Ever wondered why hair is called “crowning glory”? Simply because a great head of hair boosts your confidence and your sense of being on top of your game. Wear it short or wear it long. Loose, tied or clipped in place, casually open or even tucked smartly under a hijab – when it feels fabulous, so do you.

Hijab hair. Yes that’s a thing.

There’s something special about the hijab as an aspect of culture in some countries and an aspect of religious belief in others. When you wear it with pride, you don’t want to let hair woes erode your confidence.

It’s more common than you’d imagine, to find your hijab full of hair strands when you take it off at the end of a long day. While some hair loss is normal (we all lose about 150 strands a day and the hijab catches most of them) you may need to reckon with a whole different set of challenges.

“But isn’t my hair protected from the elements?” you may wonder. It is, for sure. Dust, wind, pollutants and direct sunlight – universal tormentors of hair – come up against a protective hijab. Yet, some of us face a curious problem called hijab hair – flat, frizzy and dull hair. In some cases the scalp gets dry and itchy, leading to dandruff. That’s not all. Over time, you may be looking at a growing forehead – in other words, a worryingly receding hairline.

Here’s the thing. Your hair is an extension of you and in a sense, your hair has feelings too. Imagine what it’s like to be pulled back, tied up tight into a ponytail, bunched up into a bun, or captured in a clip and kept in the dark all day. What would that feel like? Exactly.

Expert advice, then, boils down to three little words: Love your hair.

Give it sunshine. Let it breathe free.

Love comes in the form of that wonderful sunshine vitamin – the much misunderstood Vitamin D. Our hair needs it just as much as the rest of the body does. Although the body’s designed to make enough for our needs, things don’t always work out in practice as most of us don’t get enough sunlight needed for vitamin synthesis. So, make sure you get that private time and space – at least 30 minutes a week to let your hair down! A spot in the garden, on the terrace or even by the window, wherever you can catch the sun.

Stop pulling it back.

A little kindness goes a long way. Go easy on your hair – as pulling it back severely, can put your hairline into receding mode. An under hijab cap can help keep hair comfortably under control while tied in a loose ponytail or a bun. Take care not to wear the scarf too tight as this can make the scalp dry, itchy and prone to dandruff.

Brush up on hair care basics.

While brittleness and hair loss may occur for a variety of reasons, an uncaring brush only makes it worse. So make sure you put some time and thought into what suits your hair best. Brush or comb? Fine bristles or medium? The idea is that nothing should tug at your hair. Avoid brushing or tying wet hair. Many of us don’t realise that wet hair is weaker as the hair pores are bigger. Also, dandruff could start showing up if you tend to put on your hijab when your hair is damp.

Blasts of hot air won’t do your hair great favours – so easy with that dryer. Ideally, give your hair a couple of hours before you brush or comb.

Nothing says love like a nourishing massage.

Our climatic conditions being what they are most of the year, sweat and greasiness grow under the hijab while dry weather makes your hair frizzy. Long hours under the hijab leave your hair longing for that caring touch. Massage your scalp to stimulate blood circulation and prevent dryness. Make this a weekly routine and see your hair grow stronger, less likely to break.

Remember hair loves natural fabric.

Nothing beats cotton or silk. Artificial fabrics cause friction with your hair, leading to breakage and split ends. If you must use nylon, polyester or blends in that genre, make sure to wear a hijab cap under your scarf as a protective layer.

Sometimes, love means taking expert help.

Hair is a living thing. For all the care you take, and for all the shampoos and serums, there may be times when specialised intervention is called for. Trust an expert dermatologist to take a look at your condition and customise a suitable line of treatment. Whatever bothers you, be assured that you can look forward to strong, healthy hair that grows thick, beautiful and trouble free so you can wear your hijab without a shade of worry.

After all, there’s something special about the demure elegance of a hijab that frames the face with dignity and defines the confidence within.

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