Your hair has a mind of its own

Life is beautiful and mysterious. Within this large universe that we inhabit, there are smaller universes, smaller islands of life everywhere. Even in the most inhabitable of places, there are creatures that have made home. Even the most inanimate object may be sustaining life on it. In fact the most inanimate object may have life itself. Just like our hair.

Well, if you’re not sure of what I mean, let me clarify. Our hair has life and it goes through growth stages. Each hair on your head has its own lifecycle, its own timetable. Though the biological rules for this life remain the same, the time at which each strand of hair goes through each stage is different. Which is obvious, because otherwise all our hair would fall out at the same time. There are three known stages each hair goes through from development to death. These phases occur simultaneously and form the genetically determined characteristics of hair color, texture and length.

1. Anagen Phase: Growth
Hair growth begins at the root, called the papilla which exists within the dermis. The anagen phase has a predetermined time to grow that can last anywhere up to several years. At any point in time, there is more than eighty percent of hair in the anagen phase.

2. Catagen Phase: Transition
Next is the catagen phase. This is the genetically determined signal for the hair follicle to decrease in size. Once this happens, the papilla begins to detach itself from the rest of the hair. At this point, the hair shaft has no way of receiving nourishment from the circulation. The hair is being pushed out of the scalp. 

3. Telogen Phase: Dormancy
This is the last phase of hair growth, also known as resting phase for the follicles. This interlude can last between one to perhaps four months until the hair is ready to enter the anagen phase once again. The hair that is still in the follicle from the catagen phase, will be pushed out by the newly growing hair.

Now that you know that your hair have a life of their own, you won’t be surprised the next time you wonder why they go through emotions just like you. Sometimes they are happy and bouncy with life, and at other times they are sad and dull. Sometimes they bloom and sometimes they wither.

I really wanted to share this humane lifecycle aspect of hair because lack of such knowledge leads many women to make ill-informed and erroneous decisions about their hair and their health in general. I believe that knowing the truth behind things is very important before you make any decision, whether it is about investing in a stock or indulging in a beauty treatment.

I had been reading a lot of articles with titles like “Don’t buy shampoo with SLS”, “Don’t use any chemicals” etc, that I started finding the tone suspicious. I'm not saying that organic or natural is bad, in fact I support it, but it doesn’t mean that all chemicals are bad. Some chemicals in small quantities are important, some of them replicate the natural product really well at low cost and some may even be necessary for you. So it’s important for you to not fall for claims of so called exotic / herbal / foreign brands that sell obnoxiously priced beauty products under the garb of natural / chemical free. Rather be educated about what your body and hair needs, what it goes through and then take a well-informed decision about what products to use. As an example, let me go back to your hair. Most of our hair go through the below typical problems: 

 Irregular hair growth
There could be many factors responsible for irregularity in hair growth, such as genetics, malnutrition, stress, hygiene and drugs. In some extreme cases of fungal diseases patches of scalp may be hit, leading to death of hair follicles and bald spots.

A very common issue, dandruff is the manifestation of scaly particles that cling to the roots of hair. Factors like poor diet, infection, stress amd slow rate of metabolism lead to increase n dandruff.

Split ends
A split end occurs when the ends becomes dry and brittle. They could be caused by harsh styling like over combing, perms, heated hair appliances, coloring etc.

This is caused due to the dropping of moisture levels in the hair. In some people this is genetic.

Flaky scalp
Commonly confused with dandruff, flaky scalp is manifested by white flakes of dead skin which are disastrous for hair as they inhibit hair growth and lead to hair loss. The proper intake of essential nutrition / vitamins and minimal use of high-chemical content / styling products help in addressing this condition to a certain extent.

Dull limp hair is a common hair issue too. The use of hard water for washing hair is an easy culprit, but not using the right shampoo or not treating your hair well can also cause it.

Hair loss
Earlier thought to be a problem only for men, hair loss and thinning is a common problem for women too.  Many factors cause your hair to fall like a stressful lifestyle, menopause, birth control, medication, changing hormones, and the overuse of chemicals . / hair styling products.  What your hair needs here is adequate nutrition and regular cleaning from dirt / oil.

Now, if these are the typical problems, your first impulse would be to ask yourself the questions: “Which one of these do I suffer from?” But I suggest before you go that stage, try and develop a relationship with your hair. Now that you have understood the lifecycle they go through, now that you have understood their common woes and issues, try and develop a more humane view towards them. After that whatever decision you take about them will be effortlessly good for you and your hair!

So, the ‘gyaan’ part of this post is over. If you don’t have any hair issue, you may want to stop reading at this point. But if you do have some hair issue, and you’re looking for a solution, then I may be able to offer some more helpful advice. Recently I started using the Sunsilk natural recharge – strong and abundant shampoo. I had been carrying out an analysis of my hair and had shortlisted two shampoos that seemed to meet the criteria in terms of what I had been looking for. Sunsilk natural recharge – strong and abundant shampoo was the first one. Before I tell you why it was the first choice, let me tell you what I was looking for.

What I wanted for my hair?
I was looking for a shampoo that is my partner in crime when I want to indulge in outdoor activities like trekking, mountain climbing, water sports, bungee jumping, cycling or my favorite activity in the entire world – traveling to new unknown places. This meant that I wanted a shampoo that can bear with me whether the day is humid or dry. It also means that it can not just bear, but in fact compliment me by encouraging me to indulge in any passion – by freeing me of my hair worries, by taking care of my hair so that I can focus on life!

What I found perfect for my hair!
Hair is every girl’s prized possession. Naturally most of our hair are lovely and beautiful. But thanks to external factors like climate, humidity, pollution, stress, our food intake and activities, our hair lose their natural sheen and magic. Hair stylist and Sunsilk expert, Jamal Hammadi has partnered with Sunsilk to design the Sunsilk Natural Recharge. The idea is to replenish hair’s natural look. This means that you can continue to live the life you want, full of adventure and activity, while Sunsilk Natural Recharge works in the background to retain your hair’s natural beauty. 

  The magician himself, Jamal Hammadi

Well, this was exactly what I wanted. There is nothing that I enjoy more than traveling. Whether it’s the beaches or the mountains, I can spend days exploring a new place. But each time, I find my hair tangling themselves into hilarious new shapes. The last thing I want on a holiday is to sit and worry about my hair. So I decided to let Sunsilk Natural Recharge do it for me.

I’ve been using the Sunsilk natural recharge – strong and abundant shampoo for almost three months now and I am quite satisfied with the results. This special formulation is infused with Ginseng plant root extracts that seem to restore its natural look. I have been on two trips in this duration, one was a long weekend trip to a nearby island town and another was family trip to the hills. I was happy with my hair on both! I read on the Sunsilk website that the Sunsilk natural recharge – strong and abundant shampoo with Ginseng root and oil can give you 5 times stronger hair, making it look abundant. While I can’t claim this to be entirely true, because I have been using it for only 3 months, I feel that I do notice the start of stronger and shinier hair. The conditioner is even better because it gives me hair a lovely volume and shine. I also love the fragrance of the shampoo and the conditioner; plus of course all the compliments that seem to come my way each time I use them! So if you’re looking for a new shampoo & conditioner that gives you strong & abundant hair, give them a try!

Quick facts about Sunsilk natural recharge

Price: 180ml @ Rs. 132 for the shampoo and Rs 64 for 80ml for the conditioner

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