Haircare is something that tends to be neglected as it is easy to just wash our hair with a simple shampoo and be done with it.
While most of us may have at least a basic skincare routine, not many of us have a dedicated haircare routine. But haircare may be as equally important as skincare, especially if you want to keep your mane luxurious and healthy.
Hijab-wearing women may have their hair covered up most of the time and therefore not affected by dust or pollution, but it is equally important for them to take care of their scalp and hair.
That’s why we’ve compiled this ultimate hair care guide to help all our beautiful hijab-wearing friends out there.
The unique haircare needs of hijab-wearers
Wearing a hijab often means having your hair tied up under your tudung for long-periods of time, which could potentially damage your hair.
If you have your hair tied up tightly for long hours in a ponytail or bun, it may lead to a condition called Traction Alopecia, which is hair loss that is developed when the hair is repeatedly pulled on. It may be made worse if your hair is constantly styled with hair dryers.
Just like skin, different hair types will have different reactions throughout the day. Some women may have dry and itchy scalp, while others develop oily hair after time.
Before we get into recommendations, here are some tips on how to take care of your lovely mane.
How to take care of your hair if you wear a hijab
1. Wash your hair but not too much
Sometimes we’re too tired to wash our hair. We’ve been there too.
While it’s fine to go a few days without shampooing, you should at least wash your hair two or three times a week to clear away odour, dirt, and other pollutants.
Be careful not to wash your hair too much though, as shampoos also strip your scalp off its natural oils which gives it its natural health and shine, leading to dry and itchy hair.
2. Always dry your hair
While it may be a hassle to dry hair, it is best to do so before putting on the hijab.
When hair is wet, proteins form weaker bonds than when the hair is dry, meaning to say wet hair is easier to damage.
Wearing a hijab over damp hair can cause split ends, frizz, and dandruff.
Plus, your hair most likely will be wet most of the day and will still be damp after you take off the hijab, which could make your hair smell.
And while we know that blow-drying can help speed things up, towel and air-drying may be a better option as excessive heat can damage your hair.
So to make sure that the above-mentioned problems are solved, we suggest that you try washing your hair during the night instead of in the morning to give it ample time to dry.
3. Pick a looser hairstyle
Avoid tying your hair in a slicked-back ponytail, or a tightly scrunched up bun. Try a side-part ponytail or lower bun as those are looser and easier on your roots.
Another tip is to frequently change the position of your ponytail to minimise the chance of hair loss.
Keep away from elastic bands and use cloth scrunchies instead as the rubber tends to snag at the hair and cause it to be pulled out upon removal.
Alternatively, you can cut your hair short and rock a bob.
4. Let your hair breathe
It’s essential to let your hair loose and give your scalp time to breathe when you aren’t wearing your hijab. This allows your scalp to get the nutrients, moisture, and oxygen that it needs.
If you must wear your hijab at home, just let your hair hang more loosely underneath.
It would also be good to allow your hair to get some sun if you can because Vitamin D stimulates cell growth and helps create new hair follicles.
5. Massage your scalp
Take some time to give your scalp some tender love and care by massaging it gently to stimulate blood circulation to boost hair growth. It also releases natural oils and prevents dryness, which should lead to reduced dandruff.
What’s great is that it’s also a relaxing ritual to give you a little mood boost that we really need these days. Pair it with a hair serum to really give your scalp a pampering experience.
6. Maintain good hijab hygiene
Remember to change and wash your hijab and inner cap every one or two times after use.
In an especially hot and humid climate such as Malaysia, sweating is common. As sweat builds up, it also attracts bacteria and dirt. Dandruff and dust will also be collected as it comes in contact with your hair.
It is recommended to have two to three innerwear in your rotation so you can easily switch it up while the others are still in the wash.
7. Choose the right materials
The material of the under scarf and hijab you are using matters greatly since it’s what you’ll be wrapping your hair with most of the day.
Choose breathable natural fabrics such as chiffon, cotton, or silk and avoid synthetic fibres such as polyester and nylon, as these can rub against your hair and cause frizz and friction.
Cotton pillowcases tend to soak up more oil, so our scalp may end up producing more oil as a result. If you can, try opting for a silk pillow to reduce frizz from tossing and turning throughout the night.
8. Establish a hair care routine
Treat your hair like your skin and establish a basic haircare routine. Pamper your mane with the proper products and your hair will love you for it in the long run.
The first step to a great haircare routine is knowing yourself and your hair needs. Do you have dry or oily hair? Do you have straight or curly hair? Do you need to cut it every month?
Before we go into the list of shampoo recommendations, we’ve compiled a list of definitions of common products you might encounter and what exactly they do.
A shampoo is a cleaning agent for your scalp and hair that removes the excess oil and cleans the dirty and dead skin cells.
Not to be mistaken as an alternative to regular shampoo, dry shampoo uses alcohols or starch-based ingredients to soak up oils and sweat from your hair to make it appear cleaner.
Shampoos remove the natural sebum in your hair and a conditioner is needed to replace the oils to ensure your hair stays silky, shiny, and healthy.
These are fragrances that are designed to be worn on your hair rather than your skin. Don’t be tempted to spray your favourite perfume on your hair as it is not designed for that and may damage your locks.
Hair oil helps control frizz, give shine, and soothe and hydrate individual strands. Nearly everybody no matter their hair type will benefit from using some kind of hair oil at least once a week.
A silicone-based formulation that coats the surface of your hair, hair serums are used to lock in curl patterns and seal the cuticles. Best for thick and curly hair, it can be used to style hair and tame frizz.
Think face mask, but for your hair. It’s like an intense conditioner to soak and cover your hair. For most hair types and seasons, once a week should be enough, but if you are using heated styling tools, you might need it more often.
Best shampoos for hijab-wearers to achieve healthy hair
1. RYO Hair Loss Care Shampoo
This Korean bestseller belongs to the premium brand Ryo by K-beauty conglomerate Amore Pacific. Infused with Ginseng, this shampoo helps to strengthen and protect hair roots. It also both moisturises and soothes the scalp.
Suitable for daily use, it is also free from animal-derived ingredients, synthetic colourants, triethanolamine, polyacrylamide, and mineral oils. There are also different variants depending on your scalp type.
It retails for RM39.20.
2. Ogx Renewing Argan Oil Morocco Shampoo
Without any sulfates or parabens, this shampoo uses argan oil that offers moisturising and anti-fizziness benefits. Not only is argan oil good for the hair, but it is also good for the skin and provides nourishing effects.
This shampoo revives and creates softness and strengths, while protecing our hair from harmful styling heat and UV damage throughout the day.
It retails for RM40.38.
3. Dove Intense Repair Shampoo
A personal favourite of ours, Dove’s Intense Repair Shampoo helps to repair the surface of the hair while deeply nourishing to reconstruct and fortify it from within.
Your hair is supposedly repaired every time you use it. For us, we’ve noticed that prolonged use of this shampoo makes our hair feel silky smooth.
It retails for RM9.90.
4. SMIB Shampoo for Oily Scalp & Hair Loss
While certainly on the pricier side, it might be worth it as this hair loss shampoo is one of the best-selling shampoos in Korea. Although mainly for oily scalps, it also targets hair loss as it tries to increase hair density over time.
The shampoo uses high-grade Coral Calcium to remove excess oil and dirt. It also features an average 5.5 pH level to preserve the condition of your scalp and nourishes weakened hair.
It retails for RM17.
5. Himalaya Anti-Dandruff Soothing & Moisturising Shampoo
While there are a lot of anti-dandruff shampoos available, they can be quite drying which is why we’re recommending you this one as it both soothes and moisturises the scalp.
Enriched with Tea Tree and Aloe Vera to naturally cleanse and soothe the scalp, this shampoo also has soya and wheat to nourish and smoothen your hair. Like all anti-dandruff shampoos, it might be best to use it every other day rather than every day.
It retails for RM25.12.
6. Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo
This shampoo cleanses, repairs, protects, and strengthens your hair from within by repairing and re-linking broken bonds. Suitable for all types of hair, this shampoo is reduces breakage, and even eliminates frizz and flyaways.
The formula is free of colour, sulphate, paraben, gluten, and nuts, and is vegan-friendly as well. So if you’re more conscious of what you put in your hair, this might be a good shampoo for you.
It retails for RM140.
7. Grafen Root Booster Shampoo
Another one of Korea’s best-selling hair loss shampoos, this not only helps prevent hair loss but also removes scalp residue and supply nutrients to the head and hair.
This water-based shampoo is formulated with 22 amino acids, two kinds of oil, two kinds of vegetable extracts, and six kinds of natural surfactants. Plus it maintains a pH balance of 5.86.
It retails for RM69.
8. TRESemme Total Salon Repair Shampoo
This formula features macadamia oil which helps to add shine and nourish hair follicles. Ionic complex is also used to heal damage in hair cuticles. Combined, they not only repair years of damage quickly but also strengthens hair to prevent hair fall.
The ultra-moisturising shampoo may not be ideal for those with oily scalps but may be good for those with dry and damaged hair to help them achieve the shine they are looking for.
It retails for RM13.90.
9. Pantene Shampoo Micellar Purify
Suitable for everyday use, this gentle shampoo is pH-balanced and formed with mild micelles which are smaller than hair. It also smells nice, with a refreshing minty scent with fruity notes of peach and cassis.
Formed without silicones or parabens or dye, this product removes impurities and is best for normal to oily hair.
It retails for RM28.72.
10. Naturals by Watsons Argan Shampoo
We’ve got another argan oil-based shampoo here coming from Watsons’ own Naturals range. Argan oil both nourishes the tresses as well as keep your hair from frizzing up.
This shampoo promises to gently cleanse the hair and scalp as well as restore elasticity for naturally bouncy hair. It also features avocado oil, which is another nourishing ingredient that smooths your hair.
It retails for RM18.68.