Imagine having gorgeous silky, smooth, hydrated, and healthy strands of hair all day long. So satisfying, right? Unfortunately, for most of us, this spirit-lifting experience happens far less often than we would like.
Mostly, our hair feels silky smooth only right after a salon treatment. Do you want to achieve those beautiful, frizz-free, luscious locks on your own at home? Don’t worry, it’s indeed possible to make your hair look salon-like silky naturally.
We all know, owning shiny hair is equal parts of good luck and genetics. But what we are yet to understand is that we can have more control over our hair appearance than we might think. Everything from colouring your hair to styling it with hot tools can cause damage and brittleness to the hair making it lacklustre.
Do you often find yourself struggling to make your hair look smoother and shinier? Sure, the results aren’t that easy to achieve, but incorporating few tricks into your everyday hair routine and adapting good hair habits can make the process a lot easier.
The following are a few tips and tricks to foster good hair health and long term silkiness.
Looking for a gentler way to detangle your hair? Use a comb (or a brush that is purely designed for wet hair) when it is wet and a brush when the hair is dry.
Not being delicate enough while brushing can prevent your hair from looking its best. The detangling noise that is created while we brush our wet hair with a paddle brush is nothing but the sound of hair ripping. Instead of smoothening, it creates damage to the outside layer. Therefore, the best way to detangle your hair is by working through the knots and tangles at the ends before moving to the middle and roots. Working from roots to ends can worsen the problem.
Also, invest in a wide-tooth wooden comb and a boar bristle brush. A wide-tooth wooden comb helps in detangling the hair while preventing static and hair damage. After detangling, use a boar bristle brush to pull down the oils from roots. This way, you can keep your hair well-nourished and protected.
Rough drying our hair by rubbing a towel back and forth is a long term practise we are used to since childhood. Rough drying creates friction which fluffs up the cuticle (the outer layer of each individual hair). When the cuticles are fluffed up, they catch up on one another causing knots and breakage which in turn results in frizz.
Open cuticles result in super tangly hair. The tighter the cuticle, the more it is resistant to opening. The more the cuticle is resistant to opening, the smoother the hair is. So swap your towel with a super smooth cotton T-shirt. Wrap the T-shirt around the ends and squeeze it to get rid of all the water out and then work it from the roots to the ends. Blot drying without rubbing your hair prevents breakage and frizz.
Always wash your hair with cold water. This is hard to do, especially during winters, but, trust us, the results are worth the effort. It is a tried and true trick to get smoother hair. Washing your hair with hot water opens up the hair cuticle. On the other hand, cold water helps seal the cuticles encouraging the strands to stay flat.
Also, never skip conditioning. Conditioning your hair every time you shampoo is very important when it comes to maintaining good hair health. Conditioning nourishes and strengthens the hair thus improving the elasticity of hair strands. Well-conditioned hair also takes less time to style. Try conditioning hair regularly to enjoy silky, smooth and manageable hair. Deep conditioning once or twice a week using an extremely hydrated homemade mask is also helpful. If your hair is very dry and uncontrollable, it is best to invest in some leave-in conditioners.
Talking about washing hair, don't overdo it. Washing hair more than twice or 3 times a week can strip your hair of its natural oils thus making it dull and lifeless.
Stop using hot styling tools and treatments. They might make your hair ‘appear’ smooth, but in the long term, they cause some serious damage. It is always advisable to look up for some no-heat styling and to take a break from using heat. If you are a big fan of the straightener, add a healthy coating of hair protectant spray before you touch your hair with the wand. A hair protectant spray can shield your hair from damage to some extent.
Also, let your hair air-dry instead of using a blow dryer. How to air dry? Gently squeeze out the water using a cotton T-shirt and leave it open until it dries.
Treat yourself with a hot oil massage at least once a week. Oil massages with natural oils help in adding that extra shine to your hair by restoring moisture in it. Hot oil massage helps in nourishing your hair, promoting healthy hair growth, avoiding hair breakage, repairing split ends, and preventing any further damage to your hair.
Take about two to three spoons of any oil of your choice and heat it slightly. Now massage your hair by gently rubbing in circular motions from the roots up and work through the entire length till the ends. Let the oil sit for a few hours, you can leave it on overnight too. Rinse it off in the morning with cold or lukewarm water opting a sulfate-free shampoo and following it up with a conditioner.
You can also add a few curry leaves to the oil before warming it as they provide extra nourishment to the hair. (1)
Recommended Oils For Hot Oil Massage -
Here are some tried and tested natural hair remedies that help you in achieving the smooth and silky hair you are dreaming of without having to step out of your house.
Aloe Vera contains enzymes that are great for repairing damaged skin cells present on your scalp. It can be used as a conditioner as it can make your hair much smoother than before.
Aloe Vera is a great source of Keratin (the type of protein our hair is made up of). This protein can reduce dandruff, stimulate the process of hair growth and give you smooth and silky hair. (3)
Here is the process of preparing Aloe Vera hair mask -
Step 1: Scoop out the gel from the leaves of Aloe Vera into a small bowl. Blend it till it becomes a smooth paste.
Step 2: Now, add two tablespoons of water to dilute the gel.
Step 3: Apply the prepared solution to your hair using a brush. Let this sit for about half an hour.
Step 4: Then, wash off with cold water.
Yoghurt is a great source of vital vitamins, these play a crucial role in promoting good hair health. Yoghurt also helps in repairing damaged and dull hair. The lactic acid in yoghurt hydrates your hair, strips away the dead skin cells and boosts hair follicle growth.
In short, yoghurt offers the nourishment that is required to strengthen your hair while adding the desired lustre to it. (4)
Smooth and silky hair can be easily achieved with the following yoghurt hair mask:
Step 1: Take a bowl and mix one cup of yoghurt, four drops of lavender essential oil and two tablespoons of olive oil.
Step 2: Apply the prepared paste on the scalp and along the length of your hair with the help of a brush.
Step 3: Using a shower cap, cover your hair and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Later, rinse it off with a mild shampoo and cold water.
The most common and popular fix recommended by every hair expert is coconut oil. It contains vitamins and fatty acids that help your hair grow longer, thicker and faster. Because the oil is rich in lauric acid and can easily penetrate the hair strands, it can act as a great conditioner. Coconut oil also helps in locking in moisture giving your hair a gorgeous glow and shine. (2)
Step 1: Take a bowl and heat three to four tablespoons of coconut oil for a few seconds. The oil should be slightly warm.
Step 2: Now, with your fingertips, massage the oil for 15 minutes on your scalp.
Step 3: Using a shower cap, cover your hair for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Then, rinse it off with a mild sulphate free shampoo and cold water.
Bananas are great for improving manageability and shine to our hair. Because they are rich in natural oils, potassium, vitamins and carbohydrates, bananas help in softening our hair and protecting their natural elasticity. Moreover, they can also moisture our scalp, and prevent and control dandruff. (5)
Follow these simple steps to make a banana hair mask:
Step 1: Take a ripe banana and mash it in a bowl. Add two drops of lavender essential oil to it and mix it well.
Step 2: Now, apply the paste all over the hair starting from roots and working along the way to the ends. Let it sit for about half an hour.
Step 3: Take a shower cap and cover your hair with it for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Rinse it off with cold water before applying a good conditioner.
Apple Cider Vinegar is easily available in almost every supermarket today. It is proven to be very effective in balancing the pH level of your scalp. A scalp with a balanced pH level results in luscious, shiny and smooth hair. Apple cider vinegar plays a vital role in cleansing your hair without the use of harsh chemicals. (6)
Here’s how you prepare a hair mask using apple cider vinegar.
Step 1: Mix two cups of apple cider vinegar and one cup of water in a bowl. Set this solution aside.
Step 2: After shampooing and conditioning your hair like you normally do, rinse your hair with the prepared apple cider vinegar.
Step 3: using a shower cap, keep the solution contained for at least 15 minutes.
Step 4: Later, allow the hair to air dry naturally.
When it comes to promoting good hair health, it is best to work our way inwards too. Along with using the right hair care routine and following the tips we have discussed above, it is essential to eat healthy. Your diet should include the required vitamins and minerals that are needed to promote new hair growth and to strengthen the cuticles from the inside too.
The following are the superfoods that can help give your hair the boost it needs to be a show stopper. The best part is that most of these food items already exist in our pantry.
Amy Shapiro (the founder and director of Real Nutrition, NYC) says, foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are very essential for shiny and luscious strands. Having said that, chia seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Not only do they contain Omega-3s, but also they are rich in powerful vitamins and minerals like calcium, protein, and phosphorus. These vitamins and minerals help in encouraging hair growth and strengthening hair cuticles.
The best part is, we can easily incorporate these seeds into our diet. You just have to sprinkle a spoonful into your morning glass of breakfast smoothie or milk and give it a stir. (7)
Foods packed with protein play a vital role in keeping your hair strong and silky. Lack of protein can cause brittleness and dryness to hair. Diets that are too low in protein can even cause hair loss. Not to mention, walnuts are a great source of protein. So next time when you are at a grocery store, don’t forget to add walnuts to your cart. (8)
Did you know whole grains like bread, pasta and other delicious carbs are actually good for your hair? Whole grains are rich in Biotin ( a vitamin that helps in preventing breakage and promoting hair growth and strength). They also are a great source of zinc. Zinc helps in keeping the scalp clean and hair loss at bay. So, next time feel free to indulge in some whole grain options too. (9)
Spinach is incredible for your hair, nails and skin. No wonder why every celebrity obsesses over this leafy green. Spinach contains high amounts of iron which helps in promoting hair strength and good health. Also, this superfood contains Vitamin A and C which help your hair grow faster and smoother. So, next time when you make your morning smoothie, don’t forget to add a handful of spinach to it. You will be forever grateful for it. (10)
Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamin A, B, C and E which we know can make your hair reach great lengths, prevent hair loss, give a natural shine and treat scalp odour and dandruff. So, don’t just dream of long, silky, luscious locks, but, achieve it by adding extra tomatoes to your diet.
We all know carrots can insanely help in improving eyesight, but only a few know they are also great in boosting hair health too. Just like sweet potatoes, carrots are also a great source of beta-carotene which help combat hair loss, promote hair growth and give it a natural shine. Now, you will want to get your bugs bunny mode on to get your vitamin A fix.
Now that you have an idea on how to make your hair long, soft and silky, it’s time you give these remedies a try. Long silky luscious hair is not as unattainable as you think. With the perfect hair and routine, you too can make heads turn. Do give these tricks a try and let us know which have done wonders to you. (11)
If you want to know more about Ayurvedic methods and products to make your hair silky, you can book a free consultation with our Ayurvedic beauty experts.
Phytochemicals in Daucus carota and Their Health Benefits—Review Article - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770766/
Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.
Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (Central Council of Indian Medicine) working in Kama Ayurveda as an Assistant Training Manager.