Hair care 1


Nina Marin, lecturer in Ayurveda, Cluj-Napoca

Hair in Ayurveda

Hair is considered in Ayurvedic tradition an important part of the body. Hair belongs to the bony constituent (asthi-dhatu) and its appearance can show us the degree of harmony and health of this constituent and therefore of the body.

Hair care in India

Indian women are famous for their long, rich and shiny hair, thick, smooth and very healthy. They have learned and applied certain recipes from childhood, which have been passed down from generation to generation.

Women in India use certain herbs for hair care, famous in Ayurveda for its beneficial action on hair and scalp.

Also in the Romanian tradition our grandmothers knew and used many plants with good actions on the hair, such as soapwort, also called "soap plant", used for washing the body and hair, thanks to the saponins contained, the leaves and root of brusture, nettle leaves, birch leaves, horse's tail, shallots or leaves of nuc.

Hair doesn't get washed too often, but it's good to brush it daily. This massages the head and improves blood circulation in the area.

In India, women change the direction of hair brushing and the hair path almost daily. This is a simple method of adding volume to the hair and, over time, preventing hair loss in certain areas of the scalp. 

Hair care requires following certain steps. Hair is washed with an herbal shampoo or other natural ingredients and rinsed with an herbal macerate. Periodically, at least once a week and in some cases daily, the hair is nourished by applying masks made from natural ingredients, after which the hair is washed with herbal macerates.

Herbal macerate

We can make cold macerates from the plant, either from the fresh plant or from the dried powder of the plant. The herbs are left to macerate in cold water for a few hours, then strained and the water is gently heated (but not boiled) and ready to use. In summer we can leave the plants ina pot of water directly in the sun and we will get the mash much faster and in addition it will be heated.

The herbal macerate can be used to rinse our hair after washing or can be included in the shampoo we use to wash our hair. It can also be used in hair masks. Whenever we need to use water, we can use herbal macerate.

The following are some herbs and products used for hair care.

Henna (Lawsonia inermis)

Henna is the best natural hair dye. The leaves of the henna shrub give a wonderful reddish tint to the hair.

By stimulating blood circulation in the scalp and thus the hair root, heena has a powerful revitalising effect, gives vigour and shine to the hair, strengthens the root, stimulates hair growth and prevents hair breakage.

It also combats skin irritations caused by sun radiation and heavy sweating.

Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) 

Like henna (Lawsonia inermis), indigo powder has long been used as a dye for hair and fabrics. It is a small shrub whose leaves produce a bluish Indigo powder is combined with henna powder (Lawsonia inermis) and other Ayurvedic herbs to create several shades of brown.

Colourless henna (Cassia obovata)

Colourless henna or neutral henna is an Ayurvedic herb used for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. It deeply treats the hair withoutColor it.

Colourless Henna (Cassia obovata) regenerates thin, brittle, damaged hair. Hair becomes strong, silky and shiny. Colourless Henna helps prevent premature hair bleaching. It is used as a hair mask to strengthen the hair, gives shine and volume and has antimicrobial and antifungal properties for the scalp.

It can be used regularly as a treatment for natural and chemically or henna (Lawsonia inermis) dyed hair without affecting the colour.

Shikakai (Acacia concinna)

Shikakai shrub pods have been used in Ayurveda for centuries, with virtues that benefit the hair and scalp. Shikakai pods are also known as 'hair fruit'.

The fine powder obtained by grinding the dried pods is used in India for washing hair.

Shikakai contains natural saponins that produce lather when mixed with water. Unlike commercial shampoos, shikakai powder does not produce much lather. The saponins cleanse, removing grease and dirt from the hair and scalp.

Shikakai has a neutral pH, so it gently removes sebum and dirt and is recommended for very sensitive scalps that cannot tolerate even natural soap.

Shikakai stimulates hair growth and heals the scalp. Treats fungal infections, detoxifies scalp and hair follicles. Combats dandruff and prevents premature graying of hair. Leaves hair silky, shiny and easy to comb.