Ayurveda has helped humans to live well and stay healthy for millennia. In everything from helping the heart, lungs and kidneys through to skin issues, stronger nails and yep, you guessed, stimulating hair growth!
In this article, you're going to learn how to use Ayurvedic hair growth oil to reduce your hair fall, and even regrow hair in the most effective way possible. Make sure you read the whole article because at the end we show you a quick, easy, and effective homemade Ayurvedic shampoo recipe that you can start using tonight.
QUICK TEASER: The results from one study we will look at shows that after 16 days, the Ayurvedic oil, E. Alba, had regrown hair on mice more effectively than the well-known topical (and harsh) Minoxidil. This a pretty amazing result considering this is an oil that has been around for centuries and costs a fraction of the price.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a traditional approach to medicine that has been practiced in India for thousands of years.
This system of medicine focuses not only on the physical but the emotional and mental well-being of followers as well. This means that, while the use of ayurvedic oils may provide you with a number of benefits, the best results for treating hair loss are usually achieved when all aspects of your health have been taken into account and properly addressed.
Whether you’re interested in taking a wholesome approach, or just want to see how Ayurvedic oils can help you with promoting hair growth, we are confident you'll find some great info here.
Which Ayurvedic Oils Can Help with Hair Growth?
Over the many thousands of years that Ayurveda has been around, a number of different oils have also been used for their healing, moisturizing, and cleansing properties.
A few such oils have also been traditionally used on the scalp and hair for combating dandruff, itchy scalp, hair fall, premature hair loss, and even for promoting hair growth.
Some of the most popular oils include Castor Oil, Coconut, Sunflower Oil, Amla, Brahmi, and Bhringaraj.
But, let's take a closer look at some of these specific Ayurvedic hair oils for hair growth and nourishment.
The Top 6 Best Ayurvedic Hair Oils For Hair Growth
While the list below isn’t complete, it offers an excellent beginning for individuals looking for natural hair loss treatment options in the Ayurvedic tradition.
Almond oil is a moisturizing and inflammation-fighting oil that can provide your scalp with the healthy balance it requires.
Almond oil has been used for the treatment of a range of health conditions, including in the prevention of cardiometabolic diseases, and is an easily accessible choice for individuals looking to get started using Ayurvedic hair care treatments for hair fall (aside from the scalp, it's also one of the best oils for eyelash growth as well).
Amla (or Amalaki) is a known inhibitor of 5-alpha reductase. 5-alpha reductase is the enzyme responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT, and for individuals with male-pattern baldness, DHT sensitivity can cause excessive hair thinning and loss.
Amla extract is also a traditional remedy for preventing premature graying. This ayurvedic oil is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fatty acids, and minerals that nourish the scalp and hair.
To top it off, its ability to increase blood circulation to the scalp helps to deliver even more nutrients to the hair follicles while reinforcing the hair shafts to diminish breakage. Additionally, amla has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce scalp inflammation, which can also contribute to premature greying.
Aside from its use in the treatments of Parkinson’s and epilepsy, Brahmi oil has been historically used as a scalp moisturizer and antioxidant.
Both of these uses help promote healthy hair and are beneficial in preventing hair loss and dandruff and can be helpful in regrowing hair.
Perhaps one of the better-known oils used in Ayurvedic medicine, bhringraj is commonly used for the treatment of hair issues such as hair thinning, hair loss, and dry scalp.
This ayurvedic herb, literally translated from the Sanskrit भ्रिंगराज as “King of hair,” has been shown in animal studies to boost hair growth and increase hair density when applied topically.
Sesame oil, regularly used throughout the world, can be used on the hair as well. It contains the DHT-inhibiting compound, phytosterols. For sufferers of male-pattern baldness (medically referred to as Androgenetic Alopecia), a reduction in DHT is vital to the hair-growing process and is essential in combatting hair loss.
This east Asian plant oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties which can be beneficial in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections that may affect the hair follicles in the hair and scalp.
Thuja orientalis has been scientifically shown in animal studies to significantly increase hair follicle count after 14 days and even worked more effectively than minoxidil.
What Does The Research Have to Say About Ayurvedic Oils for Hair Growth?
As mentioned above, there is a variety of hair oil for hair growth used in the Ayurvedic tradition.
We will focus on one particular oil, bhringraj oil (also known as Eclipta alba or Eclipta Alba), as it has been shown in numerous clinical trials to be an effective treatment for hair loss in mice and is believed to have similar effects for humans.
The study presented was performed in 2014 and it was published in BioMed Research International.
In this study, five nude, male mice were randomly assigned to one of five groups - from A to E.
The mouse in Group A was the control. The mouse in Group B had a topical solution of 2% Minoxidil applied daily. The mice in Groups C, D, and E received a daily topical solution of Asiasari radix, Eclipta alba, or Panax ginseng, respectively.
The experiment was completed after all five mice went through two complete hair cycles.
Unsurprisingly, the control group had very little hair growth by the end of the first and second hair cycles.
The mouse which received Minoxidil, on the other hand, saw an increase in hair length and hair density by the end of both cycles.
And what about the mouse who received a daily application of bhringraj oil (seen as E. Alba below)? Well, the results truly do speak for themselves.
What Makes Bhringraj Oil an Effective Hair Loss Treatment?
The hair growth results shown in the photograph above are certainly impressive, to say the least!
But, what makes bhringraj (E. alba) oil such an effective treatment for hair fall, and how exactly does it induce hair growth and increase hair density as shown in the above research study?
First, let’s take a moment to talk about the hair cycle (similar in both humans and mice).
Hair growth occurs in three phases - anagen, catagen and telogen.
Anagen (the active growth phase) is the longest of the three phases and can last anywhere from two to six years. Next is catagen.
The catagen phase bridges the active growth phase (anagen) with the resting phase (telogen) and is the shortest in the hair growth cycle, lasting between two to three weeks. The last phase as mentioned is telogen, and it lasts, on average, 100 days.
For individuals with male-pattern baldness, the active growth phase (anagen) drastically shortens after a few cycles. This is thought to happen because DHT sensitivity leads to the miniaturization of the hair follicles, and this results in the production of shorter hairs until, eventually, the hairs are so short that they no longer poke through the scalp.
So, where does bhringraj oil come in?
As indicated by research such as the study presented above, bhringraj hair oil makes it possible for new hair follicles to form - also called hair follicle neogenesis. Further, the topical application of bhringraj oil is believed to cause the anagen phase to occur earlier.
These two occurrences help to make a healthy environment in which full, healthy hair can be promoted to grow.
Are There Side Effects Associated with Ayurvedic Oil Supplementation?
As with the use of any supplement, side effects and reactions are possible and it’s important to consult with your physician or doctor prior to any use.
For individuals with pre-existing conditions such as slow heart rate or ulcers, supplementation with certain Ayurvedic oils, like bhrami, should be avoided.
Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or nursing should consult with their obstetrician prior to Ayurvedic herbal hair oil supplementation. Some oils commonly used in natural Ayurvedic medicine, like thuja, have been known to induce labor or cause miscarriage and should be avoided at all costs.
How to Add Ayurvedic Hair Oils to Your Hair Care Routine
If you’re interested in a time-tested and natural approach to healthy hair growth, then the addition of Ayurvedic oils to your regular self-care ritual is a must.
These hair treatment oils act as great natural conditioners which is important for scalp health and in growing lustrous hair.
Fortunately, with the recipes provided below, you won’t even have to alter your regular care routine too much in order to include these wholesome, healing oils.
Add Ayurvedic Oils To Your Shampoo
If you’re looking to use Ayurvedic hair oils on a weekly basis, then an all-natural shampoo is the way to go. This particular recipe was given to us by William Slator, the founder of Hairguard.com
Rosemary Herb and Bhringraj Oil Hair Growth Shampoo
- Apple Cider Vinegar (1 cup)
- Water (1 cup)
- Rosemary (1 bunch)
- Bhringraj Oil (1/4 cup)
- Peppermint Essential Oil (10 drops)
Bring one cup of water to a boil. Place the rosemary into the boiling water, remove it from heat, and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Remove the rosemary and discard.
Using a container of your choosing, combine the rosemary tea water with apple cider vinegar, bhringraj oil, and peppermint essential oil. Shake or stir to mix well.
How to Apply:
Pour the mixture into your hand and work into a lather. Apply to wet scalp and massage in gentle, circular motions until your scalp is fully covered. Allow the mixture to sit for up to three minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
The hair-growth promoting properties of bhringraj oil, combined with the antimicrobial and antioxidant properties in rosemary oil make it a wonderful addition to the apple cider vinegar’s anti-inflammatory activities and peppermint oil’s cooling effects. This is one of our favourite homemade shampoos ever.
How To Create A Homemade Scalp Massage Oil
Within the Ayurvedic tradition, massage is an oft-used treatment for a wide variety of conditions and discomforts.
Aside from the benefits provided to you by the oils, massage can also stimulate blood circulation in the scalp and has even been shown to increase hair thickness in a 2016 Japanese research study.
Are you ready to reap the benefits associated with scalp massage? Getting started is simple!
For basic massage oil treatment, choose your favourite Ayurvedic hair growth oil from the list above. From almond to thuja, you have a wide array of carrier oil options available to you.
If you want to give your massage oil a bit of a boost and a nice natural fragrance, consider adding in a few drops of your favourite essential oils as well. Rosemary oil is a nice touch, but there are so many essential oils, such as lavender and cedar that have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of hair fall as well.
How to Use
For best results, apply the oil into the scalp and perform the scalp massage immediately after showering. Warm water opens up the pores and makes absorption of oil more likely to occur.
After you’ve chosen the oil you’d like to use, pour a quarter-sized amount into your palm and warm it between your hands. Apply directly to your scalp and massage, using your fingertips, to work the oil into your scalp and hair. Be sure that the entirety of the scalp is covered, which may require the use of more oil.
Following the massage, cover your hair with a shower cap and allow the oil to sit and absorb for a minimum of 15 minutes. You may also apply the herbal oil prior to bed.
Rinse your scalp thoroughly with warm water.
One More Option:
If you’re more of a visual learner and you’d like to check out one more amazing recipe, the video below from Taika Filat will walk you through how to make one of the best and most effective DIY natural hair oils.
Where To Buy Ayurvedic Oils for Hair
A common barrier for individuals who are seeking chemical-free treatment is availability.
As the Ayurvedic tradition is not as common in the West as it is in the East, it can be harder to get high-quality Ayurvedic oils, but they are still available. Some of the more common Ayurvedic oils, such as almond oil, extra virgin coconut oil or organic sesame oil can be picked up in most grocery stores, however, it is always best to make sure you are using the highest quality oils possible.
We've done all of the research we can to find the best ayurvedic hair oils on the market - the banners and links throughout this article will take you to the products we believe are of the best quality, ethics, and purity - and we've listed them again below for you to make it easy to check out and make your own decisions!
- 1.) Almond Oil
- 2.) Amla (Emblica officinalis) Oil (also called Amalaki)
- 3.) Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) Oil
- 4.) Bhringraj (Eclipta prostrata) Oil
- 5.) Sesame Oil
- 6.) Thuja Orientalis Oil
Ayurvedic oils for hair (particularly bhringraj oil) contain a host of properties that help with hair health, repair, retention and improve hair growth.
These have been used for millennia by people for both better and healthier skin and hair - and now modern science is beginning to uncover exactly how they work.
If you're interested in herbal medicine and ayurveda, there are many other supplements (like ashwagandha & Fo-Ti) that not only improve your hair health but also address many other issues and ailments
We hope this has helped you understand a bit more about ayurvedic hair oils, if you've got any questions at all - don't hesitate to get in touch!