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Hair Care

Dr. V. S. Chauhan

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Premature Greying

Sometimes this can happen very early in life. If greying of hair occurs in childhood, medical advice is needed. It is possible that colour loss only a side effect of a malfunction within the body. In adults, the cause of premature greying may be quite obvious : the result of illness, the use of certain drugs, X-rays, anaemia, shock, poor diet and a lopecia areata, a condition which is discussed later.

Talking of diet, Vitamin B complex is known to influence hair colour and recently treatment with calcium pantothenate by medial specialists has shown promising results. But because hair growth is such a long process, it takes some months for any visible change.

Must you Colour your Hair ?

If you must colour your hair, there is a choice between vegetable and chemical dyes.

Vegetables Dyes

These do not change the structure of the hair so are kind to it. They take long to act and need some experimenting with, as the colours produced can be unpredictable, especially if the hair has previously been treated with chemicals.

Henna is perhaps the oldest of vegetable dyes and is very popular in India. Its use can either give highlights to dark hair or turn white hair orange or bright red. It is non-toxic but messy to apply so rubber gloves are needed to avoid staining the hands.

Egg is often added to this paste to give body and bounce to the hair.

Sage us the hair darkener if used regularly. Boiling water is poured over the dried leaves to make a strong tea which should be allowed to brew well. When cool, it should be strained and poured through the hair.

When colouring hair, if you fancy a bluish tinge, use indigo leaves. If not, an equal amount of henna leaves for a jet black colour, or both can be mixed.

Chemical Dyes

Chemical dyes are readymade and available in different shades. They are quicker to act than vegetable dyes and they have to be formulated with great care so as not to damage the hair unduly.

The disadvantage is that in some cases they may cause allergic reactions which could be quite severe.

They come in Different Types

Temporary : These are in the form of rinses which coat the cuticle and do not penetrate the hair shaft. They wash out easily with the shampoo.

Semi-permanent : These stay on the hair longer as they penetrate the cortex up to a point. They require a few washes before wearing off.

Permanent : These are much longer lasting and their effect on the internal structure of the hair is strong. They are best handled by professionals.

Dyes are also available for home use, but great care is needed in following instructions.

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