Maintaining the health and condition of the hair is an important aspect of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). In Sahih al Bukhari, it is narrated that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “Whoever has hair, let him look after it properly.”
GENERAL HAIR-CARE RECOMMENDATIONS;
WASH THE HAIR REGULARLY:
As recorded in Al Bukhari, the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to pour water three times on his head, and then rub the hair gently but thoroughly to ensure the whole scalp and roots of the hair had been wetted. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) first perfumed his head with any beautiful scent which was available; taking it in his hands first he rubbed the right side of the head, then the left side, and finally the middle with the scent. That scent remained on him even after he had finished bathing.
Studies have shown that the best frequency for washing the hair is after every couple of days. The use of a mild medicated shampoo is recommended and it is advised not to shampoo the hair more than once at each washing unless it is very soiled otherwise it may result in brittleness and split ends. A separate rinse with a hair conditioner is also beneficial as it adds softness and helps with combing.
Women who have very long hair which is always plaited must undo the plaits and wash the hair thoroughly after completing the menses. It is not permissible just to make the hair wet or just to wet the tips of the hair.
Starting from the right hand side when combing the hair.
Our Mother A’ishah (radhi Allahu anha) narrated that “The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to like starting from the right in performing ablution, combing his hair and putting on his shoes.”
[Sahih al Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 745]
CARE WHEN COMBING WET HAIR:
Using a fine-toothed comb on wet hair can cause immense stress on the hair shaft when it is wet, which leads to breakage and hair loss. Use a wide-toothed detangling comb and apply a little olive oil if required. Never pull at the hair when combing it.
ALLOW WET HAIR TO DRY NATURALLY:
Using heated blow dryers can strip the hair of its natural moisture, causing split ends, wiriness and breakage. The hair is also more likely to become dry, frizzy and difficult to style.
MASSAGE THE SCALP REGULARLY WITH HAIR OIL:
The use of hair oil is directly mentioned in the Sunnah;
Our Mother A’ishah (radhi Allahu anha) also narrated that “The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to (put) bend his head (out) to me while he was in Itikaf in the Mosque during my monthly periods and I would comb and oil his hair.”
[Sahih al Bukhari Volume 3, Book 33, Number 245]
Massaging gently and regularly (once a week or so) using the fingertips, with any one of the following oils is recommended for increasing circulation and blood-flow to the scalp, thus strengthening the hair roots and conditioning the hair shaft. The best type of olive to use is Olive oil;
It was narrated from ‘Umar (radhi Allahu anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said; “Season (your food) with olive oil and anoint yourselves with it, for it comes from a blessed tree.”
Sunan Ibn Majah Book 29, Hadith 3444. Classed as Sahih by Darusalaam.
The hair oil can be left on the hair for between 2-4 hours in sha Allah.
Chemical-based hair colourants and highlights cause great damage to the hair and leak harmful toxins into the blood stream through the pores in the scalp. Henna is a natural dark red dye made from the dried and crushed leaves of the Henna plant. 100% pure Henna is safe to use even by pregnant women. It has hair-strengthening properties and also helps cool down the scalp, reduce headache and migraine, slow down the greying of hair, heal flakiness/itchiness, remove dandruff and kill lice. The use of Henna was the Sunnah of the Companions of our beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), namely Abu Bakr As Siddique (radhi Allahu anhu) who applied it to his blessed hair and beard.
Henna should be mixed with an acidic liquid like lemon juice until the mixture forms a thick paste. This should then be covered and left to sit for 24 hours before more lemon juice can be added to make the consistency easier to apply. Henna can be left on the hair for between 2 and 8 hours.
The stain of pure Henna is always dark red/orange in colour. So called ‘Black Henna’ or ‘Brown Henna’ should never be used as it is most certainly a composition of toxic chemicals which could cause a very serious allergic reaction.
Good quality sleep relieves stress which has been linked to hair loss. At the same time it is important to note that over-sleeping does not benefit the body at all and is not recommended. It was the practice of Rasool’Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the Companions to sleep for a portion of the night then wake up in the last third of the night for Qiyyam ul Layl.
IMPROVING DIETARY HABITS:
The old cliché of eating well really does have a significant impact on the condition of the hair. Eating a balanced diet, low in saturated fat and high in protein, vegetables, fresh fish, vitamins and minerals encourages strong, shiny, bouncy hair. Hair loss can be lessened by avoiding anything which leads to crash dieting, hormonal imbalances, poor blood circulation and anaemia. Regularly drinking a little whole milk, eating almonds, sesame seeds and dried fruit all help the condition of the scalp and hair.