Why You Should Put Oil in Your Hair
As this year continues to bring with it many layers of uncertainty and change, it becomes increasingly important to attend to our well-being, create healthy routines, and look for the hidden opportunities available in these times. For example, if you are continuing to shelter at home and have a little more time on your hands, now may be the perfect time to develop a nourishing and supportive daily routine.
Whether you already have a self-care routine in place or you are working to develop one, taking time to care for your hair is a wonderful addition. Weekly oil application to the scalp and hair will not only improve the condition of your locks but will also offer many other holistic benefits. Here’s a handful of those benefits:
- Provides hair and scalp care. Massaging oil into your hair and scalp increases circulation, brings vital nutrients to the hair follicles, and soothes a dry, itchy scalp. It also strengthens and supports the hair at the roots.
- Stimulates marma points. Similar to acupuncture points in Chinese Medicine, marma points are energetic points located around the body. Many of these are located in the head and coincide with nerves and muscles of the skull. Massaging these points brings calm and relaxation. Stimulating and soothing those energetic points will also reduce the effects of stress and allow for a good night’s sleep.
- Balances vata. Vata dosha is the most sensitive dosha and the one most easily thrown out of balance. Slowing down and giving yourself some loving care is an excellent way to bring comfort and balance to this dosha.
- Increases ojas. Ojas is that mysterious essence which gives our lives and our bodies vitality, immunity, and luster. We increase ojas with nourishing foods, self-care practices, restful sleep, and application of oils.
Furthermore, by supporting a deep level of health in the body, increased ojas and balanced vata will assist future healthy hair growth and naturally luscious locks!
What Type of Oil?
The type of oil you choose will largely depend on your constitution and hair type. If you are not sure of your constitution, taking the Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz will give you some helpful insight, not only for your hair but for your well-being too.
Healthy Hair Oil is a wonderful blend of sesame and coconut oils with some key herbs for hair growth, like bhringaraj (known as “ruler of the hair”), amalaki, and brahmi/gotu kola. These are all cooling and cleansing to pitta in the scalp, as well as calming and relaxing to the mind.
An opportune time to oil your hair is during your self-massage, known as abhyanga in Ayurveda, since you will already have everything you need and have set aside the time. You can also oil your hair before bed if you want to leave the oil in overnight for deeper hydration and nourishment.
How To Apply Oil to Your Hair
You will need:
- Healthy Hair Oil, or another oil of your choice
- Pot or bowl filled with hot water to warm the oil bottle
- An old towel if you want to wrap your hair
- Set your oil bottle in the pot or bowl of hot water and wait a few minutes for the oil to warm up.
- Part your hair along the center and lightly apply oil to your scalp along the part. Do this in different sections around your head, rubbing the oil into your scalp to avoid it dripping down your head!
- Now for the best part: the scalp massage! With medium to firm pressure, begin to make circles along each side of your head. It is nice to feel the scalp moving over the skull, and this helps to drain lymphatic fluid, promoting healthy hair growth as well as helping to prevent tension headaches.
- Make slow, gentle, and clockwise circles on the very top of the head to activate a marma point called Adhipati. This point can be gently rubbed at any time with or without oil to bring a sense of peace. You can find this point by placing the base of your hand at the top of the forehead at the hairline and where the middle finger lands is Adhipati Marma.
- Tilt the head forward and massage the back of the head and neck with your thumbs to release tension.
- Take little bunches of hair, twist in a clockwise direction, and gently pull. All hair is connected to a tiny muscle, and this action will improve blood flow to the area.
- The oil will eventually make its way down the hair shaft, but if you would like to create more of an oil mask, add more oil with your hands and work it down to the tips.
- If you have long hair, you can pile it on top of your head and wrap it in a plastic bag or shower cap to create some heat, which will promote deeper absorption of the oil.
The oil can be left in for any amount of time, even overnight! It’s best to wrap the head with a thin towel or piece of fabric so that the head stays warm and you don’t drip oil all over. Make sure to cover your pillow with a towel before sleeping. Oil will stain and eventually ruin any fabric, so be sure to use towels and fabrics you are not overly attached to.
When you are ready to remove the oil, you will want to apply shampoo directly to your oiled hair before adding water. Once you’ve worked the shampoo through your hair, add water and wash as usual.
This luscious hair treatment is a simple and easy act of self-care that will leave your soul nourished and your hair shining like the crown jewel!