Thursday, 23 July 2015

To believe or not to believe – hair myths!

All girls know what it is like to be, well, a girl! Mothers, aunts, neighbors, colleagues, mothers of friends, Stylists, random women we meet on our commute, Kim K and “experts” (PHEW!!) – all feel like it’s their birth right to give their opinions and tips on skincare, beauty and grooming. And the moment you start talking about hair care – there are 100 years old myths to deal with, never mind unsolicited advice! So here is my bit to help clear those up:

·         Hair should be washed daily – NO. Unless you have the extreme kind of oily skin and live in a tropical region that only makes it worse! Washing daily strips your hair of essential oils and damages the strands. And god bless you if u have that kind of time!

·        Conditioner needs to be used once a few weeks only – NO. Conditioner is essential EVERY single time you wash your hair. It enriches and moisturizes your hair after shampoo strips the oil off. It is the most basic kind of protection and care you can (and ought to) give your hair

·         All you need for gorgeous hair is a great haircut – NO. Although, I wish that could be true! Yes a haircut can alter your entire look and it takes a talented stylist to recognize which style would suit you and your hair best. But it will not miraculously alter the texture if your hair! If you hair is naturally frizzy, it will continue to be after a fancy layer cut. Fine, straight hair will still fall limp. Your salvation? Styling and products!

·         Styling damages hair – YES. Styling tools use heat to set hair, and in the process damage your precious strands. The damage becomes more evident over time, when these tools are used regularly. The only way to reduce the damage done without foregoing styling (and the resultant impeccable hair) is to use heat protection products before getting started with the tools

·         Oil is good for the hair – YES. Oil is nourishing and wholesome, it imparts much needed moisture to your hair. It is great for deep conditioning and some even have properties that make them great anti-dandruff treatments. Doesn’t mean you load your hair up on oil and walk around for days, it is oil not a leave-on conditioner! (Traditional Indian women in some societies still oil their hair immediately after a wash and leave it on till the next wash!) Leaving oil on will only make a great base for tons of dust and grime to settle in. Don’t even get me started on the visual appeal!!

·        Cutting hair often helps it grow longer – NO. Hair grows from the roots not ends. Cutting the ends will not make any difference to the pace at which your hair grows. Trimming your hair once every 3-4 months is ideal though, because split ends make your hair unhealthy in general. Unhealthy hair will result in hair fall.

·         Use of a lot of products ruins your hair – NOPE! That is one of the most demented things I have heard and I still cannot get over it. Products protect and nourish and tame and HELP your hair! Help you, achieve the look you are trying to. Overdose of a product or use of too many at the same time definitely can weigh your hair down and give you a look that is far from natural. Sometime it even ruins the look, but it surely doesn’t “ruin” your hair! Amen.

·         Keeping your hair tied will protect it – NOT necessarily! Leaving your tresses loose does expose it to pollution and sunlight and dust. Hair is more prone to tangling when it loose. But all these problems have solution – yup, the magic in the form of products! Keeping hair braided does have a few advantages, but damage is your prime concern you should not shy away from leaving your strands loose! Also, keeping your hair tied too tight (in buns or ponytails) stress the hair roots and often damage them permanently. Nice damaged, the same hair follicle will never grow new hair. So you might wanna  rethink that topknot that is supposed to ‘protect’ your hair!

·         You need to brush your hair daily – Uh. NO. Especially, honey, if you have wavy to curly hair and if frizz if your biggest enemy, the hair brush is in the same ranks. It is ideal to brush or comb your hair before a hair wash, the other alternative being combing wet hair immediately after a wash. But whether you style your hair or let it air dry, brushing will only bring down a parade of frizz and ruin the style. If you feel like you MUST run something through your mane, your best bet would be a wide-toothed shampoo comb.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Why we run from 'love'...

Remember when we were kids and heard all the adults talk about love, read about it in fairy tales, watched actors fall in ‘love’ in romantic movies? It seemed like a painfully simple yet beautiful concept. We thought it would be a natural, almost default occurrence in everyone’s life. We expected for love to come our way only to make things better. The inevitable happy ending!

And then we grew up! In the process, we got a taste for what love actually feels like. If love was indeed as simple as we would like for it to be, we all wouldn’t be running away from the mere mention of it. We wouldn’t choose ‘casual’, temporary, convenient relationships to fill the place that true love should have in our lives. But WHY? Why are we so afraid? Love doesn’t kill you! Or does it?

Love - the real thing - when it comes along, takes your breath away!

You think all the years of prepping yourself, almost like rehearsing for that big performance, would make you more capable of bearing the impact of ‘true love’. But no! All those dates in high-school, kissing all the wrong people, crying over them when it ended, still does not come close to what it feels like when you actually fall in love. And yes, you fall. Headlong into that abyss, willingly and eagerly, not realizing that there is not return from it.

And then your heart breaks, again! Classic, hey? Just cuz it was love, doesn’t mean it was going to last! I’m not saying no relationship lasts forever. But we all go through our share of heart breaks before finding the ‘forever’ - if at all! And that is if we have the courage to embrace love when it comes our way again, in the first place. So many ifs!

Nobody said heart breaks would be painless or easy. They hurt, so fucking bad! But it doesn't  stop there. And you thought it couldn't get worse?

While you were busy holding yourself together, physically clutching your arms across your chest because you felt like your body was being torn apart from the inside, while you were looking for something, anything to numb that unbearable pain ravaging your soul mercilessly, while you were looking for something to fill that huge, gaping, raw hole in the deepest part of your being, all the while that you were tending to your heartbreak – not only was it successfully resisting every move you made to recover, it was also changing you.

It changes you from within, your very essence. When the storm finally starts fading, leaving a breathless and shaken you in the wake, you do not even realize that the person you were before does not exist anymore. It only starts becoming evident when you get back on your feet and try living your life. Slowly you realize, you have become someone else – a stronger but damaged version of your older self.

Is it just the fear of a heart break though that makes us run in the opposite direction from even the possibility of love? Are we so afraid of the torturous pain that a broken heart causes? Maybe not.

To love is to open yourself up to another person, feel for them from the dead bottom of your heart, give them access to depths of your soul. When you love, you let yourself become vulnerable to someone. You are one person, living for two people, as one entity! Confusing? It always is!

The lines become blurred, you do not know where you as an individual end and where you as one half of this ‘couple entity’ start. You have two people’s dreams to fulfill. You start giving up on things that are important to you, to make place for this relationship. You let go of things or people you held dear to you. You want different things now, things that are in tune with what your significant other wants. Before you know it, you are putting him or her ahead of yourself. Subtly but surely, your principles and values are changing.

One fine day, when you look back, you do not even recognize yourself. You are happy (hopefully!) but nothing like the person you were before you fell in love. And worse – you don’t even know when you changed so completely! And THAT is what is scary!

Because we don’t think we are capable of this kind of love. When we think of epic love stories, we think ‘Romeo and Juliet’. What we do not realize is that love itself is epic! It is the most powerful, devastating, and complicated thing in the universe. It rules our lives.

It is overwhelming to realize we can love with as much abandon as the characters of a legendary love story! It is terrifying when we truly understand how much of ourselves we are willing to give up for love. How much of our life and world comes to revolve around another person.

And when someone like that fucks you over, how do you trust again? There is no short cut to recovery from such a betrayal. Of course, this might be one person (or a few people) who left you shattered and lost. But it isn’t really about the people. It is about love! A feeling so intense that it crowds your entire horizon.  An emotional web so intricate, beautiful and gossamer that you willingly get caught in it.

There is no reigning in love. There are no measurement scales. How much is too much? Any control is only an illusion when we are ruled by our hearts! And that’s why we say ‘fall’ in love. Cuz it is indeed a free fall, and there is no stopping mid-way or coming back. Once you’re in, you go all the way. And if you need to come up for air, however quickly you realize it, when you do come up you are breathless and broken! Isn’t that petrifying!

So it isn’t the other person we are unwilling to trust. It’s ourselves and the force of our own emotions that we are so afraid of! It’s a gamble too. You could be truly blessed to find love that turns out to be your fairy tale. Or you could be left broken hearted and damaged.

So for those of us who realize exactly how powerful and untameable love actually is, the prospect of getting sucked into it again is daunting. There are those who find the courage to swim into that whirlpool again. But then there are those who run away from even the suggestion of it. Some probably never will be brave enough to indulge in the sweet, sweet joy of loving someone will all their heart and soul!

What do we do then? We look for the kind of relationships that leave our hearts and sanity out of it. We pursue the infamous and much simpler lust, instead of searching for love. We build sky high walls around ourselves, with chain link fences outside and inside it, so no human capable of doing our fragile souls any damage will ever reach it. We keep our hearts and our emotions in a trunk, locked up, where they will remain safe. And we find solace and joy in uncomplicated, temporary, fulfilling affairs!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

L'amour temporaire

We have all come across a million articles and listicles on the internet – what is wrong with modern day dating, how romance has been lost in this century, lust over love. And let’s be honest – there is more than a semblance of the truth to these. But why? Why has traditional love and fairytale romance morphed into one night stands and no-strings-attached relationships as the conventional if not ideal lifestyle?

Pardon me but I am going to say the most abused phrase of this generation, which is also the biggest truth – our lives are fast paced. When they say this world is a competitive jungle, they aren’t talking about the job markets alone. Like everything else in this age, our relationships are about convenience too. I mean, what else was a life ruled by technology and invention going to lead us to anyway.

Let Hollywood bear witness to what I am saying here. Before there were movies like ‘Pretty woman’ and ‘Notting hill’ in which love came out of the most unlikely of encounters. (Ok. I know these are classics and almost exceptions among examples, but you get my point!) Now we have ‘Friends with benefits’ and ‘No strings attached’. Both of them have the clichéd happy endings too, but see the route the plot takes?

To say that the world, especially the newer generation, is seeing a revolution would be an understatement! We no longer care for the importance traditional ways of life placed on the balance between education, work, marriage, family and eventually retirement. New age philosophy is understanding that one cannot have it all and will have to choose those aspects most important to them. Our lives are simply not as simple as they were in older times. Temptation is everywhere, and it is okay to err!

Hey, I’m not complaining! I’d rather each person live his or her life their way, on their own terms, than having to succumb to what society says is right or wrong. And I am as much a culprit by having contributed to (or at least partaking in) the turn modern day romance has taken! To be honest, I would have it no other way.

But are society and modern lifestyle the only factors to the choices we are making in our love lives? What about what love does to us at a personal level? And if it was always so hard to love, why are we more afraid today? Or have we just learnt not to be happy with what we have, so much so we have trouble settling? 

Monday, 25 May 2015


Magic is what I mean! That’s how the French say it though. See what changing three letters in a word can do to it? Makes it sound chic, enigmatic and classy, all without changing its meaning. No wonder the world loves French, it is MY favorite language. And the people - they just know how to find elegance in the simplest things and how to savor the beauty of those aspects in life most people do not even pay attention to. 

But isn’t that what life is all about? Or at least what it should be about? The small things, the precious memories, the way of enhancing even everyday experiences… the fairy dust! 
Otherwise, what is the point of it all? There is no flavor in bland, nothing special about mundane, nothing exciting about routine, nothing dreamy about reality! That’s why we all need a bit (or a lot) of it – the fairy dust. Magique. 

Now before you brand me a hopeless romantic (although I am just that), bear with me! Fact of life is – it happens! As much as we try to stay free-spirited and carefree while growing up, as much as we promise ourselves we will never be like the boring adults we met when we were younger, as much as we promise ourselves we will never EVER indulge in deep philosophy once we are grown-ups, life happens!! Worst part is – you do not even realize when it sneaked up on you and changed you. Yea, no shit!

We are all born with the proverbial clean slate. No memories, no knowledge no skills. Also no trust or reservations, no confidence or shame, no friends or enemies, no pride or regret. We are born with the clean slate for the world to write on. And write it does! It writes bold, in-erasable experiences and memories that make us broken, apprehensive, vulnerable, strong, courageous, and fearsome adults. 

No. Contrary to Hollywood’s portrayal, damaged people are not always the result of a childhood scarred by abuse or a parent who abandoned them. You know what I mean if you have ever been bullied at school, been called fat or skinny, been insulted by a teacher, had a friend betray you, had a partner cheat on you, had the world judge you, lost a loved one, been in a near fatal accident or been a victim of any kind of violence. Every experience in life leaves a mark on us. Some of them scar us badly, permanently!

Ever met someone who is happy, optimistic, idealistic and sees only the good in the world? And wanted to punch their face? I have! It’s like Meredith says in Grey’s Anatomy: “I don’t like happy, chirpy people!” Neither will any self-respecting person who has been living or trying to live their own life on their own terms! Not because we are jealous of the chirpy, infuriating happiness. It’s because it is unreal. It is like they lived in a bubble. A nicely protected, warm, reflective, shiny, isolated bubble; they grew up inside it and decided to step out once they were happy, chirpy, annoying adults! It’s like they do not understand how this world works, like they have never had to deal with real life issues and are mentally still inside their stupid bubble.

If you never had someone love you, if you loved so unconditionally that you lost yourself, if you never learnt how to trust, if you trusted blindly only to be stabbed in the back, if you were forced to live against your own choices, if the decisions you made for yourself went awfully wrong, if something you took for granted suddenly fell apart, if you indulged in substance abuse or if you watched someone die – you have probably had to deal with life in all its evil glory at least one time. There are a million things that can mess a person up. Any one of these can scare you to the core of your being, so much that you are hardly the same person anymore.

The way I see it – life is designed to fuck you up! There is no way you can get out of it unscathed. But you go on and on, live it one day at a time, deal with the smaller blows on a daily basis, put on a smile (or a bite-me attitude) and hope to find the bigger purpose. But then would you have it any other way? These experiences are what make us. They give us our personality, beliefs, fears, perspective and basically build the road our own future will take.

Sometimes I wish I were one of those positive, content, balanced people. You know the girls with shrill voices, who smile easily, are polite and nice to everyone, say things like ‘live and let live’, seem to thrive on positivity and basically want to convince the world around them they are modern day saints! And then it hits me – they are polite and sweet, but they don’t ever speak their minds! Hell, they probably don’t have original opinions about most things! No real perspective. So thanks, but no thanks!

I would rather be scared to love again and make the choice to stay alone, than feel out of control. I would rather make mistakes and learn from them, than stumble around like a grown up infant. I would rather have been bullied as a teenager, so I learn how to speak up for myself.  I would rather be hurt by a friend, so I know where to put my trust the next time. You learn, you grow and hence, you are capable of making your own choices. Yes, life takes its own course for the most part, but would you not want to control the parts that you possible can.

But these realists with tons of life experience and a badge of damage are in fact the people who need magic most in their lives. Most of them unconsciously even believe in it. See, for those who believe in beautiful, cliché philosophies about life (that all things happen for a reason and that the ending is always happy, etc.!!), faith comes naturally. They hope for better, they move forward expecting better and it is easy for them. These people, from the bottom of their heart and soul, believe in happiness, fairy tales and love. They also as naively believe that they deserve the fairytale!

But for those who have had their trust broken, their faith shattered, their love rejected and their souls basically sucked out of them as if by a dementor, it’s an everyday battle to even go on. Because what are you moving towards if there is no light at the end of the tunnel? So they have to, in some part of their being, believe in magic. There is something I read a few years ago and it has stayed with me forever. ‘I am strong cause I know my weaknesses, I'm a lover cause I'm a fighter, I am wise cause I've been foolish, I laugh cause I've known sadness!’ 

This quote from my favorite tv show sums it up perfectly - 

Damaged people are not lifeless and lost. They are strong, courageous, bold people who will stand up for what they believe in. They have fears but they understand them better than anyone else and deal with it. Every day. Those are the people who need magic. Those are the people who appreciate the small things, the precious moments, the beauty of life! They see what most people miss, they cherish what most people let pass. They hold on to special people and beautiful memories as if the earth turned over and if they let go they would free fall into the never ending abyss. 

In the depths of their soul, these people long for the magic. The fairy dust.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Style minions!

Styling products are in abundance these days and why would they not be, it is what the glorious world of glamour revolves around! Like I say time and again – achieving the perfect hair is a long process that is a test of perseverance. The things that aid us in this beautifully challenging task are styling tools and products. Either of these alone is NO good – this is as real and significant as the food chain and there is no arguing with the food chain! There is a sequence in nature, an order of things and this is that order – prep with a base styling product, style with the right tools and finish with finishing products. Too much hassle??  I am sorry to give you a much needed reality check – good things don't come easy. Fabulous things are harder to come by! If you think this is more trouble than it is worth, you can kiss away your dreams of salon style immaculate hair! Period.

For the newbie in fashionista town, this would be a good place to start! If you wondered how to coax and manipulate you locks so they are luscious, well-behaved and around the clock gorgeous, here is your answer. Behold – the styling products!

Smoothening products: These are the holy grails for the Rapunzels with a straight mane. They make hair glossy, shiny, control the frizz and straighten it. These can be used on virgin or treated hair. They come in many forms under various brands – serum, cream, spray, mist. They are ideal for hair that needs just a little taming to be presentable or after styling; it essentially is the finishing touch, the polish! So, if your hair is extremely unruly, curly or frizzy, even the best smoothening products cannot miraculously give you magazine cover hair! You will need to resort to chemical straightening that you can maintain with these products, or embrace your curls that you can define, control and enhance with the right products.

Curl enhancing products: Pretty self-explanatory, this one! I feel curls somehow reflect the spirit of a woman, in the sense that they are complicated, difficult to understand, even harder to manage and tame! But ladies, if you have learnt how to reign in your curly or wavy hair, with the help of the right products, results can be nothing short of magical! Curl enhancing products help define the natural waves and curls in our tresses, making them those shiny ultra-feminine ringlets or waves that we all have been envious of at some point. They also help keep the curls defined and frizz-free until the next wash (as anyone with curly hair knows how thin the border between curly and frizzy is)! They are best used as a base before a blowout or the use of curling irons. These beauties again come in spray, mousse and cream forms.

Texturizing products: They basically add texture. Ever seen a girl with tousled, I-just-rolled-out-of-my-bed, piecey hair? This bottle of goodness is what helped her achieve that! We are talking separated, textured, moisturized, effortless waves. Of course, depending on the exact look, our man here must have had to work with dollops of mousse and even a hold spray! But you get the picture.

Volume enhancing products: These again will need to be used in combination with a bunch of other styling products. But simply put, they enhance the volume of your hair and in most cases, can be worked into any look you want. Whether you have short or long hair, whether you are styling it into humongous bouncy curls, beach waves or even the straight look, you should be able to find one of these volume experts that works for you! These come in cream, mousse and spray forms.

Holding hairsprays: Lastly, this one here is our safety net! Almost literally! It actually coats your hair with invisible particles and helps hold the look or hairstyle you very painstakingly created! I mean, look at that list above – there is sooo much effort that goes into creating the perfect hairstyle, working with all these products and tools. Holdspray helps keep it all in in place until the next wash, hence is the final act. Now of course you have a whole range from strong to medium hold products. Finding a good holdspray that works best for you is quite the challenge as most products tend to make hair sticky and stiff, giving it a rather unnatural look. The ideal product will give you flexible, natural lasting hold!

So now that you have the basic gyan, go explore and get started on your way to fabulous mane! PHEW!! That’s all for today, ladies!


Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Potions - for boneheads (pun unintended)!

Most of us have time tested, hair care regimens we completely totally rely on. These comprise of trusted brands, expert stylists, favourite products and practised routines. But for the newbie it can be quite the daunting task, what with the infinite list of options and the scary terms experts like to casually throw around. Fret not, honey. This is where you can start!

The golden rule ladies – your hair is only as good as you treat it. This one time a guy friend asked me how much money I spent on my hair. “It looks like you spend a lot on it and I mean it in a good way”, he clarified when I gave him a look that conveyed exactly how I felt about his question! I mean, what a way to phrase a compliment! Men!! Anyway, my hair is something I take utmost pride in and yes, I do invest a lot in it – money, time, and effort! It is just like any other investment – you take care of it and the results will show.

So if you want hair that you can flaunt, you need to give it the kind of treatment that will make it worthy of flaunting. So again – and I cannot stress enough on it – PRODUCTS! The right products will win half the battle for you; the other half is made up of cuts, styling and treatments. Do not take the power of salon products lightly. When they say ultimate liss, magic mousse, shine mist or extra strong hold spray, they do not say so lightly! But then, we are not talking about styling products alone. Anything and everything that goes on your hair has to have the kind of quality that you want it to reflect.

Just to be clear, when I talk about products I mean only salon products. (Over the counter products in my world, do not even matter and this is how far I go in acknowledging their existence!) Here is a list of essential hair products and what they do for you. The absolute must-haves, ladies - which is what I will be covering in this part.  

Shampoos: Shampoos are an absolute, non-negotiable part of your personal care regimen. They cleanse you hair and scalp off the natural oil that collects in it over time, dust, grime, dandruff and anything else that may have deposited in between your strands. How often you shampoo depends entirely on the nature of your hair and scalp. Oily hair/scalp needs more frequent, often daily, washing. Normal to dry hair can be washed with an interval of 2-3 days. Generally speaking, it is rather unhealthy for your hair to wash it daily as the process of washing itself is stressful for the strands. Your hair also needs a day or two revive the natural moisture it lost in the previous wash. There are literally a million types of shampoos available in the market – in spite of years of researching the ideal product for my hair and an extremely specific list of favorites compiled over time, I find myself tempted on a regular basis to try newer brands and sub-brands. Anyway, depending on your hair type and what you want from the results, you can choose a type of shampoo that would work for you.

Conditioners: No, these are not once-in-a-while indulgence products. Conditioners are sequels to shampoos but are just as mandatory to your hair care routine. There are two kinds of conditioners – wash out conditioners and leave in conditioners. And these are not mutually exclusive! Wash out conditioners are imperative after the shampoo, leave in conditioner is the additional option. So remember how shampoo cleanses your hair off foreign particles that have settled in it? It also strips off the moisture from your strands while it is at it. Conditioners provide that essential moisture to your hair and by doing so, they provide basic protection. If your hair is dry/frizzy, they help tame it to a good extent. Both types of conditioners help control the hair, keep in tangle free and prevent split ends – yup, told you the sun shines out of a conditioner jar! Get this though – these babies are meant for your hair ONLY, they are not for your scalp. So what conditioner you pick should obviously depend on your hair type and what you will want from the results.

Serums: Think of these as the equivalent of the moisturiser you apply on your skin. See how this is another mandatory aspect of your personal care routine that you cannot do without? Serums are rockstars that do exactly that for your hair! The qualities of a serum make it substitutable with leave in conditioners. So again, this one comes down to preference. In a generic sense, serums give your hair protection against sunlight and external damage while also taming it and adding shine to it. There are a multitude of hair serums available under different brands with extra features such as frizz control, shine, thermal protection, volume, texture definition, etc.

Heat Protection products: These products do exactly what the name says – they protect against the kind of heat that a simple serum would be out of depth for. These products are to be used before the use of hot tools, be it a hair dryer, diffuser, straightener or tongs! The kind of damage regular styling does to our hair is incredible and over time, irreparable. Hair is even more prone to such damage if it is treated, and I mean even hair colors here! If you are someone who likes to blow dry your hair after every wash, or are a stickler for that perfect straight fringe for which you need to grab a straightener all the time – you ought to pledge eternal allegiance to this knight in shining armor! Thermal protection products come in serum or spray forms for you to choose from.

Dry shampoo: Yup, we have all had those days when we were just way too busy or way too tired or even sick or retuned from a particularly exhausting trip and had to get straight to work. You get the gist – oily, matted, unwashed hair and you just cannot hide beneath the covers all day. You need to get out and face the world – behold the Dry shampoo! This hero is a savior in a literal sense, it is a powder based product that you need to spray on your tresses, shake it out and comb for fresh voluminous locks. It might be a bit of a struggle to find the perfect dry shampoo that does not leave powdery residue in your hair, but you cannot go wrong with a good brand. Trust me – I was dead against the idea of dry shampoo and all for washing my hair every third day! But you know how life gets!

Yea. So we are way past the stone-age of hair care where shampoo and conditioner alone could enrich your mane game! Now that you understand the ‘role’ of these products, you can better appreciate the absolute necessity for them in your life - I hope! 
*twirling a gorgeous strand and smirking*

Friday, 24 April 2015

Ze Tresses - your basic guide!

We all have that one thing we love beyond anything else, something we invest all our energy in, something we are infinitely proud of. In my case, it's my hair! Yes ladies, I am all about ze tresses! And considering I have become a bit of a pro over time in what I call "hair psychology", I decided it was time to put all that information somewhere useful! I mean, a girl can deal with a cheating boy friend, a BFF break up, a broken heel - all with her head held high. But how is she to even hold that head high on a bad hair day? YUP! Those are our apocalypses!

So here is the deal - remember the "Dragon lady"  from Devil wears Prada? The one who never has one hair out of place. EVER! Yea, she is kind of my icon. Basically, whatever look you are going for, it just has to be perfect! Be it a salon-style chic blow dry, straight pixie-cut, girl-next-door tumbling curls or im-too-sexy-for-my-shoes beach waves. The style just has to be flawless - all day, every day! Ambitious, even unreal. I know. But we have enough problems to deal with a on a daily basis and we have no place for frizz! So how do we achieve that?

First you need to understand your hair. I mean YOUR hair. Your hair is as unique as you are. No two people have the same texture, same hair quality, same suitability to products, same style and same preferences. When we broadly classify hair under straight, wavy and curly, it just is not enough! Whether you have dry hair, oily scalp, fine hair, brittle hair, is it treated or virgin, all contribute to defining your hair. This understanding takes a while, most of your adolescent years to be specific. Once you get that understanding, we go from there.

Get this though - there is no one dream solution to achieving that glorious mane the world will envy! If you want to achieve immaculate shampoo-advert kind of hair, merely a new haircut or a pump of expensive serum will not miraculously do it for you! Even Hermoine Granger with a wand at her disposal and a way with magical spells could not achieve diva hair without "Sleekeazy's hair potion"! The magic factor in our world is slightly short of Hogwarts! So the modern day damsel needs way more than one magical potion to transform her world! It has to be a ideal concoction of cut, products, styling and manipulation.When I say your hair is an investment I do not say so lightly - products are only one fraction of your pay check that gets spent on your mane! There are tools, therapies, professional treatments and cuts, none of which come dirt cheap!

Let me lay the foundation with some uber-basic simple facts - 

  • Shampoo washes the dust, grime and oil from your hair
  • Conditioner gives it the essential protection, a semblance of control and the moisture that the shampoo stripped off your hair
  • and YAAY! 10% of the battle is now won!! 
  • Unless you are blessed with the actual hair texture off a glossy magazine cover (I doubt you're a mortal! and why are u even reading this?) you can just not tame your mane without decent products and styling tools
It all comes down to your personal preference in the end. It is a combination of what works for you, what you want from the results and how you choose to go about achieving it. I have waist length, fine, wavy hair. Without bragging I would like to, for once, admit that I do have great hair!! Yea, I'm rather blessed that way. Hence, the acknowledgement of my hair being my best feature and all that I invest in it. My stylists have complained non-stop about all the effort I put in my hair and how I neglect my skin in comparison! But you know how they say "some things are worth melting for"! Or maybe they don't, but our tresses are worth it all! 

By now you must have understood how this whole hair-care affair is a niche, complicated and bloody exhausting process. But despair not, for the right products do half the work for you! SO there are hair products (the ones that come in classy packaging, available in salons, pinch our pockets- seen those?) and then there are over-the-counter products. The latter definitely does not give you results that any self respecting fashionista would be happy with! Of course, if you are someone who would get the simplest, easy maintenance hairstyle in the history of the universe, claim you have no time for any of this mane-drama and intend to keep your hair tied up in a knot or a braid at ALL times, sure those work! (By no measure would these people be divas of our world but hey, they do exist!) But the hair products that work wonders in our lives are those that come from big brands which have put in years of expensive research!

The only other thing more important than quality products is a good hair care regimen. Ladies, a hair care regimen that is tried and tested is what we all need first and foremost in our lives - before boy friends and before backpacking around Europe!! Of course you will need to shake it up once in a while, update your regimen, talk to an expert, try something new. But it will and should work its magic on your hair everyday as long as you follow it.

I am going to go into more detail about choosing the right hair product, maintaining different styles and a basic hair care routine. Follow this space for more on all that!