Suffering from hair loss? Ayurvedic hot oil treatment and a head massage can help you regain healthy hair.
Often exposure to open sun during summer can make the hair dry and brittle. This leads to split-ends and breakage. Further, if you happen to colour your hair, sun exposure will cause the colour to fade.
Ayurveda believes in hot oil massages for body and head. There are specific points called ‘marma’ on the body and head, and massage has specific benefits at these points. The flow of energy along certain channels, and direction of the massage improves the flow of energy. The marma points are massaged gently during the Ayurvedic head massage, for healthy hair and to induce relaxation.
Massaging your scalp and hair with warm oil, preferably, infused with hair-friendly herbs, is the best way to nourish scalp and hair topically. Apart from working wonders for your hair, it helps in relaxing the mind and nervous system. You can customize the oil for massage, depending on your hair and body type. Generally, people with vata constitution have thin, dry and frizzy hair that are prone to split-ends. People with pitta-predominant constitution have fine hair prone to premature thinning or greying. For people with kapha constitution, hair will be thick and oily.
Tips to follow when choosing massage oil
If you have a Vata-predominant constitution, choose almond or sesame oil as your base oil. They are very nourishing for the scalp and hair and they reduce stiffness and tightness in the scalp.
Pitta-predominant people can choose coconut oil as your base oil, as coconut is very pitta-pacifying and offers a cooling effect. Coconut oil can also retard hair thinning and premature greying that are otherwise associated with Pitta dosha.
If you are kapha-predominant, sesame or olive oil are good choices. Olive oil has purifying properties that keeps pores open.
Generally massaging with appropriate base oil based on your body constitution as mentioned above can be helpful for regular head massage. Alternatively, you can use ayurvedic oils with one or more hair-friendly herbs to augment the benefit of the massage. Traditionally, these herbs are slow-cooked with oil, and strained, and then kept ready for use.
Some typical herbs used in ayurvedic hair oils are:
Brahmi – calms the mind and nervous system, pacifies vata and nourishes hair.
Amalaki – Is cooling and nourishing and purifying all at the same time. Therefore, it is wonderful for all types of hair, and particularly beneficial for Pitta-predominant people.
Bhringaraj – is rightly called ‘King of tresses’. It is pitta-pacifying and nourishing for the hair.
Hibiscus – is cooling and helps maintain hair colour and vitality.
Neem – ideal for people with kapha constitution, prevents dandruff and head lice, and has purifying properties.
Rosemary and lavender – both of the herbs are excellent hair stimulants, promotes hair growth, prevents premature greying of hair, and conditions the scalp.
Method for self-massage of the scalp
Pour some oil into a bowl and warm the oil by placing the bowl in hot water. The oil should be warm, but, comfortable to the touch. Using the pads of your fingers, apply the oil little by little to different parts of your scalp by parting your hair as needed. Also work through the length of your hair. Now work the oil into your scalp using the pads of your fingers in circular motions. During massage slow and deliberate movements are relaxing, but steady and vigorous movement helps improve energy and circulation. Now cover the scalp and leave the oil on for at least 30 to 60 minutes.
If required, dip a towel in hot water, wring it out and wrap it around your head after your massage for added conditioning and softening of hair. Shampoo out with a gentle, natural shampoo.
Benefits of warm oil massage:
- Lubricates and conditions the scalp.
- Helps prevent flakes and dry scalp.
- Improves blood circulation in the head and neck area.
- Helps relax the scalp and increases pliability.
- Strengthens and nourishes the roots of the hair.
- Softens and conditions the hair.
- Protects hair from damaging effects of sun and harsh weather.
- Pacifies vata dosha, balances pitta dosha, and related problems, depending on the type of pacifying herbs used for scalp massage.
- Reduces body heat.
- A head massage with oil containing pitta-pacifying herbs helps promote emotional balance, and also relaxes the muscles in the neck area.
- A good hair and scalp massage can promote sound sleep at night.
Few more tips for healthy, bouncy hair:
Protect your hair from the harsh summer sun by covering it with a scarf when you step out.
Hair is fed by the nutrients in the blood stream. Therefore, following a nutritious diet pattern is very essential for healthy hair. Ayurveda recommends a diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed cereals, sprouted grains, seeds, nuts and yogurt. Consuming a small bowl of sprouts daily is advisable, as they contain amino acids which are highly beneficial.
Apart from the said, if you are losing hair due to stress, yogic Pranayama is excellent to beat stress.
Your lovely tresses require ongoing care routine that begins with nourishment. So why wait till you experience hair problems?