Here is an easy, effective homemade hair oil using natural ingredients for a host of hair ailments like early graying, hair fall, dryness and frizz etc. All you need for this recipe is some coconut oil (or sesame oil, depending on your constitution and the season), hibiscus leaves and flowers (fresh or dried), curry leaves and fenugreek (methi) seeds.
- Coconut (or sesame) Oil (1 cup)
- Dried hibiscus flowers and leaves (1 tsp)
- Curry leaves (make sure these are not wet) (5-6)
- Fenugreek (methi) seeds (1 tsp)
- Heat the coconut oil on a low flame.
- Add the dried hibiscus flowers and leaves.
- Add the curry leaves.
- Add the fenugreek seeds.
- Continue heating the oil on a low flame for 5 minutes or so.
- You will start to get a “sweetish” aroma from the hibiscus and also simultaneously get the distinctive aroma of hot coconut oil. Switch off the flame.
- Transfer the oil after it cools down into a glass or steel container, without straining the herbs, so that they can continue to soak in the oil.
- Apply warm (not hot) oil into your scalp using your fingertips and massage gently. You want to make sure you cover your entire scalp. The tips need not be oiled, but you could apply some oil on the tips if you want to.
- Let the oil remain for at least 15 minutes and then wash it off using a gentle shampoo. I use an amla and shikakai shampoo on these days. You can let the oil remain overnight if you want, but that doesn’t suit some people – I prefer to keep it on for a maximum of 1 hour before a warm shower, but not overnight.
- Make sure that you don’t use very warm and definitely not hot water on your scalp. It heats the scalp too much, and can lead to a further increase in graying. It also loosens the hair follicles and leads to hair fall. Room temperature or slightly warm water is best.
- There is no restriction on how often you can use this oil. Use it as much as you need to.
- If you have a cold, cough, or fever (or any kind of kapha aggravation), don’t oil your scalp. It will aggravate the condition.
- You can store this oil in a glass or steel container in a cool, dry place for a few months. In fact, after a week or so of soaking the herbs in the oil, you could strain out the herbs and store the oil alone. The point is to ensure that all the essence of the herbs soaks in the oil.
- You may substitute the base (carrier) oil with sesame oil or castor oil or almond oil or a combination thereof, instead of coconut oil. I wouldn’t recommend olive oil since there is a fair amount of heating involved in this recipe.
- Where to get hibiscus: If you are in India, there are many herb stores and holistic health stores that sell dried hibiscus flowers and leaves. If you are outside India, you can buy a hibiscus plant. When the flowers are in season, you can pluck them along with some leaves, dry them in the sun until completely devoid of moisture and use over time. You can do this even if you have access to a hibiscus plant, in general. If buying online, you will probably get another variety of the hibiscus plant (hibiscus sabdariffa instead of hibiscus rosa sinensis) that is still very effective. Based on the volume of questions I received, we have updated this post with some Amazon links for some of the ingredients used in this recipe. Hope this helps!
- Hibiscus encourages hair growth by stimulating circulation, discourages split ends, prevents premature graying of the hair strands, thickens hair, is a mild cleanser, and is a great hair color for natural hair especially in combination with henna.
- Curry leaves are rich in natural antioxidants, strengthen and nourish the hair follicles and prevent hair fall, promote natural hair growth, restore natural pigmentation of the hair and combat graying.
- Fenugreek (methi) seeds bring shine and silkiness to hair, promote hair growth and combat baldness, hair fall and thinning and also dandruff.
- Coconut oil is cooling (hence optimum for pittas or during summer months) and sesame oil is warming (so can be used by vatas and kaphas or during cooler months).
The Big Picture:
- Graying is genetic, but the process of graying can be “accelerated” due to incorrect lifestyle factors. An apt example here, for which I can personally vouch is the relationship of heat on the scalp and graying. Overusing hot irons, hot water on head while showering, strong chemicals, to name a few can have the effect of accelerating graying. Likewise, some mindfulness by minimizing these chemicals and styling products and hot appliances, applying cooling applications and oils, allowing the hair to dry naturally or towel drying, room temperature water while showering – all go a long way in slowing down this genetic propensity for graying. Eating a good, wholesome, healthy diet is also one such lifestyle factor.
- Hibiscus acts as a sort of pigmentation in this oil. Although it is not as “strong” as the chemical dyes available in the market now, it is effective in gradually changing the hues of the hair to its natural form, especially when combined with herbs like pure henna leaves. So, it is a sort of “external” method to cover up the effects of graying, in a safe, natural manner. Again, the results will not be as striking or dramatic for you to see the effect immediately – but you will definitely see a positive change over time.
- This is no “wonder oil” that when used will instantly give you a mane of healthy, shining, jet-black hair. Like all things good, it is a package deal – good diet and lifestyle, combined with these simple practices can together bring about positive change gradually. See this page for some remedies for hair fall, in general: http://theayurvediclife.com/home-remedies/hair-fall/