Ayurveda meaning “knowledge for long life” is a system of traditional medicine native to India. The practice of Ayurvedic medicine is thousands of years old and stresses the use of plant-based medicines and treatments to promote a healthy and balanced body and mind.
Ayurvedic hair care involves the use of natural, herbs, powders, oils and techniques to promote hair health, growth, thickness and length. It’s a holistic approach to hair care as Indians believe that the health of the hair, skin, and nails is a good indication of the overall health of the person. A basic Ayurvedic regimen involves regular oiling of the hair and massaging the scalp using a variety of herbs depending on specific need. The herbs are often found in powdered form and used either as a topically applied paste or rinse. The herbs can be categorised into two functions: cleansing or conditioning.
Popular Cleansing Herbs
Shikakai – natural cleanser, mild conditioner, promotes hair growth
Aritha (Reetha/Soapnut) – natural cleanser (clarifying)
Bhringraj – prevents hair loss, premature greying, conditioner
Neem – strong antibacterial agent, regulates dry scalp issues
Brahmi – strengthens hair at the roots, helps relieve dandruff, thickens hair
Popular Conditioning Herbs
Hibiscus – conditions hair, promotes hair growth, prevents hair loss, thickens hair
Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – stimulates hair growth, conditioner, strengthens hair at the roots
Kalpi Tone – promotes hair growth, mild conditioner, imparts shine
Fenugreek – prevents hair loss, promotes hair growth, helps strengthen hair, light protein
Brahmi – strengthens hair, helps relieve dandruff, light conditioner
Whilst I don’t follow an Ayurvedic regimen per se, I do incorporate a few of the herbs into my regimen. I regularly use a mix of Henna/Cassia, Neem and Amla powder as a conditioner and I always pre-oil my hair before a wash with either coconut oil or some other oil based mix.
For more info on Ayurvedic haircare and how to incorporate it into your regimen, check out the following:
- Regimen Building: Go Ayurvedic! Part 1
- Ayurvedic Hair Care: An Introduction
- Ayurvedic Natural Hair Care