Ayurveda gives great importance to oil massage. Massaging the head scalp and hair with warm oil keeps scalp healthy and gives you beautiful shiny hair. Not only does the massage work wonders for scalp and hair, but it also relaxes your mind and nervous system.
Massage is an integral part of everyday life for Indians and in many Ayurveda practices. From birth to adulthood, massaging is a part of Indian culture and tradition. Mothers/Grandmothers usually massage the little ones, which lends itself to bonding and caring.
Like a recipe passed down through the generations, head massage has gradually developed and become more refined. India has a vast and diverse geography with deserts, snow-capped mountains, beaches, plains and more. Each region or family adds its own special touch to the oil with different climatic conditions and herbs available.
The scalp is an extension of the skin so it receives the same attention and treatments in Ayurvedic practices.
Benefits of head oil massage:
1. It lubricates and conditions the scalp.
2. Helps to prevent flakes and dry scalp/dandruff without the use of harsh chemical shampoos.
3. Head massage acts on the muscles of the face, head and neck, thus stimulating the circulation of blood (increased oxygen supply to the cells) and lymph (increased efficiency in waste elimination).
4. It helps strengthen the roots of the hair and nourishes the hair-shafts.
5. Promotes new hair growth and strengthens current hair.
6. It helps soften and condition the hair, making it more beautiful and shiny.
7. It protects hair from the damaging effects of sun and harsh weather by improving resiliency over time.
8. As scalp is connected to the face muscles, head massage also reduces wrinkles on face by improving blood circulation.
9. It also helps reduce body heat in general, especially if you have been up late a few nights or your eyes are smarting from excessive work on computer or reading.
10. Promotes sound sleep at night.
Application of oil according to hair type:
Vata hair type
If your hair is thin, dry, frizzy and prone to split ends, then you are said to fall under Vata hair type ( vata dosha is aggravated in your body).
Almond oil with Sesame oil as the base is said to be good for those with vata hair type, as both the oils are very nourishing for the scalp and helps reduce stiffness in the scalp
Pitta hair type
If you have thin and fine hair, which is prone to premature greying, then you have pitta hair type (pitta dosha is aggravated in your body )
For the pitta hair types, a cooling coconut oil may be the ideal choice, as coconut is pitta-pacifying and can reduce hair issues associated with aggravation of pitta dosha.
Kapha hair type
If you have thick and oily hair, then you have Kapha hair type (kapha dosha is aggravated in your body).
For those with kapha hair, sesame or olive oil are good choices, as olive oil has purifying properties that help keep pores open.
To know more about the different body types i.e Vata, Pitta and Kapha I would request you to read my previous blog by clicking here.
Two basic categories of Ayurvedic oil:
Base Oil- Pure oil from a natural source (such as sesame, almond, coconut, or olive oil)
Herbal Oil- A base oil infused with a decoction of one or more Ayurvedic herbs. It includes herbs like Brahmi, Hibiscus, Bhringaraj, Neem, Rosemary, Jasmin.
In normal conditions base oil application is enough to get all the benefits but if you are also interested in getting healing effects of herbs from your massage, then you can make your own herb infused oil or you can buy good quality of oil from the market.
You might have also heard about Abhyanga – the Ayurvedic full body oil massage. To know about its benefits and how you can quickly do it yourself at home, click here to read my previous blog on ‘Abhyanga’.
In my next blog I am going to write different recipes to make herb infused oils at home, once I post it I will put the link here.
Amazon.com also has a wide range of good quality herbal oils for sale. Here are some good quality options I found on Amazon, check them out :