The hairfall fiasco has everyone troubled!
My hair was always thin, it was just like that when I was a kid, flat, limp and not dense. I remember never noticing anything about my hair since in the chilling UK bellowing air you needed to be covered up like an Eskimo, and besides which 4 year old would care about thin hair in the first place… Ah! The bliss of childhood. I loved myself when I was a child, I was one of the cheeriest and most confident little person anyone met and I was very chatty and cheeky too!
It was when I started primary school after the elementary utopia that a certain notion was presented to me. My sister happened to be 4 years older than me, and as children are growing the difference remains conspicuous until a much maturer age. So age 9 turned into 10 and then 11. UNLUCKY number Eleven! At 11 years of age I found myself as the ugliest version of myself. Kids at school used to ask me why my hair were so flat and thin after we had played in the searing sun and were sweating like cute pink pigs, the sweat gave away the real density of my hair away and that was the first time I had heard a discouraging remark about myself related to my hair.
My sister grew up as a dreamy 15 year old glamour girl and the most prominent feature of course was her densely silken mane dangling down to her waist. My sister`s hair was perfection, with density, thick individual strands, and such an intense black shade shone a navy gloss .
The comparisons started immediately. Belonging to a South Asian background many girls possessed the fabled dreamy snakelike locks with hair kissing your knees or even ankles! Truthfully the girls did have very thick and bushy foliages with many girls`s tails reaching their hips. Once I had someone massage oil my hair and it was a torturous rub and a constant nag of how less hair I had, that it could be described just as “two and a half strands of hair”! It made me feel miserable since there was nothing I could do to control it, I was just born with thin hair, a truth that I accepted much later on.
The difficulty and negative comments continued, my mother would always get my hair chopped into a pixie cut as a “cure” for the undesirably thin hair! Many rigorous massages and hair oils were experimented on me, much to no avail. My hair was even shaved off several times in hopes that new follicles would magically appear and a dense mane would “pop up from the ashes of the weak feeble strands”. Again, of course, that did not work, at all.
Then until I finally became 15 years old, with hair still short upto my shoulder, my sister and I no longer in the same school, with her off to university and I was in high school when I met up with the funkiest group of girls. They were all so funny, crazy and supportive, My friends never made ANY comments on my hair, they just loved me the way I was and I was always showered with praises of how pretty I was! (Apparently I had also felt very ugly until this point too read about it here). Whilst in high school I completely forgot about the nature of my hair and I was just having the best time of my life with the funkiest girls ever, we were the high school queen bees, with me elected with a huge majority as proctor and thereby wearing the honourary proctor uniform which stood out from the rest of the girls.
When I was 16 as if my miracle my hair had grown down to my waist, and it was not thin or ugly, surprisingly my hair was like normal hair and formed a pretty braid down my back and was silky too. Positivity, love and acceptance from my gang of girls had paid off, I had forgotten about my sister`s hair because I was having such a chill time with my friends, and within this time the appreciation I had continually gotten for 2 years of high school radiated through my appearance. I finally found that even though my hair was still thinner than my sister`s it was not something undesirable or worthless. My hair was flat and pretty too but in a way different from hers.
ALAS! As life has it, the fairytale saga did not last long and as time would have it, with the pressure of university life -a double major in undergraduate, long lab hours, difficult teachers, peer pressure, boys- came in a whole load of stress too. My hairfall got pretty bad and sometimes appeared seasonally too with autumn being chosen as the culprit. It was this time when the experimentation with a hundred types of oils started! You name it! Amla, coconut, castor, mustard, the all powerful taramira oil (rocket oil) sesame oil, began. And if applying the oil wasnt enough various concoctions were made like medieval oriental magic potions for miracle hair growth with fenugreek seeds, ginger juice, nigella seeds, soapnut, Indian gooseberry and acacia, the list of ingredients I have tried on my hair is exceedingly long! Name anything and I`ve tried it.
They all proved fruitless. I had an on off relationship with my hair density with some seasons of no hair fall and then neverending shedding making me extremely sad. Once I had attended a 3 day wedding in the midst of my heavy hairfall and as if by magic all three days of the wedding there was no hair fall!
This continued and then I started university abroad. I lived near the Marmara Sea and I switched to a fully Mediterranean diet, plenty of kale, greens, olive oil, pepperoni, sausages, cheeses and green and black olives. Again I was with a group of extremely funny and noisy flatmates who made my adjustment to a new country a hilarious adventure. My hair grew thick and strong again! Two years into university and my hair were considered the most beautiful in the campus! Imagine me! The girl with the two and a half strands of hair being known for having thick locks. The sea environment made the hair curly and voluminous and I had a thick mane to flaunt!
Towards the end of university with the continual stress of PhD (Abbreviation Permanent Head Damage or should I say in this case Permanent Hair Damage) and living in the university dorm which had hard water in the bathrooms, my hair became severly limp, lifeless and started falling again terribly. Again I started delving into magic treatments this time from the Mediterranean, I tried pine terpentine oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, garlic oil, fried garlic, lavender oil, thyme oil, rosemary oil, mint oil, castor oil, almond oil and even all of the oils mixed up in a concoction too! The hairfall did not stop.
With all of the misfortunes I faced I came to some real, genuine facts truths about hairfall and growth
- Most products in the market are bottles of empty promises, minoxidil didnt work even
- The main factor which prevents hair fall is a full hearty diet, heavily enriched with leafy greens, seeds and nuts, oils and proteins.
- Refined carbs are absolutely useless.
- Combing your hair as a hair exercise MIGHT affect them 1%.
- Similar goes with oiling them, I never saw any robust difference.
- Your shampoo doesn`t affect anything at all. It just cleans your hair, its you who decided to overclean your hair and make it brittle.
- The water you use to wash your hair is what causes your hair to be silky or matte and limp. Water quality will make ALL the difference, not the shampoo, no shampoo will make it oversilky or undersilky, only the purity of the water will make it glossy.
- Apart from diet and water quality probably the most important is drinking enough water. Hair is made from keratin, which is made from blood, so staying hydrated keeps you fresh from top to toe and hair shoot to root.
- STRESS will destory your hair no matter how excellent your diet is. Exercise and destressing, laughing with your friends, staying in a positive environment with people who appreciate love and care for you is extremely important. Your homeostasis needs to be maintained, you need to have positive energy spiritually in your body and mind too in order to grow out thick long locks. This is extremely underrated, and a happy mantra like “no worries, my hair is growing back” makes all the difference!
- Sleep perhaps, I am not too sure about this one. Some sleepless nights caused hairfall, other sleepless funfilled wedding night parties caused hairfall to totally halt.
The tall “herbal” claims didn`t do anything, neither did the “harmful chemical” ones, the “with/without sulfates, parabens” and what not, make any difference, whether I added sodium chloride, essential oil, mayonnaise (yes I tried sandwich mayo) or other ingredients to the shampoos or conditioners nothing benefitted or made anything better/worse. The only ingredients to grow your hair are happiness and healthy food and clean drinking and washing water, period.
Images credit : Pixabay