Ayurvedic health care has been practiced for nearly 5,000 years. It is a holistic approach that focuses on balancing the three different types of energy in the body -- Vata, Pitta and Kapha. According to Ayurvedic beliefs, each person has a predominant energy type. Ayurvedic hair care takes your energy type into account when addressing your hair issues. Oiling the scalp and hair has traditionally been used to promote healthy hair, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune. You can make your own Ayurvedic hair oil inexpensively at home.
Isolate which dosha -- pattern of energy -- is strongest in you, because this energy will be reflected in the natural state of your hair. According to Shreelata Suresh, writer with the World of Aromatherapy website, "If your hair is thin, dry and frizzy and prone to split-ends, you have Vata hair. If you have fine hair prone to premature thinning or graying, you are Pitta-predominant. If you are predominantly Kapha, your hair will tend to be thick and oily."
Choose your base oil. Almond or sesame oil is best for Vata-predominant hair. Pitta-predominant hair responds best to coconut oil, and either sesame or olive oil is most compatible with Kapha-predominant tresses.
Choose your herbs. Amalaki, hibiscus, jasmine, lavender and rosemary are good for all types of hair. Brahmi calms and nourishes Vata hair, while bhringarai does the same for Pitta-dominant hair. The cleansing and purifying aspects of Neem work especially well with Kapha hair.
Place 1 teaspoon of dried herbs in a small bowl. If you are using several herbs, you can mix them and put a teaspoon of the mixture in the bowl, or you can use 1 teaspoon of each.
Add 1 teaspoon of boiling water to the herbs. If you have used several herbs measured individually, use 1 teaspoon of water for each teaspoon of herbs. Stir the herbs and water thoroughly and let them sit for at least two hours.
Place the mixture into a small pot and add 4 teaspoons of your base oil for each teaspoon of herbs. For example, if you have 1 teaspoon each of amalaki, lavender and jasmine, you will need 12 teaspoons of oil.
Warm the herbs and oil over very low heat, stirring occasionally so that the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the pot. Let it warm for at least an hour. The lower the heat and the longer amount of time the oils and herbs warm together, the more potent your Ayurvedic hair oil will be.
Pour the herb and oil mixture out of the pot and into a clean glass bowl, straining it though a fine mesh strainer or fine cheesecloth. Throw away the solids.
Let the oil come to room temperature and then return it to the pot, making sure you rinse out the pot to remove any herb residue first. Heat the Ayurvedic hair oil over very low heat for at least 20 minutes to steam away any remaining water.
Set the oil aside until it is cool enough not to burn you, and pour it into a dark glass or plastic bottle with a stopper or top that closes tightly.
- Store different herb and oil mixtures in colored glass bottles with handmade labels for a pretty addition to your vanity or dressing table.
- Never heat Ayurvedic hair oil over high heat, as this will scorch the herbs.
Brynne Chandler raised three children alone while travelling, remodeling old homes, taking classes at the Unioversity of California Northridge and enjoying a successful career writing TV Animation. Her passions include cooking, tinkering, decorating and muscle cars. Brynne has been writing fun and informative non-fiction articles for almost a decade. She is hard at work on her first cookbook, which combines healthy eating with science-based natural remedies.
Jasmine Beaghler/Demand Media