Nothing in this world can beat the kind of relaxation a hot oil head massage offers! Isn't it? Well, besides calming your nerves and mind, hot oil treatment has umpteen benefits for your hair health.
Let's find out what this ancient Ayurvedic practice can do to your hair and how to use it in your daily routine.
- Is Hot Oil Treatment Good For Hair?
- What Are The Benefits Of Hot Oil Treatment For Your Hair?
- How To Do Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?
- Which Oil Is Best For Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?
- When To Apply Your Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?
- Is It Good To Wash Your Hair Before Or After A Hot Oil Treatment?
- Should Hot Oil Treatment Be Done On Wet Or Dry Hair?
- How Long Do You Leave Hot Oil In Your Hair?
- How Often Should You Use Hot Oil Treatment On Hair?
Is Hot Oil Treatment Good For Hair?
Hot oil head massage is a healing process through vital points (Marmas) of convergence located in your head. It can regulate the driving force and energy (Vayu) of all your body activities, reflecting healthy hair.
Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, "Ayurveda highly recommends Snehana (Oiling) and Swedana (promoting sweat) to keep your hair healthy. Your hair grows out of a byproduct of bone tissue, and hot oil massage works as a conjunct of Snehana-Swedana to strengthen your bone tissue, resulting in healthy hair strands."
She further adds, "Hot oil treatment also regulates Agni (bio-digestive fire) in your body that can improve cellular metabolism in your hair follicle stem cells, regenerating hair growth. Frequent hot oil massage prevents the accumulation of vitiated Doshas (body humors) in your hair roots and enhances blood circulation to your hair follicles, stimulating hair growth."
Hot oil treatment also induces stretching force in your hair roots, lubricates your scalp, and conditions your tresses, providing long lasting health and beauty to your hair."
What Are The Benefits Of Hot Oil Treatment For Your Hair?
1. Delays Follicle Miniaturization
As you age, specific hormones block your hair follicles, weaken, and shrink them. Frequent scalp massage with hot oil unclogs your follicles, delaying the process of miniaturization and regenerating your hair growth. It thickens your hair pores and increases your hair density.
2. Minimizes The Loss Of Protein & Calcium
Each hair strand is built from a byproduct of bone tissue with a vital protein called keratin. As you age, your body develops a loss of protein & calcium, affecting your hair growth. Natural oils deeply nourish your scalp's muscle & bone tissues, and help absorb protein & calcium to strengthen roots & curb hair loss.
3. Regulates Sebaceous Glands
The skin on your scalp contains densely scattered sebaceous glands. These glands produce an oily substance called 'sebum' to lubricate your hair. Hot oil massage balances the activity of these glands to maintain the natural moisturization of your hair.
4. Prevents Hair Breakage
The hot oil intensely repairs your cuticles and hair shafts to combat damage and replenish elasticity from a strand's root to tip, preventing breakage and split ends. It profoundly conditions your tresses and brings out a lustrous texture and shine to your mane.
5. Stimulates Hair Growth
The impact of Shiro Abhyanga penetrates deeply into your scalp layers, enhancing blood circulation in the nerves beneath your scalp skin. This helps retransform dormant follicles into hair follicles, stimulating hair growth. It supports your hair growth life cycle and increases your hair volume. 
6. Delays Hair Greying
Adequate nourishment and blood flow to the hair follicles can reactivate melanin production in your hair follicle stem cells to alleviate grey hair and regain your natural hair color.
7. Balances Doshas & Relieves Stress
Hot oil head massage helps pacify Pitta and Vata Doshas, whose accumulation in your hair follicles is the root cause of all your hair issues. It helps relieve your mental and physical stress, which is a common factor causing hair loss. 
Ayurvedic hot oil head massage communicates with your limbic system, revitalizing your emotional balance. It is a part of psychoneuro immunity, which is the most essential in day to day life.
How To Do Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?
Hot oil treatment can be done by yourself at home if you can include all the steps of Shiro Abhyanga as mentioned below:
1. As per Ayurveda, you must examine your body constitution (Prakriti) and find out the root cause of a specific problem (Vikriti). Any herbal oil used for hot oil treatment is Prakriti specific, Vikriti specific, and Dosha specific.
Word Of Caution:
2. If your hair issue is related to Vata and Kapha's dominance, oil is slightly heated. The oil bowl is closed and put into another big vessel filled with water heated on fire (oil is warmed passively). For Pitta dominant, oil is used at room temperature.
3. Shiro Abhyanga must be done on a clean scalp. Having a thorough head bath the night before you take the treatment saves your time. Just wet your scalp & hair by sprinkling water before the treatment starts.
4. Pour the warm oil to smear it soothingly and massage your scalp with your fingertips, applying little pressure at specific points. Massage should not be done vigorously or by using deep pressure, as it causes headaches or other discomforts.
5. Dip a towel into hot water, and squeeze out the excess water. Use the damp hot towel for wrapping up your hair.
6. After that, you can relax for a while, making sure the body is not exposed to cold air to avoid headaches, cold, etc.
7. After removing the wrap, use water processed with neem leaves or amla for a warm shower bath. Wash your hair using gram flour or herbal shampoos. Do not use hot water for a head bath as it may affect your scalp sensitivity and damage your hair.
Vedix Tip: Drinking ginger decoction can enhance your cellular metabolism and remove blocks from your hair follicle cells. It also prevents acute cold-related symptoms that may be caused by the head massage.
Which Oil Is Best For Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?
Coconut oil is considered the best oil to use in hot oil treatment as it prevents protein loss at your hair shafts and works as a perfect coolant. Generally, hot oil massage uses sesame seed oil or coconut oil as they are the safest for almost all hair types.
However, different essential oils and carrier oils are mixed depending on your hair type and root cause analysis:
- Vata predominance - Oil or Ghee
- Pitta associated with Raktha - Ghee
- Kapha disorders - sesame oil
- Vitiated Vata, Pitta & Raktha - Oil & Ghee mixed in equal ratios.
- In Kapha association - Oil & Ghee are mixed in 1:1/2 ratios.
- To pacify Pitta Dosha - Ksheerabala Thailam and Chandanbala Lakshadi Tailam.
- To pacify Vata Dosha - Dhanwantaram Tailam or Mahanarayana Thailam
- Kunthalakanthi Thailam for healthy hair
- Tulasyadi Thailam helps to prevent dandruff
- Dhurdhurapatradi Tailam is especially to alleviate dandruff issues
- Nimbadi Thailam to cure itch and boils on the scalp, and to curb hair fall.
- NeeliBhringadi Thailam/Kera Thailam for healthy hair
- Prapaundarikadi Thailam to prevent premature greying of hair
- Malatyadi Tailam to curb hair fall
- Vila Patradi Tailam to cure dandruff problem
- Himasagara Tailam to alleviate greying of hair 
Vedix Tip: Intake of a 24-48 ml dose of a purgative decoction at bedtime is advised to detoxify your body and improve your hair growth.
When To Apply Your Hot Oil Treatment For Hair?
Apply hot oil treatment for hair when you experience dryness of your scalp, damaged and broken hair strands, an itchy scalp due to dandruff, a severe hair fall, and diffuse hair thinning. Hot oil massage is also suitable for oily hair, but take a less fatty oil to prevent an oily residue on your scalp.
Is It Good To Wash Your Hair Before Or After A Hot Oil Treatment?
Wash your hair before and after the treatment. Yes, you need to wash your hair even before the hot oil massage so that the oil can penetrate the cuticles properly. Make sure you apply hot oil only on a clean scalp by washing your hair thoroughly on that day, either morning or the night before the treatment. Hot oil treatment cannot have positive impact if your hair roots are clogged by dirt and pollutants.
Washing your hair after the treatment is like taking a shower after an exercise. It replenishes the activities in your scalp and refreshes your whole body and mind. Also, adding deep natural conditioning to your hair at this point gives the best results.
Should Hot Oil Treatment Be Done On Wet Or Dry Hair?
Hot oil massage is most effective on semi-dry hair rather than dry or damp hair. The open pores on a freshly washed scalp and moist hair strands can absorb oil better. Avoid using a hairdryer. Leave your hair to dry it naturally or pat dry it with a muslin cloth. Wash your hair one hour before the treatment if you want to apply hot oil on a semi-dry hair.
How Long Do You Leave Hot Oil In Your Hair?
After you soothingly massage your scalp for five minutes, the oil is no more hotter. Wrap your hair and leave the oil on your scalp for 20 minutes while you close your eyes and relax. The average time to leave oil on your scalp after hot oil massage is around 20 to 40 minutes.
How Often Should You Use Hot Oil Treatment On Hair?
It is beneficial to use hot oil head massage on a daily basis for dry scalp & hair until the dryness is controlled. For normal hair, hot oil massage can be used 1-3 times a week. For oily hair, once in a week is more than enough. Frequent hot oil treatments relieve stress and prevent most hair problems, making it undoubtedly beneficial to your mane. 
The Last Word
Ayurveda's highly individualized hot oil hair treatment can greatly enhance your hair health and texture, leaving long lasting results. Use it along with herbal hair care products for a remarkable output. Herbal shampoo retains the impact of hot oil treatment while removing extra oil residue from your hair.
Complementing the hot oil hair treatment by adding detoxifying drinks and a nutritious diet to your routine, along with good sleep, can show much better improvement in your hair growth.Know Your Dosha Now
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