How I saved my hair in the United Arab Emirates

Most people who live in the United Arab Emirates face big issues with their hair within the first months of moving here. The complaints are either about very dry hair or a significant loss of hair. Over the years I have been dealing with hair breaking off, loosing crazy amounts of hair from the root, my hair tangling up making it impossible to brush it, my hair drying out and looking dull. While the reasons may be internally, for me it was the shower water.

shampoo4abThe reason for so many hair issues is that the tap water in the United Arab Emirates is desalinated sea water. This water is very high in chlorine, a chemical that is supposed to reduce the growth of bateria and viruses. But chlorine also strips hair of its natural oils, causing it to dry out and damage it. So the first step I have taken was to remove as much chlorine from my water as possible. I installed the pure blue shower filter and it has made an incredible change to my hair.

shampoo1sPure blue is a company located in Dubai that offers shower filters that remove 98% of all chloride from the water. Removing chlorine from tap water is not only good for the natural oils in the hair but also for the skin. Furthermore it may also decrease the risk of breast and bladder cancer. I ordered the shower filter on their website and got it delivered to my house within two days. The shower filter costs 299 dirhams and is very easy to install at home.  The delivery is free for orders over 220 dirhams to all Emirates. With one 20 minute shower a day the filter should be replaced every 6 months for 149 dirhams, so after purchasing the shower filter the upkeep will cost an approximate of 298 dirhams per year.

shampoo1sbI have been trying out a lot of shampoos before finding something that actually ended up working for me. Most of the shampoos left my hair too dry and I wasn’t able to brush it even when using a conditioner. At the same time I also want to make sure that there are no nasty chemicals in my shampoo. Some of the most commonly toxins used in shampoo are sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens and phthalates.

Sodium lauryl sulfate is a chemical that breaks down proteins which may cause a degenerative effect on cell membranes. Sulfates are also bad for hair because it strips it from its natural oils, it may also cause hair loss. Parabens can mimic oestrogen in the body, which may result in breast cancer. Phthalates, just like parabens are a known endocrine disruptor and may be linked to breast cancer and reproductive birth defects in males and females.

shampoo3a I like to switch between two different shampoos, so I found two cruelty-free shampoos, I order all of them from the American-based online shop iHerb. I use Nature’s Gate Lemongrass and clary sage shampoo most days, it smell nice and leaves my hair really soft. I also love Fresh Patel’s shampoo with a pomegranate and acai smell. If you would like to know more on how to order form iHerb click here.

shampoo3abNature’s Gate Biotin and Bamboo conditioner is my absolute favourite, it has a very minty scent. Peppermint essential oil is great for hair growth and to relieve an oily itchy scalp. I also have Nature’s Gate Henna and Avocado conditioner which works just as well for me. Another conditioner I love is Petal Fresh’s Pomegranate and acai conditioner.

When I have bad hair days I like to use a hair treatment spray by Giovanni, it also works wonders when my hair is tangled up. I also use organic castor oil in my hair twice a week to encourage hair growth. For 5% off your Iherb order use code RDD731.


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