PART VII: HAIR PRODUCTS – SHAMPOO, CONDITIONERS, DYE AND GREEN TIPS
IT’S TWICE OR MORE POLLUTED INSIDE HOMES Series
IT’S TWICE OR MORE POLLUTED INSIDE HOMES Series
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Hair is man’s crowning glory, and that’s why many hair products promise beautiful, shiny hair. Yet many users end up with falling or damaged hair due to toxic chemicals. The toxic chemicals in shampoo also contribute to the pollution at home, which eventually flows to the sewerage system. It is not really easy reading the ingredients of personal care products, while burdened with a long grocery shopping list. As mentioned previously in Body Care, there are many ways to get educated like perusing over websites that expose carcinogens in personal care products.
Hair is not just the attractive locks and curls, or the shiny, straight décor that people see. Its appearance manifests a person’s health. Hair is attached to the skin, that’s why it hurts when its strands are pulled. It has a specialized protein called keratin that serves as its protection from harsh wind, different seasons, rough handling, strong heat and the sun. On the other hand, the hair color depends on the natural pigment of the cortical cell called melanin. The hair, skin, nails, sweat and oil glands comprise the Integumentary System of the body.
The Integumentary System regulates body temperature, eliminates waste and functions as pressure and pain receptors. To function well, it needs the following:
1. Vitamins A, B Complex, C, E, D, biotin, folic acid, bioflavonoids, and pantothenic acid;
2. Minerals like silicon, calcium, fluorine, iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, iodine, copper, manganese, magnesium, and zinc;
3. Food - avocados, sea vegetables, cucumber, rice polish, sprouts;
4. Drinks – carrot/celery/lemon juice and cucumber/endive/pineapple juice;
5. Herbs – aloe vera juice taken orally or topical hair application.
Hair is important because it protects the head, in the same way the head shields the brain. According to Dr. Shiv Dua, writer of the book Hair Care, there are factors that affect hair health. Below are some factors that affect hair health:
1. Food has a direct effect on the mind and body. In Ayurveda, food is classified as:
a. Satvik food – These are food which give peace, calm, and purity of mind. These are cereals, butter, milk, cheese, curds, wheat, tomatoes, fruits and vegetables;
b. Tamsik food – These are food which induce darkness, and anger in the mind. These food include meat, onions, garlic, wine and tobacco;
c. Rajasvic food are food luxuriously mixed with masala, oil, and servings of different food varieties. Masala is an Indian black tea made with Assam and mixed with warming spices such as ginger and green cardamom pods. Spices like peppercorn, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and fennel seeds are also added to enhance its flavor. (Read: Tea Break Time for more information on Black, Oolong and Green Tea.)
2. Sleep and rest are very much needed to form new cells. Hair needs rest from all the combing, harsh winds, rain, storm, heat and cold;
3. Good blood circulation strengthens the hair. Water is necessary for blood circulation, digestion, healthy hair and body temperature regulation. Since the body consists of about 75% water, it is important to drink 10 to 12 glasses of water every day. (Read: Do you Drink Water Sip by Sip for more information.)
Hair care is not limited to the shampoo and conditioner one uses. It takes much more discipline to have beautiful hair. Below are some tips to name a few.
1. Do not drink carbonated drinks excessively because these makes the blood acidic. Acidity starves the hair from minerals.
2. A cold shower improves blood circulation and strengthens hair.
3. Tying hair too tightly causes breakage.
4. Brush and comb gently. Do not lend or borrow personal things like combs.
5. Massage hair before or after a bath. Use the tips of the fingers to separate hair when applying oil.
6. Apply oil when hair is dry.
7. When a strand of grey hair is pulled, 10 more strands will come out. It is suggested to just cut these grey strands near the roots.
8. Anxiety causes scalp muscle tension. This prevents nutrients from reaching hair follicles and is one of the leading causes of falling hair.
9. Using a hair dryer is harmful because of the hot air it emits. It is healthier to air-dry hair.
Now, here are some simple and natural preparations to enhance the crowning glory.
1. Aloe Vera can be:
a. Used directly on the scalp before taking a bath;
b. Made into a simple bottled mixture used for rinsing. It is composed of aloe gel, water and half a teaspoon of white natural vinegar. This mixture makes the hair soft and manageable. (Check out Aloe Vera for more information.)
2. Gugo is the traditional Philippine shampoo made of Gogo bark, which was used by our ancestors for soap, shampoo and laundry. Aside from having healthy hair, it removes dandruff and stops falling hair. There are 2 ways of using the bark. One may opt to;
a. Squeeze the Gugo in a dipper with water. When it makes suds, it means it is ready for application;
b. Make a simple bottled mixture with procedure like that of Aloe Vera. (Check Gugo for more information.)
3. Apple Cider Vinegar can remove dandruff. Just dilute it with warm water and apply on the scalp. Lemon can replace vinegar.
4. There are plenty of shampoo substitutes. Just beat an egg and massage the scalp.
After rinsing with vinegar, rinse with plain water. This makes the hair healthy and shiny.
5. Herbs can also be added in ordinary shampoo. Rosemary and lavender can be added for normal hair, while mint can be added for greasy hair as follows:
a. Infuse 6 tsp. of fresh (or 3 tsp. of dried) herbs of your choice in 1/2 cup of boiling water.
b. Cool and keep in the refrigerator.
c. Add 1 tablespoon to shampoo before every bath.
6. Mayonnaise can be used as shampoo since it has olive oil and egg. It can be left in an hour on hair before rinsing. Apple cider vinegar may be used for the rinse.
As natural beings, our hair needs natural solutions. There are many ways to enhance the crowning glory using the least or, preferably, with no synthetic chemicals at all. This will surely benefit people as a direct user, and their home, too, where chemical pollution moves around for some time because of the enclosed house walls. These natural and eco-friendly hair DIYs will be a welcome to our sewerage systems that will eventually flow into the creeks, rivers, seas and oceans of Mother Earth.
Watch out for the next installment of the It’s Twice or More Polluted Inside Homes series, Part VIII – Baby Care – Diapers, Baby Skin Product, Toys and Green Tips!
EM-EM TINASAS, MBA
Callard, S. and Millis, D., 2009. The eco-living handbook: A complete guide to your home and life. London, UK. Carlton Books, Ltd.
Retrieved from http://d-i-y-love.blogspot.com
Dua, S. 2009. Hair care: A complete solution to your hair problems. New Delhi, India, B. Jain Publisher (P) Ltd.
Handa, P. 1998. Speaking of skin care. New Delhi, India. Sterling Publishers Pvt., Ltd.
Todd, J. 2012. Herbal home remedies. New Delhi, India. B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.