Ayurvedic Hair Care: An Introduction


by Nicole of Hair Liberty

Henna, Indigo, Amla, Neem, Shikakai...those are just a few names you might read when seeking natural hair care advice on the Internet. They are herbs and plants that are usually included in a Ayurvedic hair care regimen. Many African American women who decide to go natural, explore Ayurvedic hair care as a way to promote healthy hair and use more natural remedies. An ayurvedic hair care regimen usually includes herbal mixtures and natural oils that are minimally processed, or in many cases, used whole. Although, Ayurveda is usually discussed with regard to natural black hair, anyone can benefit from its principles. To decide if Ayurvedic hair care is right for you, it's important to first understand "Ayurveda".

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old system of preventive medicine and healthcare that originated in ancient India. Ayurveda means "knowledge of life span". The book, The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs: The Most Complete Guide to Natural Healing & Health with Traditional Ayurvedic Herbalism, explains:
Ayurveda looks to create a balance between body, mind, emotion, spirit and environment, and places emphasis on the ability of the human body to heal itself, with the assistance and support of a variety of non-toxic therapies, including medicinal foods, dietary programs, and herbal medicines. Today, many of the health and medical "discoveries" being heralded as breakthroughs by scientists every day were long ago observed and documented by the Ayurvedists.
Basically, Ayurveda says that everything from a healthy head of hair to a healthy heart is determined by your emotional well-being. Ayurvedic medicine requires that you get in tune with your emotions and inner thoughts and then pursue a lifestyle that keeps you feeling balanced and stress free. That's a powerful concept, especially for today's women who are busy with work, school, bills, kids, etc. If you want to pursue an Ayurvedic hair care regimen, start by using some of the alone time that you get when you're doing your hair as an opportunity to relax.

A scalp massage with essential oils (instructions), relaxes your mind while stimulating your hair follicles and encouraging growth. Take Deepak Chopra's Dosha Quiz to find your Ayurvedic "mind-body" type. Then, incorporate these suggested essential oils into a daily scalp massage.
Vata dosha: Creative, tendency to worry, energetic
Best essential oils: Patchouli, Basil, Lavender, Sage

Pitta dosha
: Likes challenges, tendency toward anger, cannot skip meals
Best essential oils: Ylang-ylang, Lavender, Rose, Sandalwood

Kapha dosha: Detail oriented, thoughtful, resistant to change
Best essential oils: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary

Add 2 or 3 drops of the recommended essential oils to a base like Almond, Oilve, Coconut, or Jojoba Oil. The essential oils are included for their aromatherapy benefit, so remember to breathe deeply and take in each scent. You can also use herb-infused oils that are known to promote hair growth or stop hair loss, examples include Brahmi (also known as Mandukaparni), Amla, and Bhringraj oil. It's important to buy herb-infused oils from a trustworthy retailer to be sure you're getting an authentic product.

Healthy hair comes from a healthy body, so, in that sense, everyone can benefit from Ayurveda. However, keep in mind that Ayurvedic principles do not suggest that you get rid of commercial products and make everything at home...especially if that requires time that you don't have or causes you more stress. When it comes to your hair, doing what makes you feel good (inside and out) is always most important.

10 Weigh in!:
Anonymous said...

Excellent article! I want to also point out that Lawsom Inermis (apolgies for spelling) or Henna is a small plant that is also grown in Africa so Henna is a small plant that is indigenous to our ancestor's continent. People tend think it is only grown in India or Pakistan, etc. which is not true.

OrganicBloom said...

This is so timely and well-written! I just took a Dosha quiz again yesterday--the results were very different in some areas due to life and lifestyle changes. I think most people want balance and good health in their lives and Ayurveda can help one find the way.

socialitedreams said...

I wondered what ayurvedic was but never bothered to look it up. good piece explaining things! so a wholistic approach, gotcha

Vonnie
http://www.socialitedreams.com/

AusetAbena said...

I just took the dosha quiz. I am Vatta, and it described me to a T. I also have some parts Pitta. I have been meaning to incorporate more Ayurveda into my beauty regimen. This is a timely article.

Anonymous said...

I love Ayurveda!! I implemented a Ayurvedic approach for my hair at the beginning of the year...still tweeking it but love it so far...I took the Deepak Chopra's quiz and I am TriDoshic, which leaves me right where I started since I display characteristics of all three almost equally, good ole trial and error, LOL

Anonymous said...

Very good information. Thank you!

Beth said...

Thanks for this! I try to eat healthy foods, use/make natural products, practice yoga when I can, and have recently started henna-ing, but still know very little about ayurveda. This info was presented really well :) It's interesting that it seems like ayurveda is part of lifestyle--that makes it a bitt less intimidating for me.

I like getting henna and JBCO from here, but they're available form a couple different websites and in some stores: http://www.ayurnaturalbeauty.com/

Anonymous said...

Great article... I will definently try using my ayurvedic powders more often.

I took the quiz and my results are that I am "Tri-doshic" and that I exhibit characteristics of all 3 doshas... (which all describe me to a T) very interesting...

Anonymous said...

i guess i'll be needing both a Vata Dosha and Pitta Dosha scalp massage. heheh....theres a indian market near by, i love going in there. Its like stepping into Mumbai....

Anonymous said...

All this is totally new to me..never heard of this until today when i found this website thru youtube..the funny part is that i knew i was kapha dosha before i even took the quiz and the quiz confirmed it..i am stunned

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