The Benefits of Turmeric for Natural Hair

Developed in India over 3,000 years ago, Ayurvedic medicine or Ayurveda for short, is one of the world's oldest holistic i.e. whole-body, healing systems. The foundation of Ayurveda is that health and wellness depend on the intricate balance between the spirit, mind, and body and its principal objective is to promote good health, not to fight disease. Ayurvedic medicine gives us a lot of great options for hair. Henna is perhaps the most well-known ayurvedic herb used in haircare but there are many others including amla, brahmin and turmeric — the benefits of which we will take a closer look
at below.


DIY Ayurvedic Conditioner for Natural Hair Growth

by Emilia Obiekea of

I enjoy making and creating products when I have free time. Ayurvedic herbs are wonderful for the hair and skin.   

"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.  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."
I am sharing my own recipe for a home pre-poo/conditioning treatment that encourages healthy hair growth.

Here's The Ayurvedic Oil That Will Change Your Hair

Stock photo courtesy of Asha + Miel 

Written by Tiffani Greenaway of

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Amla: Miracle Oil or Too Good to Be True?!

Where Does it Come From? 
Among the many botanical based ingredients currently popular in hair care routines, amla is perhaps the one that seems the most mysterious, at least from a chemistry point of view.

Amla is derived from the fruit of the Indian gooseberry or Phyllanthus emblica L., a deciduous tree found in both the tropical and subtropical portions of the Indian and Southeastern Asian countries.
The lemon-sized fruit is greenish yellow with attractive vertical striations and has a bitter, sour, and sweet taste. While amla fruit is primarily composed of water, it also contains a variety of sugars, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, minerals, and contains very high amounts of ascorbic acid (vitamin C). For many centuries it has been prized by practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine as well as many other groups for its reportedly amazing medicinal attributes as well as for its beneficial properties for hair and skin.

What Does it Do? 
Advocates who support topical use of amla for hair claim that it is has many uses:
  • cleansing agent
  • deep conditioning treatment
  • dandruff remedy
  • prevents graying of hair
  • darkens hair without use of dyes
  • imparts shine
  • improves hair growth
Read On!>>>

DIY: Ayurvedic Conditioning Custard for Natural Hair

(image source: istock)

by Emilia Obiekea of

I love Ayurvedic herbs, flowers and everything natural!  It's a new year and winter is taking its toll on our strands. When my hair needs a big dose of nourishment I whip up this easy, DIY mask. It is enriched with strengthening and softening ingredients to smooth and moisturize your natural hair. Check it out.


How I Grew Long Natural Hair Using the 'Indian Oiling Method'

by HadassaH. of

I'd like to share a method I've incorporated into my regimen to help me retain length.

My hair had been growing longer but I noticed that the older parts (the ends) would get dry and were prone to breaking off easily.

Usually at this point, I'd trim my hair, but since I decided to challenge myself to grow my hair to waist length, just because, I decided it was time to adapt length retention techniques into my regimen.
The henna and protein treatments had helped strengthen my hair and made it less porous overall, but it didn't stop my ends from getting dry.  And while the LOC method has proved effective in providing daily moisture, I felt I still needed more to reinforce my fine hair and make it stronger to withstand manipulation.

 late 2013

My quest for length retention led me to the 'Indian Oiling Method'.   I've been consistently using this regimen since 2013 and have made changes along the way to better suit kinky, curly hair of different textures with the help of feedback from the naturalistas around me.

This regimen is especially useful if you're suffering from unexplained dryness, brittleness, breakage, hair shed and dullness. Where this is excessive, please see your doctor.

During the period of adopting this regimen, it has really helped my hair by:

- preventing breakage and improving length (I was able to finally grow my fine hair down to my waist!)-- I have waist length hair!
- improving elasticity and strength
- improving sheen and softness
- improving moisture retention
- improving styling

Read On!>>>

Stimulate Hair Growth With This Ayurvedic Treatment

Ayurvedic medicine, also known as Ayurveda, is one of the oldest holistic healing systems that originated thousands of years ago in India. It believes that health and wellness are connected and dependent on the balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda is India’s primary healthcare system, even today, and more than 90% of the continent’s population uses some form of Ayurvedic therapy. In the United States it has more of a complementary healthcare option when many Americans employing Ayurvedic elements like meditation and cleansing therapies for the body as a whole. 

Ayurveda means “the knowledge of long life” and addresses the well-being of the entire body both spiritually and physically. One of the amazing benefits of this holistic healing system is the abundance of Ayurvedic powders that can be incorporated into our healthy hair care system that many curlies have embraced. Ayurvedic herbs or powders have a wealth of benefits and many are drawn to them for natural remedies to everyday ailments. Many curlies are looking for natural, alternatives coloring to care for and grow their tresses, so the therapeutic properties have become popular again. Many have heard of henna, amla, or marshmallow root, but there is an array of herbs that aid in the health of our bodies. One becoming a favorite would be the Bhringaraj herb.

Read On!>>>

Shikakai Powder for Cleaner, Healthier Natural Hair

by Sabrina Perkins

As more women encompass natural ways to care for themselves and their bodies, gravitating to yesteryear’s methods for high quality beauty maintenance and reducing their carbon footprint is appealing and gaining momentous traction. Nothing wrong with loving the latest and the greatest in beauty and personal care, but if you want to tap into Mother Nature’s garden of natural treasures, you merely have to take a lesson in history. We all want healthy, lustrous hair and our world is bombarded with new man-made products to try, but many women are taking greener pathways to beautification.

For thousands of years people in India have used a holistic approach to healthcare called Ayurveda therapy. Ayurveda means “the knowledge for long life” and this alternative pathway to wellness strives to retain harmony between the mind, body, and spirit while keeping illnesses at bay. According to the University of Minnesota, the durability of this holistic therapy is significant, as 90% of India’s population still uses some form of Ayurveda therapy today.

Read On!>>>

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.

Read On!>>>

#HennaQueen- Mac's Story

So since I'm currently #Bollywoodin' (the land o' henna), I thought it only appropriate to discuss how naturals are using it for healthy hair! Shout out to my friend, MamaNaturalista, for organizing this awesome series and don't forget to enter the hennasooq giveaway! Enjoy! 

by Marisol of MamaNaturalista 

How long have you been natural? 
I’ve been natural since Sept 2010.

Did you big chop or transition?
I transitioned for 16 months.

When did you first learn about henna? 
I learned about henna, and actually first tried it many years ago, while I was still relaxed.

Read On!>>>

Herbal Tea for Hair Growth- Drink & Rinse Your Way to Longer, Thicker Natural Hair

curlfriend, Zhara

Hola Chicas!

I've received a bunch of emails and follow-up questions from you dolls about the Nettle Tea post and thought I'd combine three old posts (from 2009!) to give you a more comprehensive look at the power of tea for hair growth and thickening.  Below, you'll find a list of common hair issues and the herbs and oils to treat them, Zhara's Hair Growth Tea recipe and Final Rinse instructions .  Enjoy!

Hair loss/Growth Stimulating: 
Oils: seabuckthorn
Herbs: basil, burdock, nettle, parsley, rosemary, sage, yarrow, kelp (strengthens roots), horsetail, hibiscus, fenugreek, coconut milk, lavender, birch, watercress (encourages thick growth), yucca, thyme, and coltsfoot.
EO’s: basil, cajute, carrot seed, cedarwood, clary sage, cypress, eucalyptus, juniper, lavender, orange, peppermint, rosemary, clary sage, thyme, ylang ylang, lemon, yarrow, lemon balm, parsley.

Read On!>>>

4 Home Remedies for Healthy Scalp and Hair Growth

Why has there been such focus on the crown of one’s head? It appears that people from all cultures experience scalp tenderness, excessive oiliness, dryness, flakiness, itchiness, and even thinning at the crown of the head more so than any other area of the scalp. Let's take a deeper look into the significance of the crown to discover what is beneath the surface.

Read On!>>>

Scalp Massage & Stimulation for Hair Growth

by Dr. Phoenyx Austin

Are scalp massages part of your hair care regimen?

They’re part of mine! I love scalp massages. I’m addicted to them. I love giving them to myself and I love receiving them.

Scalp massages have been used for over 5,000 years ago as part Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on preventing and treating disease with noninvasive therapies like nutrition, herbal therapy, mediation, massage and yoga. The premise of Ayurvedic medicine is that disease is the result of physical, mental and spiritual imbalance. And scalp massages (along with massages in general) are a method to restore balance and improve our health.

Read On!>>>

The Benefits of Marshmallow Root for Hair and Scalp

Marshmallow root sounds funny and most would immediately think of the fluffy white sweet treat that many of us have had during a campfire. Marshmallow root or Althea officinalis is a polycrest herb and is also known as a white mallow herb. It’s an African plant with short roundish leaves and small pale flowers. It’s been around for centuries and even mentioned in Homer’s Iliad written over 2880 years ago! It was used by ancient Greeks, Indians, Egyptians and the Chinese.

The leaves and the root are used for making medicine since they have antibacterial properties and a soothing effect on inflamed membranes in the mouth and throat. It seems that every herb can help our hair but with marshmallow root you get double duty. You can drink it in a tea, take it as a supplement, add it directly into a DIY mixture or you can just buy it already in products. It’s great for soothing sore throats but it also helps with hair ailments too. Marshmallow root is great for soothing and relieving your scalp and hair but it’s also super slippery so it’s great for…you guessed it…slip! Slip is the slipperiness of a product and of course the more slip the better as it will help remove tangles, knots and your hair from coiling around itself. When discussing slip we are normally discussing conditioner and detangling products.

Rhassoul Clay vs. Bentonite Clay for Healthy Hair and Scalp

Don’t worry, there isn’t a battle of the clays going on. There is just the need to clarify (pun intended) the differences and the similarities of the two highly popular and highly nutrient-rich clays. They are being used for hair, face and body but is one better than the other? Does one work better in your hair while the other does better for your body? It’s time to learn the differences between the two and how they can give you healthier, lovelier hair and bodies.

Read On!>>>

Community Review- KeraVada Ayurvedic Hair Oils + Cleansing Co-Wash

via "Get ready for the Eastern hair experience! KERAVADA 4 IN 1 CONDITIONER contains powerful ayurveda ingredients that will leave your hair fresh, detangled, and oh so soft to the touch. Our super-low lather formula will leave your hair squeaky clean without stripping your tresses of much-needed moisture. KERAVADA 4 IN 1 CONDITIONER contains powerful cleansers, such as Neem, Shikakai, and Aritha to remove build up and unclog pores. It also contains Apple Cider Vinegar to balance the pH levels of your hair and scalp.

Ingredients: Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Ceteryl Alcohol, Glycerin, Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe Vera, Honey, Amla, Brahmi, Bhringraj, Fenugreek, Tulsi, Neem, Shikakai, Aritha, Sweet Almond Oil, Grape seed Oil, Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Lanolin, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Vitamin E, Avocado Oil, Ginger, Patchouli, Bergamot, Neroli, Evening Primrose Oil, Lavender, Rosemary, Lime Extract, Grapefruit Extract, Lemon Extract, Sweet Orange Extract, Lemongrass, Clove, Sage, Magnesium Oil, Optiphen Plus, Fragrance"

For deets on the oils, SEE HERE

Shelli's First Cassia Treatment for Natural Hair

by Shelli of Hairscapades 

A few months ago, when I was replenishing my henna, indigo and zizyphus stash from, I decided to order some cassia from too. I’d been wanting to try it for a while as an interim treatment between hennas, because it is supposed to have many of the same conditioning benefits sans the time-consuming and messy process!

What is Cassia?

There is NO such thing as neutral henna or blond henna! Much of what is sold in boxes called neutral or blond (sic) henna is Cassia Obovata, usually with unlisted adulterants. Cassia obovata will make damaged hair silky, thick, lustrous, and helps keep your scalp healthy, just as henna does. This has a golden yellow dye molecule, but it won’t show up on your hair unless you are very pale blond (sic) or gray. Cassia will not make dark hair golden. Cassia will make gray or blond hair golden.
Those who don’t want the red color that accompanies henna may be interested in cassia as it provides many of the same benefits, without the deposit of the red dye (lawsone) molecule. It also isn’t supposed to cause the curl loosening that is a potential side effect of henna. That being said, it’s the deposit of the red dye that provides much of the strengthening, thickening and shine-enhancing benefits of henna. Henna is a plant resin that bonds to the keratin in the hair strand, carrying the pigment with it and filling in rough spots in the cuticle (hope that I got that right!). Cassia is a different plant and though it coats the hair with a plant resin as well, it is not as strong. Therefore, the effects of cassia only last about 1-2 weeks, whereas the conditioning benefits of henna lasts 3-4 weeks and the color is permanent. However, preparing, applying and “marinating” cassia is far less time-consuming as it only needs to “sit” for 30 minutes and be left on the hair for 30 minutes to an hour. No gloves or bathroom protection are necessary either!!

My Cassia Mix & Process
Now that we got that out of the way, on Sunday I debated doing a cassia treatment. But, I was persuaded to go for it on my Facebook page (see here). I had applied a pre-poo mix of Aubrey GPB and Honeysuckle Rose conditioners mixed with Vatika Oil on Saturday. I’d previously read the instructions to apply cassia to dry hair, but after searching around a little, found that some applied it to wet, washed hair as well. So, I knew that I was okay to wash my hair first. During the same search, I also found that there are different cassia recipes just as there are for henna. So, I decided to make a pseudo cassia gloss using the same ingredients that I use with henna, with one exception. I used warm filtered water instead of green tea as adding an acid to cassia releases the yellow dye molecule. That isn’t a problem for my dark hair, but it might have caused my grey roots to yellow. No bueno.

So, with that, here was my process:
  1. Mixed 100g cassia powder with approximately 1 cup of warm filtered water and let it sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Hopped in shower and shampooed hair in 6 twists with diluted DevaCare No Poo (diluting No Poo provides it with nice slip). Released each twist to lightly finger detangle and re-twisted before rinsing shampoo (20-30 min.).
  3. Got out of shower and mixed about 1/2 – 3/4 cup Sally’s GVP Matrix Conditioning Balm and 1/4 cup of honey into the cassia mix.
  4. Applied cassia mix to hair in sections, smooshing it on scalp and through length to thoroughly coat strands.
  5. Piled hair on top of head, wrapped it in plastic wrap and put on a plastic baggie.
  6. Donned Hair Therapy Heat Wrap for 1 hour.
  7. Hopped back in shower, rinsed and finger detangled with loads of Herbal Essence Hello Hydration (HE HH). Threw in some Suave Naturals Tropical Coconut conditioner too (just to use it up; won’t be repurchasing as it gives me no slip. I’ve been taking CurlyNikki’s advice and using it for shaving though ;) ).
  8. Deep conditioned in 6 twists with Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Moisturizing Conditioner (1 hour w/heat wrap).
  9. Rinsed DC under tub faucet using Cool and Seal technique with diluted HE HH.
  10. Styled WnG with Sheilo Leave-in Protecant and Jessicurl Confident Coils Styling Solution using Rake & Shake technique.
My hair was still damp when it was time for bed, so I put it in a pineapple, made one big loose twist and formed a loose bun by securing the ends with a jaw clip. This morning, I released the bun to find my hair still damp. But, I used a little Wonder Curl Polishing Pomade to smooth out a little bit of the crunch anyway.
My Review and Results 
Overall, I think this cassia treatment worked out well!! As expected, it was a lot easier and far less time-consuming than henna. It had a similar grassy smell, but that doesn’t bother me. I also got the same level of shine and smoothness that accompanies a henna treatment … unfortunately for me, that seemed to still be accompanied by curl loosening!! What the heck?? This is NOT supposed to happen with cassia! Okay, okay. I suspect that this may have to do with how much I conditioned my hair during this process … pre-poo, conditioner in the cassia, conditioner to detangle, deep condtioner. So, I’m hoping that my curls will bounce back with some protein-instilling Aubrey GPB conditioner (sans the Honeysuckle Rose mix) and another wash. But again, my hair looks and feels pretty good! In addition to being shiny and smooth, it feels very clean, light and fluffy.

Initial Conclusions
Depending on how my curls bounce back after my next wash session, I definitely think I’ll try cassia again in another month or so. Shoot, might as well … I have another bag of it ;) ! Plus, the results are supposed to wear off after a week or two, so I really don’t expect the curl-loosening to be long-lasting or permanent. Since the whole process is so much simpler and shorter than henna with similar results, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone contemplating henna, but who is hesitating because of the color or time concern.

Do you use cassia? What’s your mix? What kind of results do you get with it?


CN says:

My thoughts on cassia from a previous post-- 
"I tried cassia about 4 times before moving on to henna. Initially, I was afraid of the red color, especially since I had a considerable amount of brown highlights throughout- I wasn't going for 'fire engine red'.  Cassia is similar to henna... although it's a different plant altogether, it has some of the same conditioning effects, sans color. Like henna, cassia strengthens the hair shaft, improves overall health, and adds lots of shine. It doesn't, however, reduce shrinkage or significantly thicken the hair up. Its effects are far more fleeting- lasting at the most 1-2 weeks. The mixing, application, and rinsing process is a bit less taxing as well. For starters, you don't have to wear gloves! Also, you only have to leave it in for 30 minutes to get the conditioning effects. Since you're not worried about dye release, you can mix in everything but the kitchen sink- I used to mix in oils, conditioner and honey. Some blonde and gray haired ladies use Cassia for the slight yellow tint that it gives off. If you have dark hair, you don't have to worry about this effect.

I left cassia for henna for one reason- I wanted bigger hair. I didn't, and still don't mind the red. You're going to get improved hair health with both cassia and henna, but henna's effects will last upwards of 3-4 weeks, depending on how often you wash.

In my honest opinion, Cassia is just a REALLY good conditioning treatment."
 for more, click HERE

Bentonite Clay- Natural Hair Cleansing

Tina writes:

Becoming a mixtress can be really enticing and exciting especially if on a budget. The truth is, cleansing is an essential part of a regimen to remove product build-up but using shampoo can strip the moisture we already struggle to retain. So try making a mud wash that clarifies while leaving your hair conditioned and moisturized throughout. Check out the video below for a cool way to make your own mud wash if you don't have the funds to spring for Terressentials.  

After using bentonite, my hair feels clean without the stripped feeling one often gets with shampoo! If you have a lot of product build up or very damaged hair you can expect to have to use a mud wash a few times before experiencing the luxurious feel of beautiful moisturized hair. I wish I could try some Terressentials but this will have to do for now. I am in no way saying this product is equivalent to Terressentials as I have never used their products, but for those on a strict budget, this might be an option! Cheers to Mud Wash!

Thanks for letting me share with the CurlyNikki community!

CN Says:

Check out my experiences with Bentonite, HERE.  I haven't revisited in a while due to time... but the results were absolutely amazing! 

Do you use bentonite clay? Share your experiences below!

Customizing Ayurvedic Treatments- Natural Hair

customizing ayurvedic treatments into a natural hair care routine

by Sharika of Butters-n-Bars

Sure you’ve heard the basics of Vata, Pitta, Kapha and perhaps you’ve even heard of some of the herbs or oils that are considered to be part of the holistic approach to hair care, but did you know that ayurveda can help prevent hair loss, breakage, fill in thinned areas, curb excessive shedding, deepen or change hair color, cover and prevent premature graying, and make your hair soft and radiant like it deserves…BELIEVE IT!!!

It always surprises me when I hear someone say that only a person with straight hair can have a regimen that is centered around ayurveda-simply not true and if I didn’t live it myself and had I not seen the results or the power (yes curlies, this is some powerful stuff;-) of ayurveda I wouldn’t waste our time trying to share this information with others.

The key to it is finding the type of treatments which is best suited to you and the basic principle here is that based on, not your skin color or hair type, but your body type to find the best solutions. Now that is kind of weird, but can be simplified by some simple trial and error. I have some people who absolutely swear by coconut oil and a small percentage that finds coconut oil leaves there hair feeling (and looking) like greased straw-- myself included. So, as with any hair ‘regi’, the first thing is to find out what works for you. How your body, hair, and skin all respond to what you’re using and the most important part is to remember that natural is usually better (and who really wants to use a dictionary to try to find out what they’re using on their hair?!)

There are herbs that cleanse like cassia, jaswand, shikakai, and aritha powders. Herbs that repair and strengthen like brahmi, amla, bhringraj(maka), henna. Herbs that helps solve certain problems like Neem, Tulsi and others it’s really all a matter of finding out firstly ‘whats the condition of your hair’ and secondly ‘whats needed to repair and/ or maintain that condition. Ayurvedics make delicious deep treatments, herbal teas and rinses, hair color, even every day moisturizers.

In conjunction with a few staples like shea butter and aloe vera, an ayurvedic regimen is a simple, worthwhile and totally attainable approach to our hair care.

An Ayurvedic regimen is great TLC now that the warm weather is setting in and we are exposing our hair to the elements, heat, sweat and chemicals from chlorine in pools, etc.  We can utilize the treatments to keep hair cleansed, happy and healthily detoxed so we don't spend all winter trying to heal summer hair!

 Got questions? Feel free to ask! My recommendation make ayurveda part of your natural hair care today-and thank me later!

***Got questions for Sharika? Well you're in luck, 'cause she's a CURLFRIEND! Head over to the forum and
chat with Sharika about all things Ayurveda!***

***Butters-n-Bars is having a Memorial Day Sale!  Use code WEEKNDR512  for 20% off of everything through Monday at midnight! Go stock up on that henna boo!***

Shop Butters-n-Bars for all your Ayurvedic needs

What's Your Dosha?

Does Mira Oil Really Grow Hair?

via TheBeautyBrains

Fitz asks…Is mira hair oil really worth a try?

The Right Brain responds:

Before we answer your question, we have a question of our own: What the heck is mira oil??

What is mira oil?

It turns out that this oil has been used in India for centuries. Apparently it’s a blend of several natural plant oils. While we couldn’t find an exact description of its composition, this site says that mira oil contains a plant extract known as eclipta alba. One of its purported abilities of mira oil is to help hair grow faster. But does it really do anything?

The magic of mira oil

Surprise! There MAY actually be something to this stuff. We found two studies published on PubMed which indicate that eclipta alba extract may stimulate hair growth. Of course, that doesn’t mean that mira oil works because the extracts could be in a different form, or used at much lower concentrations, than in the published studies. For example, both studies evaluated an alcohol or ether soluble portion of the extract, not the oil soluble portion that you’d expect to find in mira oil. Still, it’s an intriguing possibility.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

We wouldn’t rush out and spend a lot of money on mira oil until we see further research but at least there’s a kernel of scientific fact behind this product’s claims.

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