Above: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Ankita B.
Summer is finally upon us! As we get into the full swing of the season, those familiar summer smells and sounds start to permeate our surroundings; the jingle of the ice cream truck coming around the corner, loaded with popsicles and vanilla cones, the scent of sunblock we all keep handy to protect ourselves from aging and dry marks, and the high-pitched laughter of friends enjoying their time outside, at the beach or at the park.
The summer time comes with an entirely different temperature, atmosphere, and humidity level, and therefore, brings a whole host of issues for dry, dull, and lifeless skin and hair. Personally, my main goal during the summer is to keep a strong, sleek head of hair. Yet, due to the high temperature and the amount of time I spend outside during the summer, my hair often becomes lifeless, dry, difficult to style, and doesn’t have the shine that I want. In an ideal world, I’d love it if my hair would look like the women's in shampoo commercials, where each strand of hair is so shiny and sleek that it looks like it’s literally glistening in the sun. Although some women’s first instinct may be to straighten or apply heat to their hair, there are ways to avoid heat and still achieve the glossy look.
So, how do I achieve that healthy, full, luscious head of hair in the summer? Luckily, as long as you pay attention to the ingredients in your products, regularly practice home treatments, and avoid putting anything artificial in your hair, you can improve the health of your hair and scalp with natural, non-invasive, at-home treatments. Read on to find the top tips to help achieve a sleek, shiny head of hair:
1. Use shampoos with only natural ingredients.
When you’re shopping for products for your hair, you should be as careful as when you’re going grocery shopping. Similar to how you would buy healthy foods at the supermarket to make sure that good nutrients are going into your body, you should shop for natural, enriching shampoos and conditioners that nourish your hair. If you can’t pronounce or do not recognize the name of an ingredient in your shampoo, chances are, you probably don’t know exactly how it’s affecting (or damaging!) your hair.
For me, I wouldn’t let anything touch my sensitive hair that I didn’t know the effects of. For this reason, many dermatologists recommend staying away from SLS (which strips your hair of oil, leaving it brittle), parabens, formaldehyde, and synthetic or artificial fragrances and colors. As Apsara emphasizes, the Earth has so many natural, beneficial ingredients that there is no need
to turn to chemicals.
Shampoos like the Rosemary & Amla Shampoo from Apsara do not contain harsh chemicals like artificial fragrance, parabens, and petrochemical derivatives that dehydrate the hair. All-natural ingredients strengthen and rejuvenate your hair, from the roots and scalp to the tips and ends of your hair.
Related Review: "My head literally feels rejuvenated."
2. Oil your hair (especially your ends!) to replenish your hair from the outside in.
As important as it is to eat healthy, nutrient and vitamin-rich foods to keep your skin and hair glowing from within, it is equally essential to regularly apply topical treatments to keep the external appearance of your hair and skin robust and fresh. One of the most revitalizing things you can do for your hair is to apply alimentative hair oil. Hair oils like jojoba, sunflower, argan and coconut oil are all effective in locking in moisture and preserving your hair health. Apsara’s Rosemary & Amla Hair Oil blends natural ingredients like rosemary, brahmi, and turmeric to increase nourishment and vitality of both the scalp & hair.
What I love about a topical oil treatment is that you can incorporate hair oil into any part of your routine, at any time of day. If you’re on the go, you can transfer your hair oil to a small spray bottle and spritz the ends of your hair as you exit the shower or are about to leave the house. This is a quick, easy and temporary solution if your hair needs some shine. For a deeper condition, work oil into your scalp, roots, and the ends of your dry hair the night before you take a shower. For the best results, you can seal your head with a shower cap and let the oil seep into your hair overnight, washing it the next morning. You can also leave it sitting for just an hour or two if you don’t want to sleep with it throughout the night.
Related Review: "I feel my hair is growing in thicker."
3. Turn down the temperature, opt for a cooler shower!
Now, I know how good a hot, steamy shower can feel at the end of the day, relaxing your body and calming your muscles. However, although this may feel good on your body, it’s not as great for your hair. I know I’m definitely guilty of turning the water a little bit too hot to achieve a comfortable shower at times, but we have to fight the temptation! Water that’s too hot can damage your hair cuticles, setting your
hair up for frizziness and lack of moisture by the time it dries.
Next time you’re in there, turn down the water to a more lukewarm temperature to go easier on your hair. When you’re in the thick of the summer heat, a cooler shower may feel better too!
Related: DIY Hair and Scalp Mask
4. Don’t skimp on the conditioner.
If you’re like me, and love being active in the summer, then you’re probably spending a lot of your time going on sunny jogs, long bike rides, swimming at the beach, and playing friendly games of soccer. With all of the air outside combined with sweat, my first instinct is to run to the shower and shampoo to keep my hair clean.
While shampooing is important, it is important to know that all shampoos strip the hair of oils, regardless of whether they are natural or not. Therefore, it is important to replenish oil in the hair to achieve a sleek, healthy look. The general rule of thumb is that the curlier your hair is, the less you should be shampooing per week. I am a curly-haired girl, so my hair already tends to be on the dryer side, and I shampoo my hair two to three times a week. Depending on how often you shampoo (everyone is different, do what works for you!), I would suggest alternating shampooing and conditioning with a day of just using conditioner, to lock in that extra moisture. The Rosemary And Amla Conditioner from Apsara is creamy and proven to leave your hair soft.
5. Air dry your hair after you step out of the shower.
As you may already know, Apsara’s mission is centered around avoiding damaging practices for your hair. At the top of the list? Heat. Apsara aims to offer products that compliment a routine hopefully free of blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons. What you may not have known, is that blow drying your hair, especially right after the shower, can contribute to frizz. Next time that you finish your shower, reach for a towel or a soft scarf and wrap it gently around your head. This will help dry your hair while still keeping it moisturized and detangled. Then, depending on the length and thickness of your hair, leave it out to air dry for 30 minutes or more. This is a natural and completely harm-free way to dry your hair.
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Go natural. It is good karma!