Monsoon season is a beautiful time of the year with the world looking greener and fresh, but it comes with its own set of problems. The temperature might drop down a bit while it rains, yet it’s still on the higher side with moisture and humidity spikes too. Add the lack of sufficient sunlight to this mix, and monsoon becomes a season where all kinds of fungus and bacteria tend to thrive. And believe it or not, this has a huge impact on your scalp and hair health.
Why monsoon is a hotbed for hair problems
Your scalp is like an ecosystem of its own. It’s dark, warm, moist and works well as a unique environment for a number of organisms. A study in the International Journal of Trichology (2010) points out that sebum - the oily substance produced by the body’s sebaceous glands - tends to accumulate very easily on the scalp, especially if it’s not cleaned frequently and in humid climatic conditions. Microbes usually feed on this sebum to breed, which is why you may be at risk of everything from dandruff to lice during monsoon.
Another study in the International Journal of Trichology (2018) indicates that Malassezia, the type of fungus most commonly associated with dandruff, is ever-present on all our scalps and also causes oxidative stress to the scalp and hair. Malassezia breeds faster during the summer months, but it also finds perfect conditions to grow in the monsoon season. This is one of the primary reasons why your scalp is itchy during this time, and hairfall, dandruff and frizzy hair are common issues.
Monsoon hair and scalp care tips
Keeping all of these scalp and hair issues in mind during monsoon season is as important as knowing how to deal with them. The following are some tips you must use during monsoon to care for your hair and scalp.
1. Keep it clean: Regular hair and scalp wash with a good shampoo can keep the sebum and Malassezia growth in check. A good anti-dandruff shampoo with active zinc pyrithione can keep the dandruff at bay, if that is the major problem you’re facing. You can also use an antibacterial shampoo.
2. Condition it right: Monsoon moisture can frizz your hair up and a good conditioner can settle your hair better. Conditioning your hair also adds a protective layer which can reduce the risk of damage from rainwater. You could also use coconut or herbal oils to condition your hair naturally.
3. Keep it dry: Whether it’s right after washing your hair or after getting drenched in the rain, it’s important to dry your hair off properly and immediately. This is because the excess moisture can make it even more conducive for bacteria, fungus and even lice to grow. Remember never to tie your hair while it’s wet, and invest in good monsoon headgear to keep your hair dry when you step out.
4. Comb right: Water makes the hair follicles weak, so don’t brush your hair when it’s wet. Use a wide-toothed comb instead of the fine-toothed ones, because they’re better able to settle the hair without doing too much damage.
5. Style right: Gels, mousse, pomade, hair spray and other styling products should be given a miss as much as possible during monsoon because they can damage your hair and scalp further in a season which is anyways rife with risks. On the other hand, if you’ve wanted to try shorter hair or even going bald, this might be the season to experiment because it’s easier to manage.
6. Eat right: Plenty of water, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and protein is essential for good hair health. Eggs, spinach, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, beans, yoghurt, soy beans, etc should definitely be a part of your diet.
For more information, read our article on Hair loss.
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