How to get your silkiest hair ever!
Trichologists extraordinaire Dr. Apoorva Shah and Dr. Sonal Shah
The megashine manual for your strands.
“The next time you catch sight of a beautiful head of gleaming, glistening, shiny tresses on a billboard or on the cover of a magazine, think again,” says Dr. Apurva Shah, India’s first certified trichologist who has dedicated his life to giving men and women the strands of their dreams. “Those shiny haired beauties have a bevy of hairstylists, photographers and tons of hot tools to thanks for their gorgeous tresses. But what about lesser mortals like us who have none of this extended help? “Even if don’t have access to a team of expert stylists there are some instant shine products to give you stylish, gleaming tresses.”
Inner shine for outer gloss
However, Dr. Shah is quick to add that these instant shine formulas are at best quick fixes with temporary results and rarely manage to sustain a healthy shine. He should know. His dedication to the cause of all things hair led him to set up the Richfeel Trichology Centers in India—fifty two—at last count—along with his wife Dr. Sonal who is a qualified Beauty Physician in Natural Therapies and the first female Indian trichologist. “Shiny tresses are the outer manifestation of inner health,” says Dr. Sonal. “A number of factors contribute to shiny tresses including proper nutrition and vitamin supplements, regular exercise, adequate sleep, stress busting techniques and drinking enough water,” she explains. Other factors that directly add to your style quotient include the overall condition of your hair, hereditary factors, the texture and colour of your hair and the products you use. “Darker, perfectly straight, well hydrated hair is the best candidate for strength, shine and shimmer,” says Dr. Apurva. Light colored tresses, highlighted strands, curly or wavy hair that is overly dry or damaged has a poor shine potential,” he adds.
What does hair quality have to do with shine?
The doctors explain that hair is deemed shiny when light is reflected across the hair cuticles. Naturally straight hair has more reflective cuticle layers and tends to have a substantial layer of natural hair oil that is produced by the hair follicle’s sebaceous gland. “Vibrant dark hair offers a strong and continual shine path and the best reflection occurs when cuticles have a healthy coating of sebum, a natural hair oil,” explains Dr. Sonal. Meanwhile, dull hair that doesn’t shine is usually dry and lacks the necessary moisture needed to reflect light. “Basically, tresses that are deficient in moisture and natural oils tend to absorb light rather than reflect it,” she says.
Curly hair equals less shine
Similarly curly or wavy hair tends to have less glimmer and shine because it is naturally dry and prone to damage. Curls and waves don’t reflect shine because they tend to be rougher. The smoother the hair cuticle, the more light it reflects. When cuticles are jagged or rough, light gets absorbed into cracks and crevices, making it look dull. Meanwhile, naturally dry hair produces smaller quantities of natural sebum that makes it next to impossible to generate a solid shine. “Sebum is critical for shiny, glossy strands because it not only provides natural shimmer potential to the hair, it also protects against moisture loss from the cuticles,” explains Dr. Apurva.
What can cause sebum loss?
Sebum may be damaged or completely striped from hair due to a wide range of internal and external factors including hormonal imbalances, effects of prescription drugs, the use of harsh shampoos, chemical abuse, improper use of hot styling tools, the weather and environmental pollutants. The end result: dry, dull and faded hair.
Shine stealer in your tap
“A hidden shine stealer may be the water you use to wash your hair,” says Dr. Sonal. Mineral laden, hard water can build up on cuticles. “If you have tried everything you can to naturally improve the shine and gloss of your hair with no luck, it’s very likely that the water in your home is the culprit.” She suggests switching to mineral water when you shampoo or add some lime to the final rinse water. This, she explains, will neutralize the effect of mineral deposits.
The tried and tested guide for silky, shiny hair
• Shampoo only as often as necessary, with a moisture enhancing formula
designed for your hair type and texture. This will ensure your hair’s natural
oil mantle is retained. Nykaa suggests Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo
and Omved Hydrating Shampoo
• Pamper and rehydrate hair with regularly scheduled deep conditioning treatments. Coconut oil is the best for Indian hair. Nykaa suggests Parachute Advansed Tender Coconut Hair Oil
• Always do a final rinse with cold water to naturally smoothen hair cuticles and enhance the shine potential.
• Gently pat hair dry. Never pull or rub strands with a coarse towel.
• Use a cold hair dryer while drying your hair. Nykaa recommends Elchim Cocoon 3900 Diffuser Hair Dryer
• Protect your hair from direct sunlight and other damaging environmental factors. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors wrap a scarf around your hair or carry an umbrella.