A CRASH COURSE IN OILING
Updated: Jul 28, 2021
According to Ayurveda, there are (life-giving energies) that flow through all humans — Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. An excess of any one of them throws the entire body’s functioning off-balance, but its consequences can especially be seen by the way it affects our hair.
The scalp, in Ayurveda, is composed of multiple energy-relieving points called marmas. Hair-oiling, then, is seen as a rejuvenation tool — oiling the scalp helps extract any excess doshas that accumulate in the head, the seat of all decision-making, thinking, and stress — thereby restoring balance. Once the balance is restored, the negative effects of a dosha being in excess we all deal with, such as premature greying, hair fall, coarse hair, and dandruff — automatically resolve themselves. Apart from rejuvenation, hair-oiling according to Ayurveda has the added advantages of strengthening hair-roots and nourishing hair-shafts, promoting new hair growth, softening and conditioning the hair, protecting the hair from the harsh effects of the sun, and enhancing blood circulation in the head and neck area, relieving the “tightness” felt from stress. When and how should you oil your hair? Ayurveda suggests oiling your hair once a week, and hence, washing your hair once a week. In case your hair is exceptionally dry or has a lot of dandruff, you can benefit from hair-oiling twice or thrice a week, but no more.
The best, easy-to-achieve method of hair-oiling is: take lukewarm (not hot) oil in a small bowl, dip fingertips in the oil while parting the hair at the top of the head with the other hand, and apply the oil to the scalp. Then, part the hair in an adjacent location and apply oil, and repeat this process until you have oiled your entire head. Massage only a little oil along the length of the hair. (Too much can heavily coat the hair in oil leading to dust and dirt sticking to it.) In the end, lightly massage the scalp with small, circular motions to stimulate blood circulation and to encourage the oil to absorb, thereby cooling down the head and releasing the excess doshas.