Early greying, hair fall, brittle hair, split ends, damaged hair are some of the problems we all experience in our everyday lives. These have reportedly been proven to be consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle, usage of harmful chemicals, pollution and hair care done wrong. Today, we will discuss just the last one.
Warm hair oil has time and again proved to be an excellent remedy for damaged hair. But, before we go into more detail about the benefits of warm hair oil, let’s first revisit some of the myths when it comes to hair care.
Myths Relating To Hair Care
1. Cutting Your Hair Makes It Grow Faster
No. The follicles in your scalp determine how much your hair grows and cutting the ends of your hair doesn’t impact the follicles in your scalp. However, you can trim the split ends and prevent the ends of your hair from looking straggly.
2. Rinsing With Cold Water Makes Your Hair Shinier
No. Coldwater, according to experts, closes the cuticle of your hair. That’s it. If you want it shiny, apply conditioner, moisturizing mask, eat healthily or even use hair oil.
3. Plucking Your Grey Hair Makes Them Grow Faster
Not really. If you pluck grey hair, the follicle and scalp get stressed. So when the hair strand does grow back it is of much thicker and coarser texture.
4. Shampoo Your Hair Regularly
Yes, only if you are interested in making it dry. This is because, while keeping your hair and scalp clean is important, overdoing it can strip your hair of its natural moisture.
5. Brushing Your Hair Often Helps Keep Hair Healthy
Brushing, especially soon after taking a bath can loosen the roots of your hair, which means more hair fall.
Let’s Just Talk About Hair Oil
There are two lobbies when it comes to hair oil. One believes that hair oil keeps the scalp moisturized and helps the hair grow. Another lobby believes that hair oil is not important and a healthy diet is at the root of luscious hair. Both lobbies are right and wrong at the same time.
1. Why Does Your Hair Need Oil?
Some oils can penetrate the hair cuticle and make it healthier. Besides, it protects the cuticle by covering it, helps detangle hair, and the fatty acids in them replace the lipids in hair when it starts to become thin.
2. How About Warm Hair Oil Massage?
Heat encourages blood flow to the hair follicles and opens up cuticle scales. Besides, it dilates blood vessels and in turn increases blood flow, which brings the stress level down. Once, the cuticle scales open up, it makes way for nutrients from the oil to nourish the roots and that stimulates hair growth. It also stimulates nerve endings and releases happy hormones.
The warm hair oil also mixes with the existing sebum in your hair that it naturally produces to keep the hair moisturized. The massaging helps spread it through your hair and revitalize it, countering frizziness. A dry scalp often makes way for various hair-related diseases. Oiled hair prevents your scalp from heat and dust as well.
How Hot Should Your Hair Oil Be?
Are you one of those who pour their hair oil into a bowl and heat it in the microwave or on a stove? Well, you are doing it wrong.
It is very important that the temperature of your hair oil, when you opt warm oil for hair massage, be of the right temperature. This is because if the hair treatment oil is too hot it will not only scald your scalp but also damage your hair. But again, if it is not hot enough it will not have any effect. Say, a temperature below 300 degrees Fahrenheit is not hot enough. But again a temperature over 419 degrees Fahrenheit is extremely hot and will melt the natural keratin outside of the cuticle and this damage is irreversible. The optimal temperature of 365 degrees Fahrenheit is the safest temperature when it comes to warming hair oil.
Why Is Only Coconut Oil Not Enough?
Believe it or not, but there are no studies to prove that coconut oil is the go-to solution for your hair troubles. Rather, experts say that coconut oil usually tends to seep into very tiny holes in the hair shafts and prevents a quick-fix. Moreover, coconut oil is not meant for all hair types. Those with fine hair are recommended to use coconut oil rather than people with coarse or dry hair. Warm coconut oil for hair growth provides protein and is ideally suited for hair, which lacks protein.
Why Herbal Hair Oil ‘Treatment’ Is Better?
India with its history of Ayurveda gives us many options, besides coconut oil, that can be used to strengthen hair and improve its quality. Different kinds of oil and herbs can be put together to make a medicine, which can help cleanse the scalp, strengthen hair, control irritation and dandruff, stimulate hair follicles, improve circulation and promote hair growth.
Herbal Oils Which Benefit Hair Growth And Reduce Hair Fall
Hibiscus Flower: Japa Pushpa or hibiscus is a good source of vitamin C, which boosts collagen production, which, in turn, encourages hair growth.
Ginger Lily: Gandha Kachuralu stimulates hair roots and promotes hair growth.
Brahmi: The common herb is known to strengthen hair roots and prevents hair fall.
Bhringraj: False Daisy Besides promoting hair growth, Bhringraj prevents dandruff.
Vata: It is associated with the concept of humor. Such oils or spices helps a person calm down.
Jatamansi: The roots of Jatamansi are usually infused with other kinds of oil and help reduce stress.
Jyotishmati: Also known as black oil plant prevents early greying and baldness
Kumari: Better known as aloe vera, helps keep the hair moisturized
Neem oil: Neem leaves have a high level of antioxidants and promote hair growth.
What If We Heat Ayurvedic Oil Before Hair Massage?
Warm oil for hair will allow the pores in your scalp to open up, allowing the nutrients from the different kinds of oil to enter the scalp and do its magic. Overheating the hair oil will lead to it losing its nutrients.
What Not To Do After A Warm Hair Oil Massage?
1. Don’t Overdo It
It is important that you don’t put too much oil in your hair. While using a generous amount of oil is good, several serves of the generous amount would mean more shampoo to get it off your hair that, in turn, will strip your hair of all the moisture, which you just put in.
2. Don’t Comb Your Hair Immediately
Don’t comb your hair immediately after a warm hair oil massage because you have just managed to calm yourself and relax your scalp. Brushing it would again irritate the scalp that can lead to hair fall. If you need to address the knots, start from the bottom and slowly work up to the top. You could rather opt for a warm towel to wrap your head in. It will trap the heat inside the scalp and keep the oil warm.
Remember, the old proverb ‘prevention is better than cure’. It applies to hair care as well. Given the kind of lifestyle that most of us live — plagued by stress, constrained by deadlines and constantly adapting to a rising level of pollution, it is imperative that even the bare minimum that we do for our hair is done right.
Dr. Tambe (Ayurvedic Practioner)
Dr. Tambe is an Ayurvedic Consultant, practicing in Satara City, Maharashtra for the last 45 years.He comes from a long line of Ayurvedic doctors. His grandfather and father were both Vaidyas, therefore he wanted to continue the family legacy.This year, his family will celebrate 100 years of Ayurvedic service.