"Is the rainy season taking a toll on your hair and skin? Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr. Malavika Kohli shares tips on how to survive the monsoon "
The picture has been used for representational purpose only.
Many of us associate a rainy day with a cup of tea, corn on the cob, and a plate of smoking hot fritters. However, for all its romantic notions, there is no denying that Indian monsoon also brings along diseases and prolonged downpour wreaks havoc with flooding. The humid weather can be unrelenting for the hair and skin - increased hair-fall, frizzy hair, dryness, and skincare infections become commonplace. To better arm you against such monsoon mayhem, we asked Mumbai-based dermatologist, Dr. Malavika Kohli (Consultant Dermatologist, Jaslok Hospital and Breach Candy Hospital) to answer a few questions about haircare and skincare.
Why does hair fall increase during monsoon?
“Humidity increases hugely and the scalp and hair can remain moist for longer after sweating or even after washing. This leads to residue build up which attracts fungus and bacteria. The scalp feels itchier, flaky and gets inflamed which causes the hair follicle to shed hair.”
How can we reduce hair loss during the rainy season?
“If your scalp is itchy and oily then use a salicylic acid based shampoo for the scalp at least twice a week. If the scalp is dry and flaky then use a ketoconazole and zinc pyrithione based shampoo on the scalp twice a week. You could use a serum with growth factors and peptides daily for two months to stop hair loss and help in regrowth.”
How can we control frizzy hair during these humid months?
“You should switch to a reduced or sulphate free shampoo and avoid heavy conditioners. Instead use a hair serum on your freshly washed wet hair and pass a warm hair dryer gently through the hair without a brush to remove excess water and let some moisture remain in your hair so it stays smooth. Keep your (hair) tied up in a loose top knot bun so it doesn’t fly away easily.
There are overnight nourishing serums that can help to keep the moisture locked in which tames unruly hair.”
Why does hair feel drier in this humid weather?
“It’s because the already dry quality of your hair reacts with the humidity in the air and creates fly away hair. So you need to avoid hot long showers that are dehydrating for the hair. Shampoo only once. To hydrate and lock in moisture (apply) hair masks once or twice a week or leave-in conditioners. These are very helpful as they seal the hair shaft and help to retain moisture.”
How can one reduce open pores?
“If you have oily skin then a 1% salicylic acid gel or lotion once a day will help to reduce the shine on your skin and open pores. You could also use a 2% Glycolic acid face wash twice a day if you are acne-prone alongside. If your skin is on the drier side, use oil control emulsion twice a day. Regular exfoliation through microdermabrasion or salicylic acid peels at a Dermatologist’s clinic once a month will help to minimize unwanted pores.”
How can I prevent my makeup from looking shiny on rainy days?
“A pore-refining cream or lotion containing dimethicone works well to give a longer-lasting matte finish to your skin before applying makeup.”
Do I need to apply sunscreen on cloudy days?
“Yes, you must use sunscreen all days everyday! This is because clouds only cut off approximately 30% UV radiation. It is now well documented that indoor lighting also damages the skin so one needs to protect year round.”
Which is the ideal sunscreen to use during monsoon months?
“There is a whole new generation of sunscreens containing zinc oxide which are also matte finish, tinted if so desired that offer excellent photo protection and blend in with your skin with a smooth finish.”
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