Thursday, March 14, 2013

End to Split End Hair and Hello to Beautiful Braided Hair

Childhood is the best phase of anyone’s life. It’s a time when there is no tension or stress, no need to earn a livelihood, there’s no hassle of dealing with everyday nuisances. The only agenda in a child’s life is to have fun. How we wish we could turn back time and go into this beautiful phase of our life.

A considerable period of my childhood was spent in my native place, Padubidri which was a small sleepy coastal town in the South of Karnataka. The town is a bustling city now, what with advent of malls and multiplexes even in small towns. But at that time there was just one theater, where people used to sit on wooden benches and watch movies.

Gang of cousins at Padubidri, I'm first from right, with my boy cut :)

Our ancestral house was built in the midst of large rice fields that were not cultivated during our summer holidays. So we had a vast playground that I and my cousins utilized to the maximum extent. We used to play cricket, shuttle and sometimes make a house out of all the hay that was freely available to us and play pretend games. There was no dearth to our imagination and our creativity when it came to pretend play.

In the scorching sun we used to run around playing tag, unthinking of the sweat and the grime, without any care for the damage caused to the skin and hair. Now, when steeping out into the sun for even a minute, I make sure that I have my sun-screen on, my hair is covered under the scarf and my eyes are protected by goggles. But as a child, I didn’t have an iota of concern towards my hair and skin. The only thing that was paramount on my mind was to have fun, to play games, to have ice creams and then sleep under the shade of some tree. Those were truly blissful days.

I never had long hair in my childhood as I didn’t have the patience to take care of it. I mean, after all the fun, games and laughter, I never got time to oil my hair, shampoo it and comb it. So I had a haircut which suited me well, a boy cut. My hair was shorter than my brother’s.

Me, second from left, with my contemporary hair style.

But as I grew, I saw that other girls in my class had long hair that they neatly braided and tied with two red ribbons. They looked so neat, so prim and proper. My hair had disciplinary problems, it never stood the way I wanted it to. I was so fed up of all the hair on my head that never stayed the way it was set for more than an hour. If I was allowed I would have kept the boy cut through my teen years, but my mother opined that young girls should have flowing hair that made them look demure and feminine.

I hankered for long braided hair too which I could tie into French braid. Yes, I was in love with the French braid, the way the hair zig-zagged and looked so elegant with a strand or two falling delicately on face.

My hairstyle in school-blunt cut with hair band :)

I went to my mother with my hair problem and it was she who advised me to apply sesame oil (in Kannada its called ellu yenne”) regularly before bath. I followed the advice of my mom, and after few months I had lustrous, thick hair. I never grew very long hair, but I had shoulder length hair, which I braided into French plaits. 

I started sporting two braids on either side of my head, tied with red ribbons. And although my plaits were not as lengthy as the other girls I was proud of them.

Now, 2 decades later, I have forgotten how to braid my hair. I have neither the time nor the patience, so I just leave my hair free or tie it into a top pony.  But still when I see the below image of Deepika Padukone in her fishtail side braid, I can feel my love for braids resurging. (In case you are wondering like I was when I heard about it the first time, fishtail braids are braids with two strands rather than three)

Deepika with her fishtail braid.

My shoulder length hair tied into a braid looks like this (braid tied courtesy my MIL).

My shoulder length hair braided.
So looking at the split ends in my hair, you know why I need some expert care to mend my damaged hair.

The only time I had a long braided hair was during my wedding but that was achieved by hair extensions, so that does not count, or does it? :)
My wedding day click, my long winding braid takes all the focus :)

But split ends in hair can destroy the beauty of braids? How? The below image shows braided hair with and without split ends. A braided hair with split ends usually tapers off and is thinner at the end,  whereas hair without split ends is of equal thickness and looks even when braided. No girl is fond of split hairs as hair loses its thickness and luster.

Image Source: Google Images

Some of the common reasons of split ends:
1)      Excessive exposure to sun or extreme cold climates.
2)      Regular hair straightening or hair perming.
3)      Trimming hair with blunt scissors with may cause irregular hair trimming.
4)      Hair coloring and hair bleaching.
5)      Combing hair when it’s still wet.
6)      Blow drying hair on a regular basis.
7)      Diet, lack of nourishment and various deficiencies also cause split ends.

Split ends can make hair look limp and dry

But we girls still love to experiment with our hair, so even though we know that it damages our hair, we still go for perming/ straightening, coloring, streaking, curling, tweaking our hair. So lets look at some ways of reducing split ends.

1.     Try some home remedies that are listed out here-Home remedies for Split Ends
2.      Regular trimming with shear scissors can help in avoiding split ends.
3.     Avoid brushing of hair when its still wet. Always use detangling combs or wide-toothed comb for removing knots in hair.
4.      Avoid sun exposure.
5.   Avoid too much coloring and other hair treatments(like straightening/perming/blow drying) excessively.
6.      And finally my mother’s advice, try oiling hair before shampooing it.

Recently when Dove sent their Split End Rescue Shampoo and Conditioner products ( courtesy Indiblogger), I was skeptical as most of the products promise the heaven and earth but usually fall short on their promise after the products are used.  

Anyway I loved the package that I received from Dove. The products were placed inside a creamy, soft pouch with a little Dove insignia on the pouch.

The beautiful Dove package

The Dove Split End Rescue System products-shampoo and conditioner.

Well the next day, I used the products and my hair felt smooth and soft all day long and I did love the fragrance. I have been using the Dove products from two weeks and my split ends look almost mended. And my love story with braids continue.

This post is written for Dove Split End Rescue System contest at Indiblogger.