Hair Growth Advice for Long, Luscious Locks

For the longest time, South Asians, especially Pakistanis, have been fans of silky smooth, long hair. However, this is not always the easiest look to achieve. Despite the numerous and wide array of hair growth products guaranteeing beautiful long hair within a miniscule time span, many still prefer going the natural route and using home remedies by concocting hair care products from the comfort of their own kitchens, some of which have been listed down below. 

Castor Oil

Castor oil is a multipurpose vegetable oil that has been used in hair and skincare products for many thousands of years. It has a number of uses, from industrial to pharmaceutical. It is often used in cooking, as well as a laxative to treat constipation! However, the most common use for castor oil is as a hair conditioner for dry, damaged hair. Castor oil is a fatty substance, which helps lubricate and moisturize the hair, increasing flexibility and lowering breakage. Castor oil is especially beneficial to those who experience dandruff, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can even be used on the eyelashes and eyebrows to thicken the hair. The castor oil price in Pakistan varies from around as little as Rs 30 to Rs 1,600, depending on size, quality, and price. It can be easily purchased from grocery or cosmetic stores, such as Saeed Ghani. 

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel is infamous for being a multi use gel which helps with everything from healing wounds to haircare. Many people grow their own Aloe Vera plants from which they extract the gel. It is a cooling and soothing gel, which is why it is often used to treat burns or scabs. Aloe Vera also has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to treat dandruff and/or itchy, dry scalps. It has been said to straighten the hair and improve dry and damaged hair. It also cleanses excess sebum from the hair, making it less oily and prevents breakage. It contains vitamins A, C, and E, all of which strengthen the hair and promote a healthy amount of growth. It contains vitamin B-12 and folic acid, which can also keep one's hair from falling out. 

Coconut Oil

This solid white block made from raw or dried coconuts must be heated in order to melt it and use it as oil. It is used mainly in cooking and hair treatments. Some suggest that it can prevent not only dandruff, but many different kinds of fungi. It is often used to prevent fungal infections by keeping the scalp healthy and calming irritation and dryness. It absorbs into hair better than mineral oils and other kinds. This means it can even prevent not only breakage, but also split ends. Another review in India found that the oil may help reduce protein loss in hair. This prevents dry, brittle, or breaking hair. In India, coconut oil is used both as a hair mask before showering and as a leave-in conditioner after showering. Using small bits of coconut oil on the hair while wet before using any heat such as blow-dryers or curlers may also help protect the hair from heat damage. Fun fact: using coconut oil as a hair mask may also kill lice or lice eggs!

Lemon

This popular citrus fruit is used not only for cooking and flavoring, but also to improve the hair. Many people, especially with lighter hair, use lemon to lighten their natural hair color. This is because the citric acid present in lemon juice is a natural bleach, or oxidizing agent. It lightens the hair by reducing the pigment (melanin) present. It works better for those with blonde or light brown hair. Lemon juice can also be utilized to make the hair shinier. Although there are many ways to apply it most people make a lemon juice dilute to rinse their hair. If massaged into the scalp, it can also help with dryness and dandruff. Many suggest adding apple cider vinegar to make the solution slightly stronger. 

Rice Water

Using rice water for hair growth is a centuries old practice, originating in Japan, where ladies used it as a secret ingredient to keep their hair long and smooth, which was the trend at the time. Scientists found that inositol, an ingredient in rice water, is known to penetrate the hair and repair it from the inside out and protect it from future damage. It is very simple to make and uses only two ingredients: rice and water. The rice is first washed to remove dirt and then mixed with water until the water is cloudy. The rice is then strained and the water is put in a plastic container to ferment for 12-24 hours. After that, just rinse your hair with it and observe shinier, softer hair. Rice water is an affordable and easy option that can be made with items probably already in your kitchen. Some people even cook the rice afterward! 

Egg Yolk Mask

It turns out that eggs are not only a delicious breakfast food, but are also extremely helpful for one's hair. People have been using egg as a hair treatment since as far back as the 11th century. Many know eggs to be very healthy and vitamin-enriched, which is why it aids in hair growth. Some believe that egg yolks can stimulate the scalp and nourish the roots. This is because egg yolk contains sulphur, which helps in these aspects. An egg mask is made by beating the egg yolk with some lemon juice (for the smell) and applied to the hair normally. After 20 minutes, simply rinse the hair and shampoo and condition as normal. Many people prefer to add other items such as banana, olive oil, or honey to enhance shine and softness. Some even prefer to apply egg whites to the hair because of their richness in proteins and enzymes. 

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