For Longer, Thicker Hair, Try This Ancient (and Easy) At-Home Practice
I'll admit that I didn't know much about Ayurvedic hair oiling until I started seeing success stories flood my Instagram feed. What I can 100% get behind with the practice is that it's easy to incorporate into your regular haircare routine and provides some pretty compelling health benefits along the way. What's particularly intriguing about the practice is its ability to help promote healthy hair growth, which I'm sure many of you will be interested in. Did your ears perk up? Don't worry—I'll explain.
Since I didn't have enough solid info to write an entire story on it, I had to tap an expert on the matter to give me all the details. Meerika Khanna, founder of Ayurvedic wellness brand Rthvi, told me everything I'd ever need to know about the practice. If you're curious about the practice yourself, keep scrolling and find the full rundown along with a few product recs.
What is Ayurvedic hair oil?
Ayurvedic hair oiling happens to be an ancient form of haircare that does wonders for the locks. "Ayurvedic hair oiling is a centuries-old self-care ritual [where you] apply herbal oils to your scalp and hair in order to moisturize, strengthen, and thicken [your] hair," says Khanna. "In addition to hair health, oiling is also used to boost overall wellness, as it helps with stress relief and promotes better sleep."
Sounds pretty great, right? What's even better is that the practice is so easy that you won't even think twice about adding it to your haircare routine. "Hair oiling is performed by massaging a few drops of herbal oil into your scalp and then working it through your hair from root to tip, ensuring you cover every strand," Khanna adds. "In Sanskrit, this ritual is known as shiro abhyanga and can be a very relaxing form of self-care. The oils used are those mentioned in Ayurvedic doctrine and feature herbs including ashwagandha and bhringraj."
What are the benefits of using Ayurvedic hair oil?
But wait, there are additional benefits to hair oiling that I hadn't mentioned previously. Khanna also says that incorporating this practice can prevent breakage, combat dandruff, and even boost hair growth. How often you do it will depend on your goals. Khanna recommends practicing hair oiling as little as once a week or month or even every few days. "It [depends] on how often you wash or style your hair," she says. "When used as a treatment to restore dry and damaged hair, it should be performed two to three times a week with the oil left on overnight before shampooing."
I know most of you are probably interested in how it can promote longer, thicker hair. Don't worry—Khanna has the scoop on that too. "The oils used in this practice are used to help nourish your scalp and stimulate blood circulation, which increases oxygen supply to the hair follicles and thus promotes faster growth," she shares.
What are the best Ayurvedic hair oils to use?
Khanna has a few tips on which oils work best if you decide to give hair oiling a try: "Amla, bhringraj, rosemary herbs, [and] nourishing carrier oils like jojoba or sesame make for effective Ayurvedic hair oil. Amla is a great natural source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen your hair and prevent breakage. Bhringraj is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help keep your scalp healthy and promote healthy hair growth. Rosemary has many benefits for the hair, including strengthening and preventing hair loss. Rthvi offers each of these oils along with other oils such as marshmallow root (great for detangling) and hibiscus (offers exfoliating properties) as well as a blend of the best hair-growth herbs, which I created as my own 'ideal' hair oil."
To shop these options from Rthvi along with a few more solid picks, keep scrolling below.
"My favorite is Rthvi's Revitalize, which uses a base of nourishing carrier oils with Ayurvedic herbs, including amla, bhringraj, nettle, and rosemary to help heal and promote scalp health," Khanna says. "Each ingredient in Revitalize has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce inflammation and promote growth from roots to tips for stronger, longer hair."
Best known as a hair rejuvenator in Ayurveda, bhringraj oil can be used for hair loss, shedding, premature graying, and even an itchy scalp.
This cult-favorite pre-wash oil contains dashmool (a blend of 10 roots known to calm the scalp), ashwagandha to support scalp circulation, and castor oil to help thicken damaged strands.
A blend of jasmine, amla oil, and sunflower oil in this hair serum provides the scalp with deep hydration, helps renew the hair follicle for less breakage, and promotes growth.
This $10 oil helps stimulate hair growth with vitamin C, amla extract, and other Ayurvedic herbs in the formula.
Powered by Ayurvedic super herbs such as bhringraj, malkangani, amla, neel patra, and mulethi, this hydrating oil helps hair retain moisture and prevents split ends. Use regularly to experience a big improvement in the texture, strength, and volume of your hair.
This 100% pure amla oil can be used on both the hair and skin for full rejuvenation. It can promote hair growth, provide more volume, and mend split ends.
Khadi's oil stimulates hair growth, prevents hair loss, gives strands extra elasticity, and even helps prevent future split ends.
Another great budget option, this oil from Vaadi Herbals contains oils such as lavender, badaam, and lavang. It prevents premature hair loss and can even help relieve aches and pains when applied topically to the skin.
Another multipurpose oil, this can be used on the face as a moisturizer or on the hair to add extra hydration. It can even promote better sleep and a calmer mood.
Containing bhringraj, amla, almond, sesame, and coconut oils, this option enhances your natural hair color and helps strands appear extra rich and thick.
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