A ritual which I got used to while living in India, and learned about for the first time in my life was the Oiling of hair. This is something very common in India, and particularly Tamil Nadu, where I lived. Women would apply a small amount of coconut oil to their hair every day, and every week have a proper oil bath. Oil bath actually means oil massage, where they put a particular oil on their head and massage the scalp and hair itself. In fact, the ladies would get together and do it to each other! It's really fun and also feels amazing. They leave the oil on for some time before washing it out.
At the beginning I felt very uncomfortable walking around with oily hair, so I would only put the oil on the day of hair washing and make sure I stay inside. But after some time, I got used to it and realised the amazing benefits of it! Plus, every other lady was walking around in the same way, and would even comment on my hair when it was without oil!
Being back in a city now, I understand it's not very feasible walking around with oily hair, but I suggest you keep it overnight, or put it on an hour before you wash your hair!
This week I made my own hair oil! It was really exciting and turned out to be really nice. Be careful when you buy pre-packed hair oil, especially from the big companies, cause they usually add in some dangerous ingredients such as "Parfum" or "fragrance", which is rated as High hazard by EWG's database. That's why I prefer to make my own, plus then I get to choose what ingredients to use.
This Oil consists of the following:
- Coconut Oil as a base
- Fresh hibiscus flowers and leaves- Reduces hair fall, increases new hair growth, thickens hair, mild cleanser, keeps the hair soft
- Fenugreek- excellent for removing dandruff, increasing hair growth, conditioning the hair
- Amla- Natural anti-oxidant, strengthens hair roots, great natural hair conditioner
You could also add the following:
- Henna leaves- Good conditioner, helps against dandruff, and can give a beautiful shine to the hair
- Curry leaves - Reduces hair fall, prevents early greying.
- Bringaraj powder- works as a rejuvenator, keeping the hair conditioned and prevents early greying of hair
I heated the oil, added the herbs, and let it stay warm for some time. Then kept it overnight. The next morning I drained the oil and kept it in a glass jar, ready to use!
What are the benefits of oil massages for the hair?
Endless! I think a look at this picture on the right says it all..
- healthy, luscious hair
- natural conditioning of hair
- healthy scalp, dandruff free
- increased circulation to scalp
- increased hair growth
- decrease in hair fall and early greying
Steps for Oiling your hair
- Take a small amount of oil in your hands
- Rub the hands together to warm up the oil
- Apply it on the scalp
- Start massaging the scalp using your fingers and different pressure points
- Work the oil through the loose hair as well
- Play around a bit with the hair, softly pulling it from side to side, giving a massage to the hair follicle itself.
- Let it sit for at least an hour before washing
- Use natural hair wash powder or organic toxic free shampoo to wash your hair
Below you can see the process in pictures. I can personally say that my hair has become much thicker and healthier than ever before since starting with hair oil, as well as natural hair wash. So many of my friends have noticed and commented on this too after coming back from India, asking what I do differently now.. well... this is the secret :)
In the next post you will read more about natural hair wash- an important next step to clean away the oil from the hair!