Since centuries, potions were made at home with secret recipes for beauty routines. Each family had their own unique formula of packs and oils made as per availability of ingredients. It is only since 1900’s that the market started getting flooded with concoction of shampoos, conditioners and hair oils infused with hibiscus, amla, aritha and bhringraj. The regionally available oils were used not only in cooking but also as a part of beauty enhancement routine for skin and hair. The coastal areas thus used coconut oil, Mediterranean population used olive oil, Mexicans used jojoba oil and North Indians used mustard oil.
The benefits of using this naturally abundant resource were many, ranging from easy availability due to favourable climate to its quick reception by the genetic structure of the body. Hair oils and nourishing packs have become essential in the weekly beauty regime of any woman who loves her mane. At the centre stage of these wholesome potions are the primary hair oils namely coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil and mustard oil.
Coconut oil has been the most affordable and easily available oil in India. Its molecular structure is made up of small and medium-chain fatty acid that allows it to penetrate the scalp and hair shaft more deeply and faster than other available conditioners, thus keeping the hair nourished and moisturized. Mainly used as hair growth oil, it can also be used as a leave-in treatment to repair split ends, moisturize scalp, and add a healthy glow to the tresses. For the best results, warm the coconut oil in a pan and then apply it on the scalp and hair-shaft till the ends. Leave it on for an hour and shampoo it off. You may repeat this twice a week to improve the texture and bounce of hair.
‘Stress, faulty lifestyle and negligence can lead to hair fall and thinning of hair. Most women come with complain of hair fall and dry lustreless hair. Either they do not apply any hair oil or they keep hair-oil for 2-3 days on their scalp. Moderation is the key word. Oil nourishes the scalp, hair roots, promotes hair re-growth, and increases hair density. Regular use of hair oil will prevent hair-fall and premature greying of hair. We have created a unique potion of hair oil using essential ingredients to address these issues of hair wherein coconut oil, sesame oil, hibiscus oil and liquorice oil are used as base oil’ shared Dr. Aanal Kangad, dermatologist and founder of vegan and natural cosmetic products – Happy Flowers
When mixed and heated with curry leaves, coconut oil prevents premature graying of hair. Curry leaves are rich in antioxidants, proteins, beta-carotene and amino acids. They moisturize the scalp, prevent hair loss, thinning and help strengthen follicles. The vitamin B content present in curry leaves helps prevent premature hair graying and as a result hair retains its colour and lustre longer
To make this tonic, pour the coconut oil into a pan and add a handful of curry leaves to it. Heat the oil until the black residue is formed around the leaves. Once the tonic has cooled down, strain it and store it. Gently massage the scalp with the fingertips while applying the oil concentrate to get the best results. Repeat the routine 2-3 times a week to see the visible results in hair quality.
Jojoba oil, derived from the seeds of evergreen jojoba shrubs, is native to Arizona, California and Mexico. It is one of the most nutrient rich and expensive botanical oils that has long shelf life and exact molecular structure as that of sebum produced by hair scalp. Its molecular structure makes it the product of choice to be added in shampoos, conditioners and oils as an active ingredient that moisturises the scalp and hair. Jojoba oil is an excellent choice for deep conditioning treatment.
“It is the extensive dryness of scalp that leads to dandruff and hair loss at an increased rate. Jojoba oil is capable of moisturizing the hair without leaving any residues. It can help hair cells to reproduce themselves at a rapid pace” added Aanal on the benefits of jojoba oil.
Olive oil, popularly known as liquid gold, is rich in Vitamin B & E, magnesium, zinc, sulphur and calcium. It aids in hair growth by preventing hair loss. Used earlier by the Mediterranean people, olive oil is now globally used in the cosmetic & hair industry. Primarily aimed at curbing hair-fall, olive oil gives best results when applied twice a week.
The inexpensive option of olive oil is the ‘Sarson ka Tel’ from the nearby kirana store. Abundantly found in India, mustard oil is a rich store of antioxidants, essential alpha fatty acids, and multiple vitamins like A, D, E, and K, and minerals. It directly helps in hair growth. The essential alpha fatty acids help to condition the hair generously. If your hair is dry, nothing can be more beneficial than mustard oil. Mustard oil is effective in preventing premature greying and darkens your hair naturally. Thus, instead of dyeing hair, you can massage your hair with mustard oil every night to see the result.
Dr.Vandana Shah, senior dermatologist of Ahmedabad shares, “In dermatology practice, we mostly opt for pharmaceutically made oils to cure hair-fall, premature greying and dryness of hair. The base ingredients are indeed oils like coconut, sesame, mustard and olive. Castor and olive oil give strength to hair shaft whereas jojoba gives nourishment without any greasiness.’
Be it olive, jojoba, coconut or mustard oil, massaging the scalp with hair oil improves blood circulation and thus the flow of nutrients needed for hair-growth. To get the lustrous mane, make a promise to pamper yourself this year with regular hair oil massages.
(Please Note – This Article was first produced for Femina Gujarat Magazine. This is its unedited version)