January 8, 2015

Ayurvedic Hair Care for Natural Hair



Becoming a curly or coily hair mixtress can be intimidating. Some mixtresses we see on YouTube or on blogs seem to have it all together. They are making soaps, conditioners, lotions, and teas. It can become overwhelming and intimidating. If you add trying to be an Ayurvedic mixtress, then you really add some complexity into the mix (pun intended) because for many of us we are not that schooled in Ayurveda herbs for hair care.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Ayurveda is considered one of the oldest healing sciences that have a holistic approach to health. It is designed to help people live a long, healthy, and well-balanced life. It has been practiced in India for at least 5,000 years. It has recently become popular again in western cultures and is used to treat illnesses and maintain balance in the body, mind, and consciousness through proper eating, drinking, and lifestyle.

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Our hair, which is a vital parameter of external beauty, can also benefit from Ayurvedic treatments to maintain its health and look beautiful. These time-tested herbal hair care remedies have been the backbones behind the healthy and long hair of Indian women. Whether dealing with scalp problems, nourishing the hair follicles, or trying to steer clear of sulfates, parabens, or ingredients you cannot pronounce, Ayurveda can bring health and beauty to your tresses. Here are a few recipes that are non-intimidating and quite easy to replicate. This is by far not an extensive look at all the Ayurvedic herbs, but if simplicity is your desire then these recipes will keep you on top of your mixtress game until you feel more comfortable for complex mixes. Good luck!

Ayurvedic Hair Shampoo
The main components of this shampoo are 2 part cleansers, 1 part conditioner, and 1 part liquid, usually water. Choosing your cleansers and conditioners to use is completely up to you!

Examples of cleansers
  • Aritha (soap nuts) is a natural cleansing agent and great for oily hair and will improve volume.
  • Shikakai powder is a cleanser and mild conditioner that improves dandruff and promotes hair growth.
  • Neem powder will help exfoliate, cleanse, and nourish the scalp.
Examples of conditioners
  • Amla stimulates hair growth and will prevent graying while strengthening hair at the roots. 
  • Marshmallow root will nourish the hair follicles and scalp with its conditioning properties.
Mix 2 parts cleanser with 1 part conditioner, 1 part water, and 2 to 4 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional). Create a loose paste and allow it to sit overnight so it will absorb more of the water and create a spreadable paste in the morning. Too thick? Add a few drops of water. Massage into sectioned hair and allow to sit while cleansing the rest of your body. Rinse well. You can also follow up with an ACV rinse or just you regular conditioner.

Simple Marshmallow Root Rinse
  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 4 tsp. shredded marshmallow root
Allow water to heat in microwave just before boiling. Place marshmallow root in cup and poor hot water over and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Strain the root and use as a rinse for your tresses.

Ayurvedic Hot Oil Treatment
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. Brahmi powder
Warm coconut oil to melt and add Brahmi powder into the oil. Drizzle onto scalp, massage throughout hair, and allow to sit under a plastic cap for an hour or overnight.

For Absolute Beginners
If these recipes are too complex, then do not worry I have you covered. You can add a few teaspoons of Ayurvedic powders to your regular shampoos, daily conditioners, and deep conditioners to incorporate Ayurveda into your regular routine. For shampooing, add a 1-3 teaspoons of one of the cleansing powders listed above to your current conditioner. For conditioning, add a 1-3 teaspoons of one of the conditioning powders above to your current daily or weekly conditioner. This is a great way to slowly incorporate Ayurveda into your hair regimen and to find out which herbs you like.

 Have you ever tried Ayurveda? Any tips for other Ayurvedic newbies?

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