Don’t we all love that gorgeous mane of hair? Well, I do and I thought I had healthy hair… until woes like hair fall, premature greying and dandruff took their toll. My unhealthy lifestyle, erratic working hours, coupled with stress and anxiety were the culprits. Today, most of us face these hair issues. But they can be controlled and treated by massaging your scalp with the right essential oils.
Why a head massage?
Shiro abhyanga, also known as a head massage, has always been recommended by ayurveda as an integral part of hair care. It helps to reduce fatigue, stress and headaches. A massage also helps to boost circulation, stimulate the follicles that can result in faster hair growth.
How should you massage your hair?
Massaging your scalp from front to back while concentrating on the forehead, temples and the nape of the neck helps to relax and soothe the tired nerves. Dip your fingertips in the oil and let the oil spread evenly when massaging. Once done, wrap a hot towel around the head for at least 15 – 30 minutes to nourish your hair. Wash off with a natural shampoo and rinse with a conditioner.
Essential tip: Always warm the oil before application. You can either warm it in a copper vessel or dip the container with oil in boiling water, creating a double boil, to warm it. Never heat the oil in a microwave as that can reduce its healing properties.
Using essential oils
Along with the right diet and physical fitness, you should know what you are applying or using on your hair. The use of essential oils is a tried and tested method of treating various hair issues. There are many different essential oils that you can use for different hair problems.
Note that essential oil cannot be applied directly on the hair—it has to be mixed with a base or carrier oil for effective treatment. You can premix essential oils with the base oil or choose to create your own concoction as and when you want to apply it. Some of the base oils that you can use are olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil or sweet almond oil. You can mix one or more of the mentioned essential oils.
Essential oils for different hair problems
When using the essential oils, you can either use just one or combine a few for effective treatment.
Dry hair: Rose, Lavender, Sandalwood and Geranium
A hot oil treatment is effective for dry hair. Mix any of these essential oils with slightly hot carrier oil and massage starting from the roots and moving towards the scalp. Try a base of jojoba and/or almond oils as these are more nourishing for dry hair.
Dandruff prone hair: Tea tree, Peppermint and Eucalyptus
These essential oils are known for their natural antiseptic properties. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a base of coconut or almond oil and massage on the hair and scalp. For extra effectiveness, you can also add tea tree oil to your regular shampoo to reduce the intensity of dandruff.
Hair loss: Rosemary and Peppermint
Hair loss can be for many reasons. It is also attributed to stress, anxiety or hormonal imbalance. Essential oils of rosemary and peppermint work wonders to reduce the intensity of hair fall. These oils are cooling and relaxing.
Normal Hair: Geranium and Lavender
Even normal hair needs nourishment to retain its lustre. Mix the oils of geranium or lavender with coconut or sweet almond oils. These oils help to calm the tired mind and, when applied regularly, help to keep your tresses nourished and healthy.
Premature Greying: Ginger and Lavender
To combat premature greying, use sesame oil. Combine about half a teaspoon each of ginger and lavender essential oil with six tbsp of sesame oil. Shake well and store in a glass bottle. Apply this at least thrice a week.
We’ve listed two quick recipes that you can make with easily found ingredients in your kitchen. The good thing about concocting your own recipes is that you are aware of what you are using on your hair and your skin.
DIY hair oil to combat dandruff
Heat about five tbsp pure coconut oil till it is warm. Add to this one small tablet of camphor and about 8 – 10 fenugreek seeds. Let the oil cool to the room temperature. Strain and store the oil in an airtight container. Warm lightly before every application. Let it stay on for at least an hour or overnight for best results. Wash off with a mild, natural shampoo.
DIY hair mask
Soak five tbsp of fenugreek seeds overnight in water. Grind these into a slightly coarse paste and apply on the scalp and your hair. Leave it for at least an hour before washing your hair.
There are a lot of other factors like smoking, increased consumption of caffeine, using chemical based products, colouring, or using very hot water for washing hair that can contribute to hair woes. Opting for healthy food, using chemical free products and a healthier, happier lifestyle can help you keep those hair issues at bay.
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