An interview with Dr Aparna Santhanam, author of Let’s Talk Hair and a giveaway


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.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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15 Responses to An interview with Dr Aparna Santhanam, author of Let’s Talk Hair and a giveaway

  1. Kalyan says:

    Nice reading the interview. My pressing hair woe has to falling hairs in a rapid succession with a receding hairline.


  2. Hi , I have hair that has a mind of its own and refuses to behave itself when I really need it to. A curly frizzy mop that can never be tamed with all the mousses, serums in the world. To make matters worse it falls at the rate at which a snake sheds its skin. I could do with some some tips and a little wisdom to bail me out of my trichological woes; and Dr. Santhanam’s Let’s Talk Hair seems to be just what I have been looking for all this while.


  3. Sri says:

    Once appreciated for long, thick hair..
    I now have short, thin hair..
    Pregnancy, stress and a hundred other reasons..
    Amla, curry leaves and almond oil i use in all seasons..
    Hoping to find the elusive answer..
    To thick, shiny hair that bounces like a dancer!!


  4. Nikita says:

    I had lustrous, thick, coal black hair but ever since my relocation to another town my hair have gone brittle, brownish and too many are falling..I am in constant fear of baldness and greying hair.. Please help… 😦
    PS: I have tried oiling, steaming and wash my hair with a amla, reetha, shikakai shampoo.


  5. Maith says:

    I’m not eligible for the contest as I don’t live in India, but would love to hear her take on aging’s effects on hair. I had thick, lightly-wavy hair when younger. Now in my mid-40s, it’s gone really curly, on good days, and frizzy on most. Is this just the effect of it thinning? My diet is decent – as a vegetarian, my protein choices are somewhat limited, but I eat lots of dals/lentils/beans etc. Am good with drinking water. I rarely do stuff to my hair – the occasional straightening before a big event is the most. Don’t dye it either. (Lack of time and inherent laziness are good reasons :))
    The book sounds interesting and is on my to-buy list now…



  6. Megha says:

    Had beautiful, thick, glossy hair all through my childhood and teenage. Then permed it for two years (why oh why !). That was eight years ago. Been completely natural since then. Don’t even use a hair dryer. Having an oily scalp (i need to wash my hair every two days), I didn’t oil my hair for years. Now my hair is falling at an alarming rate. I can’t move my hand through my hair without a few strands coming loose. My bathroom drain gets clogged everytime I wash my hair. My bed is a mass of scattered hair in the morning. I am scared of being bald 😦
    Hope “Let’s talk Hair” will help 🙂


  7. psharmarao says:

    Well most days are bad hair days and with a kid and my job and home responsibilities My hair care routine is- comb, shampoo, condition, Run. REPEAT.
    have had the same hair style for more than a decade now my hair actually need a fresh breath of life .


  8. Pracheta says:

    I am in early thirties with waist length long black hair but greying is a big issue. I don’t want to attempt with hair colors as the sound of it is unhealthy. I dye them with henna and that cause dryness. Also hair fall is a common phenomenon that varies its intensity from season to season. Have been looking for a holistic solution that I can put in use and looks like the book has come for my rescue !


  9. RJ says:

    I once had lustrous silky smooth hair but as i stepped into my thirties the hair have become dull and the roots weak. I have been sulphate-free for an year now but the hair keep getting duller and thinner especially when they are longer than a certain length (a little below shoulders). I have never used any chemicals on my hair and oil them regularly alongwith taking biotin supplements. What could be the reason and what, if any, the solution? Hoping to find these answers here…


  10. Varsha says:

    With age ( 32 now) need steps to control a receding hairline. Other major issue is dandruff.
    Somehow I am used to this anti dandruff shampoo and if I stop using it, the dandruff is back with lots of hairfall.
    Have been looking for a solution to end my woes. Hope the book “Let’s talk Hair” has come for my rescue.


  11. R's Mom says:

    Frizzy Hair, Greying Hair, Thinning Hair, Dandruffy Hair, Oily at the Ends Hair, Waking up in the morning and scaring oneself in the mirror Hair, Washing once a week Hair, Split End Hair – Anyone else can have so many issues? Nah!I moved shampoo to shampoo and conditioner to conditioner..its just not working..any miracle cures :):)


  12. My hair woes started when I was 7 years old and got my first strands of grey hair. My mother had grey hair when she was 14, so going by the math, I was sure my kids will be born with grey hair 🙂 But fortunately, they inherited their dad’s hair… During school days, I used to use up kajal like crazy to cover my grey hairs, lest my schoolmates poke fun at my hair. Then, during college I graduated to hair colors and henna. OK, my hair is thin, grey, frizzy, dandruff at times, shoulder-length for past 15years without any significant growth, my comb is filled with hair after every bout of combing.. serious disaster there. I always wear my hair in a ponytail and it looks horrible from the back, thinning out like a rat’s tail 😦


  13. Hello Everyone,
    I think everyone has raised unique and valid hair issues and deserves the book, but alas and alack,I have to pick three winners, so here goes…..
    The winners are : Sri, Megha and R’s Mom! Congratulations and will coordinate reaching your books to you via Kiran!


  14. Sri says: so excited to win the book!

    Heartfelt thanks to Kiran and Dr Aparna Santhanam!:)


  15. Megha says:

    Thanks Kiran and Dr Santhanam ! Looking forward to reading the book !


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