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There is good and bad. There is 'what do you need', which may or may not be 'what do you want'. The dilemma of hair smoothening versus hair straightening also has these aspects, wherein, one is touted to be better than the other. However, the outcome that you want may only be obtained by that which is not good for you.Hair smoothening and hair straightening (permanent hair straightening) both are chemical processes, therefore, both have side effects. Yes, you read it right and this brings us to the question, which one is better? Chemically, smoothening is a better option than straightening. To know why, you must understand the processes:

What is Hair Smoothening?

Hair smoothening is a chemical process that involves saturating the hair with a formaldehyde solution, which is then dried out and locked in a straight position using a flat iron.

Formaldehyde is a toxic chemical and it needs expert supervision. The short-term side effects could include irritation of eyes, skin and upper respiratory track. In long-term various agencies have classified it as a suspected human carcinogen (substance capable of causing cancer)as it has been linked to nasal cancer and leukaemia.
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However, proper execution of the process reduces these risks to an extremely safe extent. Ensure that the salon that you choose has well ventilated area and requisite amenities.
Brazilian Blowout and Keratin treatment:

Hair Smoothening is usually subdivided into two popular treatments: Brazilian Blowout and Keratin Treatment. Both treatments bond protein to the external stratum of the hair. In Brazilian Blowout, the solution is rinsed out while in Keratin Treatment solution it is left in the hair.

Hair smoothening is a comparatively short term solution than hair straightening.

What is Hair Straightening?

Hair straightening involves restructuring of the hair. The chemicals permanently break the bonds of the hair shaft and then they are restructured with application of heat. Finally, the newly formed bonds are sealed with more chemicals. Permanent hair straightening is also called as Japanese Hair Straightening (also Thermal Reconditioning).

There are no standard straighteners that fit all. All the straighteners are not equal; they have different compositions. There is no one size that fits all. You should have in-depth consultation to understand your hair's curl pattern, elasticity, permeability, texture, thickness throughout the length and general health before deciding which straightener is ideal.

As it is clear from the processes, stronger chemicals are used in hair straightening than hair smoothening, hence the latter is better considering the side effects.
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How to Go About?

An experienced and qualified hair expert is the best person to test your hair and analyse what they need. However, as I said in the beginning, 'what you need' may not be 'what you want'. After the hair examination, once your expert tells you 'what you need', discuss with him, 'what you want'. A good expert should be able to do the cost to benefit analysis based on your discussion and you can go ahead with the recommendation.

The logical progression that you could follow:

1. Research about the salon: Choose a renowned and well equipped salon with experienced stylists. It's important to warrant that right mixture of chemicals is used.

2. Know your hair type: Your stylist can help in this. There are different sets of treatment for different kinds of hair. You should be sure before you embark the journey.

3. Be careful of low cost deals: These processes involve chemical products and if quality is maintained, they can't be offered below a certain cost. If you get an offer that is far below the normal rate, probably the chemical used are of low grade.

4. Know the products: Ask your stylist about the brands that are being used for the treatment. High quality brands are exclusively available with trusted and certified salons. You can evaluate standard of the salon based on the brands that they use.
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5. Timeline: Hair Smoothening is short-term and hair straightening is a long-term solution. You can choose the treatment based on the timeline of revisits that you want.

6. Conflicts: Discussing your hair history with the stylist is vital. If your hair has already undergone some treatment in the past, consult your stylist of probable conflicts that could occur in getting the new treatment.

7. Post treatment care: It's extremely important to take special care of your hair post hair smoothening or hair straightening. Depending on the treatment, a qualified hair expert will give you the list of dos and don'ts. For best results always follow the advice.

Conclusion: It all depends on the results that you want and to accomplish those results your hair expert will suggest you the right process. Do ask your expert the pros and cons based on your hair type. Finally, ensure three 'R's': Right Expert, Right Product and Right Process.

When we think of olives, we get the image of Greek Gods, nectar, aphrodisiacs and exotic! No doubt that olive has been eaten for years now and its health benefits are very well known. Olives, both green and black, are known to lower blood pressure, as well as have anti-cancerous properties. Olives, in a recent study, have shown to reduce bone loss, and therefore, lessen the chances of osteoporosis. For our skin, olive oil shows remarkable results in treating damaged skin, as well as improving and maintaining our skin. It helps reduce dryness, wrinkles, eczema and psoriasis, and helps in cell regeneration. You would be surprised to know that olive oil is amazing for your hair too - it helps reduce frizz, keeps dandruff at bay and helps grow healthier and thicker hair! So, without further ado, let's talk about the benefits of olive oil and how you can improve your skin and hair with this natural oil.

Wrinkles And Age Spots

Due to the presence of polyphenolic compounds, olive oil helps reduce the oxidative stress in the body that is caused due to ageing and wrinkles. With regular olive oil massage, you can improve elasticity, reduce wrinkles and dark spots, and make your skin look younger.

Olive Oil For Dryness

Olive oil is full of vitamin E and A, which makes it a super moisturiser that helps reduce dryness and dehydrated skin. Not just that, it also helps maintain the skins oil balance and makes it look healthier.

Protects From Sun Damage

Being heavy in consistency and full of antioxidants, olive oil helps protect our skin against sun damage. If you are a swimmer or outdoor sort of a person and want to protect your skin from sun damage, then bring this oil to your rescue and say bye-bye to your skin problems. Massage olive oil on your face, neck, arms and legs, forming a thin layer on your skin. Let your skin absorb this completely. Wash it off after 20 minutes or next morning.

Itchy Skin

Olive oil is relaxing and soothing in nature. It helps reduce itchiness and discomfort caused due to itchiness; you can use it safely to treat rashes, including nappy rashes. And due to its anti-bacterial properties, it may help treat annoying skin-related allergies and conditions in no time at all.

Aftershave Soother

Olive oil makes for a great after shave soother. Post shaving, the skin becomes little dry and rough. Massaging olive oil after shaving will moisturise your skin and keep infections at bay. All you have to do is to take 2-3 drops of olive oil and massage it onto wet skin, allowing it to be absorbed completely.

Reduces Scalp Infections

Olive oil is excellent for people who have dandruff and other scalp-related problems. A bi-weekly massage with olive oil may work wonders for treating this hair condition.

Conditions Scalp

Olive oil not only conditions your hair, but also gives them a bouncy look and controls your frizz. For those with rough, unruly locks: olive oil head massage may help improve your hair texture and make them manageable.

Hair Conditioner

Most oils help soften your hair, but nothing is like olive oil. The presence of three major emollients - oleic acid, squalene and palmitic acid - provides moisture to your hair shaft, further making them soft and manageable.

Besides olive oil massage, you can also make this super nourishing hair mask, which helps repair, soothe and wake up dull lifeless hair:

Things you need:

5tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
Half a grated cucumber
4 tsp mashed papaya
1 banana blended
2 tsp honey
Half a mashed avocado
Method:

Mix all the ingredients and apply it on your scalp and hair. Cover your head with a shower cap for 40 minutes and wash it off with a mild shampoo. Not only will this mask add lustre and bounce to your hair but will also make your hair softer and more manageable. The natural AHA's present in the mask will be highly beneficial, making it a perfect weekly hair supplement for your hair.

Now, that you are aware of all the benefits of olive and olive oil, use it often for your hair and skin and see the results by yourself!

Regardless of how you get split ends, they will not just go away.

The only way to get rid of split ends is to have them snipped off. But you can take care of your hair and prevent splits from occurring at the first place.

What causes split ends?
The longer the hair, the older the end and therefore more prone to split ends.

The daily grind – washing, combing, styling, and chemical treatments – can cause the hair cuticle, which is the outside protective sheath of the hair’s shaft, to wear off. Once the cuticle is damaged the inner layer of hair is exposed, and it becomes weakened, dehydrated and damaged, making the hair prone to split ends.

The good news is that you can easily avoid split ends and grow your hair longer with having to worry about them. Here are some of the tips to banish them forever:

7 Ways to Treat and Prevent Split Ends
1. Get Regular Trimming
No matter how well you look after your hair, the everyday combing, washing will cause some wear and tear, and therefore you can’t prevent split ends entirely. Inevitably, a trim will be necessary at some point to control split ends. But, proper care will allow you to stretch trim appointment to every eight to twelve weeks, or may be even longer. Keep a regular check on them. If you happen to see a random split end, take a pair of scissors and get rid of it. Leaving the split end uncut is not a good idea, as it could potentially get worse and travel all the way up to the root.

Removal: Always use sharp scissors or the ones meant for hair cuts. Using blunt pair can fray your ends and cause more splits after a while. Also cut about 1/4 of an inch above the split, and if you don’t there are chances that split might reappear.

2. Oil Your Hair Before You Wash Them
Shampooing/Washing can cause damage to your hair. When hair gets wet – during shampooing – it absorbs water and swells. In this state it is very fragile and therefore it is easier for splits or chips to occur.

How does oiling hair help? Oil forms a protective sheath around your hair, reducing the damage during washing process. Plus, oil also nourishes your hair, and help restore its moisture balance. Some of the best oil for pre-wash treatment are coconut oil, sesame oil, jojoba oil and almond oil. To use: Apply oil of your choice on the scalp and massage gently with the pads of your fingers. Finish by running fingers through your hair. Keep it for an hour and wash as usual.

3. Apply A Leave-in Conditioner
If you have bad split ends or are prone to having them, then be sure to apply a leave- in conditioner to your hair. This is to protect your hair from the regular wear and tear that can happen due to combing, styling, and also environmental factors (hot sun or cold winds).

You don’t need any fancy brands. Oils or plant butters make an excellent leave-in conditioners. Best oils to use – coconut, almond, olive, and jojoba oil; and best butters that work – shea, kokum, and aloe butter. To use: Take a little amount (not more than a pea size) of oil or butter and rub it between your palms and apply to damp or dry hair, focusing on the ends and leave-in. This will smooth down frizz, split ends and flyaways, and leave your hair looking shiny and beautiful. Start with little, you can always add more to adjust the needs of your hair— you don’t want your hair to look greasy.

4. Dry Hair Gently
Wet hair is fragile and vulnerable to damage. So treat it with utmost care. Vigorously rubbing your hair dry with a towel creates tangles and twists in many unnatural directions, thus causing breakage and split ends. Instead, gently dab the dripping hair with a towel to get rid of the excess water.

To Dry: Use a soft cotton towel, as they are kinder to your hair and causes less friction when drying, and therefore less damage. Plus, cotton towel absorbs a great amount of water, so your hair will dry faster. The next time you wash your hair, wrap hair in a soft cotton towel and leave it on for 5-10 minutes, then let hair dry naturally. Your hair should be smoother and healthier!

5. Use A Wide Tooth Comb
The best way to detangle your hair after shampoo is by using a wide-tooth comb (comb in general are more gentle than brush). And Do Not tug it down your hair from the root to the tip. Doing this will cause tough knots which will be hard to undo and the delicate ends will be forced to take the comb bashing, thus causing hair breakage and split ends. Instead, start at the ends, and gently work your way up. When you encounter a tangle, stop and untangle gently with your comb or fingers and then proceed.

For tangles, apply a leave-in conditioner – as previously mentioned. This will help untangle with ease and prevent the snaps and breakage you can incur when you try to comb hair. Also try to avoid combing until your hair is almost dry.

6. Reduce Use Of Heat Appliances
Heat appliances such as blow dryers, flat-iron, and heat curlers are bad for your hair – however expensive or reputed they may be. When you blow dry or apply heat on your hair it reduces your hair’s natural moisture, leaving it dry, rough and brittle. Constant use can cause physical hair trauma, and the result is damaged hair and split ends.

The best way to dry your hair is to let it dry naturally, and the healthiest way to style it is heat-less. Go gentle. And your hair will look and feel better, and last longer.

7. Protect Your Hair From The Elements
Environmental factors such as sun, wind and cold work against your hair. Long term exposure to hot sun may damage your hair, leaving it dry and brittle, and more prone to breakage as well as split ends. Similarly, cold winds too can be quite harsh on your hair.

Whenever you are stepping outside in the hot sun or cold winds you must protect your hair. Wearing a scarf, a hat or a cap will lock the moisture of your hair and protect it against the elements. In addition, they make great accessories, and they are also excellent at hiding bad hair days

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Almond oil comes from pressing the seeds of the almond tree (almond nuts) and extracting oil from what comes out. Almonds have been valued in many ancient cultures for their healing and health properties, including high levels of protein, omega-9 fatty acids, and vitamin E. These properties suggest that almond oil can improve the shine and strength of your hair. Sweet almond oil is the oil most commonly sold and recommended for use as a hair product. Keep reading to find out if sweet almond oil is something you should try to make your hair look healthy.

Benefits of almond oil for hair
Almond oil softens hair
Almond oil is an emollient, meaning it can fill in gaps in your hair at a cellular level. That makes your hair feel smoother to the touch. Using almond oil on your hair gives it a softer texture over time. Once almond oil is incorporated into your hair care routine, you may also notice that your hair is easier to comb through and style.

Almond oil strengthens and repairs hair
Using certain oils to treat hair can make it less prone to breakage and diminish split ends. The lubricating properties of nut oils, like almond oil, diminish friction during hair styling. A study on Brazilian nut oils (many of which contain oleic acid and linoleic acid, just like sweet almond oil) showed improvement in hair’s resilience when it was treated with small amounts of oil ingredients.

Almond oil could make your hair grow
There aren’t clinical trials that prove that almond oil is effective in making hair grow. But here’s what we do know: almond oil can make hair stronger and less prone to split ends, which means your hair growth won’t be slowed by losing hair that becomes damaged. Almond oil contains high amounts of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant. When antioxidants combat the environmental stress around your hair, your hair looks younger and healthier.

Almond oil treats scalp conditions
Almond oil can also be used as a treatment for flaky scalp (seborrheic dermatitis) and scalp psoriasis. While we don’t have studies that show how almond oil treats these conditions, almond oil has been used to treat dry scalp conditions in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. Rubbing a small amount of almond oil directly on your scalp increases blood flow to the area and introduces powerful antioxidants to the skin on your head.

Uses
You can apply almond oil directly to your hair, rubbing a small amount in between your palms before applying it. If you’re looking to increase shine and softness, pay special attention to the ends of your hair. Massage the oil into the end of the hair shaft and leave the oil on your hair after styling it.

You can also use almond oil as an ingredient in a conditioning hair mask. Mix 2 parts room temperature coconut oil with 1 part sweet almond oil and a creamy, natural conditioning agent, like avocado. Apply this potent hair mask to clean, dry hair, and leave it on for up to 40 minutes.

Some people use almond oil in a capsule or liquid form as an oral supplement. We don’t know if this directly impacts the health of your hair. But it does give you a big dose of protein, vitamin E, and omega-9 fatty acids that could improve your overall health. You can find almond oil supplements in almost any health food store.

Potential risks and side effects
Almond oil is generally safe for anyone to use on their skin. Anyone who has a severe nut allergy should not use almond oil on their hair, or for any other purpose, as the allergic reaction it triggers could be a serious one.

Don’t put pure almond oil on your hair before heat styling. The oil will heat up around your hair follicle and could burn your scalp or the hair shaft itself.

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Macadamia oil can strengthen hair

Macadamia oil penetrates hair more efficiently than some other oils, like mineral oil. Mineral oil can build up on your scalp. Over time, it can make your hair feel heavier and look duller.

But vegetable and fruit oils (for example, coconut oil) have been found to penetrate the hair follicles more effectively. Macadamia oil shares this property.

When macadamia oil binds to the hair shaft and infuses it with fatty acids, your hair follicles may be left stronger and healthier. Macadamia oil also contains antioxidants, which help hair to recover from environmental exposure to things like pollutants in the air.

Macadamia oil can smooth hair
The emollient qualities of macadamia oil can help smooth hair, giving it a shinier appearance. Anecdotally, hair that’s treated daily with macadamia oil may hold its sheen and become glossier over time.

Macadamia oil can make curly hair more manageable
Macadamia oil is especially popular for curly hair. Curly hair types can be especially vulnerable to damage from the environment. Curly hair that’s dried out and damaged is very hard to style and can break easily.

But macadamia oil helps restore moisture to the hair shaft, locks it in, and adds natural protein to the hair. Curly hair that’s properly moisturized is easier to untangle and style.

Are there any risks?
Macadamia oil is a safe ingredient for almost everyone to use on their hair.

If you’re allergic to tree nuts, it’s possible that you’ll have an allergic reaction to macadamia oil. However, the oil contains less of the tree nut proteins that trigger a reaction, so there’s also a chance that you won’t react to it.

Otherwise, using macadamia oil for long-term hair treatment shouldn’t cause problems with your hair or scalp.

If you have a history of allergies or are concerned about an allergic reaction to macadamia oil, do a patch test of the oil on your skin before trying a full application. Put a small amount on a dime-sized spot on the inside of your arm. If there’s no reaction in 24 hours, it should be safe to use.

If you do develop allergy symptoms, discontinue use.

Using macadamia oil as a treatment
You can use macadamia oil on your hair using several methods. You might want to start by trying pure macadamia oil on your hair to add shine after blow-drying or straightening it.

It’s not a good idea to apply macadamia oil to your hair before heat styling because the oil may damage your hair if it’s heated above a certain temperature.

Take a dime-sized dollop of virgin, cold-pressed macadamia oil. Rub it between your palms and then smooth it throughout your hair. Pay careful attention to getting the oil to the ends of your hair to help repair split ends and damage.

Pure macadamia oil can be purchased in a small amount specifically for this purpose. Shop for these products here.

You can also purchase or make your own deep-conditioning hair mask using macadamia oil.

Mix macadamia oil with a fresh avocado and let it sit on your hair for 15 minutes. Then rinse your hair well. This may thoroughly moisturize your hair while restoring essential proteins.

If you’d rather buy something than make your own, shop online for hair masks now. Shampoos and conditioners that contain macadamia are also easy to purchase online.

Does it work?
Macadamia nut oil should make hair look shinier and stronger within one application. If you continue use, the consistency of your hair may change to be healthier and easier to maintain.

For curly hair and natural hair types, macadamia oil may be an especially valuable tool to combat frizz and flyaways. But we don’t have solid clinical evidence to understand the mechanism that makes macadamia oil work.


Macadamia oil vs. other oils
Macadamia oil contains high concentrations of palmitoleic acid. This makes it unique in comparison to the other tree nut and plant oils, many of which are richer in linoleic acid.

Macadamia oil is much more expensive to purchase and use than coconut oil, avocado oil, and Moroccan oil. While it promises similar results, we have less research to tell us how macadamia oil influences hair strength and health.

Compared to other popular hair oil treatments, macadamia oil is one of the lesser studied plant oils. It would appear, though, that macadamia oil is one of the more efficient treatments for curly or natural types of hair.

Dr. Gauri Karve
Dr. Gauri Karve
MBBS, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sandhya Kamble
Dr. Sandhya Kamble
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 26 yrs, Pune
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
Dr. Lalit deshmukh
BHMS, Family Physician, 14 yrs, Pune
Dr. Suryakant Bhoite
Dr. Suryakant Bhoite
BAMS, Family Physician, 34 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sonawane Shivani
Dr. Sonawane Shivani
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Family Physician, 3 yrs, Pune
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