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An Indian Tradition for Healthy Hair

By Maria Rainier

Some women would rather go into hiding than have their hair withstand the damage it takes from the winter months. This is not a mere superficial matter - hair has for centuries and for innumerous culture signified strength, fertility, power, and beauty. In Sikhism, hair is intentionally grown long for some of these very reasons.

Why Modern Hair Care Products Hurt Us

While many would arm themselves with modern day hair supplies like high-end shampoos, conditioners, treatments, and creams, much of conventional western hair remedies only temporarily help hair, if at all. Alcohol-based sprays, gels, and mousses dry, damage, and split the ends of hair we so desperately try to grow. Daily washing strips our scalps of natural oils and attempts to replace them with unnatural chemicals . These chemicals go down our drains and pollute the earth, the very water we would drink. The entire process is backwards and harmful to our health and the earth.

Why the Natural Method is Better

There is, however, an alternative - one found in an age-old tradition in India, a hot spot of natural healing practices. Indian women traditionally treasure their hair and do so not by replacing their stripped strands with chemicals but rather by oiling.

Moreover, Indian women oil their hair before washing it, unlike the western tradition of washing and then conditioning. Contrary to popular western belief, oiling does not promote greasiness and is in fact sanitary (it cleans dust from our scalps to prevent dandruff, infections, irritations, and even hair loss) and beneficial for our locks. The process is also involved and relaxing - and a relaxed mind is a healthier body. Coconut oil is perhaps used the most due to its cooling properties when applied to the head. For your hair, choose a confirmed organic coconut oil product; any chemicals and additives can prevent you from getting full benefits of this practice. You can, however, add your own organic ingredients to the oil to include herbs and flowers to add scent and other natural benefits. Be sure to do your research. Other oils to consider include Amla oil (which maintains natural hair color and prevents premature graying) and Bhringhraj oil (which prevents hair loss).

How to Do It

To use the oil, massage a small amount into your palm and then your scalp. Comb your hair with your oiled hands and fingers, all the way to the ends to treat them, too. Once thoroughly distributed, wrap your hair in a towel, careful not to let the oil run down your back or face. Although it won't harm your skin, it may cause breakouts or get into your eyes. Leave the oil in for an hour or overnight, but be sure to layer your pillow with an extra towel if you do so.

Next, rinse out the oil until your hair is "squeaky" (literally) clean. Try this without adding any hair products afterward, and experiment from there for naturally healthy, happy hair.

About the Author

Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education and performs research surrounding online degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.


The above guest post is published based on the premise that it will be helpful and informative. The opinions made within it are those of the author and not of The links you may find within this post do not necessarily imply our recommendation or endorsement of the views expressed within them.


eyerusealem Haile says:

My hair is very fall out and short. How can I use Indian oils? Please contact me.

sunnyray says:

Hi Haile,
Thanks for commenting. This was a guest post from Maria, who certainly is more competent to answer your question. I can only direct your attention to a type of Indian hair oil that looks to me to be in line with what you are looking for. I haven't tried it, though.

Tia says:


You should use the oils recommended in the article. You should also try to stop stressing because that could be contributing to hair fall. Start massaging your scalp everyday for 5 minutes with mustard oil, castor oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or olive oil. Lightly heat the oils and then massage or have someone massage yo ur scalp for you. Also, it may be that you're not getting enough blood to your scalp. Scalp massages and yoga can help this. Also, start deep breathing everyday.

Hope this helped!

sunnyray says:

Hi Tia,
Thanks for the great tips.

tilly says:

Hi, I was wanting to know where I could buy oil for my hair. It is falling since I had my baby.

sunnyray says:

Hi tilly,
It seams that hair loss after pregnancy is not a permanent condition, nor a serious one. For more information you can check this article by the American pregnancy association.

Ashira says:

Off course natural and traditional methods are always better. However i notice that dove shampoo is best option for dull hair. I also do use mehndi once a month.

areyda bautista says:

How do you wrap your hair like the Indians? Do you just cover your whole hair?

Chris says:

When you say to rinse the hair; is that with plain water only?

sunnyray says:

Thanks for the comment Chris. I believe what Maria meant is rinsing with plain water. Depending on the quantity of oil applied thought, you many need to use some additional means.

DENICA says:

Hi,I oil my hair once a week and leave the oil on overnight. But my hair is always dry and itchy,my hair falls out and it doesn't grow. I heard that extra virgin olive oil is a excellent hair growth, but it doest seem to work. So I was wondering what do I do for hair growth,and prevent dryness and itching. Thanks

sunnyray says:

Hi Denica. Thanks for the comment. I have heard that olive oil should be used as a carrier oil, and that some additional Ajurvedic oils that are beneficial for the hear and promote hair growth like Amalaki, Hibiscus, Lavender or Rosemary oi) should be mixed in it. I have no personal experience with these mixtures thought.

Katarzyna says:

For itchy/irritated scalp I recommend Vatica coconut oil massaged into scalp before every shampoo, for the whole nigh, or Mustard oil (same way applied). In my case it helps, cause I suffer from itchy scalp U may also splash your head and hair with apple cider vinegar combined with water. In Internet you will find the way how to do it.

sunnyray says:

Good tips, Katarzyna. Thanks for sharing.

gii says:

Good natural medicine against hair loss is garlic. Put 5-6 cloves of garlic cut in half into a glass with 7 oz of brandy. Leave them there for 5 days. After that, your hair loss lotion is ready to be applied. Rub small amount of it daily into the hair follicle and do that for a prolonged period of time.

DAWN says:

I have lots of thick hair which I have to have layered, but my hair is dry after conditioning - sort of has fly away ends too. Could be due to blond foils. How do I treat this.

wintana says:

I've thin,brown hair with less volume and I'm suffering from hair loss so what shall I do to prevent this and have long hair

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