Friday, December 24, 2010

Helpful Hints and Natural Remedies for Dry Hair

With a huge market of dry skin potions made of oils and natural herbal extracts and super duty all-day extra dry hand creams aimed at keeping skin moist throughout the harshest of conditions, dry hair seems to be the first part of the body that is neglected. Even though winter is almost over, dry skin doesn’t end with the first day of spring and your hair needs to be taken care of just as much as cracked hands, feet, or elbows.

Having an itchy, dry scalp can not only be annoying but sometimes unsightly and embarrassing by showing up on your clothes. When the scalp is very dry the follicles flake off in little white sheets that can fall from your head when you least expect them, unlike dandruff, having a dry scalp can be caused by too much sun, too much shampooing, blow drying, chlorine, or coloring among other harsh ways of stripping the natural oils from your hair. When dry scalp flakes occur normally they are slight and only occur once every month as the skin sheds.

When you have dry scalp whether it is due to stress, weather conditions, genetics, or another outside source, constantly scratching can leave your hair greasy from the oils and dirt from underneath your fingernails. The natural oil secreted by your scalp is called sebum and is produced by the hair follicles. When the hair is washed the follicles protect themselves by creating more sebum in order to keep the hair from getting dehydrated. The more you wash your hair the greasier it can become which is why washing every other day or every few days is best for the health of your scalp as well as the physical appearance of your hair.

Hair masks can also be temporarily beneficial for overly dry hair. Oils such as almond, avocado, olive, rosemary, shea, and burdock among others can be mixed with honey and used on the hair to restore the moisture. Another natural remedy is mixing egg yolks and massaging them onto the hair and scalp and some people like to use mayonnaise to revive dry hair.

Dandruff, on the other hand, also produces white (and sometimes yellow) flakes due to a fungus affecting the scalp making it severely irritated. The inflammation causes your skin to shed quicker than just a dry scalp because it can occur anywhere from 7 to 21 days out of the month. There is no cure for dandruff and although there are pricy shampoos and conditioners that help curb the itch and flakes, there are natural remedies available.

Found in The Herbal Home Spa, by Greta Breedlove, this is a quick, natural, and less-expensive way to prep your scalp to lessen the outbreak of dandruff:

2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup grape seed oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 shower cap

Mix all 3 ingredients together and after rinsing your hair with warm water, rub a tablespoon at a time into your scalp using a circular motion with your fingertips until you have covered your entire head. Place shower cap over your whole head and secure with pins if needed. Leave mixture on for at least 30 minutes then rinse well and shampoo and condition normally.

Besides homemade concoctions that will most likely make your hands slimy and make your hair smell disgusting, you should consider that the best way to keep your hair shiny and healthy is by eating a balanced diet with loads of fruits and veggies aimed at keeping the skin full of nutrients to ensure natural sebum production.

Don’t forget, your hair is just as much a part of your body as organs or skin.

Source: Lara news

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