words: Jash P
One of my fondest memories from my childhood is of my mother oiling my hair.
Growing up with an Indian mother, I knew from a very young age that taking care of your hair was very important. It’s not just about the aesthetics, it went deeper than that, it was rooted in tradition and Ayurveda (Ayur = life, Veda = knowledge). This knowledge determines which oils and herbs to use based on your needs, the process of making the mixtures, the massaging technique, the intergenerational conversations, the bond between women and so much more.
Over time, I have taken both what I have learnt from my mother and my own exploration and created a routine that works for me. So I want to share it with you all.
Be warned, this is a luxurious hair care routine - it’s extra but we deserve it and let’s be honest, we've got the time, right?
So, here goes! Below are the six steps I use to nurture my hair and all the products I use to do it.
I recommend doing this process once or twice a week. The easiest and most convenient way to start is to wait till you want to wash your hair. But I’m extra and I add a couple more steps before I start.
1. Wash and hair rinse
I wash my hair with a natural, organic, vegan and sulfate-free shampoo (Suneeta's No Suds Shampoo), a shampoo massage brush and warm water (not hot). Next, I apply a hair rinse (see below) to my scalp, to get rid of any build-up and to balance the PH levels, to prepare it for oiling. This is an important step, as it allows the oil to seep into the pores and hair shaft better, without any dirt or product getting in the way.
For my rinse I use,
1 part apple cider vinegar
2 parts warm water
5 drops of tea tree oil
This definitely doesn't smell the best but your scalp will thank you, trust me!
I put this mixture into a spray bottle, spray it directly onto the scalp and then work the rest through my hair.
I concentrate on putting most of the rinse on my scalp and leave it to work for 15 minutes. This gives you enough time to prepare the hair oil.
After 15 minutes, I wash my hair again, but with only water this time (warm not hot remember!).
2. Prepare the oil
It’s really important, where possible, to use organic, cold pressed, unrefined oils. This means you’re using the best quality oil that have been less processed and retain more of their natural benefits. I tend to adapt my mixture according to my hair needs at the time; at the moment I’m working on hair growth and hydration.
So I mix into a bowl 1 tablespoons of
- Suneeta’s Hair Oil
- Avocado Oil
- Black Seed Oil
- Onion Seed Oil
- Jamaican Black Castor Oil
- Mustard Seed Oil
- 10 drops of Suneeta’s Rosemary Essential Oil
I then warm the mixture for 10 minutes, using the bain marie method, to gently heat it up.
It’s important not to warm the mixture directly on heat or in the microwave as this could destroy the molecules and nutrients in the oils.
Warming up the mixture allows the oils to penetrate the scalp and hair shaft better and makes it easier to spread as it thins out the mixture.
3. Massage the scalp
Once the oil is warm enough, I part my hair into sections and put the oil directly into the scalp. Ensuring the oil is thoroughly massaged in and taking the moment to enjoy a good head massage and to centre myself. Head massages are a great natural way to help relieve stress, headaches and help you sleep, which is why I do this in the evening. This will also stimulate blood flow to your scalp, which promotes healthy hair growth by helping the oil to absorb. I then put the rest of the oil in the ends of my hair.
4. Wrap it up and leave it in
After massaging the mixture into my hair, I comb it through with Suneeta's Peach Wood Hair Comb then style my hair into a plait, wrap it up in silk material* and then leave it to absorb overnight. Silk or satin material is known to help retain moisture and reduces the friction that leads to breakage and split-ends when sleeping. But if you’re going to buy silk, please do try to source ethical Ahimsa (‘non-violent’) silk. I leave the oil in for at least 12 hours, as I don’t believe that the hair can truly absorb and get the benefits from the oils for less time.
*I use an old saree piece for that regal feeling (I told you I'm extra lol)
5. Wash and apply a hair mask
After 24 hours, I wash my hair and apply a hair mask. I mix fresh avocado and my favourite hair mask, Pureology’s Hydrate Superfood Treatment. I leave this in for at least 30 minutes
6. Final wash and dry
I rinse the mask off with cold water and then dry my hair with a microfibre towel or a cotton t-shirt (rough towels can cause hair breakage).
Finally, I apply a couple of pumps of Suneeta’s Organic Argan Oil Hair Serum and I’m good to go!
So there you go, my 6 steps for healthy hair and a great way to spend some time with yourself. Any questions, give me a shout!