Care about your Hair: Grandma's way

Care about your Hair: Grandma’s way

Hair on the scalp grows about 0.3 to 0.4 mm/day or about 6 inches per year. Unlike other mammals, human hair growth and shedding is random and not seasonal or cyclical. The typical cycle of hair growth lasts for two to three years, where each strand grows about one centimeter per month. At any one time, approximately 90% of hair is growing and the other 10% of your hair is enjoying ‘resting phase.’ After three to four months, the resting hair falls out and new hair begins to take its place. However, some people suffer disruptions in the hair cycle that lead to hair loss, which affects males and females of all ages.

Few reasons for hair falling are:

  • Hormonal Issues: An imbalance of male or female hormones
  • Overactive or Underactive Thyroid Gland
  • Pregnancy: Due to high levels of certain hormones
  • Medications: Such as blood thinners and high blood pressure meds
  • Infection: Including fungal infections of the scalp
  • Medical Conditions: Such as diabetes or lupus

Below are some of Traditional Indian Grandma remedies that help in keeping hair healthy.

Hot oil massage

When you oil your hair, you are giving it the nutrients and vitamins that it needs. Many people do not enjoy the feeling of constantly rubbing oil into their hair and it can cause skin issues. Instead of applying it multiple times day, you can simply give your scalp a hot oil massage. Use oils like coconut oil, castor oil, and even olive oil can work on some types of hair. This will help nourish your hair and strengthen it. In turn, your hair will begin to grow at a much faster rate because of these hair growth oils.

Hibiscus care

You can also use raw Hibiscus leaves to wash hair. We just have to get some fresh leaves and grind it thoroughly. If you want, you can extract the juice alone. Instant hibiscus shampoo is ready. It will be easy while washing the hair. If you have gray hair this shampoo on continuous usage will turn grey hair into brown and then into black. It also adds shine to hair and promotes faster hair growth.

Take the leaves of a red Hibiscus flower plant. Soak in hot water for half an hour. Squeeze the leaves and add apply the liquid (will be slimy) on hair. Wash the hair using herbal shampoo. This improves the texture of the hair, especially if you have chemically treated your hair (colouring, straightening etc.)

 Beautifying Castor Oil

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids and anti-microbial ricinoleic acid and is good for hair. In India, ancestors to keep hair black and healthy were using black, thick crude castor oil. The clear, less thick purified castor oil also serves almost same purpose.

Massaging your scalp regularly with cold-pressed castor oil is one of the easiest ways to get thicker hair naturally. Due to its high viscosity, it coats the hair thoroughly and protects against hair fall. Moreover, being high in vitamin E and fatty acids, it promotes hair growth. One can mix red hibiscus leaves with castor oil and apply on hair followed by washing in warm water. Another way to use castor oil is mixing equal parts of castor oil and coconut oil. Simply using castor oil will also work but it tends to be too thick.

One can follow following instructions to keep hair healthy.

  • Apply it on your head and scalp and massage in circular motions.
  • Comb your hair to distribute the oil throughout your hair and remove tangles.
  • Cover your hair with a towel moistened with warm water.
  • Leave it on for at least one hour and then shampoo your hair as usual.
  • Follow this remedy once a week to enjoy lustrous and thick hair.

Indian Gooseberry

The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and exfoliating properties present in Indian gooseberry can help a lot in maintaining a healthy scalp and better hair growth rate. Mix one tablespoon of Indian gooseberry or amla powder in two tablespoons of coconut oil and heat until boiling. Strain the oil and massage it onto your scalp before going to bed. The next morning, shampoo your hair as usual. Do this on a weekly basis. Another option is to mix one-quarter cup of warm water in one-half cup of Indian gooseberry powder and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Apply the paste on your hair and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off. Follow this remedy every few weeks.

Fenugreek (Methi)

Methi is known as a common natural ingredient that can delay the graying of hair and is the perfect antidote against stubborn dandruff. Soak methi seeds overnight in water and then grind them into a paste. Apply this on scalp, leave it for a few hours, and then wash your hair with shampoo. Another way to use methi is, prepare methi powder (dry fry and powder it) and mix in sesame oil and apply on hair for an hour followed by washing hair.

Coconut oil, Sesame oil and herbs

Coconut oil or sesame oil or mixture of both oil with hibiscus and curry leaves makes hair real healthy, strong, and black. They take care of pre-mature graying of the hair and keep them deep rooted. For a quick recipe: Add few curry leaves, hibiscus leaves into oil mixture and heat under low flame. When the oil color starts turning green, turn of the flame and leave the oil overnight in room temperature. One applies this for couple of hours before bath or overnight soak hair in this oil and wash hair.
One can mix coconut oil or sesame oil with a teaspoon of lemon juice and apply on hair followed by washing in warm water.

Oil sealing

In India Kerala, state women follow oil-sealing method from centuries to keep their hair black, long and healthy.  They seal the moisture in their hair with oil. Oil sealing is a method where oil is used as a sealant over wet moisturized hair. Preconditioned hair is with coconut oil, herbal oil, hair is washed with shikakai or Areetha nuts or mild shampoo and then 2 to 3 drops of oil is applied immediately over hair. Then allow hair to dry naturally.

Image courtesy



1) Indian folk medicines

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: July 17, 2015

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