‘Ayur’ means ‘Life’, and ‘Veda’ means ‘Knowledge’. Ayurveda is the 5,000-year old system of holistic healing that originated in India.
“Ayurveda places great emphasis on prevention and encourages the maintenance of health through close attention to balance in one’s life, right thinking, diet, lifestyle and the use of herbs. Knowledge of Ayurveda enables one to understand how to create this balance of body, mind and consciousness according to one’s own individual constitution and how to make lifestyle changes to bring about and maintain this balance“. Read more here
There are also Ayurvedic approaches to caring for the hair; hair loss, scalp irritation, encourages hair growth, discourages premature graying, good for conditioning, cleansing the scalp, etc. You can read much more about it all around the net.
I wanted to briefly share my experiences regarding the ayurvedic phenomenon.
When I decided to transition 20 months ago, one of the first things I read about was Ayurveda for hair care. Being the Product Junkie I morphing into, I went to my nearest Indian store and stocked up! Shikakai soap bar, Hesh Alma and Neem Powders, Vatik Coconut, Alma and Brahmi oils all ended up on my shelf.
My Plan vs What Really Happened:
Shikakai soap bar:
Should give me super long hair, just like the lady on the soap bar! During this time, I was still going to the hair dresser, who informed me that the bar left a film on my hair. I used the bar until it was almost gone, and did not re-purchase.
Hesh Alma: Conditions, darkens hair naturally. I used this powder in conjunction with
- 1/2 c conditioner
- 1/4 c coconut oil
- 1/4 c olive oil
- Rose Water
Scalp Cleanser I never used this product as I was mostly turned off by the powders.
Scalp oil massages. I used this to take down my braid outs. It smells divine, is light, and a holy grail product!
Alma Oil: Pre Oil Washes (Pre-Poo). I have been using this product since I started for pre-poos and I swear by it, now and forever. Check out my routine!
Brahmi oils: I purchased this from the Indian woman who threaded my brows at one time. It is a combination of all the good ayurvedic oils. I purchased it solely on her recommendation. I never re-purchased because I couldn’t tell that it added anything extra…some ladies have had great results, so I encourage you to try it!
I think Ayurvedics are a great, natural alternative to hair care. Though I do not use anything but Amla I may try Henna in the future, after I BC. A tip that I wanted to pass along to those using the powders would be to either infuse the powder in a carrier oil or just use the oil (make sure you read the ingredient list, as some oils have been reported to have a mineral oil base). Heat the Oil just until it smokes, add the powder, turn down temperature to a very low heat, and let cook for about two hours. Use cheesecloth to strain the particles from the oil. You can also purchase the actual plants and do the same type of infusion, hot or cold. I speak more about the art of infusing herbs in oils here. Also, when shopping in the Indian stores, be sure to read the expiration dates! I have seen products still on the shelf, that have been expired for up to 3 years or better.
Have you given Ayurveda a try?