Hijabi’s Hair Saloons Nightmares
We all know how it is easy for ladies to get hair treatment at a local saloon. Be it to straighten, curl, dye, trim, or straight out a full haircut. While it is easier for most ladies to go to the saloon, it is definitely not easy to find a Muslimah-friendly hair saloon for our sisters in hijab. Sometimes, even here in Malaysia, where there are Muslimah-friendly saloons, you cannot exactly brush off the doubts or fear of random men suddenly entering or peeking into the saloon while you are getting your hair done. Yikes! This is one of the main reasons why most hijabis prefer to cut their hair or conduct hair treatment at home.
The Hijabi’s Dilemma – Hair and Scalp Care
But how do we know if we are actually doing the right treatment for our hair, when there are no experts assisting us, unlike those at the saloons? Due to the reason of never seeing our hair, some people assume that hijabis are bald. I know because I have a few friends from Western countries asking me if I have hair under my hijab.
Funny, right? Just because people don’t see it, doesn’t mean it is not there. Also unknown to them, it is extra hard to take care of our hair when we wear hijab because there are several more problems being faced by hijabis like us. For example, receding hairlines, hair falls (in so many ways than one), unhealthy hair, itchy scalps, etc. You know what I’m talking about, ladies?
A lady’s hair is her crowning glory. It is important for a woman to invest in her hair, as much as she invests on her looks and body, including for all my hijab sisters out there. In this blog, I will share with you on how to keep your hair healthy, even under your hijab.
7 Best Hair and Scalp Care Tips for Hijabi
1. Know your scalp and hair type
As I have mentioned at the beginning, your hair is your crowning glory, and taking care of it is a form of self-care too. Just like your skin, everyone has different types of scalps. There are dry, oily, and normal. It is important to know which product suits best for your hair, and it is always a trial-and-error method in finding the right product for your crown.
And, I will say this: natural product is always a better choice. The more natural the ingredients your hair product has, the better it is, and the faster you can start the process of detoxifying the chemicals in your hair that you have collected over the years. Be sure to leave the products that make your hair dry, frizzy and cause your scalp to itch.
After knowing the type of your scalp and finding the right product, you need to figure out the history of your hair. Do you often dye your hair? How many times do you wash and condition it in a week? Do you blow-dry your hair every day? All of these have effects on your hair.
Try understanding the need for your hair within one week. There are suggestions on how often you should wash and condition your hair that you may have read in a blog or book. According to these articles, women with straight hair are allowed to wash their hair every day, but only condition it every four to five days. If you have thick and wavy hair, you only need to wash it three times a week and condition it one to two times.
However, I would suggest for you try to understand your hair yourself by doing the one-week experiment. After all, it can be unhealthy for your hair since it is already protected from some useful UV rays we need.
Try going a few days without washing your hair, and see how long does it take for your hair to get too oily, too dry, start falling, and for your scalp to itch. Note it down, and follow the schedule on your hair for the next week.
2. Sleep on silk pillows
Not only because you are a Queen, but our hair is also a lot more sensitive than we thought. Silk pillows will help to control your hair sebum, an oily secretion of the sebaceous glands. While the regular cotton pillows are able to absorb sebum overnight, our scalp actually ends up producing more oil in the process to compensate for what was lost. The change may not be immediate, but you will be able to see the change in your hair after some time.
*If silk sheets are too hard to find or too expensive to fit into your budget, silk scrunchy does the work too! You can find this anywhere at a cheaper and more affordable price to replace regular cotton or velvet scrunchies. Not only that, silk scrunchy pulls your hair and holds them together much gentler than a regular scrunchy too!
3. Let your hair breath
Now, hear me out before you go off. I don’t mean you going out shopping without your hijab! Our hair and scalp need a sufficient amount of vitamin D to stay healthy, and it is rather difficult to let them have the nutrient when we covered them every day. So how can you provide vitamin D to your hair? Do you need to get a new supplement for it?
You can give your hair the nutrient it needs by letting your hair out in the sun. This can be done at home. Find a spot in your house where there is sunlight shining through, sit by the opened window, and brush your hair, pretending you’re Rapunzel while singing your heart out.
A better way to do this is to sit in your garden or backyard where it is highly impossible for any stranger to pass by and say hello. Also, while at home, it is better for you to let your hair down. After all, you have been suffocating them under your scarf and tight bun for 8-12 hours a day or longer. It is only fair and beneficial to let them breathe indoors.
4. Don’t pull your hair back too tight
It is understood why many hijabis don’t prefer to let their hair down under the hijab. The moving under cap, hijab, the baby hairs, even adult hairs peeking out and giving “Salaam” to the world.
This is why some of us would pull our hair back tightly into a bun or ponytail. Or some of us pull our hair into a high bun or ponytail to prove to some people that we do have hair under our hijab. That outdated thought should have left the world centuries ago. Know that pulling your hair too tight can cause extra hair falls and subsequently causes a receding hairline. Instead of doing a tight bun or ponytail, tie your hair loosely and gather them in an under cap to prevent the earlier-mentioned problems. Be sure to wash your under cap regularly too!
You can also braid your hair instead, as braids will stay tidy and firm under your hijab, and it is also a softer way than tying your hair into a ponytail or bun. Besides, braiding your hair on daily basis can tame your frizzy hair, add volume to your hair and you can have beautiful hair waves at the end of the day. Get that French or fishtail braids! Feel good from the inside!
5. Find the perfect hijab material
Cotton is always recommended as it can allow air into your hair, but some people find their hair falls a lot when using a cotton hijab, like me. Chiffon is also a good material that can let air in, but once again, it depends on you. If you prefer wearing these two types of material, as it can provide some air to your neck, you can try wearing silk or satin under cap with your cotton or chiffon. Otherwise, you can also try using silk or satin scarves as your hijab with a cotton lycra under cap.
Clothing materials can also have an effect on your hair, be it a positive effect or a negative one. Cotton, silk, satin, chiffon, lycra; each one has different effects on different people. Choose a material that is the best for your hair and spend within your means.
6. Keep your hair moisturise with natural beauty oils – even under hijab!
While it is an awful idea to tie your hair up and put your hijab on while it is still wet, another way for you to keep your locks dry but moisturize is by using natural beauty oils. Many would suggest using the great ol’ coconut oil that our grandmothers usually use.
No lie, I stopped using hair oils after I turned 15 years old because it was starting to itch. Looking back, it was most probably due to the fact that my granny used to pour it out and massage it wholly on my scalp and hair before putting it on my headscarf. The prolonged hours with the coconut oil under my headscarf might have caused the itch.
Like finding the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair, it is also important to know the type of natural beauty oil that suits your hair and scalp type. To find what type of natural beauty oils can be used for your hair and their benefit, check these out below!
- Argan Oil: Makes the hair healthier, moisturized, nourished, and provides anti-oxidant to the scalp.
- Golden Jojoba Oil: Moisturises hair, adds nutrients to it, and stimulates the scalp.
- Grapeseed Oil: Moisturises and conditions hair.
- Castor Oil: Promotes hair growth.
- Virgin Coconut Oil: Promotes hair growth and moisturizes.
The trick with these natural beauty oils is, less is more. Just put a few drops on your hand, rub it on your palm, and apply it gently ONLY on your hair. The whole idea is hydrating and nourishing your hair under your headscarf, so, we definitely do not need big pumps, making our hair oily or staining your headscarf.
If you choose to have a scalp treatment, I would suggest you do it on a day when you are at home and needed pampering on your scalp. Just add 1 to 2 pumps of oil of your choice and massage it on your scalp. Leave in for about a few hours or as quick as 1 hour, and shampoo it thoroughly after that. Before blow-drying your hair, you can also use a few drops of these beauty oils and rub it in your hair before blow-drying, as a natural heat protector for your hair!
7. Essential Oils for Hijabi’s Hair and Scalp Care
Some of you may not like the idea of putting these beauty oils on your hair for the fear of the smell. You may also try adding essential oils into your chosen oil, to get the natural fragrance and additional benefits! Below are the essential oils and the benefits for your hair:
- Cedarwood Atlas: Stimulate scalp, promotes hair growth, and control dandruff.
- Chamomile: Soothe scalp, makes your hair shine and soft.
- Clary Sage: Promotes hair growth and stimulates the scalp.
- Geranium: Controls sebum and strengthens hair.
- Lavender: Conditions and shines hair, control dandruff.
- Lemongrass: Strengthens hair follicles, soothes itchy scalp, and reduces dandruff within 7 days.
- Peppermint: Stimulates scalp, cures dandruff and lice, and promotes hair growth.
- Rosemary: Promotes hair growth and provides circulation to the scalp.
- Sandalwood: Gets rid of dry ends and adds fragrance to your hair
8. Post Hair Dye Care
The pandemic had many of us trying new and crazy things in the comfort of our homes. For me, I have learned to colour my own hair red during MCO! I realized one thing after I coloured my hair was that, even after using the conditioner provided in the box, it wasn’t meant to keep my hair moisturized. Rather, it was only meant to retain the colours on my hair. For the next few days to a week, my hair was so frizzy and coarse, it felt like a fishing line! I understood then that the hair dye can do this kind of damage to your hair due to the chemicals in it and if you don’t do proper after-care.
As it is not recommended to shampoo your hair for the next 72 hours after dyeing your hair, I opted to use only conditioner on my hair. After conditioning, I would lather my hair with natural hair oils to retain moisture and let the oil work its magic to fix the damage in my hair! As for me, I used our virgin coconut oil on my hair. Using just a few drops of the oil, lathering it from the top to the ends once every two days, I could already see my hair was much better than the first time I coloured my hair.
What’s better, it gave a natural shine! Using hair serum can also help to fix damaged hair, best applied before blow-drying. So try on Aro Sarawak’s Hair Serum for better results!
9. Transition to Natural Shampoo
One of the biggest problems we face as hijabis, even non-hijabis, is hair fall. Hairfall is a common problem to us women as we need to care for lengthier hair than men do. Even when we use shampoo and conditioner that is ‘formulated’ for hair fall problems, we still see strands of our hair on our hairbrush, pillow, the floor, and just about everywhere! Unfortunately, the non-natural shampoo contains rather harmful chemicals.
Although chemicals like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), DEA, TEA, alcohol, Parabens are meant to act as binding ingredients, all of this can strip natural moisture and protein to keep your hair healthy. That is why using these shampoos, even though it is meant for a specific problem, does not seem to make any changes to your hair.
Instead, once you find out your hair and scalp type, you can gradually switch to using natural shampoo. Natural shampoos are made of natural ingredients and do not contain harmful synthetic chemicals that damage your hair and is biodegradable! Keep in mind, you may feel your hair becomes drier after using natural shampoo, always use conditioner after shampoo. You can either use a natural conditioner, hair serum, or natural oils to act as a conditioner.
Check out the list below for some of the natural shampoos we recommend!
- Clary Sage Shampoo Bar: stimulates hair growth, strengthens hair, helps with dandruff, balances sebum production
- Grapefruit Shampoo Bar: removes dirt build-up, anti-fungal, encourages luscious and shiny hair, reduces grey hair
- Orchid Shampoo Bar: balances sebum production, controls frizz and provides voluminous shiny hair, reduces grey hair, anti-fungal, suitable for thin hair
- Tea Tree Shampoo Bar: treats dandruff, anti-fungal, suitable for itchy, oily, and flaky scalp
- Rosemary Mint Shampoo: stimulates hair growth, treats dandruff, anti-fungal, suitable for sensitive scalps
You can use any of these beauty oils and essential oils to create your own formula of natural hair conditioner. Add about 5 to 10 drops of your preferred essential oils into 100 ml of your chosen beauty oil, mix well, and massage it onto your scalp for 20 minutes daily. Remember to shower it off every time after massaging your scalp because prolong hours might itch your scalp or clog it.
Investing in your hair is also a form of self-care. Our hair is an Amanah from our Almighty and we should take care of it properly and in the best way, aside from using hijab. I hope the tips shared here for hijabis hair and scalp care will be useful for every hijabis!
By following the tips I have given above, it will take some time for you to see the changes in your hair, but once you do, you will be pleased with the result! Inshaa Allah and do share with us the results!