What if soft, shiny and beautiful hair can be achieved at the comfort of your home. And it only took 30 minutes of your time each week. Before we get to know how, let’s first see why your hair needs that extra love…
If you are making a banana and blueberry smoothie, would it matter whether you put one fruit before another into the blender. A banana before blueberries? Or blueberries before banana. No, right. After all, it will all blend into a smoothie. So the sequence doesn’t matter.
Though when it comes to conditioning your hair, the sequence does matter. The usual norm is to condition after shampoo. But if your hair is dry, frizzy, fragile and damaged, then do consider conditioning before shampooing. That’s because washing dehydrates hair and also strips away it’s natural oils, unless your hair is tremendously healthy. By that I mean undamaged, not coloured or heat-treated. But if your hair is damaged, chemically treated and not-so-healthy, pre-shampoo conditioning works like protective covering and saves your hair from getting parched and unruly. Moreover, it adds luxury and dazzle to your goldy locks.
And don’t worry, you don’t have to go on a search for what to put on your hair. I have for you some lovely do-it-at-home conditioning treatments that are packed with essential oils and botanicals. They will intensely nourish and replenish hair, making it softer, healthier and smoother. And if you have waves or curls, they will be better defined and less-frizzy, and if you have straight hair, it will be nice and bouncy.
Here are 4 conditioning treatments you can use. These are selected for your fair hair so that they don’t alter the hair colour, but enhance its shine and brightness. Depending on whether your hair needs big volume or mega softness, you can decide what to choose.
Coconut oil is fantastic for those of you with fine, limp hair. This aromatic oil penetrates deep inside the hair and holds on to hair proteins so that they don’t leak out when you are shampooing. Since proteins are retained, you will notice that your hair gets stronger and thicker over time.
Along with this, the unique fatty acids in coconut oil leaves hair superbly shiny and smooth. Plus, if your scalp is itchy and flaky, then coconut oil is an expert treatment. It contains anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which soothe the scalp and keep it healthy. And a healthy scalp means healthy hair and faster growth.
You will need:
Slight warm coconut oil if it’s solid. Add the almond oil and lavender oil and mix well.
How to use: Massage into your scalp and hair and let it soak in for at least an hour before washing it out for sleek, smooth, beautiful hair.
How often to use: Once or twice a week.
As amazing as coconut oil may sound, but it has a few limitations. Since it retains protein in the hair, coconut oil may cause protein overload and make certain hair dry and stiff. My suggestion is if you got dry, coarse hair, skip the coconut oil and use its milk…
Coconut milk is a perfect conditioning ingredient for those with dry, coarse and damaged hair. It imparts all the goodness of coconut, but with an extra dose of moisture and softness.
The creamy milk of coconut deep conditions every strand of hair, reduces frizz and restores hair’s elasticity. With just one use you will notice your hair get softer, silkier and smoother. And since coconut milk is a great detangler, it helps to reduce breakage when combing.
You will need:
You can make your own coconut milk, but if you prefer to buy it, then do check the ingredient list. Quality coconut milk will have only two or three ingredients – coconut for sure, water and sometimes thickener guar gum.
Place the coconut milk in a bowl, stir in peppermint essential oil if using and mix well.
How to use:
Start with dry hair. Apply coconut milk mask into your hair and scalp, put on the shower cap or wrap your head in a muslin cloth or a towel. Let it soak in for 45 to 60 minutes for it to really moisturise your hair. Next, wash away for silky, swish-worthy locks.
How often to use: Use once or twice a week, or when needed.
After incredibly moisturising coconut milk, there’s egg and honey mask to bulk up hair strands for thickness.
Egg and honey mask is ideal for those with fine hair or who desire volume and lots of shine. Egg is packed with protein which can bulk your hair up, making them look fuller and thicker. Another fascinating thing about protein is it fills in the gaps of damaged cuticles and gives hair a smoother look. Egg also contains lovely, fatty egg yolk. And that provides deep conditioning for improved shine and manageability of hair.
What about honey? Well, honey helps to naturally lighten the hair due to the presence of small amounts of hydrogen peroxide. The lightening effect is subtle and gradual, so you don’t have to worry about honey wrecking your hair colour. And as a bonus, honey’s humectant properties restore moisture and enhance the waves and curls pattern.
You will need:
Whisk the egg in a bowl. Stir in honey (and aloe vera gel, coconut milk and peppermint essential oil if using). Combine well.
How to use: Start with dry hair. Apply the egg mask from roots to tips. Place a shower cap or wrap an old towel over to avoid a mess. Let the mask soak in for 15-45 minutes and rinse with cool or lukewarm water for thick, shiny and beautiful hair. (Do not use hot water as egg white will cook in your hair and you don’t want that, right?)
**Again, I have to warn you about the protein overload. If you have brittle, stiff hair, then use just the yolk and skip the egg white. It’s because the fatty egg yolk will not cause a problem like the protein-rich egg white. (read more on this here)
The last up is aloe vera for oil-free conditioning and sleek look…
If you want a conditioning treatment that’s lightweight but at the same time pulls its weight to protect and save your hair, you need aloe vera. Aloe vera forms a thin film over hair and traps in moisture and keeps your hair well-hydrated or moisturised – but without being creamy or heavy. A well-moisturised hair is great, it has more softness, flexibility and definition. And it’s less frizzy and doesn’t break easily.
Besides, aloe also clears out the dead skin cells and build up from the hair, so your hair bounces and shines happily.
You will need:
You will need:
Put the aloe vera juice in a bowl. Add almond oil or any of your favourite oil, and use ylang ylang essential oil for fragrance and its therapeutic properties. Mix everything well. You are ready to go.
How to use
Apply the aloe vera mixture on your scalp and hair. Massage with your fingers so that the gel penetrates deeper into the scalp. Let it sit for 30-60 minutes and rinse away to leave hair feeling soft, sleek and with a healthy shine.
Next time we will see the usual after shampoo conditioning, but it will be in the form of hair rinse…
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