Coconut, Almond, Castor: Nourish your hair with the right kind of oils explains expert Shahnaz Husain
Beauty expert, Shahnaz Husain is here to explain all the easy ways to nourish your hair with the right kind of oils. Check it out
Oils have been used since ancient times to nourish the hair. There are also references in Ayurvedic texts of oil applications on the hair. Today too, application of oil has become an integral part of hair care and hair spa treatments. Washing and rinsing, or conditioning, come after oil applications. For thick, shiny hair, the roots must be firm, the scalp should be healthy and hair well-nourished.
Oiling of the hair not only provides nourishment but is the best way to deal with dryness. Stress, pollution, dandruff and other factors can cause the pores of the scalp to become blocked and undermine the health of the hair. The application of oil with a light massage helps to improve the circulation of blood to the scalp and also unclog the pores of the scalp. The oil application and massage also help to reduce stress and induce relaxation, while the nourishment with oils softens the hair, making it look healthy and shiny.
Dry, rough, brittle hair improves with regular oil applications. Coconut oil is probably the most popular oil for the hair in India. It is said to strengthen the hair and make it thick and shiny. The application of coconut oil with a light massage helps to stimulate blood circulation to the hair follicles and also softens hair texture. The hair should not be rubbed vigorously, especially if there is hair loss when roots are already weak. Vigorous rubbing can loosen the roots and cause more hair to fall. Only the fingertips should be used, to actually move the scalp with small rotary movements. Hot oil therapy with coconut oil is said to be very beneficial. Heat coconut oil and apply it on the scalp at night, leaving on overnight. You can even do the hot towel wrap. Coconut oil is said to restore health to damaged hair and prevent split ends.
Almond oil may be applied for dry and damaged hair, while olive oil is said to be better for dandruff-prone hair, as it restores the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp. Castor oil is used mainly for hair conditions such as dry, brittle and damaged hair, especially if the hair has turned brown due to protein deficiency or excessive sun exposure. Castor oil is thick and sticky, so after application of the oil, shampoo the hair and rinse well with water, so that oily residues do not remain on the scalp. Add two tablespoons apple cider vinegar to a mug of water and use as a last rinse.
We can make hair oil at home with a base oil and natural ingredients. To make amla hair oil, take a handful of dry amla. Grind coarsely and add it to 100 ml pure coconut oil. Keep it in an airtight glass bottle and keep the bottle in the sun daily for about 15 days. Then strain the oil and store for hair applications.
Coconut oil may also be used with curry leaves to restore health to the hair. Add coconut oil to the fresh curry leaves and boil them. This should be boiled till a black residue is formed. Cool the mixture and then add the black residue on the scalp. Keep it on for an hour and then wash the hair.
If the hair is dry and during the dry season, like winter, the oil may be applied twice a week. For oily hair, apply once a week. For excessively oily hair, avoid oil applications. If there is sticky dandruff, apply warm oil twice a week.
Today, we recognize the various benefits of a head massage with oil. It not only induces relaxation, but eases pain in the shoulders and back of the neck. It also relieves eye strain, which is most relevant to our times, when we spend so much time gazing at mobiles, televisions and computer screens. It detoxifies the body and encourages lymphatic drainage, not to mention the benefits to beauty, in terms of healthy, lustrous hair.