My hair story? To put it in a few words – been there, done it. Name all that can be done with one’s hair and I’m sure I’ve done it – oiled hair and two braids to school – check; total avoidance of oiling the hair as something meant for the old fashioned – check; all kinds of chemical treatments from highlights to global hair colour to perming to straightening – check; drugstore variety shampoos and conditioners to high end products like Kerasatse – check; natural based products from Biotique to Luxurious Ayurveda like Forest Essentials and Kama – check; LUSH henna and our own roadside henna – check. Phew! Did I leave out anything? Think not.
Don’t forget to read: Oshin’s Hair Growth Story and Routine
Oiled and Braided Hair:
Growing up in the ’80s we were part of the now extinct group of girls that not only oiled their hair but also went to school with oil in their hair and two braids. Leaving the hair open with nothing more than fancy hair clips, as is the trend today, was unthinkable especially in a Convent.
My waist length hair and hair loss experience:
The nuns would have had a mad fit, so to speak. As much as I hate to admit it, I did have gorgeous waist length, thick hair – dry and fine yes but healthy, long and thick nevertheless, probably due to the no frills, very basic hair care routine – mustard oil on the head 24 x 7 and any natural shampoo. It might have continued thus only that I fell ill when I was 14 and barely survived the illness. One of the side effects of this illness was that I pretty much lost half of my hair. What was left of it looked no better than the thin tail of a donkey, leaving me with no choice but to cut off my hair in an attempt to save whatever was left of it.
In retrospect I think, I cut off not only my hair but a part of brain as well for I abandoned all so called “desi” hair care routines and went ‘modern’. Oiling stopped completely, shampoos chosen were loaded with chemicals and visits to hair salons became more frequent – for colouring, highlighting, deep conditioning spa treatments, straightening etc etc. That I was pretty much always on a diet and under stress due to studies didn’t help matters. Studying for UPSC was as much a nightmare then as it is now and doesn’t do anything for your health let alone the health of your hair!
Chemicals?? They do no good to your hair!
As for the quality of my hair- well, the first few months were fine especially when the hair was straightened. However, as time went by, the affect of these chemicals became apparent. No matter what spa or deep conditioning treatment I got done, my hair became drier by the day resembling a hay stack unless I had it blow dried and styled. There were days when I would actually run out from office during lunch to get my hair blow dried, unable to bear the sight and feel of my hair. I had reached a stage when I had no choice but to cut them all off very short, barely covering my ears. Just for the record, I did not use sub standard products at dubious salons but the very best from upmarket salons. Yet, as I realized much to my cost, chemicals are chemicals no matter from where you purchase them. From that nadir began my journey of redemption.
Back to the hair oiling routine ~ And product suggestions:
The first thing I did was to resume regular oiling after almost a decade. In fact, now it’s an unwritten rule in my hair care regime that I do not shampoo my hair without oiling it the previous night. Yes, I do slip at times but I have successfully adhered to this rule at least 90% of the times. The oils I have used range from Patanjali’s Divya Kesh Tail to Forest Essentials Bhringraj Head Masssage Oil to Fab India’s Sesame hair oil to Kama’s Brigandi Oil Treatment and now MABH’s Fast Growth Hair oil. From my experience what I have realized is that no matter which oil, as long as it is natural and suits you, it will work for your hair. Yes, it may take some time to find your ‘perfect’ hair oil but oiling is one of the best things you can do for your hair. Secondly, I switched to henna – LUSH Caca Noir, which is great for conditioning the hair though not so good for grey coverage and TVAM natural indigo for covering greys. Henna is said to be drying for the hair but if you think colour isn’t more drying, think again.
If one could see the amount of conditioners that are put on hair post colouring and all the deep conditioning treatments one is recommended, one would see what I’m talking about. With LUSH India having fallen off the face of the earth, I don’t know what to use instead. Any suggestions anyone? Thirdly, only natural based product (shampoos and conditioners) for me; be it Biotique or Forest Essentials or LUSH; I have totally bid adieu to all chemical based products!. Fourth, I have drastically cut down on all heat based hair styling. Be it a blow dry, curling or straightening iron at salon or home, I keep it to a minimum allowing my hair to dry out naturally instead. And whenever I do use a styling tool, I use a good heat protection serum, mostly Kerastase. Fifth, as much as possible I try to keep my hair tied in a bun or a braid – loosely yes so that the roots don’t get tugged and pulled but leaving it open all the time is something I avoid. Sixth, I stopped my perennial crash diets and learnt to respect food as something that nourishes me than something to be avoided. So I eat sensibly, but I eat everything including desi ghee which comes highly recommended in Ayurveda. Seventh, in a country like ours, it is almost impossible to save oneself from heat and dust but well I try to keep my hair and face covered when out in direct sun. And last of all, while stress is bound be a part of our life, I consciously try to work on alleviating it.
Coming to MABH Fast Growth Hair Oil, what tempted me to try it out was no doubt Lancy’s own experience with it that she has posted on the blog. But at the same time a line that she wrote in her post convinced me that she knew what women want. And I quote here.
From my experience with beauty blogging, I got to know that clearer skin and longer hair are what more people crave for!
Bang on! At the end of the day, this is what we all are hankering after. My experience with the oil? Well it is too early to comment on fast hair growth part but my hair are definitely softer and shinier than before. Whether it helps me with fast hair growth and thicker hair remains to be seen but I am definitely sticking to it to give it a fair trial. In any case, for me it ranks with Forest Essentials Bhringraj Head Masssage Oil and Kama’s Brigandi Oil Treatment as one of my favourite hair oils. I do want to go back to using mustard oil as I did way back in the ‘80s and give it a fair trial – all in good time.
At the end of the day, my hair care experience says, go natural!. It may take a while to get used to as natural products don’t give the immediate shine and slippery softness as chemical based products do, but your hair will thank you for it. All styled hair look great. Below is a picture of my hennaed hair blow dried, no chemical treatment/product.
True test of good, healthy hair is how it looks in its natural state. What you need for that is back to the basics, no frills hair care. Believe me, it works! :)