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Give those tresses some TLC

 | June 16, 2012

Shampooing and conditioning may not be enough.

WE shampoo our hair because it’s dirty. If we’re good, we condition it. But how many of us think about putting a hair mask on?

If you’ve never considered a hair mask, now’s a good time to get one. With the weatherman predicting this hot and dry spell of ours to go on till probably September, you’d want to seriously think about protecting your tresses.

Truth is, our hair is constantly subjected to abuse. Apart from being exposed to the sun, city pollution and daily environmental stressors, we also subject our hair to extreme, dry heat from the use of hair dryers. Even towelling dry our hair can damage it in the long run.

Other factors that contribute to dry and damaged hair include swimming in chlorinated pool water, colouring our hair, and extreme weather changes like when we go on vacation, whether it’s to the beach or the mountains.

The everyday conditioner will replenish hair to a point, but a conditioning mask is the best way to keep tresses in tip-top shape. Leave your hair long enough without some serious TLC and dryness will make hair look dull.

“Hair masks can prevent split ends, keep hair supple and your colour bright,” says hair stylist Cheryl Ng. “A protein-based hair mask is great for fine hair or hair that is prone to breakage. For hair that is dry, coarse or frizzy, choose a moisture-based product.” Just a once-a-week treatment can do wonders to change a damaged hair’s condition, she adds.

The good news about hair masks is you can even make them yourself.

“Unless you’re using a natural and organic product, sometimes it’s great to give your hair a break from any chemical exposure,” says trichologist Dr Nadeer Shah. “Coconut oil, avocado, yoghurt, olive oil—these are some of the common pantry ingredients you easily have access to and they all have natural restorative abilities.”

Bananas, for example, contain an amino acid called tryptophan that helps revitalise dry hair. Avocados are rich in essential fatty acids that help nourish the hair. Just be sure to have all ingredients mixed in a clean container, and rinse hair thoroughly to get rid of all food residue. You don’t want to walk around smelling like a fruit salad all day.


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