Oil glands present on the skin produce sebum that is necessary for adequate nourishment and hydration. The presence of oil gives a healthy shine to the hair. Excess production of oil makes the hair oily and greasy. Ayurveda describes hair as a byproduct of bone formation. Hence, healthy hair indicates a balance of all doshas in the body.
Hair production in the body is affected by various environmental as well as hormonal factors. The oiliness of the scalp can be attributed to different causes like humid environment, chronic dandruff, improper hair hygiene, and inadequate washing of hair.
Ayurveda suggests various remedies for the treatment of an oily scalp. It advocates the major role of dietary balance in encouraging the proper growth of hair. Inclusion of food items like eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables is essential to maintain a proper balance in the diet. Ayurveda recommends cutting down on the intake of spicy and oily foods. Various natural herbs and extracts are used in Ayurveda for the treatment of diseases and disorders.
The Kapha dosha imbalance is implicated in causing an oily scalp. This dosha is aggravated by eating cold foods. Ayurvedic herbs that are beneficial in treating the oiliness of scalp and hair are as follows:
1. Aloe vera – This ayurvedic herb is well known for its extensive healing properties that work well for treating hair and skin disorders. It treats an oily scalp by removing excess oil. Aloe vera extract can be applied directly on the scalp and left for 20 to 30 minutes. It should be rinsed with water. Application of fresh Aloe vera extract can be done 2 to 3 times a week.
2. Reetha – In Ayurveda, reetha acts as a good cleanser, this fruit can be used as a shampoo for cleaning hair. It works well in removing excess oil from the scalp. Other problems related to hair like greying of hair can be treated by using Reetha. It is boiled in water and the water is used to wash hair.
3. Henna – The leaves of the henna plant have a good conditioning effect on hair. To treat an oily scalp, ground leaves of this plant should be mixed with coconut oil and applied on the scalp an hour prior to shampooing. Later the scalp should be washed with a mild shampoo. Using henna powder is also beneficial for providing natural darkening to grey hair.
4. Shikakai – This ayurvedic herb helps in the protection of the scalp from numerous infections. This ayurvedic remedies also prevents excess oil production from the hair follicles. Shikakai powder is mixed with water and applied on the scalp. It is left on the scalp for a time period of 30 minutes and then rinsed with water.
5. Thyme – Leaves of the thyme plant are beneficial in removing excess oil from the scalp. These natural remedies also help in removing dandruff. Thyme leaves are mixed in boiling water and left for 20-30 minutes. This water is cooled and used for rinsing hair. The instant effect is observed with a considerable reduction in the oiliness of the scalp.
6. Essential oils – Certain ayurvedic essential oils like tea tree oil and lavender oil are useful in getting rid of oily hair. The use of these ayurvedic oils reduces itching and also improves scalp health. Massaging the scalp for 5-6 minutes with a circling motion and leave for around 30 minutes. Wash the applied oil with a mild shampoo. The use of essential oils for the oily scalp is recommended 2 to 3 times a week.
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