A Holistic Approach to Hair Care

This is what I call long hair!
This is what I call long hair!

Healthy Hair With Ayurveda

Long, thick hair has an allure of its own. Men are invariably attracted to it. It makes women feel more feminine and somehow more powerful at the same time. People are always surprised when they see my thick, hip-length hair for the first time.

“How did you grow it so long?”

“I can’t believe it’s so thick!”

“What do you do to make it so shiny?”

These are questions that I hear often.

”You must spend a lot of time and money on your hair,” is another comment I hear frequently. Yet my hair care routine is quite inexpensive and very simple.

I recently celebrated my fifty-seventh birthday, yet my hair is in better shape now than it was twenty years ago. This was a time when combing was a nightmare because the hair would break and fall in bunches and I could use my dandruff as talcum powder.

In my teens and twenties, my hair was luxuriant and healthy. After the age of thirty however, my hair started breaking, falling out, and growing at a much slower rate.

“This is a natural consequence of childbirth and aging,” my doctor insisted.

“You need a cut,“ advised my hairdresser Sonya.

I did not like the layered bob Sonya gave me. I identified myself by my long hair. Besides, I did not believe that childbirth and aging are the real causes of hair loss. Hair loss seems to be a modern problem. If we look at photographs of fifty to hundred years ago, we notice that people, both men and women, had a lot of hair even in their old age. And no one can say that the women did not have any children!

I was doing all the conventional things: shampooing, conditioning, and getting split ends cut off. Still every day seemed to be a bad hair day. I felt that I was doing something wrong. Instinctively, I knew that there had to be a simple trick to growing healthy, strong hair. But to find it, I had to go back to my roots.

My family is first and second generation immigrants, now settled in California and Toronto, Canada. My parents originally came from Hyderabad, a princely state in Southern India. South Indian women were famous for their long, thick locks. In her prime, my own mother’s hair reached her ankles and was as thick as two fat wrists.

How did women manage to grow their hair to such extravagant lengths?

Genetics and the hot, humid weather obviously played a role. The hair of Asian women tends to have longer growth cycles than that of European women. All hair grows faster in hot weather than it does during the cold winter months. But if this is the only reason, why is luxuriant hair such a rarity even in India and Pakistan these days? Besides, as old pictures attest, even European women living in cold climates used to have full heads of long hair.

So how did women did manage their hair in the old days?

I began pestering my mother, my aunts, my grandmother and their friends to give me any traditional hair care recipes they knew. As always people were quite generous with their advice but at the same time almost everyone insisted that the old methods of oiling, washing and drying required a lot of time and energy ---which modern women just did not have!

“Even women in India and Pakistan have started cutting their hair and using commercial shampoos and hair dryers.” Auntie Shemima pointed out. “ What do you expect? You are always reading and studying. Studying is bad for hair. Everyone knows that.” Another lady commented wisely.

Since I do read and study a bit, I began studying books not only on hair care but also on health and nutrition. Quite by chance, I stumbled upon Ayurveda. Ayurveda achieves good health by using oils, herbs, yoga exercises and massage to balance body functions. Ayurvedic doctors also formulated hundreds of hair and skin care recipes. Many of these recipes use products not easily available in North America. Others are time consuming. Still others are just plain messy.

I experimented and I adapted. Soon I devised a hair care routine based on Ayurveda but which practicable even in the busy North American lifestyle.

According to Ayurveda, the principles of hair care are three in number and really very simple.

  • The scalp must be clean and well nourished

My sixteen-year-old student Hana came to me in tears. She wanted to drop her AP math course. The reason? She thought that the hard work was making her hair fall out! I quickly found the real cause. Her hair follicles were clogged by dandruff and soap scum! New hair growth cannot push its way out of the follicle if the follicle is clogged in any way.

The best way to clean and nourish clogged hair follicles is through oil massage and vigorous brushing. What oil should one use?

Any Indian grocery shop will offer a number of excellent hair oils. These consist of the essential oils of Ayurvedic herbs, like amla and brahmi, mixed into base oils such as coconut, sesame seed, and almond.

Alternatively, one can mix 40 drops each of rosemary, lavender, thyme and lemon oils into a 100ml bottle of pure almond oil. I personally use this oil, as it is much lighter than the traditional formulas.

The real secret is not in what you use, but how you use it.

Begin by pouring the oil of your choice on your head. And I mean pour! My mother describes how her aunt would fill the palm of her hand with as much oil as it could hold and then pour the oil on the top of the head of the person she was oiling.

A dab of oil acts like a dust trap and probably does more harm than good. The oil has to soak into the scalp. Only then does it reach the follicles!

You must then distribute the oil by using the tips of your fingers to massage your scalp. Use small, circular, clockwise movements from the forehead to the nape and then from ear to ear. Try to move the scalp rather than the hair itself. Finally, pick up small strands of hair and give them gentle tugs!

“But this will pull all my hair out!” insisted my sister-in-law Leila.

I noticed a lot of hair coming out the first few times I massaged my hair this way. But I realized that this hair was simply weak, dying hair that would have fallen out very soon anyway. Within a few weeks, I began noticing that only a few hairs were falling out and that a thick fuzz of new growth was covering my scalp!

It is surprising how much oil the scalp absorbs. Traditionally, in India the remaining oil is combed through the hair, right to the ends. This job could take hours depending on how long and thick the hair was. However, I find that a rubber styling brush does the job much better and more quickly. Pass the brush through the hair from the scalp until the point where it gets stuck. No need to tug! Go back to the scalp and pass the brush again. After a few passes, the brush will go smoothly through the hair from top to the very ends. Brush from the nape of the head to the crown, from one ear to the other, and finally from the hairline back to the nape. Continue brushing until your scalp feels all tingly and your hair is completely smooth.

  • The hair on the other hand must have some natural oil.

Traditionally, the oil was left on the scalp and hair overnight. My mother always covered her pillow with an old towel so as not to stain the pillowcase. I find that a half-hour oil treatment has as much effect as leaving it on for the whole night.

The real problem is to find a shampoo that will remove the excess oil and not dry out the hair and scalp. Most commercial shampoos contain sodium laurel sulfate or ammonium laurel sulfate. These ingredients produce lavish suds. But they also strip the hair shaft of the oil it needs to remain soft and flexible. My experience is that sodium laurel sulfate also slows hair growth.

Traditional Ayurveda recommends a variety of products for washing the hair. Most of these are messy and difficult to use. For instance, I wouldn’t advise using a paste of flour and tamarind juice, or a paste of henna, or even mashed, ripe banana mixed with yogurt! The following, however, are as easy to use as commercial shampoos without any of the harmful side effects:

  • Basic Ayurvedic shampoo recipe.

Soak a handful each of dried amla, reetha nuts, and shikakai pods overnight in two pints of water. The next morning, boil until the half of the mixture has evaporated. Cool and strain into a jug. This decoction can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Amla, reetha, and shikakai are inexpensive herbal products. They are available in any Indian grocery store as well as on the Internet.

Reetha and shikakai contain saponin, a natural cleansing agent. They have been used for washing everything from woolen rugs to silken saris to gold and silver jewelry, and of course hair, for centuries. Some scholars even believe that the word "shampoo" is derived from the word shikakai. These herbs have to be softened by soaking and boiling, but they produce copious suds and clean the hair and scalp effectively.

Amla is the Indian gooseberry. It has one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C in the world—about five times as much as oranges! The amla is essential to soften and condition the hair because the soap nuts leave the hair a little brittle. Amla prevents dandruff, stimulates hair growth, and retards graying.

Are these products safe? They have been used by millions of people for about four thousand years and the only complaint is that reetha tastes bad!

  • An equally effective alternative is lentil shampoo.

Soak two tablespoons of urad dhal (black gram) in a pint of water until the grains swell. Boil until cooked and very soft. Blend the mixture at high speed until it turns frothy. Strange as this seems, it works just like shampoo. It leaves the hair squeaky clean and very soft.

  • When I first came to Canada and did not know where to obtain soap nuts or amla, I used pure Castile liquid soap diluted with an infusion of rosemary and chamomile.

The trick is to use the shampoo directly on dry (or to be precise oily hair). Do not wet the hair. Oil does not mix with water (very elementary chemistry). The shampoo will not react and the hair will remain dirty. Massage the scalp clockwise, making sure that the scalp and hair are fully covered by the shampoo. Leave on the hair for a few minutes. Rinse well. Repeat but with a very diluted shampoo. This second shampooing usually produces lavish suds. Rinse again. If one wishes, one can rinse with an infusion of rosemary, chamomile, lavendar, or hibiscus flowers. The hair will be clean but supple with a lovely scent.

  • Hair must be totally dry before it is combed.

The Ayurvedic method for drying hair is fuss-free and effective. After wringing the hair (a lot of water can be removed this way) I dry the scalp by vigorously rubbing with a small washcloth. The scalp should become pink. I then blot the hair dry with a soft cotton cloth (old T-shirts are ideal). When my hair is no longer dripping, I wrap it up in another T-shirt and let it dry naturally. I never, ever use a hair dryer. My hair does take a couple of hours to dry. But I use this time either to relax or to catch up on my work.

When I described my hair routine to my friend Seema she exclaimed, “But that too much work!” Well, it is a bit of work. But the results are worth it!

One result of the traditional oiling and shampoo is there is generally no need for conditioner or hair serum. The hair is smooth and almost tangle-free with hardly any split ends. Sometimes I rub a few drops of coconut or almond oil into the very ends, but that is all. Brushing takes only a few minutes. Brushing dry hair is the reverse of brushing oily hair: I start at the ends and gradually work any tangles out by starting each pass of the brush a few inches higher up until I reach the scalp.

I have never used a boar bristle brush. I find that a styling brush with rubber bristles works very well.

One drawback to the traditional shampoo is that no one knows how the reetha/shikakai will affect blonde or reddish hair. For this reason, I advise my blonde and redhead friends to use Castile shampoo diluted with chamomile infusion. Otherwise, it seems to work on any hair type and at any age. My Arab friends Lubna and Aisha rave about it as well as my Italian friend Francesca. My seventy-seven-year-old mother was surprised to see new hair sprouting on her hairline and part!

  • How often should one oil and massage the scalp?

Daily would be ideal. I did this during a summer vacation and this was the time, my hair really grew back. Now I maintain my hair by repeating the treatment once or twice a week.

I was very excited when I started using the Ayurvedic method and experiencing the results. I started telling a lot of people about it. Surprisingly, most people do not want to give up their favorite shampoo and conditioner! I was even accused of being a salesperson for soap nuts and amla! In the true yogic spirit, I do not answer back.

But I still say that anyone who really wants healthy, natural looking hair should at least give Ayurvedic hair care a try.

Comments 92 comments

venkat 6 weeks ago

very nice ur longhair


ImaniJones profile image

ImaniJones 3 months ago

thats awesome information! have heard a lot about ayurvedic products. a friend recently told me about this jamaican black castor oil based conditioner by sheamoisture. it was a strengthen grow restore conditioner i think. would that be an ayurvedic ingredient product? sounds natural to me. you can check it here -

http://www.sheamoisture.com/Jamaican-Black-Castor-...


Kee 11 months ago

Would any of these strategies work on curly African American hair (about mid-chest length)?


Kay 11 months ago

Hi,

I love your post. It is very informative. I have just one question about the use of the shampoo. I think the Castile soap's ph is too high for my hair. Could I not use a sulphate free shampoo instead?


wizmo 14 months ago

Hi,

Thanks for sharing you hair growth with us. It was quite interesting to read this article. From this article it is very clear that age has nothing to do with hair growth. If you take care of you hair scalp and hair properly anything is possible. Thanks once a again sir.


karina 16 months ago

Does this work on curly hair? After seeing the shampooing process, on top of the fact that curly hair is naturally very dry, I feel this would damage my hair more than helping it. Also completely dry half before brushing sounds absolutely ludicrous for a girl with curly hair. That would break my hair and make it frizzy if I did this. Can you brush your hair wet if this is your situation?


nishi 18 months ago

ur tips r awesome . wil try the dal shampoo soon.

plzzz plzzzz tel me that can i carry indian herbs like brahmi buti , baal chad etc with me .will it be allowed or prohibited at the toronto airport?

plzzzz plzzzzz any1 who has the info do reply and help me i wil b vry thankful to u...thank u..


nishi 18 months ago

hi can you please tell me that do we get amla reetha shikakai in solid form in toronto?

if i take these from india , will it be allowed or prohibited at the toronto airport? plzzzzplzzzz do reply


Sneha 20 months ago

I have been using the urad dhal shampoo for almost 2.5 yrs, after reading this post. I experienced very good results. Now I have shifted to another place and the dhal shampoo does not seem to work for me. This place has a little hard water. Does the shampoo not work with hard water ?


Shar D 20 months ago

can i do this with the powders and if so how much


sana 23 months ago

If I am using powders (amla,shikakai etc),do I have to oil my hair before shampooing wth it ? And can I use acv rinse after this for a conditioning effect as my hairs are quite dry and brittle ?


shirin 23 months ago

If I am using powders (amla,shikakai etc),do I have to oil my hair before shampooing wth it ? And can I use acv rinse after this for a conditioning effect as my hairs are quite dry and brittle ?


Rapunzel 2 years ago

Thank you for posting this!!! I've always wanted hair to my ankles and this is a great and healthy approach. Thanks!


priyadarshini 2 years ago

Hi Habmath

Do you recommend Meera shampoo?

Also let me is rinsing hair with plain water daily is advisible


aesta1 profile image

aesta1 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

This is just the information I need. I oiled my hair the other day and was afraid to do this often but after reading this, I will do this everyday for now when I have the time. I will look for almond oil. Right now, I am using coconut oil. I thick though that my post oiling shampoo is very strong. Maybe, when I get back to Canada, I will be able to find these ingredients for the shampoo you described here.


JenDen 2 years ago

Hi, my mother did the same for me and I got rid off my dandruff in 2 weeks, its surprising as I went to a doctor and she advised a topical solution and that did not cure my dndruff but coconut oil and vigorous rubbing on my scalp cured in 2 weeks.

My mother then advised me to use coconut oil on my scalp everynight and then I braid my hair to work the next day as most of the oil gets absorbed in the scalp overnight. However, I have stopped to apply a lot of oil on my scalp like my mother does and only apply a little as I dont wash my hair everyday.

The question is, you mentioned little oil in the scalp does more harm than good, what will you advise me?

Thanks for your reply :)


PkBridal.com 2 years ago

Nice Post


sheetal 2 years ago

Lovely blog . .


Dilip Singh 2 years ago

Hello,

The people who don’t know about the recent discoveries may know it through this post.

So everyone who has the same problem of Hair loss as I had, can resolve it as easily as I and my so many friends removed it.

I also had the baldness at the very younger age and as your grandmother's formulas; I also tried but they are really so irritating and also either slow results or not results.

So I would suggest only Minoxidil 15, when you can spend money on hair oils why not on Minoxidil 15. Just in 2-3 weeks the results are clearly shown.

For make it easier I would suggest minoxidil15express.com

From where I received not only the product but the guidance to use it properly.


Misbah 2 years ago

Hi!

Isn't liquide castile soap too alkaline for the scalp?

What is the ideal PH for the scalp? And does an imbalance of the PH cause hair loss?

I have been suffering from severe hairless after using reetha (alone) in place of shampoo. I used it for about 2 weeks until I started noticing my hair started falling out. I immediately gave it up and switched to a baby shampoo. Didn't work. I went to a trichologist and he prescribed a shampoo which and treatment which didn't do much either. The treatment irritated my scalp so I gave it up too. Still in the process of figuring out what went wrong..

My theory is that the reetha was too acidic and completely threw off the PH of my scalp?


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 2 years ago Author

In my personal experience, it has not reversed greying. But it hasn't accelerated it either. Give it a try for at least three months.


Raji 2 years ago

I have lot of grey Hairs at my temple. Will this shampoo help with greying too?


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 2 years ago Author

Sorry all for not replying sooner. When given a choice, I would advise boiling amla, reetha and shikakai pods, straining the decoction and using it as a shampoo. However, since I too have found that the powders seem to be more readily available. This is how I use them: about a teaspoon each of amla, reetha, shikakai, and methi (fenugreek) powders mixed together with enough warm water to make a thin paste. Let the mixture soak overnight. Blend (with more water, if needed) at high speed. The mixture becomes foamy, even sudsy, at times. Use this as a shampoo but on dry hair. I find that it works as well as the decoction. It doesn't discolour the tub or shower too much. And best of all no powdery residue left in the hair! I hope my readers will at least try this method and write to me their experiences and comments.


niladri 2 years ago

Aveldia: I recently read about clary sage being a powerful blood pressure reducer here...http://www.beeyoutiful.com/clary-sage-essential-oi...

I have personally tried lots of natural remedies for hair loss and I would say to follow the instructions on this websites to a tee, with no alteration whatsoever, only then can the ayyurvedic method work.


Aveldia 2 years ago

Love your post. I'm almost 60yrs old, I;m an African American female. Before I started taken Blood Pressure meds I could cut my hair every year or two and it would grow back within a year now it hardly grows at all. What method would you recommend that would be an overall effective treatment for me to try. Because I miss my hair..


shandra slack 2 years ago

How much of the lentil mixture do I use for shampoo? Should I leave it to sit on my hair or just massage and rinse? Can I store the leftover lentil shampoo in the fridge?


Tay 2 years ago

Hi Habmath,

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences, I for one am greatful as I am obsessed with my hairgrowth.

Unfortunately it hasn't been a fruitful journey for me.

I am 19 going on 20 and desire long thick healthy looking hair. I've tried all the creams and butters but nothing seem to work.

I had long thick hair at a certain age when I was younger, my mom couldn't maintain my hair and used chemical straightener to thin it out.

You could say after that my hair struggled growing.

To keep my hair in shape I used many treatments and aswell as heat because my hair is quite thick when left to dry naturally.

I read your page and I'm so impressed, I want to get started asap.

I am going to start with your hair care routine as soon as I get all the necessary things I need for the specialized oil and shampoo.

Oh yes, my hair is currently above my shoulders as I cut it, my hairdresser insisted that this was the thing to do to grow my hair still no luck.

I still chemical straighten my hair, but will stop that if it interfere with your technique.

I would really love to go on this hair care journey, if there's anyway I can hear from you on a monthly basis to keep track of my progress, or to advise me in any other way to help aid my hair please let me know.

I'll keep track of your comments and read your page or you can email me at chante.adams7@gmail.com

Thanks so much, waiting to hear from you.

Tay.


rulebreaker 2 years ago

i used amla reetha shikakai powder as a paste on my hair,washed with reetha shampoo after 1 hr.it made my hair even more brittle and dry .what should i do?


jan 2 years ago

Thanks for posting this article it was very interesting and helpful.


Naomi 2 years ago

Can I use reetha and shikakai boiled and strained and then use the powder form of amla and let sit in my hair for a bit? Or do I have to have all three in either powder or original form


Habeeba 2 years ago

My method is not exact. If you think using a lot of oil causes hair fall, stop and you with whatever works for you


Rob 2 years ago

Dear Habmath,

thank you for this hub/post!!!!!

I suffer from hair loss. I m trying khadi vitalizing oil for two weeks now. Before I came across your hub/blog I used a small amount of this oil twice a week. My hair loss got less. :)

But when I use more amount of the oil--as it is described in your hub--I lose more hair again. :( Is that normal? How many hairs did you lose first? Can you remember?

Thank you in advance!!!


Dp Singh 2 years ago

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Colette 3 years ago

"Soak a handful each of dried amla, reetha nuts, and shikakai pods overnight in two pints of water. Boil the next morning until the mixture is halved. Cool and strain into a jug."

I went to my local Indian grocer and picked up amla, reetha and shikakai, but they only had them in powdered form. What amounts of the powder should I use and how should I combine them?


Poonam 3 years ago

Hello

i loved reading ur article on holistic approach to hair ... i had used this shampoo many years back and it had worked wonders for me then ,,thick hair plus new growth but as time passed by i stopped using it as it is time consuming etc but now i m again loosing lots of hair and wish to give it a try..after reading ur article i felt encouraged to try again...i just wanted to ask u following ..

1) can i use coconut oil .. lemon and rosemary for daily massage ??

2) i will love to use the shampoo but the procedure u hv mentioned to dry ie..rubbing the scalp till it becomes pink scares me a bit as i hv lost many of my hair on the top of my head plus residing hairline..can i pass tht ??

3) so according to this article...massaging the oil daily the way u hv mentioned and washing with herbs everyday will induce hair growth ??

kindly advice ...

rgds

Poonam :)


AdriW 3 years ago

Hello,

I am very interested in growing my hair down to my butt, where can I get the ingrediants online that are inexpensive? I live in North America.

Also what kind of shampoo are we supposed to dilute for the second shampooing? Please answer back soon, thanks so much!


Shantell 3 years ago

If ordering online, where do you recommend buying from?


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 4 years ago Author

Yes,you can use white urad dal.you might find my hub"Natural homemade shampoos" useful


Ember 4 years ago

This is an excellent article, I'm so happy you posted it. With the lentil shampoo, can you use udad dal ("white" lentils ... the black coating has been removed) instead of urad dal (black)? We have a large bag of udad dal and I'd like to use it if it's not been stripped of its saponification characteristics. I may simply try this without your response just to see what happens. (I've been using baking soda for a wash and apple cider vinegar to rinse for six weeks and I'm ready to try something else.)


Sim 4 years ago

Hi thnk you for sharing ur tip . I am from india and I started loosing my hair in my early teens now it's been 7 yrs n soo many doctors later noo use . My hai comes out very easily . I have very fine powdery dandruff n very fine hair n a few bald patches. Plzz recommend something for me as m soo scared too loose what is left on my head I have shoulder length hair plz reply me ...


annie 4 years ago

Can I use Pure castile soap made w/ organic oils?

^ & yes I think the diluted version is a mixture of water.


neha haldankar 4 years ago

I want farst grow hairs oil


shweta 4 years ago

what does a more dilute shampoo for the second time mean?

is it the blended mixture with water?


shweta 4 years ago

Hi,

I want to try this method.I only wanted to understand that if oiling needs to be done daily, then would washing also be done daily? Currently I wash my hair everyday as it gets very oily if i do not wash and causes dandruff.


Shi 4 years ago

How much oil should I use? And should I apply from scalp all the way to the ends ?

Thanks


Kristin 4 years ago

What is your preferred method of washing out the oil? I have tried this with the diluted castile soap but it didn't seem to get all the oil out and yet my hair still feels kind of rough. I have curly, relatively dry hair and am really trying to find an effective, all natural hair care routine. Thanks!


Afsuneh profile image

Afsuneh 4 years ago

Hi! thank you this was so helpful! would you help me with my hair problem? I currently have tailbone length hair and am going to cut it up to about shoulder length to donate; and i would like to then continue to grow my hair til mid thigh or classic length(halfway of the body). I would like to know what you recommend for me to have the most successful growing process and how to keep my hair healthy to promote growth and strength. I have thick dark eastern Indian hair that is naturally curly if that helps. I know that's a lot but thank you!


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 4 years ago Author

Traditionally, the hair had to drip (literally) with oil.And only fingers were used. Use as much as you feel comfortable with and apply it any way you prefer. The important point is to actually use oil!


Swati 4 years ago

so, technically, we have to use a lot of oil every time or is it enough to cover the hair with oil??? I mean should it drip or not??? or, rather when I hold my hair, should I feel like if I squeeze it, it will drip the oil??? how will I know how much oil should I apply on my scalp??? and, also, is there any theory in applying oil with a cotton ball??

I know that's lot of questions :) thanks a lot!!!


Sujatha 4 years ago

Can we use green gram instead of black gram?


angelF 4 years ago

i am trying to grow my hair soft and shiny. it is about shoulder length now but the back is longer than the frontal hair.

am i to trim it to equal length or leave it to grow?

i heard brushing of hair is bad for hair because it breaks hair,is this true? i only comb my hair,i never brush.

pls i will welcome any ideas 'Kitties4real@gmail.com'

i really want to grow my hair,i want my true beuty to shine out. help me pls


depressed 4 years ago

hello i am 20 and i am loosing hair from the past 8 years, went to literly all the top dermatologists, tried many many home remedies, the last derma said its androgenetic aloepecia and there is no cure for it, i cant tie my hair back in a pony or even side part thm, my frnd says you are going bald,i even shaved my head once to no use, do you have any remeedy to help me since i am a girl its highly depressing to have such a situation :( and i cant even oil my hair, they come in my hand if i touch them with oiled hands, help plz


queenfluff 4 years ago

I wanted to thank you for your informative tips on hair. I tried the 30 min coconut oiling today and I was surprised at how easy the oil came out of my hair. The not "wetting the hair" tip I believe is the key. I remember once I put entire avocado on my hair and it was very hard to get all the oil out and my hair remained slightly oily for several days after (it always eventually comes out on its own) but never though of the whole "water and oil don't mix thing" when it comes to hair - but it makes perfect sense. I plan to start doing this at least once a week. I found that I didn't need as much as oil as I thought which was good because I only had so much coconut oil today! I forgot to comb through. Since I used to be a hairdresser, I was always taught not to use a brush on wet hair - use a wide tooth comb. :) I use Giovanni Smooth as Silk shampoo and I coated my coconut oiled hair with that and rubbed it in a bit, let it sit a mintue or two than wet it and tried lather up. That removed most of the oil but than I did the diluted second shampoo (I made sure to get my scalp too) and that removed the rest! I didn't use my normal conditioner and I always let my hair dry naturally anyhow (my hair grows in too dry for anything else!)I hope this helps my hair grow in better as ever since I took Accutane 10 years ago - it never grows in as well as it did before. I don't do anything else to my hair anymore and take vitamins but still not growing in as it should. I was interested in what you said about normal conditioner clogging up the follicules. Do you feel that coconut oil on the scalp releases this? Also I was wondering what your diet is? I am vegan so I find it hard to get everything I need for hair. Either way thanks for the detailed tips!


Sonya 4 years ago

Hi Habmath,

Thanks for the great article and for sharing your Ayurvedic knowledge.

I wonder if I could soak my hair in oils, because my hair is fairly greasy close to the scalp, in particular the temples/ears areas and have drier ends, so not sure putting oil would worsen the greasiness of my scalp; maybe I can put oil just on my ends for about 1 hour, what do you think?


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 5 years ago Author

Unless your hair is very thick or long, about a tablespoon of liquid shampoo should be enough. By infusion , I mean boiling about a handful of dried herbs in a 2 cups of distilled water until one cup of fluid remains. Then strain the infusion and use it to dilute the shampoo and/or rinse your hair. Don't worry too much about the exact measurements and technique.Just do what works for you. Hope you try this and like it!


Stacy 5 years ago

Thanks for the article. I'm so glad I came across it. I've struggled most of my life with scalp issues. I'm currently pretty pleased with a combination of a clear shampoo and an ACV rinse. However, I'd really like to try this and see if I notice additional hair growth! I would also love if my hair ever got to the point that I could go multiple days without washing, as I currently wash every day.

Can you give me a bit more information on the Castile soap shampoo? What ratio of water to soap do you use to dilute? When you say "infused" with chamomile and rosemary, are you referring to drops of essential oil, or something else?


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 5 years ago Author

A spa offering oil massages and natural shampoos would really take the work out of holistic hair treatments while providing much needed rest and relaxation.Unfortunately I don't know of any. However, Indian and Chinese ladies all over Toronto are operating small beauty parlors.They might accommodate you for hair massage and shampoo as well as henna treatment for hair. You could also team up with a girl friend and help each other massage your scalps and shampoo your hair.


Tamara Katie 5 years ago

bestspa Toronto

I would like to know the best spa Toronto Canada, if you have any information Please do share.


A. Schwob 5 years ago

I am 18, so I haven't had any kids. I still have "young" hair: it grows pretty fast. However, my hair is thin and breaks EXTREMELY easy, and it also is quite lack-luster. I know my diet plays a key role in hair health, but I'm wondering if some of your methods might help? I have an Irish/ European background and have light brown hair, so do these methods even apply to me? Thanks.


B. Ferguson profile image

B. Ferguson 5 years ago from USA

I know people who have had great success using mira hair oil. Its formula is based on the Ayurveda philosophy as well. Although it doesn't work for everyone in treating hair loss, it does seem to improve the look of everyone's hair. I don't like the fact that you have to leave in on overnight though. For some people better hair is worth it. This article explains the oil a bit more: http://makehairthicker.net/will-mira-oil-make-hair...


Jannah 5 years ago

Habmath

I stopped using the lentil shampoo Bc it was causing too much Hairloss but the other shampoo is working great. My Hairloss decreased from 100 hairs a day to the range of 30 to 40 on shower days. My question is that does this method allow for hair regrowth in places where the hair hasn't been growing for awhile??? Did it increase your hair Overall and how Long did it take?

Thanks!!!


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 5 years ago Author

This is a trick for removing oil which I tried recently. It worked very well for me so do give it a try. Dissolve about a tbsp of baking soda in half a cup of warm water. Rub this over dry (or rather oily) scalp. If hair is really oily wet it with some of the baking soda mixture. Then shampoo the hair with the natural shampoo. See how this works out. But remember, do NOT wet oily hair before using any shampoo especially natural ones.


Jannah 5 years ago

Hi habmath. I was wondering about how much tbsp of oil do u use. I have a couple of more questions about the lentil shampoo Bc it is not taking out the oil out of my hair at all. Can you please email me? Pureafghani@yahoo.com


gundu 5 years ago

Habmath- remember I told you- I will let you know after I use blackgram for hair- I used it- but I forgot to boil before grinding- I used it directly witout wetting the hair with water. It did take out the oil that I applied for hair well. I dont like shampoos as it does not cleanse well and also the shampood amake my hair look skinny. Besan and green gram also cleanses my bottom length hair pretty well. Thankyou for your tips,


kavita chandra 6 years ago

Dear Habmath,

I have been losing hair from last 5 months now. All medical tests have come beck normal. I have medium to thick hair. I have lost around 10% of hair in the last 5 months. Just a lot of shedding no bald spots.

When I wash my hair after oiling and using reetha amla shikakai..total I lose around 150 hair which I am doing twice a week. I have been doing this from last 1 month. Everyday I comb once and the loss range from 25 to 50 hair. I am indian and have hair around 5 inches below my shoulders.

Possibly I am using too much reetha ( 10pods) which makes my hair dry and causes more loss on the day I wash. I take 4 shikakai and may be 10 broken amla pieces.And I have to scrub to get oil out.

My question is that am I using too much of these herbs which is causing more hair to come out on the day of the wash?

Also If I do an apple cider vinegar rinse as a last rinse...will it make my hair softer.

Does this hair loss sound very excessive to you?.....especially on the day I wash.

What change in my hair care routine can I make to minimize this loss on washing day.

I live in virginia and am 39 years old with 2 kids.

Wondering if I could talk to you on the phone. I am losing my mind over this.

My email is

kavita_chandra@verizon.net

Thank you

Kavita


shalini 6 years ago

my mother told me today that she used to wash hair this way.


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 6 years ago Author

How often you massage and shampoo depends on how dirty your hair gets. For instance, in Toronto once a week in winter, twice a week in summer seems enough. In Karachi,however, alternate days or even daily is needed.

There may be more hair loss in the beginning. This should be old and weak hair.You should see new growth within three months.


kavita chandra 6 years ago

Thank you for your reply. I have hair loss for around 3 and half months now. Went to the dermatologist and she put me on a bunch of vitamins and advised me to use rogaine. I am not in favor of this. Have started using a aromatherapy oil ( a blend of 17 oils sent by my mother from India) and want to use reetha amla shikakai.

My question is ...Should I expect to see more hair loss in the beginning?

Also how often should I do oil message ang wash hair with reetha amla shikakai

Thanks in advance,

kavita


Top 10 Shampoos 6 years ago

Hi Habmath,

Thanks for the informative post about the hair care. Nice reading, i have also posted the Top 10 Shampoo list for oily hair, hope you dont mind it, just it is about the topic and wanted to share.

http://www.iknowhair.com/top-10-shampoo-for-oily-h...

Thanks


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 6 years ago Author

I think you will find my hub "Natural Shampoos" useful.

As to your query: About 4-6 amla, 2-3 shikakai and 2-3 reetha should be enough for medium length hair.Also try increasing your intake of MUFA's as well as omega 3 and oil of evening primrose. I am currently working on another hub " Natural ways to improve hair growth". Hope you will read it too.


kavita Chandra 6 years ago

hello,

Thank you for a wonderful article. I have been shedding a LOT of hair from last two months. have tried Reetha, amla and shikakai...but it makes my hair very dry. Am I using too much reetha.

How many Reetha pods do you recommend for medium length hair. I want to stop using commercial shampoos as nothing is suiting me.

Thanks


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 6 years ago Author

I dilute apple cider vinegar with plain water. As to whether the apple cider vinegar will remove the oil or not, you will have to try and see whether it works for you or not. It seems to depend on the individual hair type-- my sister whose hair is very fine and straight always rinses with ACV solution and it works for her. I myself prefer to simply shampoo twice--the second shampoo is very dilute.No point in using ACV with amla as they are (chemically) very similar. However experiment (being natural substances, they will do no harm). And do let me know about the results!


pam 6 years ago

oops sorry I accidently I posted twice!


pam 6 years ago

Thank you for your reply. Do you dilute it with water or the amla, reetha and shikakai mixture? And will the apple cider vinegar take out the remaining oil after I've washed my hair once with the dhal shampoo? And can the shampoo be stored in the fridge while maintaining it's effectiveness? Ha sorry I have many questions! Thanks again.


pam 6 years ago

Thank you soo much for your reply. Do you dilute it with water or the amla, reetha and shikakai mixture? And will the apple cider vinegar take out the remaining oil after I've washed my hair once with the dhal shampoo? Thanks.


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 6 years ago Author

The homemade shampoo made with dhal, amla, reetha, and shikakai does work. I have used it and it is very effective. If the oil does not wash out in the first shampoo, I repeat with another (more dilute) shampoo.If you do not like to shampoo twice, you can try rinsing with a mild solution of apple cider vinegar or reetha.


pam 6 years ago

Thank you very much for your article. t is very useful. I was just wondering, can I "boost" my dhal shampoo by replacing the water part in the recipe with a mixture of amla, reetha, and shikakai boiled in water? I thought it might make the shampoo be more effective. Please let me know what you think.


Irum 6 years ago

thanx alot for giving such a nice advice,,,its working great on me.oil treatment is amazing but the only prblm is with shampoo it dsnt take out the oil completely.give me sm tips sbt it,,,,,,m waitng for ur response,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,luv u soooooooo much for solving my prblm


Mina 6 years ago

Thank you so much for this useful article.

Can you tell me how often you do head massage and washing with herbs?

Thank you very much. :-)


gundu 6 years ago

thankyou, I will try again and let you know.


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 6 years ago Author

The trick is not to wet the hair at all. Add enough water to the gram blend; the mixture must be easy to work through the hair.Try to make a bit more than seems necessary. Work mixture through hair well. Leave on for a few minutes. then rinse well with warm water. Repeat if desired. I find that two or three tablespoons of dhal cooked until soft blended with about one cup of warm water is more than enough for me.

If desired you can "boost" the basic mixture by adding a few amla kernels while cooking the dhal or even a tsp of ground amla. This works on even the oiliest hair.Keep me posted on your experiences with dhal shampoo


gundu 6 years ago

I tried black gram thing it did not take out oil at all. Can you please tell me the method of washing hair with this cooked black gram dal. Thankyou


gundu 6 years ago

you are so right- I would say south Indian women still have beautiful long thick hair. My mother had very thick hair- even when she put two plaits it was wrist width each. My hair was very thick but lost after using shampoo in New york. But I will try the black gram solution - thankyou


Habeeba Siddiqua 6 years ago

Loss of hair is variable.However with my present hair care routine, I rarely lose more than thirty hair a day. ( I brush twice a day and shampoo at least twice a week).

I have kept lentil shampoo in the fridge for up to a week.Still freshly made( and warm) is still best.Good luck on your new hair care routine. Try to spresd the word!


veena 6 years ago

how many hairs do you normally lose per day?Thank you for lentil shampoo I NEVER HEARD OF IT BEFORE AND CAN IT STORED IN THE REFRIGERATOR AND THANK YOU AGAIN FOR SHARING YOUR HAIR CARE ROUTINE .I AM FROM AP,INDIA NOT MANY PEOPLE SHARE THEIR SECRETS WHEN IT COMES TO HAIR ESPECIALLY WOMEN.


veena 6 years ago

very good suggestion and thank you.How long did it take for you to see the rsults like less shedding and new hair growth?


HABMATH 6 years ago

Dear Charlotte,

I have never tried using baking soda so I cannot say anything about it. However do try the lentil shampoo.Lentils contain saponins which throughly cleanse hair and scalp and do not affect hair colour


Charlotte 6 years ago

Do you think diluted bakings soda would be a good alternative to castile soap? I've tried castile soap before, and it makes my thin blonde hair hard and tangly.


male hair loss treatment  6 years ago

Thanks for sharing this with us nice to come across information that is of use, keep writing and bring us more of what you know.


steven 7 years ago

I like your article so much.My honor to share cheap ugg boots.


jennyfurlynn 7 years ago

i was using lentil shampoo but i had sls in it. i can't wait to try just boiling plain dal.

thanks for the tips!


HABMATH profile image

HABMATH 7 years ago Author

Amla shikakai and reetha are available in most Indian grocery stores. Another option is to buy them through Internet vendors.

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