Two Hair Care Secrets From Women With Amazing Hair

Bengali Actress Bipasha Basu's hair is magical. I swear she has enough locks for two regular humans, and it always looks amazing.

  Today I want to talk about was the fabulous hair of Bengali women. In my time in India I have seen just about everything from sparse and lanky to untameable frizzy curls. However the hair of the women from the Bengal province is a whole other story. Bengalis consistently have the most amazing hair. It ranges from brown to blue-black, from perfectly straight to curly, but is almost always strong and shiny. You could always spot Bengali girls in a crowd through their hair and beautiful cat eyes.
   There is two things that Bengalis do that I think makes their hair so healthy. Traditionally they shower "from the head down" every single day. This means they wash the hair with water each day. Bengali girls told me that they didn't use shampoo each time, only every couple of days. The hair is left to dry naturally, in India going out with wet hair is acceptable and is extremely pleasant.
   I think that water-only washing every day kept the hair clean and fresh, cutting down on the need to shampoo too often. This makes a difference especially if you are using a shampoo with sulphates.

If you haven't watched Konkana Sensharma in Mr and Mrs Iyer, you should do it right now. A beautifully wistful and non-cheesy love story.

Another think that Bengalis do differently from the rest of Indians is that they consume a lot of seafood. While the rest of India leans vegetarian, Bengali cuisine has always been centred around the sea and the river deltas and so fish is a big part of their food. Now, you probably know that Omega-3 fats are great for the hair, I have been raving about flax seed on this blog. However there are several kinds of Omega-3 fats: ALA, EPA and DHA. Seafood and seaweed are just about the only sources of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids. The deficiency of these two causes dandruff and hair thinning. Here is a very interesting post breaking down our daily need for the different types of Omega-3, it talks about how the body can convert the ALA into EPA and DHA. I have also read that seafood and seaweed being the secret of the healthy hair of east Asians.
I personally don't eat fish for environmental and ethical reasons; moreover I have read that the levels of mercury in fish are going through the roof but the "safe amounts" are kept high so as not to kill the fish trade. I do include seaweed in my diet, and have been thinking to occasionally supplement with spirulina. My favourite are the dried seaweed sheets (nori), they are crispy and fun to eat. I sometimes sprinkle them into salads.
Pollution in the sea can affect how healthy seaweed is, so it makes sense to check where your seaweed comes from.

Kajol made the unibrow sexy

Another thing that is not really specific to Bengalis but is a rather less known Indian hair care secret is protecting the hair from the sun. Indian women usually cover their head with a scarf or carry an umbrella as well as apply hair oil to prevent the sun from frying their hair.

Any Bengali readers here? If so, I'd love to know your perspective. Everyone else,  how does food rich in Omega-3 affect your skin and hair?

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