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Masala’s list of Indian remedies for hair and scalp care

by Masalathai Admin

It’s a no head-scratcher!

By Shaan Bajaj

Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

Dadis and nanis are always talking about the magical capabilities of amla, and it turns out that they aren’t wrong! Amla is extremely rich in vitamin C, iron and calcium. Some of the benefits of using it for your hair include promoting hair growth, conditioning and soothing your scalp, and minimising grey hair, and dandruff too! Apply amla juice or oil as a hair tonic to strengthen your hair, or mix it in powder form with water to create a hair mask to soothe your scalp.

Scalp Massages

Getting a weekly scalp massage is incredibly relaxing and promotes hair growth, according to Ayurveda. An ancient Ayurvedic practice, it releases pressure and promotes healthy and strong hair growth. Pour your choice of oil (coconut oil or onion seed oil are optimal for hair growth) into your hands, completely covering your fingers, and slowly move your fingers from the front of your scalp to the back, applying light pressure. You can also make small circles in the same direction. Don’t forget to massage the side of your head too!

Shikakai (Acacia Concinna)

India has been using shikakai as a scalp cleanser for decades. Shikakai’s cooling properties can soothe a dry or itchy scalp, and as it is a cleansing agent, it can be used to get rid of stubborn dandruff or lice. Mix Shikakai powder into your shampoo or oil and use it as a mask, cleanser or conditioner.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera’s beneficial properties have been known for centuries, and its versatility extends to scalp care, too! It has incredible rejuvenating qualities and can improve follicle health because of the proteolytic enzymes in the plant, which repair dead skin cells. If you have any itchy or dry scalp, you may want to try an aloe vera hair mask.


For centuries, Indian women have washed their hair with diluted yogurt to promote healthy, strong, and long hair. While it might sound odd at first, yoghurt contains bacterial enzymes that treat irritated, dry, or dandruff-plagued scalps, while providing a healthy dose of moisturiser to your hair.

Hot oil treatments

Don’t worry, this won’t burn your scalp! Heating the oil simply increases blood flow in the scalp, assisting healthy hair growth. Start by choosing an oil suited for your hair type, such as neem oil, which is a popular Indian remedy for keeping your hair healthy. Heat the oil, let it cool, and test the oil on your wrist before you start applying. Massage the oil into your scalp gently and let it sit for 20 minutes before you wash your hair. For best results, try this once a week.

Bhringraj (False Daisy)

Translated into ‘ruler of the hair,’ Bhringraj is a miracle worker for your hair, according to Ayurveda. You can use Bhringraj oil to prevent your hair from greying, or to fight hair loss – simply apply the oil into your hair before washing, or let it seep overnight. Bhringraj is also available in tablet form.

Onion seed oil

Ayurveda’s remedy for an unhealthy head of hair is onion oil, due to how rich it is in vitamins that benefit hair growth and prevent breakage and thinning when used consistently. Use onion oil as a hot oil treatment or in a hair mask. Though it can be a little pungent, you can add a fragrant essential oil to the mixture to mask the smell.

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