Keeping the hair dry and leaving them loose to float, is an undesirable haircare that has crept into India after perhaps 1980. I call this ‘Dry hair style’ for convenience and ease.
It was difficult to see an unoiled head around 1970. After 2000, it is impossible to see an oiled head on the Indian Streets. This change has not helped the health of the hair on Indian heads.
It can affect the hair and lead to Gradual hair loss for the reasons below. I consider this to be one major and unsaid factor for increasing incremental hairloss in India.
The basic hair provisions
There is a sweat gland [water] adjacent to every hair strand in the head. There is a Sebum [Oil] gland attached to every hair strand. These are natural provisions for the skin and the hair. So avoiding oil as if that is unwanted is a meaningless / unscientific assumption.
Why Hairloss or damage?
- Unlubricated hair is prone to knotting and split ends. It is difficult to comb the hair without some extra pull pressure to overcome the static electricity build up in the hair. That leads to hairloss
- Free Radicals float over the scalp. They can be triggered by Sunlight. This can lead to premature greying / discolouration of hair. Black colour is a protection against Sunlight.For more details about Sunlight and Free Radicals, please refer to the page ‘Sun Protection’ page
- The body’s normal temperature is 98.4 Fahrenheit. In Indian Summer, the outside temperature is above 105 * for over 2 months in many parts of India. It is wrong to assume that hair can stand this temperature. The skin cannot. If the skin gets affected, the hair will suffer as its roots are between the top and bottom skin.
- Emolliency of the head skin / skull is reduced due to lack of oil. There will be extra itching and scratching. In a tropical climate like India, there will extra sweating to maintain the body temperature. That means dried impure water, giving scope for dandruff. The urge to shampoo the hair, increases. It becomes a whirlpool – using shampoo and conditioner one after another without any meaningful benefit, leaving the main problem unattended.
- Dyes can worsen the hair. Please refer to the page named ‘hair dyes’ to know some basic points about dyes.
Partial Protection of Hair
Vegetable Oils like Coconut Oil are slow / non drying oils. If there is a touch of oil / hair oil on the hair, it acts as a small barrier between the head and the Sun / economical SPF
If one does not want to have a flat, oily head, the sensible and simple thing to do is to mix a bit of water with oil and apply it on the head. Combing is easy and not a hair pulling operation. Water will evaporate and hair will be less oily.
Shocking and Disturbing reality show on the Streets - senseless fashion
11-8-2008: Two small girls aged below 10, waiting for their pick up van from School, had brownish hair. The head hair was devoid of oil. In July 2007, I noted in a Ahmedabad bus, that 3 out of 5 girls, roughly in the age group 18 to 25, had brownish black, grey hair coloured with Mehendi [maroonish] and black dyed hair.
Not one had oil on the hair - that was the common point. In my opinion, dry hair style, followed with excess shampooing, discolours many heads. Dyes worsen the position
The sales of Dyes / Hair Colourants are increasing almost 20% every year. The 2013 Sales figure is 2700 Crores / $450 Million. Check the sales for 2017.
It is your hair. It is the only aid that can make a person look young. It is your call.