Let me confess, hair forms an integral part of my self image. When my hair behaves, life is good, when it doesn’t, I’m miserable. Which is why I read Dr Aparna Santhanam’s latest offering, Let’s Talk Hair, with great interest. I learnt, from the book, that I really need to rethink my diet if I want my hair to be in better shape and I can expect some amount of hair loss as I hit my mid forties now, and what I need to do to keep my hair in the best condition ever.
Dr. Aparna Santhanam (MD,DNB), is a dermatologist, hair specialist and beauty and wellness consultant from Mumbai, India with a long standing interest in defining and simplifying beauty in today’s complex scenario, based on science but relevant to the regular user. A firm believer in combining modern medicine and beauty trends with traditional beliefs and remedies, she works with various companies like Unilever, Marico and Cipla on beauty and brand architecture as well as with consulting on New Product Development. She is the author of the best-selling book: Skin Deep: An inside out approach to looking good naturally and her second book, Let’s Talk hair has just released in India. She is also, a professionally qualified and trained broadcaster and a regular columnist on beauty with experience in various forms of electronic, print and digital media. She runs her own dermatology, hair and wellness practice in Chembur, Mumbai
Why did you see the need for your books-Skin deep and now, Let’s Talk Hair?
I have worked for over a decade in skin and hair care and beauty as well as interventional cosmetology. It slowly grew upon me over the last three or four years that we have complicated beauty too much.In the quest for keeping up with the trends we have forgotten the basics of hair and skin care which form the back bone of any quest for beauty.The books are written with an aim to bring the focus back to the simple things we can do to have great skin and hair.
What are the most common hair issues people come to you with?
In terms of problems, its hair loss and dandruff. But more often than not, I get asked seemingly simple questions like what shampoo should I use, why is my hair so dry, is it ok to colour, will I get grey hair like my mother etc….that are the toughest to answer.
What are the mistakes in hair care that we tend to make?
First is not understanding that each of us has unique hair and understanding it is important , second is experimenting mindlessly with our hair and third is not realizing how much our diet and lifestyles affect our hair.
What is the basic essentials one must do to ensure one has healthy hair?
Eat a healthy hair friendly diet especially rich in protein,have an established hair care routine and make hair choices carefully and consciously.
In a nutshell, if you would like to distil the message of your book in two short paras, what would you say?
Nine out of ten patients, who walk into my clinic, always have something to ask me about their hair. The tenth one does not, because he usually does not know that I treat hair as well. Interest in hair is not only universal but it is something which has existed since time immemorial. Historically and culturally, hair has not only been a sign of beauty for women, but also for men, a sign of strength and virility. Funnily enough, it is probably the one part of the human anatomy that both men and women covet with equal enthusiasm and hope. In this book, you will get a basic understanding of your hair, its growth patterns and its behaviour through the various life stages. You will also understand specific problems like hair loss and dandruff and how to tackle these effectively. The book will also throw light on some of the contentious issues surrounding styling, colouring and manipulative procedures. It will help you understand hair care products, how to eat right for the hair and also bust some commonly held beliefs and myths about hair. Let’s get started on understanding this most complex and most alive dead tissue ever
And here’s a giveaway. Post a comment on your most pressing hair woes and three winners (selected by Dr Santhanam) get a copy of Let’s Talk Hair. India address only. The contest ends Oct 15th, so start posting now.