While we are currently undergoing one of the most stressful times in our lives, it could have a direct impact on our skin and hair as well. Kajal Shah, owner and beautician and hairstylist at Kusum’s Ladies Saloon, Abu Dhabi, offers a few DIY tips to rejuvenate your skin and hair with basic ingredients sourced from your kitchen cabinet.
Tips for proper hair care
Oiling and massaging is a great way to relax from stress and it also prevents your scalp from dryness. It also improves the blood circulation and nourishes the roots. Make sure to massage your tresses a couple of times a week with oil that suits your scalp.
Proper balanced diet, which consists of plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals and iron is very important for a healthy hair.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, vitamins A, D, E, K and many other key nutrients, which are essential for hair growth as well as for revitalising hair from dull and damaged hair.
How to make egg mask: Mix egg white in a bowl and add a teaspoon each of olive oil and honey and make paste and apply it all over from root to tips. After 20 minutes, rinse with a mild shampoo and conditioner.
Coconut milk is another great source of protein and essential nutrients required for healthy hair, prevention of hair loss as well as scalp treatment. Keep in mind that for maximum benefits, use pure coconut milk on your hair and scalp instead of using products which have coconut milk in them (e.g. coconut milk shampoo).
How to make coconut milk mask: Take 400ml coconut milk and simmer it in a pan for five minutes. Let it cool for some time. You can add other hair-promoting oils such as almond or jojoba oil, etc. for extra moisture. Apply coconut milk mask and apply it to clean, wet hair. Comb your hair to make sure that the product evenly coats your hair. After 20-30 minutes, rinse your hair with shampoo followed by a hair conditioner.
Olive oil is one of the healthiest oils for hair. Yogurt and honey are other great sources for vitamins and fatty acids to eliminate dandruff and itchiness. It can be used as a natural conditioner which nourishes your hair from root to tip and gives that perfect shine.
How to make yogurt, olive oil and honey mask: Take a half cup of yogurt, add three teaspoon of honey and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix these ingredients thoroughly to make a smooth hair mask. Apply it on your scalp as well as on your hair. Let it rest for 30 minutes. Then wash your hair using a moisturising shampoo. Repeat this once or twice a week.
Tips for face and neck
Our body produces oil (sebum), which naturally moisturises our skin and protects it from dryness. However, since most of us are now confined at home and in an air-conditioned environment, it can strip natural oil from our skin, resulting in dryness, and dull looking skin. So you could use some of the natural products mentioned below to restore skin’s sheen and protective barrier.
Olive oil is a great natural cleanser. Apply olive oil on your face and massage it for 10 - 15 min. Then drape a clean, warm, damp cloth over your face and leave it for about 5 min, and then wipe away the excess oil.
Oatmeal has exfoliating properties. Scrubbing your face with oatmeal will remove blackheads and dead cells from your skin, leading to a brighter complexion and fresh and healthy looking skin.
How to make oatmeal face mask: To prepare a simple face mask with oatmeal, you can buy flour oatmeal or use a blender or food processor and grind oatmeal until it has the consistency of flour. You can also add honey, or milk or yogurt to the ground oats to make extra moisturizing paste.
Avocado contains vital minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, potassium and other vitamins that provides an extensive range of benefits.
How to make avocado paste: Pick a soft avocado and mix its pulp together with a banana, and egg yolk. Or you can make avocado, honey and yogurt paste as well. Stir the mixture until a consistent paste is produced.
Tips for hands and feet
Due to Covid-19, we have been washing our hands probably more than ever before. Frequent hand washing, change of weather, can cause dry hands. There are several ways to keep your dry hands hydrated.
• Moisturise your hands as soon as you wash your hands. One useful tip is to keep your moisturiser cream right next to your hand wash.
• Wear gloves while washing dishes, cleaning house, etc.
• User petroleum-based moisturiser, such as Vaseline at night before going to bed.
Manicure and pedicure
Here’s a guide for beauty treatments of your hands and feet at home. You will need:
- Nail cutter
- Nail filer
- Nail paints
- Shallow tub or deep dish
- Shampoo or body wash
- Lemon Juice
- Olive oil
Step 1: Wash your hands with soap and then remove old nail paint if any with a good quality nail paint remover and a soft cotton ball. Next, cut your fingernails to reduce the length; clip the corners into your preferred nail shape.
Step 2: File away the rough edges off by swiping the filer on the edges of the nail in the same direction to get a smooth finish. Swiping the filer back and forth in different directions can tear the nails.
Step 3: Fill the tub with hot water. Ensure that water is not so hot that it’ll burn your hands. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and the juice of one lemon. Lemon works as a whitening agent, while honey is a fantastic moisturiser. Soak your hands in this solution for 5-10 minutes. After your hands are nice and soft, use the back of your nail filer’s handle to push back the cuticles. Apply little olive oil on the cuticles to keep them soft.
Step 4: Although you could use many homemade manicure/pedicure scrubs, simple lemon, sugar and olive oil scrub is suitable for all skin types. Mix two teaspoons of sugar, half a teaspoon of olive oil, and a teaspoonful of lemon juice in a small bowl. Gently massage your hands and feet. The sugar crystals will gently exfoliate away any dead skin cells. The olive oil will help to seal in the moisture into your hands. Be sure to scrub for two minutes before rinsing your hands in lukewarm water. Pat them dry on a soft towel.
Step 5: The final step to pamper your beautiful hands is to apply nail paint. You could look up online and try a trendy nail art style. Many of them are very simple to do, and they look elegant.
There are a few things you should keep in mind when doing a manicure/pedicure.
• Moisturise your hands after using a nail polish remover, since the nail polish remover dehydrates your skin.
• Sometimes it is also good to leave your nails “free” of nail polish for a week before applying again.
• Everyone’s skin is different, so it is a good idea to conduct a skin allergy test first just in case you’re sensitive to any of the above-mentioned products.
More expert health and beauty advice
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