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Beauty Secrets from India: Oiling Your Hair

oiling your hair

In the Indian tradition, a woman’s hair is considered to be her crowning glory. Women have historically been been identified with long, thick luscious locks that cascade down to their waist. Hair is associated with strength and beauty. This is why in fact it is intentionally not cut in Sikhism.

So what is their beauty secret to gorgeous hair? The age old tradition of oiling.

Unlike in the West where we condition our hair post shampooing it, in India, oiling your hair and scalp always precedes washing it. Many people naturally associate the application of oil with ‘being greasy.’ Nothing could be more untrue. Hair treatments using oil provide deep conditioning and help cleanse micro dust particles that cause dandruff, irritation, infections and even certain types of alopecia or hair loss. Also, applying oil to the scalp promotes relaxation, a process which in itself is extremely important for think, healthy hair.

Which Oil is Best For Your Hair?

Most Indians use coconut oil as it has a cooling effect on the head. Releasing heat is essential for maintaining the beauty of the hair as it weakens the roots. There are many commercial varieties of coconut oil available in the market but it is a good idea to identify a pure organic product as chemicals and preservatives invariably alter the cooling quality of coconut oil. If you are looking to address a specific hair issue then you might want to consider an Ayurvedic hair oil. Amla oil is used to maintain natural hair color and prevent premature graying; Bhringhraj oil is considered to be one of the best products for hair loss. If you would like to make your own coconut hair oil infused with herbs and flowers then you might want to check an Ayurvedic self care book for recipes.

How to Condition Your Hair with Oil

The process is not too difficult. Massage a small amount of coconut oil into your scalp. Comb the oil out to the ends of the hair. You can apply a turban made from a hot towel to help the oil penetrate into your scalp and individual hair shafts. Leave the oil in for at least an hour or up to overnight. Wash your hair out, making sure that your scalp ‘squeaks’ clean to ensure that all the oil has been removed. Then sit back and admire your beautifully conditioned, shiny locks that are vibrant with moisture and health!

More Natural Hair Care:

Image Credit: Beautiful Hair photo via Shutterstock

Written by Reenita Malhotra

Reenita Malhotra Hora is an Ayurveda clinician, entrepreneur, writer and mom. Her experience has ranged from running Ayoma, an Ayurveda business to running a natural health practice at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center.

Reenita is a published author of two books books about health and wellness: ‘Ayurveda - the Natural Medicine of India’ and
‘Inner Beauty’. She is also the Editor for Green Options Media's business blogs and a freelance writer for a variety of print and web publications.

In quieter moments, she likes to spend her time hiking, swimming the warm seas, cooking with the family or writing fantasy fiction adventure stories for kids from from 2 to 92.

Check out her wisdom at


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