A good head massage stimulates the nervous system and revitalizes the body. According to the Ayurvedic system applying oil on hair and massaging it enhances strength and quality of the hair. Other than that applying oil also offers several benefits like improved sleep, calm mind, relief from headache, prevents premature graying of hair, relief from insomnia and stress etc.
It works best when you apply warm oil fused with medicinal herbs and apply it on your hair or scalp. Most of the Ayurvedic oil recommended for massage is infused with one or more herb that is good for your hair. These medicinal herbs are usually cooked in the carrier oil and are kept for usage.
Although there are several choices on the list to choose from but Ayurveda emphasizes on choosing something that suits your body composition and hair type.
Hair type and time of application of hair oil
If your hair is dry, thin and fuzzy then your hair type falls in Vata category and if your hair is thin, but prone to graying then you have Pitta hair type. If your hair is thick and oily then you have Kapha hair.
Oils like almond and sesame oil act as a good base for the people with vata hair type as both the oils have incredible properties to nourish the scalp and reduce stiffness. For the pitta type of hair, cooling oil like coconut oil can be an ideal choice. Coconut is considered as pitta pacifying and hence can prove effective against hair issues caused by pitta dosha.
For the people with kapha type of hair can use sesame or olive oil because of their cleansing property which helps in keeping the pores open.
When is the best time to apply oil?
It is recommended that the oil massage during the evening time is most beneficial. If you divide the whole day into three parts, evening is the time which is dominated by the vata dosha. The application of sesame oil in the evening helps in calming down the vata dosha. Coconut oil is advised for usage in the morning as it can increase vata dosha if applied in the night.
To enhance the quality of the hair and to stimulate hair growth, it is advisable to apply hair oil in the night and take a warm water bath in the morning. Applying oil after the bath is not advised as it can attract dust and dirt when you go out. For better hair growth try applying the oil directly on the scalp, root of the hair and on hair length. It is always good to warm your oil a little as it helps in better absorption.
Benefits of different hair oils
Coconut oil is widely used in India as it helps in preventing dandruff when applied on the dry scalp. It gives nourishment to the damaged hair and also conditioned them. People living in the hot climate usually use coconut oil as it serves as an excellent cooling agent. It also helps people who suffer from the pitta dominant condition. But if you are living in colder region, then use of coconut oil with its cooling nature may prove against you as it may increase kapha primarily in the people who are prone to cough, cold, allergies, etc. But if you still want to stick to the coconut in the colder region then you should mix a teaspoonful of black pepper powder in to about 100 mil of coconut oil. Heat the mixtures for 5 min. Filter the mixture and use it while it is warm.
Amla is quite effective oil for most hair related problems and helps in rectifying several problems like dizziness, headaches and other pitta conditions. Most of the Ayurvedic oils contain Amla as a major constituent. It can also be used with coconut oil as a carrier oil for providing excellent protection against the damage caused by the sun.
Brahmi is also known as Indian Pennywort or Gotu Kola and is used mainly to prevent hair loss and giving volume to the hair. Brahmi oil is made by mixing it with sesame oil or any other carrier oil. It can be then applied directly to the scalp. Brahmi helps in soothing mind and nervous system other than nourishing your hair.
It is also known as False Daisy or Eclipta Alba. It holds a prominent place in the aurvedic system of medicine for hair treatment. It is often used with sesame oil or coconut oil for massaging of scalp. It contains high amount of protein that stimulates hair growth and helps in restoring sign of the hair.
Neem Seed Oil
Neem has a prominent place in Indian cosmetic and medicinal system for thousands of years. Neem seed oil is rich in Vitamin E and essential fatty acids. It also has prominent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. However, it is difficult to use it alone as it tends to solidify at room temperature, so it is mostly used in combination with olive oil as a carrier for application. It helps in stimulating hair growth and averts dandruff.
Sesame oil is used as the base oil for almost all massage oil in the ancient Ayurvedic system. The oil is the ideal choice for hair as it relieves you from headache, hair graying, dandruff, baldness and hair fall. It also helps in making your hair black, shiny, longer, deep rooted and also helps in offering sound sleep. After applying sesame oil massage take a warm water bath after a few hours. It helps in inducing relaxation. Its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties protect hair from the damage caused by chlorine mixed in the water.
Almond oil is used in Ayurveda to treat vata dominant hair. As it is rich in vitamin E, magnesium and calcium it can be used directly for hair massage. It is sometimes also used as carrier oil for other aurvedic medicinal oils to provide shine, luster and strength to the hair. It also helps in controlling hair loss and damage.
These are some of the common oils recommended by Ayurveda for hair usage. However, if you are looking for any specific hair problem like baldness or alopecia, it is advisable to contact an Ayurvedic practitioner for advice on type of medicine or medical oil usage.