Natural Hair Care Concord NH
Summer Hair Care
Strong sunlight and salt-laden wind are hard on your tresses, but there
By Susan Weiner
It’s summertime and the living may be easy. Summer elements, however, are anything but easy on your hair, which is exposed to salt water or chlorine (or both), dry winds and high humidity. The damage these elements can cause often results in locks that are drab, dry or frizzy.
When confronted by such environmental exposures, “lather, rinse and repeat” just isn’t enough to keep your hair in tip-top shape on long hot days. To achieve that magnificent mane, it may be time to step away from your traditional routine and evaluate new approaches to hair care.
Each of us has approximately 100,000 scalp hairs that grow from one-quarter to one-half inch every month from structures called follicles. Each hair shaft has three layers; the cuticle, or outside layer, protects the inner two. When the scales that make up the cuticle lie flat and reflect light, hair is shiny and healthy. When the hair shaft is damaged these scales separate and hair becomes dry, dull and prone to breakage.
Whether hair is straight or curly also influences shine. Sebum, a protective oil produced within the follicles, spreads out and covers straight hair easier than curly or wavy hair. This is why straight hair often appears shinier than a head full of curls.
The longer the hair, the longer it has been exposed to harsh elements such as scorching sun and chlorinated pool water during the summer (as well as cold outdoor air and overheated indoor air during the winter). Over time, these conditions take their toll, zapping your hair’s luster and sheen.
A 5,000-year-old system of holistic healing from India, Ayurveda steers away from chemical-based hair care and emphasizes all-natural treatments that combine wholesome foods, herbs, scalp massage, aromatherapy and yoga. Individual mind-body types, or doshas, determine the specific combination of each individual. Someone with a vata constitution, for example, may have naturally frizzy or coarse hair and struggle with dandruff and split ends. A pitta person may have light-colored, fine hair that may go gray or thin out early, while a kapha individual is likely to have full, abundant hair that is less prone to damage. (To determine your dosha, go to www.whatsyourdosha.com or find a trained practitioner through the National Ayurvedic Medical Association at www.ayurveda-nama.org .)
Ayurvedic practices are ideal for sun-stressed hair. “Typical Ayurvedic treatment will include massage of the scalp with medicated oils, which have extraordinary qualities,” says Suteja Navarro, CAS, PKS, founder of OmSpring in San Francisco, California. “Ayurvedic knowledge teaches that there is a true digestive system that operates through the skin, including the scalp. This is why Ayurveda recommends putting nothing on the skin that we ca...