Is castor oil good for hair? I’ve read that it is good for improving hair growth. Can I also try using almond oil?
Oiling hair is recommended as a comprehensive solution for hair fall, lifeless shafts, damaged ends and dandruff. When we blow-dry, straighten, shampoo, expose to sun or even take a bath in chlorinated water, our hair becomes brittle and fragile. Hygral fatigue is a term used to denote the repeated and excessive swelling of the hair cuticle as water is absorbed and the contracting of the hair cuticle as it dries. Some oils can penetrate the hair and reduce the amount of water absorbed in the hair leading to lower hygral fatigue.
The oil can also fill the gap between the cuticle cells and prevent the penetration of the aggressive substances such as surfactants into the follicle. Oiling hair has several effects – it increases the tensile strength of the hair, reduces frizziness and prevents breakage.
Coconut oil is the best for hair from an Ayurveda view point; it is deep-penetrating and is found to reduce the protein loss of hair when used as a prewash and post-wash product. On the hair, castor oil or almond oil work to coat the hair shaft and smooth the cuticle layer, sealing in moisture and leaving the hair feeling soft and silky.
According to Ayurveda, castor oil and almond oil are hot and sharp in potency; therefore, it is better to use cooling oils such as coconut oil for the hair, especially in hot and dry weather conditions. If you are prone to oily scalp, reduce oil usage, as getting the oily residue out of your hair could be a challenge. Don’t shampoo your hair too often; look for shampoos that contain natural humectants. You could, however rinse your hair and apply conditioner. Remember to wash your hair with cold water as hot water increases frizziness.
Beyond the product itself, the massaging technique used when applying oil also has a litany of benefits. The best Ayurvedic hair oils – kayyunnyadi keram, neelibhringadi keram, chemparuthyadi keram and thriphaladi keram are all coconut oil based. An Ayurveda expert can help you choose the best oil for your hair and scalp.