Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
After the long summer, monsoon refreshes us. While we all love the rain, increased level of humidity during the monsoon makes it difficult to manage our hair.
Frizz, dandruff and dull hair are a major concern in monsoon season. Hair trouble becomes more frequent when it rains.
There might be a number of solutions to eliminate dandruff, but did you know that using neem is one of the most effective remedies? Neem is an important part of ayurvedic medicine and is used to treat health, skin and hair problems.
Neem has been highly valued in India for its healing and purifying properties and is probably the most widely used among plant products. The characteristic bitter-sweet aroma of neem is due to its organic (natural) sulphur compounds, which have been found to have powerful and versatile healing actions, especially when applied on the skin and scalp.
It has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic properties. It is also a powerful antioxidant, which reverses the damage caused by free radicals, leading to degeneration of the human body and the immune system. Neem not only cures, but protects, soothes and purifies.
Due to its sulphur compounds and its versatile healing actions, neem extracts and oil have been used in protective, preventive and corrective care of the scalp and hair. It has a healing and soothing effect on inflammatory and eruptive scalp conditions. The cooling and soothing action of neem has made it invaluable for the care of seborrhea and dandruff.
During hot and humid weather, like the skin, the scalp is also more prone to rashes and eruptive conditions. The hair also attracts more dirt and pollutants during humid weather. Neem can easily be used as a home remedy for haircare, not only to prevent problems but also to soothe and cure.
Neem leaf infusions can be used to wash hair. First, boil water and add the neem leaves to it when it is hot. Do not boil the leaves, but cover them and let them stand in the water overnight. The next day, strain the water and use it to wash the hair. In fact, the water can also be poured as a last rinse after shampoo.
In cases of boils and eruptions on the scalp, neem leaf infusion will help. In cases of dandruff and itching of the scalp, neem leaf infusions are very helpful. Use the infusion as the last rinse. Neem leaves can also be used to treat fungal infections of the scalp. A paste of the neem leaves may be applied to the scalp.
Neem can also be used with oil for head massage. First heat about 200 gm of pure coconut oil. Take a handful of neem leaves and add them to the oil. Let it stand in the oil for about 10 days, allowing it to remain in the sun during this time. Then strain the leaves and keep the oil for use. This is a preventive treatment for rashes, itching and other scalp conditions, including dandruff. It relieves itching and prevents scalp infections.
For dandruff, add a few drops of lemon juice to neem leaf infusion and apply on the scalp. Part the hair in sections and apply. Wash it off after 20 minutes. This also helps to reduce the oiliness of the scalp.
The hair actually attracts more grime and pollutants from the environment. These pollutants must be removed regularly and neem is ideal. That is why neem is an important ingredient in hair care products. The curative, preventive, and protective properties of Neem have prompted cosmetic companies to develop a Neem range of skin and hair care products, based on Ayurveda.