Ayurvedic regimens are effective, and easily customizable to suit your hair needs. Most importantly, the ingredients are inexpensive and all natural. I have decided to break this post into several parts as not to overwhelm/bore anyone out there. In this installment, we will discuss the basic ingredients found in most Ayurvedic Products, as well as their benefits. I will also talk about Shampoo methods and list a few formulations for specialty treatments that have worked wonders for me. Part 2 will focus more on conditioning & moisturizing methods, and I will also list a few more specialty treatment formulations as well!
Here are some herbs/ingredients you should get familiar with:
Bhringraj - Treats hair loss, premature graying, and also acts as a conditioner
Neem - Is an antibacterial powerhouse, it helps correct scalp issues, as well as promote healthy hair growth
Brahmi - Strengthens hair at the roots, helps relieve dandruff, also purported to thicken hair
Amla - Stimulates hair growth, has wonderful conditioning properties, strengthens hair at the roots
Shikakai - Acts as a natural cleanser, and mild conditioner, whilst promoting hair growth
Aritha [Reetha] - Natural cleansing agent
Methi [Fenugreek] - Prevents hair loss, promotes hair growth, helps strengthen hair shaft, light protein
Hibiscus - Conditions hair, promotes healthy hair growth, prevents hair loss, thickens hair
Mix #1 [my favorite]
2 Tablespoons of Amla
2 Tablespoons of Shikakai
1 Tablespoon of Hibiscus
2 Tablespoons Amla
2 Tablespoons Shikakai
1 Tablespoon Neem Powder
For each formulation, mix with enough water to make a thick paste. Apply evenly on wet, freshly pre-conditioned hair [see the pre-shampoo treatment below], and massage gently massage mixture on to scalp. Allow to sit on hair for about 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Follow up with a basic light ACV rinse to remove any additional oils/residue left behind. [1/2 cup of ACV + 2 cups water]
For maximum softness, I recommend doing Pre-Shampoo treatments before applying any type cleansing mixture [because the Shikaki has a tendency to be a tad bit drying]. Simply oil your hair thoroughly with Coconut Oil, cover with a plastic cap, and allow to sit for about an hour [or more if possible], then rinse w/lukewarm water.
Coconut Milk Protein Treatment: This is an easy, inexpensive way to do an all natural protein treatment at home. The nutrients in Coconut Milk encourages healthy hair growth, and also helps strengthen hair.
In a large bowl, mix one can of Coconut Milk, 4 tbsp of honey and 4 tbsp of Olive Oil. Carefully pour mixture over head, and cover for about 30 minutes. - Use this treatment on dry, unwashed hair.
Hibiscus Rinse: Doing a final rinse with Hibiscus Petal Powder leaves your hair feeling soft and conditioned [from the mucilage], it also makes detangling woes, and excess hair loss a thing of the past.