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Natural Hair and Ayurveda

Natural Hair and Ayurveda

Most people that are new to the natural hair community most likely have never heard of Ayurveda. It’s not a word used often in our daily lives, but it is becoming the big new craze with natural hair girls. When thinking about how to grow your hair nice and long, one does not automatically think to use powders and mud, but this natural hair practice has plenty of success stories behind it that are worth looking into.
 

What is Ayurveda

First off, what is ayurveda? And why would you care to try it on your hair? Well there are plenty of reasons but in this article we are going to stick with just a few.  An incredibly brief description is that It is part of the ancient Indian tradition. It is known for being one of the oldest “natural healing” practices around dating back 5,000 years. It was mostly an oral tradition passed down from person to person in the Vedic culture. It now has many disciplines specializing in the natural treatment and maintenance of the body.

You are probably wondering how these practices help my hair grow? First, we must understand some of the most important herbs and powders for ayurvedic hair health. The first one being

Henna.
 

Henna

Henna is a dye that comes from the plant Lawsonia inermis. When being used in hair care it comes in powder form. Be warned this powder can darken your hair while using so if that is not something you want to happen do not use this powder. However, Natural haired women have discovered that when henna is applied to the hair; it makes the hair shaft stronger and it fills in any breaks or holes that are present on the hair shaft, almost like a protein treatment for the hair. In fact, natural girls that are sensitive to protein treatments usually try henna to get their hair back to a strengthened state. Henna comes in powder form and can be used in a number of ways. The first way is like a deep treatment.

First you get 2 tablespoons of henna and mix it with either lemon juice or green/black tea until it becomes a paste. You mix them together and let them sit for 4 hours in a plastic bowl. This will allow for the dye to be released and then your henna is ready to use. Some people apply this henna mixture as is, straight to the hair. Others have found that doing this makes their hair too hard and stiff, so if applying straight to the hair, it is necessary to follow up with a deep treatment to help with the stiffness. This can be a time-consuming process, first mixing the henna and letting it sit takes 4 hours. Then when it is applied to hair it takes anywhere from 1 hour to the whole night depending on what you want to achieve. After that you also have to follow with a deep treatment to balance the effect of henna.  If you choose to use henna in this way just make sure you have time to spare and no place to go that day.  

Another way that henna is prepared is called a henna gloss. This way seems a lot simpler for naturals to do. This is where you take 1 to 2 tablespoons of henna and add a few tablespoons of your favorite oil, mix it up, and then add it to your deep conditioner. Natural women have stated that using henna this way allows them to get the benefits of henna but without the drying aspect that it may cause. Plus, there is significantly less time that has to be spent preparing henna and keeping it on your head for the treatment. Naturals have said that their hair is a lot stronger using this method and they seem to apply the mixture anywhere from every 2 weeks to once a month.

A third way to use henna is in oil. The best way to do this is infuse henna in a couple of your favorite oils and you can receive the benefits of stronger hair when applied multiple times a week.

You will need a glass jar and 2 to 3 of your favorite hair oils. Some of the favorites for kinky curly hair are olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and almond oil. These oils have been known to coat and penetrate the hair shaft and can be found at your local grocery store or online. The process of making a henna infused oil goes as follows: get a glass jar, put 2 tablespoons of henna, add 1 cup of olive oil, ½ cup of coconut oil, ¼ cup of castor oil and allow the infusion to sit for at least 4 hours. To really maximize hair growth, you can add 3 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds (or methi seeds as they are also known) to the infusion. Allow this infusion to sit anywhere from 4 hours to 4 to 6 weeks.  You can use the oil after 4 hours, and allow the rest to sit for a couple of weeks while using what you need as often as you like. The henna oil strengthens your hair and adds shine to your strands and the added fenugreek seeds stimulate the scalp for hair growth. Henna can be used multiple ways. Experimenting with which concoction may work for you is the best way to find out if henna is a good fit for your hair regimen. It is just one of many ayurvedic herbs that are used for stronger healthier hair and growth.|
 

Amla

Another big player in the ayurvedic scene is amla powder. Amla is a fruit that is one of the most important medicinal fruits in ayurveda. In ayurveda, Amla fruit is mostly used to slow down the aging process and is a diuretic. It can help with the prevention of peptic ulcers and dyspepsia in the body. However, when using amla for the hair, it is directly put onto the hair and is not ingested. Amla can be used on the hair in a number of ways. One way that amla can be used is by making an amla hair oil. The alma hair oil can be made just like the henna hair oil as mentioned above. Add a couple of tablespoons to a glass jar with 2 to 3 of your favorite oils and let it infuse for 4 hours to a few weeks, while using the mixture. This mixture can be used as often as you may like.

Another way to use this powder is by mixing amla powder with water until it becomes a paste and it has the consistency that you want, apply it to hair and allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then rinse it out.

Amla powder can also be added to your deep conditioner. Just put a couple of tablespoons in your deep conditioner and allow that to sit on your hair as you normally would while deep conditioning. While using amla powder you may start to notice your hair becoming shinier, you will also notice less hair loss and dandruff control. That is because amla helps in these areas making it one of the best ayurvedic powders for hair growth and loss.
 

Brahmi

Brahmi powder when being used for ayurvedic medicine is used to help with cognitive function and helps to reduce stress. However, when being used for the hair it helps with providing nutrients to the hair follicles and helps treat hair loss. Brahmi is usually used with other hair powders such as neem and amla, these together can help to prevent dry scalp and itchiness. The way to use this powder is to combine with amla into your deep conditioner and apply to hair as normal. You can also add it to your amla hair oil and apply to the scalp as often as you like.  When using this powder people have reported a reduction of hair loss and dry scalp.
 

Hibiscus

Hibiscus powder is exactly what you may be thinking; It is the hibiscus flower that has been dried and ground into a powder. This powder stimulates hair growth, it conditions the scalp by treating itchiness and dryness, it helps to prevent premature graying of the hair. Hibiscus powder is all around a great powder to use on your natural hair.

You can make a mask out of amla and hibiscus by mixing these two powders with water into a paste. The mask will help with hair growth. Apply this mask on the hair and leave for a minimum of 30 minutes. Natural women who have used this mask reported faster hair growth. This powder can be added to shampoo to help with mild cleansing or it can be added to a conditioner for help with stronger hair. You can be creative and add amla, brahmi, and hibiscus powder to your favorite conditioner to give it a boost.
 

Fenugreek Seeds (Methi seeds)

Fenugreek seeds also known as methi seeds have been an underrated treasure in the natural hair community. Women who have used these seeds have seen immense hair growth and shine. Fenugreek seeds when used in ayurveda help with lowering the blood sugar and breast milk production but when used on the hair it can help stimulate hair growth. There are a number of ways to use fenugreek seeds for natural hair, one way was mentioned above by adding them to an oil and infusing them overnight and applying that oil directly to the scalp.

Another way to use these seeds is by brewing them into tea. Take 1 tablespoon of seeds and pour hot water over them. Infuse the seeds like a tea, take the tea and put it into a spray bottle and use on the hair and scalp as a refresher spray. If making it this way, it is best to store this mixture in a refrigerator to keep it from spoiling. Also, some people don't like the sweet maple syrup smell of these seeds so adding essential oils can cover the smell.

If you decide to make the fenugreek tea don't discard the seeds just yet. You can take the used seeds and grind them into a paste and apply directly to the scalp for 20 minutes. This process helps to stimulate the growth of the hair, you will have to rinse your hair very well with water to get all of the seeds out. For this reason, it is best to use in a hair oil, there is no need to store in a refrigerator or have to thoroughly rinse out your hair while using.


Where to buy

The beautiful thing about all these powders is that they are not expensive at all. It can be hard making your own hair care products because we don't want to have to break the bank in order to do so. But luckily these powders are inexpensive and can be found on an ecommerce site known as Eishops. Eishops is an online marketplace to sell and buy products online. Eishops has a wide variety of ayurvedic powders that can help with whatever concern you may have for your hair. Whether you just want to experiment with making your own hair mask, or you are an experienced Ayurveda hair practitioner, you can find some of the world’s best ayurvedic powders and other natural hair products on Eishops.com.