For Beautiful Hair

22

To most sisters, hair is a big deal. Whether it’s feeling unglamorous in the morning because your hair is mashed and tussled, or feeling elegant and ladylike on the rare occasions you get your hair all done up; whether it’s the meltdown at the site of split ends, or the happiness at a new style or haircut – whatever it is, women worry and care about their hair. That’s why when I noticed a change in the state of my hair a few months after beginning to wear the hijab, it really depressed me. My hairs weren’t as shiny, silky, or smooth as before (perhaps from being tied in a bun and covered every single day), and it was finally when I saw them getting weaker and more brittle that I complained to my mom in a state of total despair.

I was so upset that day, and as I held a few strands of hair in front of my eyes and pouted, I said to my mom, “My hair has gotten so bad; it used to be so much healthier before! Sometimes… sometimes… sometimes I wish I didn’t have to wear the hijab!”

I had done it. I had let Shaitaan win against me in this internal battle I had been having for the past few days. I had succumbed to weakness and had expressed anger at something that was supposed to be a blessing from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala for all believing women.

My mother looked at me, and I could see that she was disappointed in my words. Then she said something that would be etched into my mind forever; something that I remember to this day, four years later, as clearly as I might have heard her say it yesterday.

After a moment of silence where guilt slowly overcame me, my mother said, “Wouldn’t you rather have beautiful hair in jannah?”

Those few words held so much weight, and hearing them was like a shockwave of realization that spread across me. Of course I wanted beautiful hair in jannah! Of course I would give up everything in this world simply to be in jannah! Of course the temporary lackluster state of my hair did not matter if I would get an eternal lifetime of gorgeous, lustrous, (and I mean this quite literally) heavenly hair in jannah!

Surprisingly, I never complained about my hair ever again. Her words stuck with me and continue to remind me that tests from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala come in many forms, some big and some small, and the best thing to do is to remain steadfast in faith and seek everlasting reward for the life that comes after this one. Will yourself to do anything for the sake of Allah, ‘azza wa jal.

So instead of wasting my time moping and complaining about something that was just a minor consequence of a greater deed, I decided to invest my time in finding tips that would make my hair better. Through the years, I have collected a few, some that are spiritual and some that are homemade and through products, and am going to share them here so that they can benefit anyone seeking them!

— First and foremost, dispel any negative thoughts that you may have about the hijab, regardless of whether you wear it or not. Allah ta’ala says in the Quran, “O you who have believed, enter into Islam completely [and perfectly] and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy” (2:208). Those negative thoughts are brewing simply because of the whisperings of Shaitaan, and so to love wearing hijab for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, you must love it in its entirety.

— I have recently started a habit of making a regular, personal du’aa to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala about my hair. I say, “Ya Rabb, give me beautiful hair,” among other things. You will notice a miraculous difference in your hair after a few days, insha’Allah.

— If you take vitamins (which you should!), Fish Oil pills are good at strengthening the hair.

— When you are at home, or are not in the company of non-mahrams, leave your hair open! Do not tie it back or even clip it, simply so that your hair can “breathe” as it is covered most of the time.

— Change the part of your hair often (if you part it), or brush it opposite to the side you usually do. If that means having to tilt your head forwards and brush your hair upside down, do it! Hair flattens since it is kept right-side-up all the time, so changing it up a bit allows the hairs to move around into positions they are normally not in. (On another note, do not brush your hair too much! This strips it of its natural oils and makes the hairs more dry and brittle. Try brushing your hair just once, lightly through the ends, after showering).

— Hair care experts say that you should technically shampoo your hair only once a week, since shampoo is too harsh to be used every day! If your hair can’t handle that (mine certainly can’t!), shampoo every other day (or every two days) and only use a quarter-sized amount of shampoo and a dime-sized amount of conditioner.

— Make a paste of egg yolk (not egg whites) and pure yogurt. Massage it into your hair, focusing more on the dry ends. Leave it in for half an hour and then shower. Your hair will be noticeably softer after just one use! Do this once a week or every two weeks. (If you don’t want to waste the extracted egg whites from this, whip the egg whites in a small bowl and apply a layer onto your face for fifteen minutes. You will feel your skin tighten, which helps prevent wrinkles and makes pores appear smaller).

— Apply about 1 cup of mayonnaise to your dry hair and massage it into your scalp. Leave it in for twenty minutes before shampooing. This will make your hair super soft!

— Apply Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your hair and thoroughly massage it into the roots. Leave it in all night and wash it out in the morning. To prevent oil stains, cover your pillowcase with a towel. Doing this keeps the hair shiny and prevents dandruff.

(On an interesting note, Saied al-Ansari narrated that the Prophet Muhammad salla Allahu alayhi wasallam would say: “Eat olive oil and massage it over your bodies since it is from a blessed tree.” [at-Tirmidhi and ibn Majah; al-Albani classed it as Sahih]. )

— And finally, I don’t use any hair products except one, which is the only one to make a noticeable difference in my hair. John Freida’s Frizz Ease is really good at minimizing frizz and making your hair silky, and you can find it at any retailer (like Wal-Mart, Target, or Shoppers Drug Mart) for under $10. Apply a dime-sized amount into towel-dried hair after every shower, and brush your hair with your fingers from roots to ends.

All these tips are tried, tested, and true! Alhumdulillah, I have not had a split-end in my hair for two years and counting, so they are definitely good ones to test.

Lastly, remember that when we do something for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, He will reward us in ways that we cannot imagine (insha’Allah). So if you are contemplating wearing the hijab, or are already wearing it, do not let Shaitaan get to you and only keep what should be your main goal in mind: jannah – with beautiful hair and all!