The crown affair: Case is locked
Dubai - Your biggest worry doesn't lie inside your head. it lies over the top. just try to check it out. and, relax!
Penning down this tale is an incredible act of courage. Stay with me until the end and your heart will weep for me.
It all started four years ago when a handsome NRI from Dubai tied the knot with a beautiful Indian girl from New Delhi. Like all 'good' Indian brides, this girl had lovely, long locks. At her various wedding functions, she wore her hair differently: adorned with flowers, in a French plait, left open with just a delicate rubber tie, in a bun, et al. On moving to Dubai, she continued to take pride in her tresses. Oiling them as her mum had taught her once. Never combing wet hair as her cousin had warned her another time. Going for regular trims as her salon lady had recommended. In supermarkets, she looked for familiar Indian and international brands for shampoo, conditioner and oil. Sunsilk, L'Oreal, TRESemmé, Herbal Essences, and Parachute - Dubai shelves stocked them all.
Weeks flew by... One fateful morning, she woke up to strands on her pillow. Months flew by... She began to comb her hair on the balcony. "Your hair is there - everywhere (on the floor)!" her husband joked. More time passed... A visit to a hair clinic suggested that the water in the region was causing all the harm.
A special filter for the washroom, nourishing oil, a softer hairbrush, and a few strengthen-your-hair pills were immediately bought. A provision was made in the monthly budget for this case.
Today, years have flown by and the girl is struggling to nurture her dream of long, silky, strong hair. She now keeps a diary - correction - a 'hair' diary. In it, she makes notes of strands lost, homemade recipes tried (and failed), lists of brands that kept their promise (and the ones that didn't), tips from fellow hair losers (with occasional wins), etc. Here are a few excerpts from her diary entries.
Please don't stand under the shower
Carrying buckets of filtered water to the washroom won't save your hair. Neither will the installation of a special filter. Drinking eight glasses of water may bring a glow to your face (or is that a myth too?). Dubai water is not bad for your hair. Period.
Overlook tips like: Don't stand directly under the shower. "I was born and raised in Dubai. My hair has always been frizzy and dry, but it has nothing to do with the water in the region," says Asha Yesudas, 24, a junior PR account executive. Another expat, Ritu Dua, an artist and writer who moved from Dubai to Mumbai last year, says, "My hair kept growing and falling at its usual pace when I was in Dubai. Yes, the texture suffered; however, it had more to do with the harsh sun and excessive air-conditioning (and not water)."
PS: I was once told that bat milk helps in hair growth. Contrary to popular belief, bats are not blind, they don't get entangled in human hair and, no, their milk is not going to save your hair.
Now, why would you rub your fingernails?
Do you cringe at the sound of nails on a chalkboard? What's that squeaking, annoying sound, you ask? No, it's not a cat. It's your colleague rubbing her fingernails to encourage hair to grow out of her head faster. Be patient - she will be performing this activity for five to 20 minutes, everyday. PS: This practice is also known as Balayam, where 'bal' means hair and 'vyayam' means exercise. There is little understanding of how it works. We rest our case.
Start loving the guys who gorge on raw onion
Garlic pickle is delectable and is good for digestion. Garlic juice stinks and is good for hair growth. If you (and your loved ones) can breathe in garlic-infused air, then the freshly squeezed juice of garlic can help fight hair loss. Brave hearts, apply it on your scalp and hair and leave on overnight. Also, time to stop detesting foodies who eat raw onion slices with their meals, for you will soon be making hair packs with onion juice, and rubbing the slice on the scalp. Remember, if it stinks, it must be good. "Just the thought of the stench makes me want to throw up," says Asha. "In college, a friend and I grated an onion for this purpose. But the sharp, pungent smell was enough to stop us from going ahead! The odour stayed with us for a while too," adds Ritu, whose (unbelievably) long hair touches her ankles.
PS: Garlic oil is a rich source of sulfur, vitamin E, C, B1 and B6, which are all important nutrients needed for hair growth and improved scalp health. Onion has a high concentration of sulfur that helps with numerous hair conditions that cause hair to fall out.
A shampoo thickens a relationship
Some relationships suck you dry. If your salon lady sounds like this, it's time for a break-up. "Oh, you have ruined your hair. Don't you apply oil?" Or again, "Your hair is thinning, you should try our hair-revival treatment; it is a little expensive but." Or, "Here, buy this shampoo from us, it will work wonders. Really, why don't you look after yourself?"
And, of course, monetise your scalp
"Going bald can be a trend. Celebrities like Amber Rose, Natalie Portman and Demi Moore have all rocked it in the past and have proven that women do not need long locks to be feminine," says Asha. "All I do these days is think about investing in a good wig or hair extensions." Graying of hair is another issue of national importance, perhaps next year. PS: Rapunzel, I love you. You are my idol, my inspiration. email@example.com
Chatting with the (bald) author of a book on - ooh! guess what?There are a few good men out there, who are willing to speak about hair fall, loss, and even balding. Of course,
David Stern is an exception. He has gone and penned a book called The Balding Handbook: The 5 Stages of Grieving for Your Hair Loss. The book is exactly as its name implies, "I go through all the five stages of grief: denial, anger and rage, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and how it applies to baldness. Excerpts from the interview...
The book is cheeky and irreverent.
"It's a parody of those self-help handbooks. I thought it would be funny to apply the "five stages of grieving" to male pattern baldness. The vast majority of readers have shared the fun and realised its humour. However, I've had a few readers (not many) complain that I'm making fun of something that some people have a hard time dealing with. I think, on some level, the book does help balding people realise that going bald isn't so bad. At least, I hope so." He insists that the book is not great literature.
What are the craziest hair loss myths you've heard?
"The best one I heard was that if you did a lot of hallucinogenic drugs when you were younger, you would lose your hair. Have you seen Paul McCartney lately? The man is in his 70s and has a hell of a head of hair. Also, the stressful job myth is bogus. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush still have great hairlines... although Barack Obama seems to have a few issues!"
Any outrageous hair loss solutions?
"There have been many, but I have a couple of favourites. Dead Sea Mud - rumour has it that if you slather your bald pate with the mud, you'll get your beautiful head of hair back. That's 'hair back', not 'back hair'! A couple of problems with this remedy: first, it's been proven that it doesn't work, and second, haven't they noticed how many bald people there are in the Middle East? Plus, it's pretty ironic that something that has "Dead" in its name will have restorative powers. There's also a ridiculous thought that Emu oil can help with male pattern baldness. Didn't the inventors of this remedy realise that emus are bald?"
Would you ever consider wearing a wig, or opting for a hair transplant?
"I would but I'd have to relocate. If, all of a sudden, I show up to work or family gatherings with a healthy quaff, I would be ridiculed to no end. Do guys that have hair transplants think no one will notice? There should be a bald guy witness protection programme for guys that get transplants and toupees."
The balding Handbook (e-book) can be purchased on Amazon. The paperback is available at eckhartzpress.com.