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DIY Indian Head Massage with Oil (Shiro Abhianga)

Updated on September 1, 2015

Indian hair massage with oil (Heavy oiling)

This massage is both extremely relaxing and serves as hair conditioning for extremely dry and damaged hair. It's an Indian milenar tradition, mentioned in the Ayurveda, to make this massage once or twice a week. Women in India do this as basic hair care, and the results are simply amazing. It may seem bizarre to apply so much oil in the hair, but this oil is completely washed afterwards, as it penetrates the scalp and treats the hair from inside out. The most commonly used oil is coconut oil, but it can be any vegetable oil (almond, grapeseed, even olive oil can be used), as long as it is 100% vegetable, with no fragrances or mineral oil added. It must be done correctly, or it will have no effect at all.

What You'll Need

  • 100% vegetable oil (may be any vegetable oil, coconut oil being the most common)
  • Hair shampoo
  • Hair conditioner (optional)
  • Towel


1 - Sit comfortably in a chair. Place a towel over your shoulders to prevent the oil from dripping on your clothes. Ask a friend to do it for an even more relaxing experience (optional).

2 - Apply the oil to your scalp and then to your hair until it is saturated.

3 - Massage your scalp in circular movements for 20 minutes. This is deeply relaxing.

4 - Leave the oil in your hair for at least 1 hour. You can leave it overnight.

5 - Shampoo your hair twice or trice until all the superficial oil is removed, so that your hair will not be greasy, and condition it (optional, as the oil is already a powerful conditioner)

6 - Dry your hair naturally or with a hair dryer (allowing it to dry naturally will preserve the conditioning better).

7 - Comb or brush yhour hair and style it as you wish.


  • You can create a spa experience at your home. Play relaxing music, burn incense and candles, create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • You can complement your head massage with body, feet or facial massage or facial masks and other treatments. Have a "Me" time!


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    • Mariana Fuzaro profile image

      Mariana Fuzaro 2 years ago from São Paulo, Brazil

      I'm so happy an Indian liked my article.

    • profile image

      Shakti jha 2 years ago

      That is such a cool post. Being an Indian I grew up with hair oil in my hair. It is relaxing if done right. But unfortunately you can lose a lot of hair because all that scalp massaging causes pulling and breaking of hair. Also, it isn't really the oil that gives Indians the lush hair, it is mere genetic or racial you can say.