairdryers, make your hair lose its natural oils and can cause hair damage if used frequently. Stay away from such heating tools and use them only occasionally. Use heat-protectant before using the heating tools on your hair.
- Avoid certain hairstyles. Certain hairstyles that pull your hair tightly, such as ponytails and the use of tight hairbands on your forehead, can damage your hair. Tie your hair loosely and not tightly.
- Protect your hair from the sun. Cover your hair with a scarf whenever you go outdoors in the sun.
- Minimize the use of hair colors/dyes. Hair coloring or perming treatments can damage the texture of your hair if done frequently. Restrict their use and wait for at least 6 weeks between two hair treatments.
- Trim the hair. Trimming the hair once in 3-4 months helps in reducing the split ends and gives you healthy-looking hair.
- Make dietary changes.
- Add healthy lipids to your diet in the form of omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fishes and flaxseed oil
- Eat iron-rich foods, such as beetroot, dates, beans, lentils, spinach, jaggery (replace sugar with jaggery)
- Consume biotin-rich foods, such as eggs, spinach, almonds
- Include Vitamin C in your diet by consuming citrus fruits, such as oranges, Indian Gooseberries (Amla), limes.
- Get Vitamin D naturally by exposing yourself to the sunlight in the early hours of the morning for a few minutes. Consume foods like egg yolk, mushrooms, and fish.
If the above home remedies do not help make your hair soft, silky, or healthy, consider visiting a skin specialist or dermatologist. They can identify any medical condition, such as nutritional deficiencies, and treat your hair problems accordingly.
How can I make my hair grow faster and thicker?
Because of the varying health conditions that may cause hair fall, you must consult your doctor to manage your hair fall better and treat the underlying health issues.
You may also try some of these tips to make your hair grow faster and thicker at home:
- Vitamins and mineral supplements: A busy life may not allow you to get all the nutrients you need for healthy hair in adequate amounts. You may take over-the-counter multivitamins or ask your doctor to suggest you appropriate multivitamins and other supplements for healthy hair. Micronutrients like biotin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E can make your hair grow faster and thicker. You may also take omega-3 fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil capsules to stimulate hair growth.
- Use oils to massage your scalp: You can use oils like olive oil or coconut oils mixed with a few drops of essential oil, such as tea tree oil and peppermint oil to stimulate your hair follicles. Massage your hair gently for a few minutes and wash your hair after 30 minutes to an hour.
- Regularly use hair conditioners: Hair conditioners add moisture to your hair and prevent hair tangling.
- Avoid tight hairstyles: Tying your hair too tightly, such as in a bun, can make them prone to break and fall.
- Egg and yogurt hair mask: You can make a hair mask by mixing egg white, yogurt, and honey in a bowl. Whisk them well to a creamy texture and apply them to wet hair. Wash your hair after 30 minutes to 1 hour. This will make your hair smooth, voluminous, and lustrous.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to nourish your body and your hair from within. Drinking coconut water can also help stimulate hair growth.
- Manage stress: Stress is one of the commonest causes of hair fall. Pursue stress-relieving hobbies, such as music, yoga, games, and meditation to manage the stress.
- Eat a wholesome diet: Your hair needs adequate nourishment to grow. Thus, it is important to treat the cause of hair fall from within by taking a healthy diet rich in proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Following certain fad diets may lead to nutrient deficiencies leading to excessive hair loss. Some of the food items that you can include in your diet to get healthy hair include eggs, fish, berries, nuts, spinach, and other leafy greens, jaggery, and fruits like avocados and oranges. Make sure you eat enough protein in the diet. Avoid processed foods and smoking.
- Avoid using heat for styling your hair: Using heat during blow-drying or hair styling can strip away the natural oils and moisture from your hair making them brittle and vulnerable to hair fall.
- Avoid washing your hair too often: A healthy and clean scalp is essential for healthy hair. Washing your hair too often, however, can make them dry and brittle. Restrict your hair wash days to 2-3 days a week.
- Avoid using harsh products on your hair: You may want to get a new look with new hair color or a new hairstyle. Always ask an expert to suggest to you the least damaging hair color and the aftercare needed after coloring or styling your hair.
What are the causes of damaged hair?
A bad-hair day is one of the worst nightmares for many. The ever-growing hair care industry is undeniable proof of the concerns for getting healthy and beautiful hair. Thinning and dull hair is a concern for everyone. With modernization, our lives have become busier and more dependent on readymade and chemical-laden products.
This, along with the growing stress and pollution, has taken a toll on our overall health including the health of the hair. We all lose some hair every day, which may vary from person to person. But when the hair fall is excessive it can result in thinning of the hair, which is a worrisome situation.
Loss of hair is not a mere superficial issue; the problem may lie deep within the body.
Some of the reasons for excessive hair fall include:
- Hereditary causes
- Hormonal changes (for example in pregnancy, PCOS or polycystic ovarian syndrome, and hypothyroidism)
- Nutritional deficiencies (such as iron deficiency or anemia, lack of adequate proteins in the diet, and vitamin deficiencies)
- Certain medications (such as medicines for high blood pressure or high cholesterol)
- Inflammatory diseases affecting the scalp (such as eczema and psoriasis)
- Tying the hair too tightly
- Harsh hair products and frequent heat styling of the hair
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Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015;7(1):2-15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387693/
Chiu CH, Huang SH, Wang HM. A Review: Hair Health, Concerns of Shampoo Ingredients and Scalp Nourishing Treatments. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2015;16(12):1045-1052. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26278532/
Keis K, Persaud D, Kamath YK, et al. Investigation of penetration abilities of various oils into human hair fibers. J Cosmet Sci. 2005;56(5):283-295. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16258695/
WebMD. Top 10 Foods for Healthy Hair. https://www.webmd.com/beauty/ss/slideshow-foods-healthy-hair
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