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Curly Nikki

Is Amla Powder Good for Hair?

By January 27th, 202115 Comments

Is Amla Powder Good for Hair?

via The Beauty Brains

Celeste asks…What is Amla powder and what does it do for hair?

The Right Brain replies:

Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a fruit from the myrobalan-tree which is native to India and Burma. Like its cousin the North American gooseberry, amla fruit is edible with tart citrusy flavor. Amla is allegedly high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and tannins which give it high antioxidant strength. Amla also contains flavonoids, kaempferol, ellagic acid and gallic acid.

Preliminary medical research has shown Amla potentially provides a surprising variety of benefits including antiviral and antimicrobial properties; prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, activity against some cancers; reduced severity of acute pancreatitis, age-related renal disease, and diabetes; and reduction of blood cholesterol levels. Not bad, eh?

Is Amla good for hair?

It’s popularly believed that amla fruit is good for hair when applied as a conditioner. A quick search reveals claims about nourishing hair and scalp, adding texture and volume to hair, and preventing premature grey hair. Does amla really deliver against any of these claims?

“Nourishing” claims are fairly ambiguous and are therefore easy to support. Any material that provides a conditioning effect can be said to be nourishing, so it’s likely that amla does have some benefit in this regard. Texturizing may be one area where amla really delivers, provided it’s left in your hair. There are a number of anecdotal stories of these benefits – read more about the experiences of those who’ve tried amla oil for hair.

The grey hair claims may come from the fact that amla is used in inks and fabric dyes to help “fix” the dye in place. Unfortunately, hair dyes work by a different chemistry than fabric dyes and we can find no reference to in the cosmetic science literature to indicate that amla has any effect on hair color what so ever.

Interesting bonus fact: In Punjabi, amla is called olay, as in “Oil of Olay” beauty products from Proctor and Gamble. Is this coincidence, or sinister design?

What about Amla Oil?

While Celeste didn’t specifically ask about it, amla fruit is also available in oil form. We would be very cautious about purchasing this version because in several of the products we reviewed the so called “amla oil” was really just amla extract diluted down in mineral and canola oil. You’re better off with the concentrated powder.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

While some of the claims are outlandish, you may perceive some basic conditioning and texturizing benefits from applying amla powder to your hair. We’d expect this to be true of leave in applications and wouldn’t expect to see any difference when it’s rinsed out.

Do you use amla powder or amla oil? What’s your experience been?


  • ahmed says:

    can we buy amla powder from pakistan is i avalaible in hyderabad if yes than plz reply m fast

  • Anonymous says:

    Sometimes i use amla powder on my hair. My scalp and hair fells great, i really like it. I've also used it as a facial, and i think it gives soft and pure skin as well.

  • Chicago Chica says:

    I know you mean about the mineral oil. I ordered some from Amazon. When it arrived, I read the ingredients, and the first ingredient was mineral oil. I promptly returned it.

  • efacookie says:

    I use alma powder and oil i like the powder alot more then the oil however i think the alma helped me thicken up my edges dramatically however ill just stick with the powder cause i think the oil might be dialuted with mineral oil… I have a question with anybodies oils how dark green is it? Mine is super ducper lucky charms leprechaun green and has a strong fragrance is tht normal?

  • shantal says:

    I use the amla powder as well as the keracare textures line that list amla as an ingredient. I love the results of both products ( clump of my coils)from the powder and the results of wash and go's and twist outs with kerecare.

  • Toi says:

    I've used Amla Powder as part of my regimen. If you apply it and let it sit on your hair for a while it leaves your scalp and hair very clean and also very soft. Also the Amla Shampoo Bar which you can find online works well. I also use Vatika Oil! Love the smell and its a great moisturizer for hair and scalp!

  • Anonymous says:

    interesting post. i recently tried amla powder for the first time mixted with orange peel powder. i honestly found both them to work really well on my hair. i made my curls really soft and curlier lol

  • Keisha says:

    I use amla oil for my hot oil treatments… My hair strands feel stronger. I dont attribute my growth to the oil though.

  • Anonymous says:

    I haven't used amla in any form all by itself, but I have used it in a blend of 9 aruyvedic powders (which includes rajastahani henna as the main ingredient) as an overnight henna treatment. My hair loves this combo (even more so than henna alone), but I'm not sure what role amla alone plays in the results (vs. one or more of the other powders or the combo itself).

    I bought some Vatika oil, but haven't tried it yet. I will probably mix it into my next henna treatment (along with my other usual ingredients).

  • mynamesnotalice says:

    I use both Amla oil and Amla Powder in my regular hair regimen. The powder is more effective and longer lasting than the oil, though I still use both. I blog about my results at Hot Dogs and Camo!

    Here's one of the many posts I've done about amla:

  • Jo Somebody says:

    Listening to science, yes, but mostly listening to my hair. My hair loves amla, even when it's rinsed out. Gotta get back on it this weekend!

  • Anonymous says:

    I love amla powder!

  • Unknown says:

    I'm not a fan of the oil because it is usually mixed in with mineral oil and the smell kills me, amla powder along with henna has seen my hair growth thrive and I do notive that when I put it in my hair with henna, I have a more cooler dye release. I usually mix the powder with water and that's it for 45mins then dc cause it can be a bit drying.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am a HUGE advocate for Indian oils, I only use this and Vatika's Coconut oil to oil my scalp (which I do twice a week)it helps tremendously with preventing it from becoming dry. I have a friend from Pakistan who says her culture swears by this product and it is the reason why her hair is HL. Some people say that it has mineral oil in it but the old bottle don't contain any. It does have a faint smell and there is a lite version of it but I feel that that version takes away from the greatness of this oil.

  • Kinkycurly_whyknotme says:

    I've recently started using Alma oil as a head massage oil to see if it would help grow my thinning spots back. And its helped! (in combo with me working out 4times a wk and taking a multi vitamin lol) I mix it with coconut oil and let it solidify so it lasts longer. And I do a scalp massage with it about every 3 days..that what working for me!

    I big chopped less than a month ago and my hair is softer and almost no hair breaks off or whatever! But the smell is strong and you don't need that much for a scalp massage. I think mines has canola oil in it (isn't that only for food..?) and after this bottle runs out (or run into some money lol) I'll be buying the power for sans canola oil.

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