Applying oil to hair is one of the ways to improve hair strength and hair quality as per Ayurvedic principles. Apart from improving hair qualities, applying hair oil also has other benefits such as – sleep improvement, calmness of mind, remedy for headache etc. Based on the desired effects, the time and method of application of hair oil changes.
Oil to improve hair quality
How and when to apply hair oil to improve quality of hair?
If you wish to improve the quality of hair, to promote hair growth, to prevent early grey hairs, and split hairs, etc, it is better to apply hair oil at night and take warm water head bath on the next day morning.
Suppose you are taking head bath twice in a week, according to this rule, you may apply hair oil, twice a week, on the nights before the head bath day.
Applying hair oil on the day, after bath is not desirable because, the oil may attract dust over the hairs, when you go out in Sun.
But if you are at home only and love applying hair oil during day, only a minimum quantity of one teaspoon is sufficient. Apply directly to hair roots.
For the purpose of hair growth, the oil can be applied to the hair root, scalp and to the length of hair.
Some people heat the oil in water bath, before application, which is perfectly fine, provided it is only heated mildly.
People with headache, red colored rashes on the scalp, people with pitta imbalance should not opt for hot oil hair treatment.
If you are accustomed to apply hair oil daily, then a little quantity of hair oil can be applied daily in the morning. As a general rule, it is better not to expose hair to direct sunlight or dust, especially after applying hair oil.
How and when to apply hair oil for dandruff –
If you are using hair oil particularly for dandruff or for scalp conditions, if the oil is processed with neem and other herbs having bitter odor, then it can be applied half to one hour before head bath. Hot water head bath is helpful.
The oil can directly be applied to hair roots and the whole of scalp.
Oil for headache, sleep
Oil to relieve headache –
If your Ayurvedic doctor has advised an oil for headache, then it makes sense to apply the hair oil in the evening time, around 5 – 6 pm. Because, usually the headache is associated with Vata. If we divide a day into three parts, the last part is dominated by Vata. Hence, when the Vata is just getting dominant, it makes sense to apply the oil for headache.
Hair oil for a good night sleep –
Hair oil for a good night sleep is better applied after food at night. It will be better to do a gentle massage over head after hair oil application.
Sesame oil head massage, benefits
Sesame oil head massage:
Though coconut oil has become very famous, thanks to Kerala practice, sesame oil massage is what traditional Ayurveda recommends.
Benefits of sesame oil head massage:
One who applies sesame oil on his head regularly does not suffer from headache, baldness, graying of hair, nor do their hair fall. Strength of his head, forehead is specially enhanced; his hair become black, long and deep-rooted; his sense organs work properly; the skin of his face becomes brightened; applying sesame oil on the head produces sound sleep and happiness. (reference)
Coconut hair oil
Coconut oil for people with cold and sinusitis –
Hair oils with coconut oil base may worsen sinusitis and cold in a few. If you still you wish to enjoy benefits of coconut oil, take 100 ml of the oil, add 5 grams of pepper powder to it and heat it over mild heat for five minutes and filter the oil when it is still hot. Use this oil for applying to hair.
Related article: How to make Amla hair oil?
Hair oil during fever?
During fever, hair oil application is avoided.
During fever, the body channels beneath skin need to open up and hair oil might block this process.
Hair oil application might also contribute to heaviness of head.
If the hair oil is made of coconut, it may worsen sinusitis, cold and cough, which might be associated with fever.
For the same reasons, head bath during cold and cough is contra indicated.
Hair fall during hypothyroidism, PCOS
In these conditions, hair fall occurs more due to hormonal causes than local scalp causes. Hence, oral products are recommended to correct the issues. Hair oils have limited role in correcting these types of hair fall.
There is a method mentioned to apply coconut hair oil where curry leaves are put in the oil & heated till they turn black, then the oil is applied to hair. This is quite good to continue.
Mustard oil for hair?
Of all the oils, mustard oil is the hottest. Usually slightly hot or slightly cold is the ideal quality of any hair oil for hair growth. Excessive hotness of mustard oil may cause Pitta imbalance. Hence, mustard oil based oils are not good for use as hair oils.
Hair oil combinations
Some people mix Ayurvedic hair oil with almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil etc. It is fine to do, though it reduces the concentration of the herbal oil.
20 % of neem oil is mixed with 80 % of any herbal hair oil to treat scalp bumps and psoriasis.
Timing of hair oil application
The below timings are fine.
Half an hour to one hour before bath.
Half to one hour before exercise
At night (especially if the oil is made of sesame oil).