The natural hair industry has certainly boomed over the last few years. Every day there seems to be a new product on the market that all the bloggers are talking about. Black women have believed the lie that their hair can’t grow without all manner of products or lots of manipulation. This has never been the truth! We have many examples of tribes across Asia and Africa showing us how it is really done.
The secret to their hair success - they use herbs and foods to nourish themselves from the inside out.
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian practice that focuses on creating a state of balance. The word itself means ‘life knowledge’ and its teaching have been passed on for generation after generation. Although it can get tricky to fully grasp, the main concepts are summarized below:
Each person is made up of three parts or types of energy called doshas. The aim is to find your own unique balance. If one or two doshas get too strong, it leads to sickness and other health problems according to Ayurveda Medicine.
Vata dosha (space and air); Pitta dosha (fire and water); and Kapha dosha (water and earth).
Where western medicine is focused on treating symptoms, Ayurveda takes a step back to look at the person as a whole and solve the root issue however it may manifest.
Treatments vary but most are a concoction of potent herbs and plants known for their medicinal value.
Ayurveda can be used to solve all manner of hair and scalp issues. These are believed to be caused by an imbalance in the Pitta dosha and can be triggered by events such as stress and anxiety or even overindulging in spicy foods.
The top 3 herbs used in Ayurvedic hair care are Henna, Bhringraj and Amla.
Henna is probably the most commonly available. Aside from being used as a natural hair colorant (especially for grays), it can be used to soothe itchy scalp and reduce irritation. Avoid Black henna as it can cause severe allergic reactions.
Bhringraj is the real superpower. It can be used to stimulate hair growth, cover gray hair, make hair thicker and shiny. It can even be used on the skin or as a drink to cleanse the liver. It is most potent in the leaf form but just as good powdered.
Amla does not get the recognition it deserves. It is the well-kept secret to long and strong hair. When the oil is used it penetrates deep into the follicle and supplies vital nutrients right where they are needed.
A recipe for scalp health and to reverse dryness
3 tablespoons of coconut oil (warm to liquefy)
1 tablespoon of henna powder
5 drops of tea tree oil
Mix them to form a paste and apply to damp hair at the roots and ends of hair, cover with a shower cap and towel and leave to steam for at least 1 hour. Rinse with warm water. This can be done pre/post shampoo or even as a stand-alone treatment. Your hair will be softer and moisturized while your scalp will have a better pH balance and less chance of dandruff or oiliness.