What exactly does Aishwarya Rai Bachchan do to obtain that flawless hair? Or, what does Madhuri Dixit Nene do to maintain such healthy hair? What are the secrets behind the wonderfully thick, long and healthy hair of Indian women? If you want to know the answer to this question, I invite you to read the following article.
Have you ever wondered what Bollywood divas do to get such lustrous locks? Well, the great Indian beauty secret behind their smooth and shiny hair is the ancient Indian tradition of hair oiling. And, mind you, hair oiling in India is much more than just a practice of pouring oil onto hair. It is considered as a sacred above-neck ritual that comes from Ayurveda (an ancient Indian healing science that covers all the different aspects of life, such as health or beauty). Hair oiling is one of the essential things that are passed down generations in India.
Hair oiling resembles a bit like a hair mask, but the only difference is that there is only one ingredient: oil. Now, coconut oil is widely used, but it is up to you to choose the type of oil you want. But, still here are a few tips (and interesting facts) to guide you:
- In traditional Ayurvedic texts, it is recommended to use sesame oil during cold seasons and use coconut oil during hot seasons.
- If you are blond, red or light-haired, you should not use traditional Ayurvedic oils such as Brahmi amla and bhringraj, but instead opt for pure apricot, almond, coconut, or even extra virgin olive oil.
- If you have dry, brittle hair, you can choose mustard oil which is one of the best moisturising oils.
This is how Indian women oil their hair (and how you should also):
- Slightly heat some oil in a bowl. Why heating? Because it will increase the penetration in your scalp.
- Using a piece of cotton wool or your own fingers, apply the oil to your scalp. Concentrate the application on your crown area and then massage outwards.
- For all those who have dermatitis or dandruff, make sure you are not too vigorous with the massage. Just try to apply the oil gently.
- Rub the oil over the lengths to the ends, especially if you have damaged hair. Leave it on for at least half an hour or (for best results) overnight.
- It is optional, but if you want, you can rub half a lemon on your scalp and leave it for around fifteen minutes before you wash. This will boost shine and also help the oil come off easily. However, if you have coloured hair, you should definitely avoid this step.
- Washing oiled hair is notice that a bit of oil is left behind. However, slowly, slowly and with a few washes, you will understand how many times you need to shampoo so that the oil comes off but leaves behind a softness.
Indian Hair Masks
Make a Henna Mask
Did you know that henna is an ancient hair secret that many South Asians swear by? Or, did you know that henna can do much more than just colour your hair?
Here are some benefits:
- Due to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties, henna can improve and maintain scalp health.
- It can help to lower oxidative stress, which is said to cause hair loss, hair damage, and premature greying of hair.
- Henna is that nourishing element that can repair damage in the hair shaft and enhance hair elasticity and strength.
- Oily hair can be such a hassle. However, did you know that henna can calm down overzealous sebaceous glands and therefore control your hair oil production?
So, ready to make that hair henna mask:
Ingredients you will need:
- 1 cup henna powder
- 3 tablespoons of amla powder
- 5–10 tablespoons of Brahmi powder
Step 1: Combine the henna powder, amla powder and Brahmi powder together and then add water and stir until you have a creamy consistency.
Step 2: Once you have applied the mixture to your scalp and hair, leave it for at least 30 minutes.
Step 3: Wash off with lukewarm water. Repeat once or twice a week.
If you want to know some more Indian hair tricks, don’t forget to come back for part 2.