Saving my Hair


I just returned from a holiday in Delhi, where I met a bunch of friends who I hadn’t seen in over three years.

“WOW,” I said to Prita. “How is your hair looking so good?”

“Oh, thanks!” Giggle, giggle. Naturally she refused to share her secrets with me.

“What have you been doing?”

“Nothing much,” giggle giggle.

“Which shampoo do you use?”

“I don’t know, this and that, whatever is lying in my bathroom,” giggle. “I’ve been oiling my hair… LOVE your shirt!” change of topic.


So I returned to Bangalore with a new-found sense of purpose: to turn my straw into silk.

I have a wild, curly mane, and as anyone with a wild curly mane knows, getting it straight involves the use of a blowdryer, iron and tons of styling product.

NO MORE trying to get it straight all the time. I’ve decided to go curly until my hair texture improves. Straight hair does look  better than my curls, but then again, hair looks better than no hair. So, NO MORE straightening unless I have a party to go to. Dinner with friends does NOT qualify as a party. Party = 50+ people.

I have also switched to a tourmaline hair iron, which is apparently far gentler than a ceramic one. I bought Corioliss City Style from

It feels amazingly gentle on my hair, and straightens it well. I don’t use the highest heat setting.

I’ve been using L’Oreal Excellence to conceal my greys, but this has definitely caused damage to my hair. It is a permanent hair colour, so it has ammonia. I’ve switched over to L’Oreal’s Castings, which is a temporary hair colour with a non-ammonia formula. The only issue with this is I need to wash my hair the day before, apply no product and then colour my hair the next day. This calls for a degree of planning which I lack. Compared to that, L’Oreal Excellence can be applied directly on filthy, product laden hair. Naturally more convenient. It also conceals grey better. But I’ve decided that from now on no switching back to permanent hair colours. I’m sticking with the termporary ones, never mind the lower coverage. My hair will just look highlighted. I’m not opting for the non-ammonia permanent ones because apparently the alternative chemicals are just as toxic as ammonia, and have not been researched well enough to judge their overall impact on health.

I’ve read rave reviews about Aveda’s Damage Restructuring Shampoo and Conditioner, which is going to be my next purchase. I had used an Aveda shampoo once before, and my hair quality improved tremendously. I’m going back to it.

The cheapest hair serum I have found? Baby Oil from Johnson and Johnson! No, seriously. It’s super-light, kills frizz and leaves hair with a slight shine, but make sure you use a tiny amount.

I’m going to work on getting my curls to shine, so I look good with curly hair too. This involves:

Shampooing no more than twice a week, preferably just once a week, using a very, very gentle shampoo.

Wetting it everyday, and applying leave-in conditioner to damp hair.

Scrunching it.

Applying baby oil to kill frizz.

No heat. Light use of hair iron on the front top-half of my hair.

Within a couple of weeks of doing this my hair has already started feeling less like straw. I think the biggest difference was made by switching to a temporary hair colour from a permanent one. We colour our hair to look young, but what ages us is the texture of our hair, so until we come across a permanent hair colour that actually makes hair look good in real life and not just in  ads, I suggest we stick to temporary solutions.

Here’s hoping all our BAD HAIR DAYS will soon be behind us!