I’ve asked long-time Hijabi and Canadian business owner, Mona Ismaeil of www.modernhejab.com, to help me (and my friends) understand how to keep healthy hair even while wearing head scarves daily. Here is her response:
Hair is very delicate which is the main focus of the majority of women in the world. Curl, straighten, up, down, ponytail, braid, whatever your style, you want to keep it looking its best even though you wear hijab.
Hair is so delicate that can be damaged by sunlight, or lack of it, by air or lack of it, by dust, by erratic living style, by lack of sleep, and even mood swings. This issue is more of a concern for Muslim women who wear hijab as they keep their hair covered for most parts of the day; sunlight, air and any other open air resources that can provide nutrients are unable to reach the hair.
On the other hand, they have the beneficial effect of protecting their hair against harsh nature. There are many organic remedies to counter the damage, chemical free and can be worked at home. Some of them are discussed here but it is warned beforehand that every remedy takes time to work.
Diet: Diet is the single biggest contributor to hair issues. Vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables are seriously recommended. Fruits are also highly recommended for maintaining healthy hair. Fried foods are better to be avoided.
Blood circulation: this is vital for hair health. Exercise is great for developing good circulation. Vigorous exercise is not needed but a simple jog can serve the purpose. Scalp massages are another activity which circulates good blood to the roots of the hairs. With warm hair oil (coconut, olive or any herbal oil recommended for hair) message the scalp for half an hour twice a week. The other easy alternative is thorough combing. This also helps circulate the blood through scalp.
Washing: Clean hair is another good way to protect it from falling out or getting damaged. Over washing can also damage the hair. It is important to maintain a proper balance. For dandruff, mix a solution of coconut, mustard and castor oil in equal proportion and apply it for one hour before washing. Wear hijab only on dry hair, never when the hair is wet, this can compound dandruff and cause hair to fall out.
Wear an under-scarf: The hijab can rub against the scalp and this rubbing is very damaging. To counter that a protective cap can be worn and it is better if the material is breathing fabric. Similar to cotton that allows ventilation. Another common complain for hair is oil accumulation on scalp and this can get really damaging. Washing is a good advice but remember that over washing can damage hair more.
Styling under the hijab: Another hair issue that is particularly found on Muslim women is hair loss due to excessive tight hair styling. This can by forcefully pull hairs in an unnatural manner. This can only be cured by loosening hair ties. Also, the type of hair tie may be considered. Try to use a hair tie which does not have the metal fasterns, this will reduce the pulling out of hair. Also, you may think of a shorter hair style.
Other Hair Remedies:
- Amla, Neem and Avocado pulp on the scalp for about an hour and washing afterwards. Amla can also work on hair as a food.
- Mixing Mustard oil and Henna leaves paste. It is more useful if the leaves can be boiled in the oil for quite a long time and put on the scalp in warm condition. Care should be taken to see that the leaves are completely burned in the oil. This mixture can be used for a long time by properly preserving it.
- Lime juice with coconut oil is another good remedy. The proportion of lime should be kept in check so that it does not bleach the hair.
There are many more home remedies for hair but it is important to understand one’s system and apply a remedy accordingly. Once a remedy is chosen it should be used for a long time to get the desired result. More important though is to not to allow the hair to come to such situation by early detection and good food and exercise.
Owner, Modern Hejab