We’ve all seen the hair commercials, where a woman confidently displays her long and lustrous hair which is literally bouncing off her shoulders as she walks and we have thought to ourselves, “I wish I had that hair!.” Well, ladies, wish no more! The hair you’ve always wanted can be a reality with some work and consistency. Here are five simple tips and methods to maintain your hair and achieve the locks we all covet.
#1 The hair needs some love too!
Just as with other things in life, if you want to achieve something, you have to put in the work and effort. There isn’t a magic pill that will transform your hair overnight into that of the woman you saw in the commercial. You have to dedicate some time into taking care of your hair and showing it some love and care. It is in fact a part of our faith to maintain ourselves in terms of hygiene and grooming. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated that,“Whoever has hair should honor it.” (Abu Dawud). Thus, oiling, combing and maintaining your hair as well as other acts of cleanliness all come under the general command of cleanliness that the shari’ah has stated. Therefore, with the right intention, taking care of your hair can be a means of gaining reward!
#2 It’s not just about what you apply to your hair. It’s also about diet.
A diet which provides all the recommended vitamins, minerals and nutrients is a crucial aspect to achieving healthy and beautiful hair. Long and healthy hair isn’t just about what you apply to your hair, it’s also about eating a balanced diet. Therefore, if you want to see positive and permanent changes to the health of your hair, adjusting your diet is key.
Protein – Hair is essentially made up of proteins. Integrate protein in your diet as this is what it needs to grow.
Iron – Not getting enough iron can result in hair loss. You can incorporate Iron in your diet by consuming lean meat and vegetarians can find their source of iron in lentils, spinach, soybeans and fortified cereals. The body however absorbs iron better from animal sources rather than plant sources.
Vitamin D – Although unclear, some studies indicate that Vitamin D plays a role in the hair cycle. You can include this in your diet by consuming fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereals. Vitamins B. C, and E are equally important and any deficiency in these can result in hair loss.
Biotin – This vitamin proves to be good for your hair and scalp. Eating biotin rich food like eggs and nuts can help your hair.
Copper – This mineral is beneficial for your and should be a part of your diet. It is found in foods such as cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, lentils. Copper preserves the color of your hair and gives it a healthy appearance.
#3 Go natural!
Oils have been used for a long period of time by everyone to promote long and healthy hair. The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) himself was known to often oil his blessed hair. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, ‘The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would apply plenty of oil in his blessed hair and beard and at times comb the beard and tie a cloth on his blessed head, the cloth would get covered in oil just like his blessed hair.’ He would wear a cloth on his blessed head so as not to get an stains on his blessed Amama (turban) or any other clothing.
Some oils that are unique to growing and promoting healthy hair are:
Olive Oil – Extra virgin oil tops the list and is known to have characteristics of Shifa’a in Islam. It’s great for moisturizing and strengthening your hair as well as thickening and preventing it from damage.
Castor Oil – This oil speeds up hair growth and also reduces the undesirable frizz in the hair. It will thicken and prevent your scalp from drying.
Avocado Oil – Packed with nutrients, amino acids, essential fatty acids and vitamins such as A, B, D and E, this oil is great for your hair.
Almond Oil – Almond oil is a must have for your hair. It will provide nourishment to your hair and give it that lustrous look.
Rosemary Oil – Less heavy than the others oils, rosemary oil is great if you do not want too much heaviness on your scalp when at school or work. Rosemary oil is great for preventing hair loss and for invigorating your hair follicles which are important for the growth of your hair. It will also help in averting gray hair.
Natural oils such as these are not only affordable but effective in promoting long, radiant and healthy hair. You can try any one of these or mix it up and apply a combination of these on a weekly basis. If done consistently, you will be amazed at the results. To boost their effectiveness, warm the oils up for about 20 to 30 seconds before applying to your hair and wrap your hair in a cloth after your oil application.
#4 Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Appliances that will damage your hair!
It is important that you take precaution on what you are applying to your hair. The less synthesized hair products the better. Shampoos often contain harsh chemicals such as sodium laureate sulfate which damage your hair. Choose gentle shampoos which are hypoallergenic and do not have a strong smell (even if it smells good). You should also limit washing your hair to once or twice a week so as not to dry out your scalp and strip it of its oils.
Another important aspect to remember is not to apply too much heat on your hair. This means avoiding the over use of your curling or flat irons on a daily basis as it will result in dry, dull and thin hair. There’s no harm in using a good iron once in a while but you may want to use a heat protectant before using it. Many people also use their blow dryer too much which contributes to hair damage. Air drying your hair with a towel can be the best method. Be careful when you do so because your hair is vulnerable to breakage after your hair wash. However, if you do decide to use a hair dryer, make sure it is not directly pointing at your hair but is angled slightly further away.