“After I get up from my seat, I can see a lot of broken strands of hair. It is so embarrassing and I don’t know what to do about it”. My friend Aicha is announcing that she is going to chop her hair because she is tired of the incessant hair fall.
Well, this is a pretty common story and most of us are quite troubled with the amount of hair we lose on a daily basis. The other day someone I know said that hair fall is his biggest nightmare, and that is when I realised the fear of hair loss is not just limited to women. Both men and women are equally terrified by hair loss and thinning of hair.
Hair is made up of a protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. The hair that you see is actually a string of dead keratin cells.
The life cycle of hair has three stages:
i. Anagen: active hair growth that lasts anywhere from 2 - 6 years.
ii. Catagen: transitional hair growth that lasts 2 - 3 weeks
iii. Telogen: resting phase that lasts for about two to three months. During the end of the resting phase, the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again.
Now the question is, what causes hair loss?
There are a wide variety of reasons for breakage and hair fall.
- Production of abnormal levels of androgen hormone (in both males and females) is one important reason for hair loss.
- Childbirth, stress, and illness could also be a reason for temporary hair fall.
- Genes from both the parents may also determine a person’s hairline.
- Autoimmune diseases, cosmetic procedures and medical conditions like thyroid disease, lupus, diabetes, anaemia also cause hair fall.
- A low protein diet or severely calorie-restricted diet may result in temporary hair loss. Even tying the hair too tight can lead to hair fall.
- Drugs used in birth control, high blood pressure, and blood thinning may also cause hair to fall.
- Using heat for styling can lead to hair fall, dandruff and unhealthy scalp also causes hair loss. Too many reasons and too little hair!
What is the best remedy for hair loss and how to boost hair growth?
Among the various products available in the market, I like natural oils the best for my skin and hair. Oils nurture the scalp and strengthens the hair in a way that the roots become strong and it helps in the longer run. It is always good to go for cold pressed, extra virgin oils for everyday nourishment of scalp and hair. Regular use of natural oils free from mineral oils and other toxins can also make our hair shiny, lustrous (almost like a disney princess, yay). There are quite a few oils that are good for a healthy scalp like Moringa oil, Argan oil and Black seed oil but the oil that helped me the most with hair growth and strengthening is none other than the age old Almond oil.
Sweet Almond Oil has a high amount of proteins, magnesium, vitamin E and omega-9 fatty acids. Let us see the benefits of almond oil for strong hair and a healthy scalp.
Why to use Sweet Almond for hair and scalp?
Almond oil softens your hair
Sweet almond oil acts as an emollient, which means it can fill in the gaps in the hair follicles making it softer and smoother. With all the nutrients it contains, it is excellent for the nourishment of the scalp as well.
Almond oil strengthens and repairs hair
The lubricating properties of sweet almond oil diminishes friction during hair styling. This in turn prevents breakage of hair strands.
Almond oil prevents split ends
Sweet almond oil is one of the best oils available for preventing and reducing split ends. Its moisturising and nutritional properties repairs damaged hair and also prevents the onset of split ends which in turn makes your hair stronger and less prone to breakage.
How to use Sweet Almond Oil for your hair?
There are many ways to use this oil for the treatment of your scalp and hair-care.
- The simplest way is to use it like a hair oil. Take 8-10 drops in between your palm, rub between both your palms and massage your scalp thoroughly. Leave it overnight and wash your hair with a gentle hair cleanser.
- If your hair is dull and rough due to over exposure of heat and styling products, you can take it a notch up by adding cold pressed Avocado oil to your sweet almond oil. Mix equal amounts of both the oils and massage your scalp and hair with it. Wash it off the next morning with a mild cleanser.
- If you want your hair to remain nourished and hydrated throughout the day, apply 1-2 drops of almond oil on damp hair after a shower. Your hair will feel soft and remain manageable for the whole day.
- For a deeper nourishment, after massaging your scalp and hair with the sweet almond oil, wrap your head (like a turban) with a hot towel. The oil will go deeper into the roots, in turn strengthening your hair.
What to look for while buying a hair oil?
Now this is the biggest and the most important question of all. How to determine which one to buy and which to not. Always, I repeat always make it a habit to read the ingredient label of any product that you buy. Your skin and scalp absorbs what you put on it. It is very important to use products that do not contain toxic chemicals. Look out carefully for the following compounds before bringing your sweet almond oil home:
- Mineral oils
- Artificial Colour
Also, make sure that there is no added palm oil or vegetable oil in your sweet almond oil.
Where can I get cold pressed, extra virgin Sweet Almond oil?
You can try the pure, cold pressed extra-virgin sweet almond oil of Speaking Herbs. It comes in glass bottles with a dropper, and has 2 sizes at the moment, 15ml and 100ml. And yes, you will be pleasantly surprised with the packaging and shipping as it is completely plastic free.