Thursday, 19 April 2012

Hair - Care today or loss tomorrow!!!

Everybody gets nervous with complaints of 'hair loss'. They try all sorts of treatments that are advertised in print as well as electronic media. Costly therapies and treatments are recommended, even with highly potent medicines such as Corticosteroids and Minoxidil and other such tonics for as long as two years. No long term benefits, but many end up with side effects.

Hair fall is a serious matter and hair loss at early age is the new generation's problem. Stress, wrong food habits, use of too much chemical colors, shampoo, detergents etc have created an imbalance in the body, result of which is hair loss. After falling of one hair, a new hair arises from the follicle near the root and hair grows at the rate of 15 cm per year. If the follicles near the hair roots are dead then it is very difficult to revive them. Daily care starting from early age can help postpone the progress towards baldness, Scalp irritations, dandruff etc should be treated immediately.

There are many reasons for hair fall, internal as well as external. Hormonal imbalance, stress, anxiety, anaemia, dieting, stomach problems such as acidity, constipation are some of the internal problems, while improper use of soaps & shampoos, hair colors, excessive styling and bonding, exposure to harsh chemicals, sun, pollution, sweat etc. are some of the external factors.

Inculcate right hair care routine right from childhood. Our Indian system of oiling the hair is one of the best natural remedy and hair care. Oil massage nourishes the scalp and strengthens the roots by increasing blood circulation to the hair follicles thus encouraging hair growth. In case of excessive oily scalp, one can reduce the contact time of the oil to the scalp and wash with good pH balance shampoo. During adolescence oil massage hair & scalp at least once a week with warm oil, leave overnight (preferably) or at least one hour and wash. In case of using colors and chemical treatments, make sure you massage scalp gently so that the hair which is already damaged and becomes delicate is not damaged further. Avoid strong shampoos and conditioning masks. Nourish the scalp with herbal hair packs according to hair types. Space colorings & touch ups once in fortnight only. Leaving chemical colors too long than recommended on the pack will damage the hair and disturb the pH balance of the scalp. It can affect eyes, skin and health adversely.

Men should wash hair everyday with gentle pH balance shampoo. Oil massage once a week will relax the scalp, mind & body. Avoid colors with PPDA more than 0.5% to 1%. Baldness can not be avoided if it is hereditary but yes it can be postponed with proper hair care, diet and reducing stress in life.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Everyone wants to be fair at least in India! Fair skin, fair & lovely, fair & young, fair & beautiful, fair forever, fair & handsome etc. etc. seems only white color skin or light skin has become symbol of beauty. And the markets are flooded with fairness or whitening products, associated with them are many advertisements bombarding us 24x7 with products for 'improving skin complexion'.

Cosmetics loaded with chemical bleaches are often used to achieve these temporary results, however this can be harmful. The trend is to become fair in one sitting of beauty treatment, products that will give instant glowing skin, radiance whitening and brightening. Regular use of these products may seem to be beneficial, but the moment you stop using these products, your skin becomes sensitive, shows signs of aging, and reverse effects such as darkening, sensitivity to sun, uneven skin tone, age spots etc.

One dangerous trend is, our city streets, markets, malls,  are filled with so many beauty parlors, saloons, spa etc, some big some small, and the numbers are increasing. Many of which do not have trained staff, professional skin care experts or beautician. A license is needed to run a beauty parlor or saloon, but there is no license required to become a beautician and practice beauty treatments. Anybody can do a facial, or with little training can practice beauty treatments. One must be very careful as to who is judging your skin and how qualified he or she is. Recommendation from untrained beauticians
can be very harmful in long run.

To change the skin complexion given to us by nature and genes at birth is not possible. However the skin color can be improved or brightened by some efforts - daily care and protection. Herbal preparations & formulas can be of some help with regular use at least for 3 months. These formulas just help to remove tan & clear the skin by deep cleaning and toning. Helps remove uneven skin tone and nourishing and brightening the skin. But most important is protection. One cannot expect fair & bright skin going out in sun and exposing the skin to harsh sun, ultra violet rays, heat & pollution. A sun block is must. (Carrying an umbrella is also a smart option).

Friday, 20 January 2012

Beauty Through Herbs

It is said that Nature is a great cosmetologist and chemist. All the ingredients required to beautify and maintain the skin, hair and health are available in the treasury of medicinal herbs provided by mother nature. Our ancestors had the art of using these medicinal herbs to enhance beauty. They had beautifully co-related 'health & beauty. But today we are moving away from these natural medicinal system and are willingly going under surgeon's knife or spend thousands on trying to achieve beauty through injections and interventions.

Skin is the mirror of health and reflection of good health means healthy skin. Skin becomes soft and shiny due to secretions of sebaceous glands, sweat glands maintain the body temperature and expel toxins. A mixture of both forms a protective covering called acid mantle. Balance of both is required for natural skin, if sebaceous glands secretes in excess the skin becomes more oily and pimple or acne prone and over stimulated sweat glands makes the skin rough. With excessive use of soap this balance is disturbed. Our skin today has to
face the environment, heat, dust, pollution, germs, stress etc so it is very important that we take care of the skin as part of our daily routine to maintain the health of face and to enhance beauty of the skin.

Traditionally face packs and masks are used to maintain facial skin, and Ubtan, oil massage, steam bath for the body. These treatments are classified in 3 categories in Ayurveda:

Doshaghna: the one which removes Dosha such as itching, inflammation, and other skin irritations.

Vishaghna: the one which removes poisons, toxins and

Varnya: the one that gives luster, glow and firm healthy skin.

Herbs like Aloevera, Orange peel (or any citurs peel ), Papaya has cleansing properties.

Amba Haldi( curcumma amanda), Neem, Basil, liquorice (Glycerrhiz glabra), Bavachi (Psoralea Corylifolia) are antiseptic

Ashvagandha, Ginseng, Nagarmotha (CyperusRotundus), Basil, liquorice are nutritive
Kachur sugandhi, Nagarmotha, Bavachi, Ambahaldi, Anantmu (Hemidesmus Indicus)l etc increases blood circulation

Sandalwood, vertivert, rose, lodhra, aloevera, red sandalwood, anantmul etc are also anti inflammatory

Ginseng, papaya, liquorice, manjishtha, rose, lodhra, anantmul are rejuvenating

Arjun, Harda, Triphala, manjishtha, neem (Azadirachta indica) are astrigent in nature

aloevera, rose, vertiveria geranium are moisturising

Amba haldi, cucumber, lemon, kachur sugandhi, aloevera, redsandalwood, tomatoes, anantmul are bleaching

Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), papaya, aloevera, ginseng, Nagarmotha etc are wrinkle control also.