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EXCLUSIVE: The right way to wash your hair for best hair health as per beauty guru Shahnaz Husain

The first step in hair care is shampoo.  We all wash our hair, but do we know the right way to do it?  Nowadays, hair washing has assumed more importance, due to our exposure to increased grime and chemical air pollutants. These cling to the hair and must be removed.

The first question which comes up is which shampoo to use. There are so many products available in the market that it can be very confusing.  It is better to select a mild herbal shampoo, according to your hair type, whether it is oily or dry.  The next thing to remember is to use less shampoo and rinse the hair very well with water, to get rid of all soapy residue.  More important than the shampoo are the methods one uses to wash and dry the hair.

A question that is always asked is how often one should wash the hair. This depends on individual needs. For oily hair and in hot, humid weather, the frequency is naturally higher.  Generally speaking, three or four times a week for oily hair and twice a week for dry hair would suit most people. The important aspect to bear in mind is that washing does not harm the hair. What harms the hair is the product you use, as well as the quantity of shampoo that is used for each wash.  If you use a mild herbal shampoo and apply very little of it, you can wash the hair every day. The guideline is to wash the hair as often as needed.


First, wet your hair thoroughly. Apply the shampoo and use your fingertips to rub it into the scalp and hair.  Work up a lather. Start at the scalp and go downwards. Be gentle with your hair.  While washing, run plenty of water through the hair, so that you can get rid of all the soap, along with dirt, dead skin cells and other pollutants.

After washing the hair, do not rub it with a towel. Allow the towel to soak up moisture and wrap it around the head for a few minutes.
Do not brush wet hair. Hair is porous and its elasticity increases when it is wet. Brushing can cause the hair to stretch and break.
Use a wide-toothed comb, to comb out all the tangles, starting from the ends of the hair and going upwards towards the scalp.
Allow your hair to dry naturally as much as possible.


Blow Drying Your Hair
You can use a handheld hairdryer at home, to set short hair. Blow-drying helps to set the hair. Or, you can give your hair more body and bounce. For very short hair, the fingers are used to push the hair into place. For longer cuts, a hand-held hairdryer and styling brush can be used to turn the hair inwards or outwards or give the hair waves or curls and shape.  Some hair dryers come with special styling brushes and combs.

The hair should be slightly damp for the setting. Divide the hair into sections and hold them back with clips or hairpins. This allows you to work on each section at a time. Start with the hair at the nape of the neck. Roll up the hair with the brush and use the dryer. You should not concentrate the dryer on one spot. Instead, it should be moved across, so that the hair is not damaged by the heat.

As you move to the sections on the sides and the crown, try to blend each of the sections. The hair on the top of the head should be lifted upwards with the brush, so that hair gets more body and bounce. If you have side flicks, or long fringe, set them, using a comb or brush.

When the hair is totally dry, brush it into the style, so that all the sections have blended together into one.


About the author: Shahnaz Husain is the founder of Shahnaz Husain cosmetics.

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