Welcome to day twenty eight of my 30 Days of Ayurveda series! Throughout these blogs and videos, I will be sharing some upbeat thoughts and wellness tips, as well as some Ayurvedic tricks and food recommendations to help you lead a balanced life.
It can be really lovely to take care of our hair as well as our skin. In Ayurveda, we recommended that you try the wonderful treatment of putting oil into your hair once a week. Doing this helps to nourish the hair and scalp, as well as give a very feeling of grounding to the nervous system.
You can use lots of different oils for this treatment, including almond oil, sesame oil, coconut oil and argon oil. Whichever oil you choose is dependent on you as a person: what you like, what suits your constitution (that is, your current state of balance or imbalance), as well as taking into consideration any climatic conditions.
I generally recommended that you save coconut oil for the summer months, particularly if you live in the Northern hemisphere. Summer is a great time of year to use coconut oil because you can see it naturally turn more to a liquid form rather than a solid form.
All about Neelibringadi
In Ayurveda, we prepare a herbal hair oil called Neelybringadi. It combines coconut oil and sesame oil with some special herbs, including Neeli (the indigo plant), Bhringaraj and Amla (which we find in Triphala). Some other herbs are usually added for good measure.
This particular herbal oil (or your own oil that you make up) can help treat all kinds of problems; for example, dandruff, flaky skin, dry and lack-lustre hair, or even hair growth that has been less than sub-optimal!
How to apply oil to your hair
You don’t necessarily have to use that much. Simply put some oil into the palm of your hand, work it into your fingertips, and then massage it into the scalp.
Ayurveda have a whole range of lovely scalp massaging techniques, many of which we are told have their roots in Indian head massage. One of my favourites is the pincer technique, where you move the fingers in and out as you work down the scalp. You don’t need to press the fingers into the scalp too hard; instead, aim for a gentle, rhythmic massage. Another technique involves circular movements with your fingers as you work your way around the scalp.
Massage the oil into the scalp and then pull it down to the tips of your hair, working it all the way through to the ends. Once you have finished, tie up your hair. Put on a shower cap, and keep it on for a minimum of half an hour. If possible, I would recommend that you do this at the end of the week, maybe on a Sunday. Keep the shower cap on throughout the course of the day, and then wash out the oil later on in the afternoon.
How to remove the oil from your hair
In Ayurveda, we traditionally use herbal powders to work the oil out of the hair, but shampoo also works brilliantly. I suggest putting the shampoo onto the oily, dry hair first. Massage it in and then rinse it out with cool to warm water. You may need to apply some more shampoo afterwards to thoroughly get all the oil out. However, after several weeks of doing this process, you should find that your hair gains more lustre and any signs of a dry scalp disappear!
Over the next 30 days, I will be sharing even more tips and tricks to help you build some great Ayurvedic routines. Hopefully, they will soon be imbedded in your life and you can progress with them. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting on, and why share how oiling your hair has made a difference? Find me on Instagram @anneheigham and on YouTube.