Ancient Tradition of Hair-Oiling
South Asians are known to have long, shiny and healthy hair.
Our secret is simple: hair-oiling.
The Ayurvedic practice is over 3 000 years old and the tradition continues to be practiced until this day. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest holistic healing systems, which was developed in India. The system is based off the belief that our health depends on the balance between our mind, body and spirit. The goal is to encourage optimal health and well-being. According to this system, there are three life-giving energies (doshas) which circulate in all humans: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. If you have an excess of one dosha, your body will no longer be balanced, which can be seen directly through your hair health. Our scalp has many energy-relieving points named marmas. Hair-oiling then becomes a rejuvenating tool – by oiling and massaging the scalp, any excess dosha will be pulled out and your balance will be restored. When the balance is restored, the positive effects of doshas will prevent premature greying, hair loss, thinning and dandruff. Aside from rejuvenation, the hair-oiling practice has many other advantages such as strengthening your roots, nourishing hair strands, promoting hair growth, enhancing blood circulation and relieving stress.
This healing system recommends oiling your hair at least once a week before you plan to wash your hair. If you have a lot of dandruff, the treatment is suggested twice a week.
The treatment process is a national pastime and family affair. Traditionally, our mothers or grand-mothers will take the following steps: heat the oil to lukewarm and transfer to a bowl, part your hair, dip your fingers in the bowl and apply to your scalp. You continue this process throughout your entire scalp and apply a little to the length of your hair. Once your entire scalp and hair is coated, our mother would massage our scalp in small, circular motions to stimulate blood flow and encourage the oil to absorb, which cools down our scalp and removes excess doshas. This treatment should be done in the evening before bedtime. Depending on your mixture, it can improve the quality of your sleep. Finally, you must shampoo and condition in the morning. It is not recommended to keep the oil on if you plan to leave your home and face the sun since it will easily attract dust and impurities.
This treatment is not an overnight solution. It should be practiced at least once a week, or every time you plan to wash your hair. You will see results after 3 months of consistent use.