Winter has arrived, bringing with it dry, flaky skin and hair. Frizzy, lifeless, and damaged hair, as well as dry skin, cannot be blamed only on the winters. Our skin and hair are influenced by many different things, like the ultraviolet radiation from the sun or pollution, particularly pollution from cities.
One of the worst enemies of skin and hair is pollution. Established industries, car emissions, and cigarette smoking all contribute to rising pollution levels. The most harmful pollutants are particulate matter (PM), which includes PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and poisonous gases like SO2, NO2, NO, CO2 and CO2.
"The exposure to smoke, dust, toxic gas, particulate matter, nickel, lead and arsenic can lead to a condition called 'Sensitive Scalp Syndrome', which happens when this particulate matter settles on the scalp and in the hair shafts.""Pollution exposure can cause chemical damage to the hair. It leads to degrading hair protein, affects the hydrophilic hair surface niche and damages the hair cuticles."
"According to a recent research, Intense exposure to the pollutants also affects the skin, reduces the stratum corneum (outer skin layer) quality, increases the dark spots, intensity wrinkles, fine lines and affects the normal composition of natural sebum production."
"Pollution exposure, particularly PM, VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and PAHs are also known to inflame the skin, increases the oxidative stress in the skin and working synergistically with harmful sun rays, these pollutants can be one of the main reasons of skin cancer."
All these facts are enough to understand how dangerous and detrimental pollution is for our skin and hair. We need to take some proper precautions to protect our hair and skin from this natural enemy. Here's a list of some of the best pollution skincare and hair care suggestions for you today:
Skin Care Tips
Applying Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Every Day is Important
A broad-spectrum sunscreen with the power of antioxidants is the right option for your skin to protect it from the effects of pollutants. A broad-spectrum sunscreen gives your skin a shield against UVA, UVB, and IR rays. However, the richness of antioxidants in a sunscreen provides full protection from pollution. This is why you don't apply sunscreen even a single day throughout the year.
Must Cleanse The Face After Returning The Home
We rinse our face in the morning for freshness, but in the evening cleansing, the face not only provides you with freshness but also a big relief from dust, grime, and pollutants. Select charcoal-based or active ingredients like vitamin C or retinol-based serums to deeply cleanse your skin from the particles of pollutants. Never skip this step, no matter how tired you are. For healthy skin, this step is a must.
Give Your Skin The Night Skin Repair Therapy
The other thing you need to include in your night skin care routine is a good repair face serum or cream. Retinol, vitamin C or ferulic acid-based face serums are best to repair polluted skin. These ingredients are rich in antioxidants, which help to neutralise free radicals, reduce oxidative stress and reduce pollutant-induced skin damage.
Go For A Home-Based Detox Face Pack Every Week
There is an ultimate DIY detox face pack that you will love to apply to your face, especially if you are a chocolate or coffee lover. You'll need cocoa powder and ground coffee beans for this pack.
These two ingredients contain the best antioxidants to cleanse the face. Take both ingredients in an equal quantity and add coconut oil or milk to make a fine paste. Add honey if you want to, and apply it to your face. Let it dry and rinse your face with normal water. Apply a moisturiser afterwards.
Hair Care Tips
Cover your hair with cloth or hat when outside
Whenever outside, make sure to cover your hair with a cloth or a hat, as it will hinder the direct contact of pollutants with your hair. In the winter, this may be the best option.
Don't Forget to Apply A Good Hair Serum
If you are unable to cover your hair, you must apply a hair protecting serum before going out. It forms a thin covering layer over your hair and protects it from toxic gases and other urban pollutants. The hair serum not only gives shine to the hair but also works as a protector of the hair and keeps it intact from pollution and heat.
Rinse The Hair Every Two to Three Days
Make sure to rinse your hair every 2 to 3 days, especially if you live in an area with high pollution levels. It will clear up all the dirt and pollutants from your scalp, and you can flaunt healthy, wavy, luscious hair.
Give Your Hair A Keratin Spa or Keratin Mask
Pollutants can also impact hair protein levels. To restore it, you should go to a keratin spa at home using a good hair mask. For this, you need 1 tablespoon of almond oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 egg yolk. Mix the ingredients and apply the paste on the overall scalp and hair. Keep it for about an hour and shampoo the hair.
These tips can protect you from pollution and revive your skin and hair to maintain their natural essence. Along with these, you must add antioxidant-rich foods like citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, onions, garlic, and turmeric to revive skin and hair from the inside. (Mr. Rajesh Grover, Co-Founder, Derma Essentia)
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When it comes to skin and hair care, products find it hard to compete with multitasking coconut-based products. While coconut-based hair and skin oil is known to have pre-grooming and conditioning effects on hair, its varied components such as Vitamin E make it an ideal agent for skin-care benefits.
From the earliest of times, plant-based oils have been used in skin care. There is a renewed interest in coconut-based skin oil in recent times, both to restore skin surface and in skin ailments.
Coconut-based skin oil is a very able moisturizer, with studies concluding it's at par and in some cases superior to mineral oil as an emollient. Regular application of coconut-based skin oil has been found to improve skin hydration and strengthen the barrier lipids in the skin.
Its small particle size allows for easy absorption in the skin, penetrating to deeper layers easily, providing thorough moisturizing. By reducing water loss from the skin, coconut-based skin oil also helps moisturize the skin for longer.
Environmental pollution, over-sanitizing in Covid-times and climatic changes, have a drastic downside of drying out the skin surface. Coconut-based skin oil is a simple, easily attainable and cost-effective product to tackle these side effects.
Interestingly, the absorption of coconut-based skin oil into the skin and subsequent breakdown into Monolaurin and Lauric acid -- which are known antimicrobial agents, has been observed to improve skin-barrier function in low birth-weight babies. The skin barrier function improvement leads to improved weight gain by better thermo-regulation. Thus, regular massaging with coconut-based skin oil will help fight infections in premature infants and help keep them safe.
Touted as an anti-bacterial agent, coconut-based skin oil reduces bacterial colonization in people with extremely dry skin, prone to itching and rash. Regular use of coconut-based skin oil, an inexpensive and widely available agent, on skin keeps it healthy, moisturized and supple.
In cellular studies, coconut-based skin oil has also exhibited anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
What adds to the glorious properties of coconut-based skin oil is its remarkable safety, low irritancy, non-toxic and non-sensitizing nature.
With the method of double-cleansing totally in trend, coconut-based skin oil has been successfully used as the first step in the removal of make-up or sunscreen before cleaning the face with a regular cleanser. It is especially gentle to eyes when removing eye makeup, hydrating the delicate area around the eye instead of stripping the natural oils like with make-up removers.
Caution is advised while using coconut-based skin oil on the face for acne-prone skin since it is a comedogenic substance.
The ultra-hydrating properties of coconut-based skin oil make it an easy option as a body moisturizer, lip balm and to hydrate the cuticles around the nails.
In conclusion, it has properties that protect and repair your skin barrier. It is an easily available, economical, safe and effective moisturizer for the body skin. (By Jushya Bhatia Sarin)
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Oiling your hair dates back centuries; hair needs some amount of natural oil to maintain its colour, shine and lustre and to help protect it from the harmful sun.
"When you oil your hair, it helps to improve circulation in the scalp and stimulates the hair follicle. While there is no direct relation to oiling and hair growth, proper oiling can protect your hair and prevent it from getting dry," believes Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics.
Oiling the Hair Helps:
By preventing the hair from becoming dry
By sealing the cuticle and helping the hair strands heal.
Oiling needs to be done in the right manner for it to actually benefit your hair. Make sure that you don't rub the oil in too harshly and don't leave it for more than one hour. If you leave the oil for a long time, it can clog the pores and cut off the oxygen reaching the hair leading to damaged hair, boils on the scalp and eventually hair fall.
Also, oiling is not suitable for people who are suffering from dandruff or have a naturally oily scalp. Leaving the oil on for too long attracts dust and particles to the scalp. Different hair oils have different benefits and you can select one according to your hair concern just don't go overboard with it.
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Our hair goes through a lot during the day. Without any hair care routine your hair can become damaged, tangled and dry, especially if you have hair colour or any other chemical hair treatments. There are numerous overnight hair treatments and hair masks you can prepare in the comfort of your home which magically repair your hair and maintain its health.
Throughout the day, hair gets subjected to pollution, rain, sun and sweat causing some amount of damage. We shy away from using oil and forget to use a heat protector before styling on many occasions. There are many ways to tame and nourish your locks it's worth the investment, time, products and energy, says Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, Director, Tressmart.
"The first step is to identify your hair type and hair concerns. You may buy the best products and be diligent with your day and night time hair care routines, but using the wrong products will most likely damage your hair further instead of doing it any good. If you remove your make-up at night and use products to rejuvenate your skin through the night to wake up to happier, healthier skin in the morning, why aren't you doing the same for your hair?" is what she asks.
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According to Naina Ruhail, Co-founder, Vanity Wagon, dedicating some time to her tresses before hitting the bed is her secret mantra for good hair. "Oiling helps keep the hair follicles nourished, soft and shiny at the same time. The best thing to do for your hair is to massage your scalp with some organic hair oil and leave it overnight. This will give the oil enough time to get absorbed by the roots and repair the hair shaft. Next morning wash your hair with a mild paraben and sulphate free shampoo."
Santosh Kumar, DGM, Kiehl's India suggests ways to help keep your hair healthy and damage-free overnight:
This overnight hair mask works best for dry and damaged hair. Mixing two teaspoons of olive oil, some aloe vera gel and two egg yolks in a bowl, massaging your scalp with this mixture for 10-15 mins, leaving it on overnight by tying it into a loose bun and wearing a shower cap and washing it with a good shampoo in the morning can help nourish your hair and scalp.
Serum it Right
To get your hands on the serum that is just right for you could be challenging but once you do, it's also life changing. And when you do get the correct one, you want to use it efficiently to obtain the best results in terms of solving your biggest hair problems such as frizz, dryness, etc. For gorgeous hair with megawatt shine, it's important to distribute a serum to the part of the hair that needs it the most, the ends. That way, it benefits your hair the most and you could also avoid annoying product build-up near your roots. Serum it right before bed and voila! Just like that, wake up to the most soft and shiny tresses ever.
Best of Braids
The key is to braid it correctly. Many choose twists as they help them achieve a more natural and carefree look. To have amazing beach waves the next day, braid your hair before bed and that will do the trick. Also make sure the braids are not too tight. Stressing your hair is never a good idea. Braiding will also help keep your hair in place so as to avoid too much friction which eventually causes breakage and hair fall.
Did you know silk pillowcases keep your hair hydrated? It also helps with brittle hair. People traditionally use cotton pillow cases as they are unaware of the fact that cotton is more permeable and hence absorbs all the moisture from your hair. But silk is known to do the exact opposite. It keeps the moisture right where it belongs. Hence, sleeping on a silk bed sheet and a silk pillowcase at night is highly recommended.
Old School Massage
If you are looking for a full proof way to grow your hair in a healthy manner, a scalp massage before bed is the way to go. Scalp massages are known to increase hair thickness by stretching the cells of your hair follicles. This encourages the follicles to produce thicker hair in return. It also helps dilate blood vessels beneath the skin thereby encouraging hair growth.
Vitamins are Your Best Friend
Healthy diet helps in keeping the locks luscious, a mix of vitamins and healthy fats is helpful. Like any other body part, our hair also needs the correct amount of nutrients in order to stay healthy. While factors such as age, genetics and hormones also affect hair growth, optimal nutrient intake is key. Vitamin A, C, D, E and B -- vitamins help our hair the most. Therefore 'eating right' all day, and eating food which contains vitamins is a good idea.
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The monsoon season is much loved by all a welcome respite from the hot summer, cool showers bring out a rich, earthy scent and a gentle breeze blowing through the hair. Despite it being the season of love and romance the monsoon can be quite unhealthy for the hair and scalp. Just like we should adapt our skincare routines to different weather; changing the hair care routine is also a must in order to meet the new, changing environmental conditions.
The increase in humidity can have multi-dimensional effects on long, lustrous locks leaving them dull, frizzy and prone to hair fall. Contact with acidic rainwater can leave the scalp extremely dry and flaky thus inviting dandruff related concerns. Air-drying the hair starts to take longer due to high humidity levels and dampness comes with its own set of concerns such as infections, itching etc.
While the above factors might make you love monsoons a little less simple additions can help adapt your hair to the changing season and bring out its best texture despite the conditions. While these alterations can surely help, The Body Shop India shares a well-rounded routine to ensure nourished hair all year round-
Cleansing- With the increased humidity there is a great chance to suffer from itchy scalp and dandruff. To maintain healthy hair and scalp wash your hair twice or thrice a week with a gentle shampoo that is suited for your hair and scalp type. Using an anti-bacterial and anti-dandruff shampoo once a week can also make a lot of difference and help get rid of the itchiness and flakes. Another word of caution is to use normal water to wash your hair, hot water can dry out & fry the hair, while cold water can shock it to damage.
Conditioner/Mask- While it may sound like a task but this one step can be a boon to help reduce breakage. Monsoon season tends to make the hair frizzy and lacklustre; to strengthen the hair and add shine always use a conditioner or a mask that will help boost moisture level and improve texture. Leave on the conditioner/mask for about 5-10 minutes for best results and to make the most of the product.
Serum- Leave on serums is a quick fix to get rid of tangles which often lead to extreme pulls in the hair thus increasing hair fall. It also creates a shine and brings an instant softness to the hair. Ideally, one should use 2-3 drops of hair serum gently on the damp hair.
Oiling- Choose an oil that is lightweight and provides adequate nourishment to the hair. Oiling has been a timeless tradition that helps in adding lustre to the hair. Leaving the hair overnight is ideal however an hour before cleansing can also help reap several benefits. Oil massage also improves the blood circulation in the scalp thereby strengthening the hair follicles, promoting an itch-free scalp and supplementing hair growth.
Styling- While styling the hair can always help the oomph factor, keeping it to the minimal is the better route to take -- focus on keeping the hair length manageable with regular trims, using wide-tooth wooden combs to reduce breakage and choose to air dry rather than using heated treatments such as blow dryers, straighteners, curling rods etc. The high-temperature setting on these devices can often burn hair and while there might not be any short-term effects, it can be especially damaging in the long run.
Healthy Diet- Treatments, styling and routines are a great addition to help hair texture, shine and health but it cannot substitute a healthy diet that is rich in all food groups. Boost your nutrition intake and include Vitamin A, Zinc, Iron and Biotin which help in promoting collagen and boosting cell regeneration.
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There has been a massive influx of patients with post Covid hair loss, said doctors here on Thursday.
The sudden onset of hair loss -- Telogen effluvium -- is caused majorly due to stress, nutritional deficiency and inflammatory reactions caused by the infectious disease, the health experts explained.
Normally a person can lose up to 100 hair per day, but due to Telogen Effluvium it can increase up to 300-400 hair per day.
"We have seen a two-fold rise in the number of patients complaining of problems related to hair loss. Post Covid-19 inflammation has been a major contributor here. The deficiencies caused by a compromised nutritional intake, sudden changes in weight, hormonal disturbances and reduced vitamin D and B12 levels are some of the major reasons for the large volumes of hair loss post Covid-19," said Shahin Nooreyezdan, Senior Consultant, Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.
However, the condition, which sets in 1-1.5 months after Covid is temporary and gets better with treatment in 2-3 months.
"Reason is the interruption of hair follicle growth due to an acute infection like Covid that pushes the hair into the shedding or dead phase (telogen phase). And the dead hair shed off after a few weeks automatically," said Sachin Dhawan, Senior Consultant, Department of Dermatology, Fortis Memorial Research Institute.
"For mild cases, recovery is automatic. In severe cases, a good hair supplement with biotin and amino acids, iron and other minerals is given, along with a peptide containing serum," Dhawan added.
During the post Covid-19 recovery, people must consume a nutritious diet along with natural edible sources of vitamins and iron. Iron deficiency can further accelerate the hair loss, and consumption of a protein rich and balanced diet can itself be a solution for reducing temporarily witnessed hair fall.
Besides eating healthy and taking nutritional supplements, one should also avoid heat and chemicals for hairstyling and refrain from following a sedentary lifestyle, the doctors recommended.
"It is only after waiting for 5-6 weeks post consuming a nutritious diet that people should consult a doctor if they still encounter an excessive hair loss. Moreover, some common hair care solutions that can be administered to avoid an excessive hair loss are; use of mild, paraben and sulphate free shampoos, keeping a close check on the itchy and flaky scalp, refrain from oiling and massaging the scalp, using a wide tooth comb and seeking immediate medical intervention in case of development of bald patches and getting huge volumes of hair fall," said Kuldeep Singh, Senior Consultant Cosmetology and Plastic Surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. (agency)