Ayurvedic Hair Oil: Unlocking Lustrous Locks – Benefits, Types, and Usage Secrets

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In the world of natural hair care, there’s a lot of talk about Ayurveda for hair, particularly using Ayurvedic hair oils. 

It would be weird if it wasn’t popular – this science is thousands of years old and describes the use of over 600 herbs and plants.

You don’t need to understand the benefits of all of these, of course, just learning about a couple of different ayurvedic hair oils will do. 

Using Ayurvedic hair oils is a great way to improve the look and health of your hair, stimulate growth, reduce breakage, and more. 

In this article, we will cover:

  • How Do Ayurvedic Hair Oils Work?
  • Benefits
  • Types of Ayurvedic Hair Oil
  • How To Use Ayurvedic Hair Oil?
  • Conclusion

So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

a woman with her eyes closed getting a scalp massage

How Do Ayurvedic Hair Oils Work?

Ayurvedic hair oil has been used since ancient times and has been a part of regular hair care in the past. As modern hair care products arrived, we stopped using it.

According to Ayurveda, what happens when we apply oil on our scalp is that it enters the openings of channels that are on our head. 

Brajaka Pitta, one of the five types of Pitta Dosha, helps the body absorb the medicinal nutrients from these oils. 

The scalp also has many marmas, points where we can relieve energy. By massaging the oil into the hair, we are stimulating these points and we can balance our doshas. 

In Ayurveda, every problem we have is a result of a dosha imbalance, including hair problems like premature greying, hair fall, dandruff, and dry hair.

By bringing doshas in balance we are also resolving these issues, and using Ayurvedic hair oil is one of the many methods we can use for that. 

Of course, it also works on the hair itself, by locking in moisture and nourishing & hydrating the hair. 

a woman getting an ayurvedic hair massage

Ayurvedic Hair Oil Benefits

Here are the main benefits of using an Ayurvedic hair oil:

  • Prevents and reduces dandruff thanks to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. 
  • Nourishes the hair follicles with vitamins and minerals which prevents hair fall and encourages growth. 
  • The added hydration on the hair can prevent or aid with headaches
  • Helps prevent premature graying and keep hair color vibrant
  • Massaging the head with ayurvedic hair oil also nourishes the sense organs on the face and can improve your complexion
  • Applying the oil can be a relaxing routine to prepare you for sleep
  • Prevents and reduces scalp dryness and itching.
  • Prevents breakage and dryness of the hair, locking in moisture.
  • Makes the hair smooth and may increase the volume and thickness of hair.
ayurvedic herbs and oils layed out

5 Types of Ayurvedic Hair Oil

Ayurveda sees the body holistically, so to find the best type of oil, you would also look at your hair’s dosha or constitution. It is possible to recognize an overactive dosha based on the problem you have.

For example, if you are Vata-dominant, your hair will be thin, frizzy and prone to breakage. If you have fine hair and struggle with hair fall or premature graying, you might be Pitta-dominant, and if your hair is thick and oily then it is Kapha-dominant. 

After you know your hair type, you can also find the best oil for yourself. When searching for an ayurvedic hair oil, make sure to look for the most organic version of the oil your budget allows. 

The chemicals in cheaper and mass-produced oils are not in line with the principles and the idea of Ayurveda, which aims to use only pure ingredients from nature. In fact, in the past, the oils were made on the spot – the herbs were hand-plucked, crushed, and applied to the hair.

That’s hardly possible for most of us in this day and age, but you can still easily find chemical-free oils.

a woman using Ayurvedic hair oil spray in her hair

With that in mind, here are some types of oils you can choose: 

#1: Brahmi oil

Brahmi oil is a good choice if you don’t have big problems with your hair, but want to strengthen the hair follicles, give your scalp some nourishment, and encourage hair growth. 

#2: Bhiringaj

Another great choice for encouraging faster hair growth, bhiringaj is recommended if you struggle with hair fall. 

#3: Sesame oil

This is one of the most famous ayurvedic hair oils, which is used for body massage too. It is traditionally recommended for vata and kapha-dominant hair and is packed with vitamins and minerals that can prevent hair fall.

#4: Amla

Also available as a powder, amla is one of the most famous hair products in India, known to give that shine effect of freshly dyed hair – but without the dye. Amla is rich in vitamin C, and is great if you want to strengthen your hair and prevent split ends.

#5: Coconut oil

Another popular choice, coconut oil is great for Pitta-dominant hair. It is packed with fatty acids which lock in moisture, nourish the hair, and prevent dryness and hair fall. It is also a good choice for chemically treated hair. 

yellow hair oil being poured out of a glass bottle

How To Use Ayurvedic Hair Oil?

So now that you have your intention for using the oil and have found the right one for you, it’s time to decide how you’ll use it.

In Ayurveda, it is suggested to oil the hair once every week, and also to wash the hair only once per week. The only case where you can benefit from doing it more often is in case of dandruff or if your hair is extra dry, like is the case with bleached hair.

It is recommended to apply the oil before sleep and to leave the oil overnight to soak in. You can wrap your hair in a towel or put a heatcap to prevent staining your pillow. By massaging the oil to your head in the evening, you can also improve your sleep

To apply the oil, dip your fingers in the oil. Part your hair on the top, and begin applying to the scalp. Move the hair to the other side layer by layer until you have covered your entire scalp. Then massage your entire head for as long as you’d like. 

Note – I remember seeing a video  (this one) where a woman talked about how most women massage their scalp wrong. You should really try to press in the head, rather than only moving your hair around. 

In Ayurveda, the most important area to apply oil is the scalp, but you can also apply it to the tips of the hair to prevent breakage and improve the look of the ends. 

If you choose the overnight treatment, you can wash your hair in the morning. Traditionally, lukewarm water and a mild shampoo are recommended.

However, that part will likely depend on the type of oil and our hair type – for example, when I used coconut oil on my fine and frizzy hair, washing it with mild shampoo didn’t help and my hair looked greasy. You might need to use a stronger shampoo, or warmer water to rinse it off. 

We usually heat the oil for head massage. 

Although you can apply cool oil too, warm oil is traditionally used and considered more useful.

If you are already doing Abhyanga, or the Ayurvedic self-massage ritual, you already have experience with heating up the oil. 

But it is easy even if you don’t. Just do the double boiler method – placing a smaller cup into a larger filled with hot water and keeping it there until it’s warm but not hot. 

coconut oil, half a coconut, and a lock of hair


Using Ayurvedic hair oil can improve the health of your hair. It prevents premature hair greying and fall, encourages hair growth, moisturizes the hair, and reduces dandruff. 

Massaging the hair has other benefits, as we are stimulating the marma points which can balance the doshas, calm the nervous system, improve our complexion, and reduce headaches. 

If you are currently working on building a more natural self-care routine, then using ayurvedic hair oils is a worthy addition. 

Read our other Ayurveda articles: 

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Sara lives in Croatia, near the sea, with her dog. She enjoys exploring nature, and making art. She is currently developing a series of children’s/YA stories and comics in her native language, which she feels complements her work and allows her to live her dream life – having yoga, writing, art, and nature in her every day.

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