By: Verity Reign
We all have hair related concerns, even if our manes are in tiptop shape. Thanks to a mother who kept my hair right and tight as a young girl, my thick ponytail that stopped where my bra strap would have (had I been developed enough to wear a bra) was extremely healthy. Despite my well-maintained mane though, I still had itchy scalp; and while it wasn’t necessarily a hair problem per say, it was still the home in which my hair lived and thrived. As much as I tried to create a healthy environment for my tresses, no shampoos, products or medications seemed to help. It wasn’t until 2010 when I went natural for about the millionth time that it cleared up. It still isn’t perfect but much better than it was. After researching Ayurvedic medicine and hair care, I was impressed with the findings and wondered if I could further improve my scalp condition by adding certain Ayurvedic ingredients into my natural hair care regimen. Whether you have scalp issues or hair issues or both, you may notice vast improvements by incorporating these and other Ayurevedic herbs into your hair and beauty regimes!
Bhringraj: Bhringraj comes from the weed plant eclipta alba, which is grown in moist environments in Brazil, Thailand, India and China. Bhringraj oil is made with the powder from the leaves combined with a base, like coconut or sesame oil. This ayurvedic oil strengthens the scalp skin and treats hair loss.
Amalaki: Amalaki is “a small round fruit obtained from the embilica officinalis tree, which is native to tropical southeastern Asia,” according to Chopra.com. It is known to delay graying and treat damaged, thinning hair. In the article “Amalaki and Beautiful Hair,” Shannon Lokker writes, “In India, most women still use the ancient recipes containing amalaki to treat their hair, especially as its amino acids create a silky oil that acts as the perfect conditioner.”
Hibiscus: Hibiscus has a cooling effect and it helps maintain hair color. The herb also conditions and thickens the hair. Some have blended the leaves with water and a few drops of natural oil to create a shampoo and conditioner paste. After spreading the paste on the scalp and throughout the hair, wash or shampoo it thoroughly for clean and soft hair.
Neem: Neem is highly noted for its antibacterial properties. Including neem into your ayurvedic hair practices will promote natural-looking shine, combat scalp dryness and fight scalp infection.
These herbs can be found at Indian grocers and certain organic stores. I’ve found that researching “ayurvedic treatment for… followed by whatever your concern is”, generally returns numerous search results of suggested ayurvedic herbs and recipes. Before trying unnatural measures, like medicated shampoos, to meet your hair needs, I highly suggest experimenting with ayurvedic alternatives. After treating your hair and scalp concerns, it’s just as important that you also use ayurvedic styling agents. AfroVeda has a range of great butters and products to accommodate your styling preferences. In the meantime, I will try incorporating bhringraj or neem, depending on which one best meets my scalp needs, into my regime and I’ll fill you in on the results next time!
Do you use certain Ayurvedic herbs in your hair regime? Share with us!