Published on January 25th, 2016 | by Rima J Pundir
Hair Mask: Worth It?
A hair mask may seem like a fix for anything from damaged hair to dullness and many salons and hair care brands boast of it but do you really need to spend that moolah?
Hair mask, deep conditioning, hair treatments, hair spa – call it by any name you desire – a hair mask (much like a skin mask) deep conditions the hair shaft, treats the scalp and overall gives you a more manageable and glorious head of hair. Do you need them, sure! With today’s elevated pollution and stress levels, an incorrect lifestyle and a chockablock time schedule – letting your hair luxuriate does it good and no harm…
What are hair masks?
Deep conditioning treatments for the hair (and the scalp) that are used pre your shampoo-conditioning routine. Hair masks targeting the hair itself do not ‘repair’ your hair shaft from inside out – instead they aim to ‘close’ the cuticle i.e. the outer layer of the hair thus making the hair appear shinier and softer. Hair masks or treatments for the scalp though may penetrate the thin scalp skin and reach the roots of the hair – where it can give nourishment to the parched hair shafts; alleviating dryness, limpness and even dandruff.
Are they good for me?
Certainly, having your hair appear healthier and shinier is a definite plus plus. Since the hair itself is dead tissue, getting the outer layer of the shaft, the cuticle, to close-up is good for the hair as it leaves the hydration (conditioners) locked inside. Also, conditioning or hydrating hair masks additionally coat the hair leaving it smoother to touch and ‘healthier’ in appearance.
Eeeny, meeny, miny, moe?
So which one should you go for? Read the label – choose one that suits your hair type or problem the best – it could be dandruff, dry or damaged hair, split ends limp or dull hair…
Cheat trick: If needing a quick pick-me-up for hair and out of hair mask, liberally coat your hair strands (not scalp) with your daily conditioner. Clip or bun up your hair and then put on a shower cap for 15-20 minutes. Follow up with shampoo and conditioner as you usually do for soft, manageable hair!
Running low on beauty money this month? Just raid your kitchen for masks that may not smell as good as your store-bought ones, but definitely do the job as well.
- The Milky Way: A glass of milk liberally laced with honey – massage this well from scalp (read root) to tip. Keep on for another 10 minutes and then shampoo and condition as usual for soft, hydrated hair.
- Coco-jumbo: That can of coconut milk you so lovingly turn into Thai curry? Well, try nourishing your hair with it next time – just pour over scalp and hair and massage. Wring out excess and then wrap hair in a hot towel. Shampoo and condition as usual!
- Going bananas! Bananas, especially the squidgy overripe ones are great for your hair – Blitz a ripe banana in your trusty mixer and add a little olive or almond oil. Coat your scalp and hair with this gooey concoction and put on a shower cap for 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition for hair that’s glossy and really soft…
- Hic-hic-hurray: Alcohol for your hair? You may have heard of beer rinse, but this one is ‘harder’ than that! Mix an egg yolk with 3-5 tbsp of cognac (brandy will do too) and apply to hair (not scalp as the alcohol may irritate the delicate skin). Put on a shower cap for 10 minutes; shampoo and condition as usual!
- Mayo Magic: An old jar of mayo dug out of the fridge can give your hair a new lease of life. You may choose to add half a mashed avocado to increase the hydration but if avocado is a no go, just apply the mayo to your hair and scalp – the egg, vinegar, oil and sugar create magic for your hair – leave on for 20 minutes. Shampoo and condition.
FAB BAG PICKS
The Nature’s Co. Rosemary Hibiscus Hair Mask: Acts as a natural conditioner; Gives shine; It stimulates hair follicles, prevents hair loss, premature graying & dandruff; Rosemary prevents thinning hair and hair loss. For Silky Shiny Hair. CLICK HERE to view product.
Kama Ayurveda Intensive Hair Treatment Bringadi Oil: Recommended in the ancient Sabasrayogam Ayurveda text for lush and healthy hair. It thickens hair while adding body and shine. Removes loose dandruff flakes. Naturally conditioning. The secret of luxuriant, glossy hair. CLICK HERE to view product.
Brocato Curlinterrupted Smoothing & Hydrating Treatment: A smoothing treatment that deeply conditions, detangles and gently “straightens.” It penetrates hair with essential moisture and smoothes the cuticle to relax curls! This hydrating treatment should be used when texture, curls or frizz are out of control. CLICK HERE to view product.