The longer your hair is, the older it is.
Say goodbye to bad hair days, thanks to our amazing hair care tips and tricks for Desi women.
Whether it’s your crowning glory or the foe you battle with every morning, your hair is important.
Its maintenance is part of our daily routine, it can be used as a form of self-expression, it can be styled to enhance our appearance, and it is one of the first things others notice about us.
Our hair impacts how we look, but more importantly, it impacts how we feel and we all want to feel our best.
So, whether you like to keep it sleek and simple or you use your locks as an experimental playground, you will love these 5 amazing hair care tips for Desi women.
To best look after your hair, you must firmly know exactly what type of hair you have.
At first, this may sound obvious but you may be surprised by the answer after having delved into the nitty-gritty of hair types.
Once you know your hair type, you can work with it by using products and finding styles that complement your Desi hair.
Let us begin by looking at hair texture or the natural pattern of your hair strands. To find out what hair texture you have, wash your hair and let it air dry, free of any hair products.
If your hair dries straight without a curve or bend, you have straight or type 1 hair. If your hair dries with a slight curve or an ‘S’ shape, you have wavy or type 2 hair.
If your hair dries with a defined curl or loop pattern you have curly or type 3 hair. If your hair dries in dense spirals or a zig-zag pattern you have coiled or type 4 hair.
But remember two people in the same category, may still have very different hair care patterns.
This is because each category has subcategories. For example, someone with type 2a hair may have a slight curve in their hair, but someone with type 2c hair may have more defined waves.
Once you have figured out your hair texture, every Desi woman should embrace it fully by using products specifically designed for your hair care pattern.
This will allow you to enhance your natural hair care pattern and style without the need for heated tools.
If you have bone straight hair, enjoy your effortlessly sleek and sophisticated look.
For those with wavy hair, make the most of your naturally tousled strands.
If you are new to wavy hair life, you will find that after a few months of appropriate hair care, your wave pattern will become more defined.
And for those with corkscrew curls or springy coils, ditch the straighteners to rejoice in all your natural volume, movement and body.
Hair structure refers to the thickness of your hair strands.
Your hair structure can affect how well your hair holds different styles and reacts to certain hair products.
To determine your hair structure, get a strand of hair from your hairbrush and lay it flat next to a piece of sewing thread. Try using thread that is a similar colour to your hair.
If your hair appears thinner than the sewing thread, you have thin hair. If the hair appears thicker, you have thick hair and anything in between would be medium hair.
Those with thin hair may find that curls will not hold very well.
Medium hair can be easier to style and holds different styles for longer. Thick hair can hold curls well but can be difficult to style.
Again, make the most of your natural hair care structure and opt for heatless styles that will work for every Desi woman, from half up to half down hairstyles, twisted knot buns, and braids.
Porosity refers to your hair’s ability to absorb moisture and product and it will be different for every Desi woman.
To figure out how porous your hair is, place a single strand of hair into a bowl of water.
If the hair strand sinks it has high porosity, which means it absorbs all the moisture. If the strand remains below the surface but floats above the bottom of the bowl, it has normal porosity.
If the strand of hair floats above the surface of the water, the hair has low porosity and does not absorb moisture easily.
Hair with high porosity absorbs moisture too quickly because of gaps around the cuticle. Those damaged areas cause it to release moisture at a high rate, making it dry and brittle.
This type of hair is more prone to damage as it can readily absorb the chemicals from products. It also gets frizzy and rough easily.
For this hair type, it is best to avoid heat styling and harsh chemical treatments that can cause frizz and dryness.
Instead look for nourishing hair masks, oils, and leave-in treatments that will provide extra moisture and help seal the cuticle to prevent damage from occurring.
Low porosity hair, is where the cuticle lays flat blocking water or moisture from being absorbed into the strands.
For this hair type, the main concern is product build-up, especially with thick hair oils and mousses. As products often get settled on top of the hair rather than sinking in.
That is why you should apply products when your hair is still damp, to help ensure they are more easily absorbed.
Hair with normal porosity takes in the correct amount of moisture. It does not require a lot of maintenance and is less prone to damage.
A healthy scalp is fundamental to having healthy hair.
Inspect your hair and scalp on the second day after a wash to determine how oily your scalp is.
If your roots appear flat and greasy, you are dealing with an oily scalp. If you are experiencing flaking, you have a dry scalp.
If you have an oily scalp, you may find you need to wash it more frequently than someone with a normal or dry scalp.
The best way to figure this out is to keep it simple. When your scalp and hair are greasy, wash them.
Use lukewarm water, focus the shampoo on the crown of the head, and massage into the scalp, rinse and repeat.
Pick a shampoo that is suitable for your hair type. For those with a greasy scalp, oil-controlling shampoo may work best.
For those with a dry, flaky scalp a hydrating shampoo may be most beneficial.
If you have an oily and flaky scalp, a mix of symptoms is typically brought on from product and oil build-up due to infrequency and improper washing.
In that case, opt for an oil control and scalp soothing shampoo. Follow with a conditioner that is suitable for your hair type and focus the product on the lengths of your hair.
But no matter what hair type you have, all Desi women will benefit from a sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) free shampoo.
SLS is a harsh chemical detergent that can strip the hair of moisture.
The John Masters Organics Shampoo range consists of several SLS-free shampoos suitable for different hair types. The range is cruelty-free, balances oil production, and is safe for colour-treated hair.
Once your hair has been thoroughly but gently cleansed, consider adding a leave-in treatment formulated for your hair type.
Lightweight mists and gels can work well for this with thin hair and those with thicker hair will reap the benefits of heavier oils and creams.
How to Dry your Hair
Your hair is in its most delicate state when it is wet so what you decide to do to it once you step out of the shower will have a big impact.
So, opt for a microfiber towel or hair wrap over a terry cloth towel or a cotton t-shirt.
The soft synthetic fabric is known for its moisture-wicking properties so it draws water away from the hair without having to squeeze or tousle it.
It dries hair quickly while avoiding unnecessary frizz, and breakage. You will be left with smoother-looking hair and more defined curls.
There are lots of microfiber options out there, but a great all-rounder that will work well for all Desi women no matter their hair type is the Aquis Hair Turban.
This is a super soft and lightweight towelling hair wrap, that can dry up to five times faster than conventional towels and does so with less friction.
The hair turban is made from Aquitex fabric, which blends ultrafine fibres and superior water-wicking properties to create a towel that is gentle on delicate strands of hair.
Wrapped and tucked quickly and easily, the turban allows for hands-free drying, leaving you free to get ready with ease.
Follow by gently removing tangles with a wide-toothed comb, starting at the ends and working up to your roots. You can then leave your damp hair to air dry.
On the days when you don’t have time to let your hair air dry and you reach for your hairdryer, remember to always prepare your hair by using a heat protectant spray.
A great option is the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer.
This is a lightweight, pre-styling mist that is infused with a blend of six featherlight oils. It is designed to soften and detangle your hair whilst eliminating frizz.
This multi-tasking primer will also protect against breakage, heat styling, and UV damage to keep your tresses feeling strong and healthy.
With a sweet, fruity scent that will linger in your hair, the primer will not weigh your Desi locks down.
When blow-drying your hair, be sure to hold your dryer about six inches away from your hair. Dry the back and sides first and work towards the crown and the front.
Start at a high temperature and as your hair begins to dry, gradually reduce the heat. This will help you avoid over-drying and damaging your hair.
If you have wavy or curly hair, use a diffuser attachment. The wider the attachment, the more the heat will be distributed and your curls and waves will remain intact.
To add volume and body, try turning your hair upside down as you finish blow-drying.
Silk is the Queen of Fibres
Have you ever woken up from a good night’s sleep to find your hair looking like a bird’s nest?
If so, it is time you make the switch to silk pillowcases and you will finally understand what beauty sleep means.
Silk pillowcases can help prevent frizzy hair. The smooth texture allows hair to glide over it without any friction.
This means you are less likely to wake with tangles. Whereas cotton can snag and tangle the hair.
Silk pillowcases can also help your Desi hair care and skin stay hydrated. The smoothness of silk means it is less apt to absorb moisture from the skin and hair.
As a bonus, silk pillowcases can also help prevent the development of wrinkles.
The smooth surface means less tugging on the skin compared to traditional cotton pillowcases.
Lily Silk offers an extensive range of silk products including luxurious pillowcases, so every Desi woman will be sure to find her perfect pillowcase for the best hair care.
This will come as no surprise to anyone, but your lifestyle impacts all aspects of your health including the health of your hair.
Stress can be the cause of countless ill effects on our bodies.
If you are having a particularly difficult time with your hair. Consider whether this time has coincided with a stressful event or series of events.
Even once the stress has passed, it can take up to three months for you to see an improvement in your hair. Monitor changes in your hair and allow your hair time to recover.
A balanced diet will do wonders for you and your hair. But this is far easier said than done.
Our first steps to an improved diet do not have to be a complete overhaul of everything we eat. Rather look to make small sustainable changes that you can build upon over time.
Firstly, make sure you are sufficiently hydrated. If you are not hitting your recommended daily water intake, why not try to drink a little more each day.
For example, fill up a water bottle each morning and aim to sip through it, during the day.
Secondly, increase your vegetable intake by adding an 80-gram portion of your favourite vegetables to your lunch and dinner.
Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh and super convenient as they are already prepped.
Thirdly, if you are failing to get enough protein in your diet, you are not alone.
Desi hair is primarily made up of protein, so you need to make sure you are getting enough of it. Good sources of protein include lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, low-fat dairy products, and eggs.
Each protein blend contains a different combination of research-backed natural ingredients, nootropics, and adaptogens to target different goals across body and mind.
They are also free from soy, gluten fillers, and GMO nasties. Innermost has decades of clinical studies behind its ingredients.
Finally, consider adding a multivitamin into your routine specially formulated to help support healthy hair growth, such as the Viviscal Hair Growth Programme which has been designed for women.
It is packed full of essential vitamins and minerals which, alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle, help maintain normal healthy hair.
Regular trims are Key
There is no perfect answer to the question of how often you should get your hair cut.
What we do know is that regular haircuts will ensure your hair is the strongest, healthiest, and longest it can be.
Now, what regular means for you will depend on your hair type. But there are a couple of general guidelines that can help every Desi woman figure this out.
Short hair should be cut every three to seven weeks, this will ensure that the short hairstyle is always looking its best.
Medium-length hair should be cut every eight to twelve weeks, this will keep the ends well-shaped.
Long hair should be cut every twelve weeks. The hair can be cut less often, as the style and shape of longer cuts require less maintenance.
But remember, the longer your hair is, the older it is and is more susceptible to breakage.
So ideally you want to trim the ends before the cuticle can split and travel up the delicate hair strands.
The length of your hair alone does not determine how often your hair should be cut, but also the thickness of your hair and your hair texture.
Finer hair should be cut every four to six weeks, as it is more prone to damage from heated tools and product build-up. Whereas those with thicker hair can wait up to twelve weeks.
Straight Desi hair should be cut every four to eight weeks, as it can grow out unevenly.
Those with curly hair can wait longer between cuts, usually, every six to twelve weeks and coiled hair should be cut every twelve weeks.
If you decide to follow any of these amazing hair care tips, consider it an investment.
An investment of time to get to know yourself better and thus equipping yourself with the knowledge to make the best decisions for yourself.
An investment of energy and willpower to make changes to your lifestyle. Monetary investment in a new product that is perfectly suited to you.
Something that no Desi woman should ever forget is that no matter what type of investment you make in yourself, you will be sure to generate a tenfold return.