Daily Archives: July 21, 2011

Hair There Everywhere!!!

Since childhood, I remember my mother used to religiously follow the ‘vellikiyamai’ (Friday) ritual of having a sesame oil body and hair massage followed by a hot water bath. Come freezing winter or heavy rains, we never skipped that ritual till we were under her surveillance and of course till we came to the ‘whatever mom’ stage. I don’t remember using a shampoo during my school and college days. Our hair used to be always oiled and braided neatly with ribbons (mostly red because that was the color of the school uniform) and tied on top of the head. We were never let to leave the hair ends open. The hair ends were supposed to be always tightly rolled and secured. Even the regular Parachute Coconut Oil was ‘fenugreekized and curry-leafized’- I mean the oil was heated with fenugreek and curry leaves before they adorned our thick, black,long, flowing hair. We used to comb our hair twice a day – every  morning and evening. Especially in the evenings it was before sunset because the popular belief was that the Sun was going back home after a long day to have his mother’s feed and our combing after sunset would contaminate it. “Who told you that mom? You guys are from the dark ages and it would have been difficult to clean up fallen hair strands in the nights, so the system.”

Shikakai, purchased from a South Indian Nadar shop (grocery vendor who obtained it specially from Chennai) was the only powder, to be applied on the hair to wash of the oil. I had great difficulty in ridding my hair of that extremely sticky sesame oil and would spend almost an hour washing off that gooey-gooey thing from my hair (and still fail to do so completely). At times I would also apply a little bathing soap only to get a lecture on how chemical invasion on the hair can make us bald in later ages.

Once out of her clutches, I completely enjoyed occasional shampooing and sparingly oiling the hair. I even experimented with Straightening and Streaking them – Blonde twice with L’oreal  and Red once with Wella. By that time my hair care regime included:

  1. Oiling the hair with parachute coconut oil (Once in a blue moon)
  2. Shampoo with L’oreal’s Elvive color protect shampoo.
  3. Condition with L’oreal color protect conditioner.

Coloring somehow never affected the quality of my hair, though Wella gave me some allergic reactions on my forehead that stayed on for almost 3 weeks. It was primarily the irregular hair care regime topped with my bizarre work schedules that triggered severe hair fall problem. In fact last year around this time I had almost balded with very few hair left on my head. I instantly took charge of the situation and in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation tried out many remedies. I did try Dove shampoo and conditioner at that point in time but that only added to my agony. Pantene somehow never showed any improvement though it maintained the then current state of affairs. When the HUL – P&G campaign face-off took off in Dec. 2010 and Dove marred the secret campaign of Pantene, I had even posted my discontent over both the products-

Finally now I have found my own solution the situation. It is basically a mix of what my mom used and what worked best for me. My hair has actually has got its shine back and the texture is smooth as silk, though I am still fighting for the ones that have given up on me.

  1. Apply Fenugreekized and Curry-leafized oil twice a week.
  2. Massage oil for at-least 10-15 minutes.
  3. Tie a hot towel on the head for 15 minute over it.
  4. Apply a concoction freshly beaten EYH (egg,yoghurt,henna) over the hair carefully covering each strand till the hair ends and leave it for 1 hour at least.
  5. Wash off hair with Meera Herbal Shikakai powder followed by L’oreal Total Repair Shampoo or Clinic Plus Shampoo for removing residual oil.
  6. Apply Garnier Fructis Fortifying fall fight conditioner at the end.
  7. Comb my hair twice a day (At least 100 times each time)
  8. Apply Figaro Olive Oil once a week.
  9. Eat sambhar/kozambu every day as that has fenugreek seeds and curry leaves in it.
  10. Have a glass of egg-nog.

The whole idea behind writing this post is to introduce the beginning of ‘Ask Kitchen’. Don’t miss out the recipes of my Fenugreekized and Curry-leafized oil, EYH concoction, Egg nog and of course the sambhar/kozambu.


Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Beauty and Personal Care


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The curious case of Jayaa Jain

Yesterday both me and my hubby were in our own respective  nostalgia zones. While I was humming an old bengali Rabindra Sangeet ”Darun Agni bane re‘ on which I performed as a 6yr old, he was viewing some of his favorite Marathi numbers on youtube- from the dual meaning Jayashree Gadkar lavani songs to Smita Patil’s Mi Raat Takli  to Lata and Hemant Kumar’s famous koli song Mi Dolkara Dolakara. ‘Hey, this one! hold on now.’ I thought to myself and quickly turned around and lifted the lid of one of the box beds and took out one of my childhood albums, in a super tarnished state but still preserving the old memories. My fingers carefully moved the pages till they reached ‘the photo‘. I took it to Prashant and pointed at the one in purple polka dotted nauvari saree. ‘This is just after I danced on Mi Dolkara in school, in 1984/85 and went to a family friend Mr. Vaijapurkar’s residence and Mohan Bhaiya cliked it’, I declared with pomp. Prashant said ‘WOW! you look the same even now.’ I was like “Reeeeeely?” After 10 years of marriage it is mostly ‘lessly’ that you get to hear some compliments. I kept turning the pages to see all other pictures there. Some with my dad, some at a wedding, from 6 months to 16 years there on, and Bingo!

It suddenly hit me that I have actually looked the same. Since childhood I had the same face. The same nose, the same chin, the same eyes. I had just grown in height and weight but, the face! I had this current face, attached to my body, since I was a kid. I took a second look at this face in the mirror and tried to sift through the album once again. I couldn’t help but notice the timestamps of my hair, eyes, nose, smile, teeth, face, skin, nails, height, weight and my vital statistics over the years. The overall observation was:

  1. My skin started tanning after 17 (regular travel in the sun for college).
  2. It also lost the shine after 22 due to erratic eating patterns and almost no care (ate hostel food and ‘self cooked‘ food).
  3. My smile lines started appearing sometime after I turned 25 (gravitational pull and of course lack of any regular beauty therapy).
  4. My eyes started popping out of their sockets after 27 (ogling at….computer screen….what else did you think, you perverts!)
  5. My hair started falling due to almost no scheduled oiling after 33 and at the same time my nails too became very brittle – all things dead finally started to die I guess (hair and nails are technically the dead cells).
  6. My overall body fat percentage increased due to my production cycles. (Had 3 babies in 6 years that played havoc with my lower abs.)

I am now urged to share my beauty regime with all under the category ‘Ask Beauty’ and I need tons and tons of inputs from all my friends and networks to share their tips on their favorite home remedies / brands.

It’s not reverse aging that I am attempting but now it is my race to preserve the ageless inner peace that can possibly add some sparkling dust over my wilting and withering exterior.


Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Beauty and Personal Care, Kitchen


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