WHAT IS AYURVEDIC
Ayurvedic Medicine (also known as Ayurveda) is one the World’s Oldest Holistic (whole-body) Healing Systems developed more than 2,000 years ago in India. Ayurveda combines the words ayur (life) and veda (science of knowledge). This system is based on the belief that Health & Wellness depends on a balance between Mind, Body and Spirit in having the ability to HEAL itself. The key concepts interconnects (people, their health and the universe), the body’s constitution (prakriti) and life’s forces (dosha). This System of Balance was written in Sanskrit in three ancient books (Caraka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Astanga, Hridaya) and many of these Ayurvedic practices were handed down by generations. Using these concepts also includes herbs, proprietary ingredients, diet, exercise and lifestyle to maintain a Balance of complete Health.
Even though there are numerous herbs available, I have infused 12 of these amazing herbs as the Primary Foundation in my All-Natural Hair Collection (Ayur’s Batch of Nature). Before this product line was founded, I had been incorporating several herbs for over 5 years in my own Ayurvedic Hair Care Regimen and my hair has continued to thrive in Strength, Health and Length when consistently used. In my recent post, Henna Basics for Beginners, I stressed the importance of making sure that when you purchase your Henna, that it is 100% Pure-Quality Henna. The same goes for when ordering your herbs online, please make sure that they only sell All-Natural, Pure (and my personal preference) Organic products or you can purchase locally if you have an authentic Indian store. There are two reputable companies that I prefer to order from and they are http://www.mehandi.com and http://www.hennasooq.com/color/. Every order I have received from them has always been fresh and high-quality. Pure, natural herbs and powder will have a grassy/earthy aroma and will come in various shades of brown, green in color, or red (hibiscus). Ayurvedic Herbs are safe and yields the same benefits for all Ethnicities, Cultures, Hair types & Textures.
HERBS AND THEIR PROPERTIES
So we have touched briefly on the Concept of Ayurvedic, the importance of the Quality of Herbs, now let’s chat about their Properties and how they work….
AMLA (emblic myrobalan): A fruit known as Indian Gooseberry. Its properties are cooling, astringent, antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiviral. It contains vitamin C and encourages hair growth. Amla can be used as a remedy for hair loss; it also nourishes and provides luster to dull and dry hair, making hair thicker and stronger. It also controls premature graying, lightly conditions, controls dandruffs and other scalp related issues.
BRAHMI (bacopa monnieri): Known as Indian Pennywort that has leaves that are round, coin shaped and grows in groups of twos or threes. Native throughout India including the North Eastern region. This herb combats chronic hair problems, thickens hair, prevents pre-mature balding and hair loss and nourishes the scalp with light conditioning properties, it reduces dandruff, helps prevent split ends and also prevents itchy scalp.
BHRINGRAJ (eclipta alba): A plant known as the “Ruler or King of the Hair for Rejuvenation”. It is Native to India and the Southwestern US and known for stopping hair loss, premature graying of hair and makes hair stronger. It is best known and considered to be the best Ayurvedic remedy for stopping hair loss, it’s known to darken hair, fight pre-mature balding and cures alopecia, adds denseness, thickness and luster to hair.
BURDOCK ROOT (arctium lappa): A hard Perennial Plant, also known as Cockle buttons, Burr seed, Beggar’s buttons and Thorny burr. It is Native to Europe and North America. It’s rich in natural vitamins, minerals, amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E and protein. It helps to promote healthy hair, relieve scalp irritations, improves scalp conditions, aids in hair growth, stops hair loss and adds sheen and strength to hair.
HIBISCUS PETAL (rosa sinensis): Known a China rose and Native to North Africa, Thailand, the Caribbean, and Latin America. These flower petals will vary in colors from white to pink, red, orange, purple or yellow. It contains a high percentage of vitamin C and is rich in silica. Prevents hair loss, discourages split ends, thickens hair, promotes hair growth, reduces hair loss, gives hair a gorgeous shine, delays premature graying, and enhances the red tones in henna recipe. It is also Excellent for moisturizing, conditioning and softening hair.
HORSE TAIL (equisetum): Known also as Snake grass or Puzzle grass and is Native to North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These branch-like leaves which resemble a horse tail are stems that are saturated with an ample amount of silica and silicic acids. Silica content helps strengthen and repair weak, brittle, damaged hair, giving it vitality and shine with regular use. This plant is used as a remedy for dandruff, eczema and psoriasis; it nourishes and strengthens hair follicles and facilitates natural hair growth.
MARSHMALLOW ROOT (althaea): A Perennial herb known as a White Mallow Herb and is Native to Europe and Western Asia. It’s great for soothing and relieving your scalp and hair and is also super slippery when wet due to the mucilage, which is a gel-like substance and SLIP is what is Needed to help remove tangles, knots and your hair from coiling around itself. This herb treats hair ailments like eczema, psoriasis and dry scalp. It has excellent conditioning properties, nourishes hair follicles, softens hair and imparts shine.
FENUGREEK SEED (trigonella foenum-graecum): Known as Greek hay or Methi leaves which is an herb that contains seed pods that are yellow- to amber-colored. It is Native to India, Southern Europe, the Mediterranean region, and Western Asia. Fenugreek is high in protein, rich in iron, vitamins and minerals that nourishes and strengthens hair follicles. It also treats sensitive scalp conditions, promotes hair growth and helps to prevent pre-mature graying and baldness. It also reduces itchy scalp, repairs hair damage and reduces hair fall out.
NEEM (azadirachta indica): Neem is an Evergreen tree and every part of this tree has medicinal value that can be used, from the sap, twigs, flowers, and bark to the seeds, gum, fruit, and roots. It is Native to Indian subcontinent, Pakistan, Nepal, Iran, and in the tropics. Its healing properties are naturally anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral. It relieves itchiness and redness from eczema, promotes shiny, healthy hair, combats dryness of scalp, and fights scalp infections, dandruff, and psoriasis. Undiluted Neem oil will help treat head lice.
NETTLE (urtica dioica): Known as Stinging Nettle due to its stinging burn when the hairs on the leaves and stems are touched. It is Native to Brazil. Nettle is rich in iron and drinking Nettle Tea or even rinsing hair with Nettle Tea is also known for one of the oldest remedies for hair loss. It encourages hair growth by improving circulation and it greatly reduces shedding. Nettle will also help with an imbalance of sebum if you suffer from dandruff or dry scalp.
SHAKIKAI (acacia concinna): Known as the “Fruit of the Hair”. It’s a Shrub that’s Native to Asia that’s been used traditionally in Indian for beautiful and healthy hair as a mild and all natural shampoo. Shikakai has anti-dandruff properties and aids with detangling. This natural shampoo does not produce the normal amount of lather that a sulfate-containing shampoo would, it is considered a healthy good cleanser that absorbs dirt, oil, and build-up. It naturally has a low pH, purifies the hair and scalp, and doesn't strip hair of its natural oils. Usually no conditioner is needed, for shikakai also acts as a detangler.
SLIPPERY ELM BARK (ulmus rubra): Also known as Moose elm, Red elm, and Sweet elm. This large tree is Native to North American from Texas to Manitoba, and from Florida to Quebec. It is high in vitamin K and E and full of minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, iodine, copper, and zinc. When Slippery elm bark is added to hot water, it has a slippery and mucilaginous consistency so it’s great for detangling and removing knots as well because we Naturals know…We Need SLIP. Slippery elm helps remove dandruff, helps to detangle the hair, softens and smooths hair cuticles, can even improve the volume, and has bacterial properties to strengthen hair.
Have used tried Ayurvedic Herbs? What has been your Experience? What Herb has been Beneficial the Most? Is Ayurvedic Hair Care a Regular part of your Regimen?
We would Love your Feedback, Comments and Questions....
WHAT IS HENNA
For over 5,000 years, Henna has been used to naturally color hair; It is a safe & healthier alternative to Commercial Hair Dyes. The first thing you want to do is ALWAYS make sure that it is natural body art quality (BAQ) which is Pure-Quality Henna (used for Body Art & Hair) which has been sifted to be suitable for Body Art. Pure Natural Henna is a Greenish Powder with a Grassy/Earthy Aroma due to the harvesting of leaves & twigs from Henna Bush; it is free of peroxides, mineral oils, pesticides, ammonia, bleaches & harsh chemicals. Some stores even go as far As adding metallic salts and/or chemicals to change its color tones and /or stretch the Henna. Regardless of what you’ve read or heard, Henna is RED….Period; Whether on skin or on the Hair…No matter what the Color is the same but its red undertones will vary greatly on the color base or YOUR Own Hair; HENNA it WILL NOT Lighten Hair! It you have dark hair, the Henna will not be that noticeable but the more you apply it over time, the deeper the color becomes.
If your hair is dark brown or black…you will have a red glow in the light & red highlights in the sun.
If your hair is light brown…you will have a medium brown to auburn color
If your hair is blond or gray…you will get a greater bolder red color (my grays are glistening red).
It Covers Grays Greatly…Beautifully…Naturally!
You can Color your Hair with various shades, including black, with the Natural addition of other Herbal Blends like Indigo, Organic Cassia Obavata, Katam). Please Understand that Henna & Indigo are Permanent! You can purchase 100% Natural Henna from Mehandi (http://www.mehandi.com/ or Henna Sooq (http://www.hennasooq.com/color/). There are other great companies out there but these are the two that I’ve personally used to purchase Good Quality HENNA…Every time!
BENEFITS OF HENNA
Those that have used Henna have said that their hair has been the healthiest & fullest it has ever been. Hair becomes 2 – 3 times thicker, breakage & shedding is significantly reduced & it thickens hair all within the first use. HENNA is a Natural Conditioner & an Excellent Hair Strengthener. It greatly reduces & eliminates dandruffs. It also aids in Curing & Preventing hair loss & Enhances hair growth (especially in older men & women).
HOW TO MIX & USE HENNA
Henna comes in grams (usually 100g). For short hair to chin length: use about 50 – 100g. Shoulder length to mid back length: use about 200 – 300g. Waist length & longer: use about 500g. Use a little more for thicker, curlier hair. There are so many recipes for Henna Paste…You can make it as Complex (I did then) or as Simplistic (I do now) as you like…Trust me, you pretty much get the Same Results!
In a plastic bowl, with a sizable plastic spoon, you can use either pour hot water or green tea in the Henna until it is the Consistency of thick Pancake Butter (you want it pasty in order to stick to the hair). When hot liquid is added, the Henna’s Lawsone (orange/reddish dye) is released and when the Henna Paste is applied to the hair strand the molecule of the Lawsone is small enough to enter the hair shaft and will bind to the Keratin (protein) in the hair. HENNA is not a Protein Treatment but mimics one due to the immediate strength the hair will have due to the penetrating & bonding of the Lawsone to the hair.
You can then add about 1 tbs of Oil (EVOO or EVCOO) per 75 - 100g to combat dryness due to Henna Herb. Some even prefer to Pre-Oil for added moisture before applying HENNA, it prevents the hair from drying out and it will not affect the hair Color.
Once you have mixed the HENNA & Oil, allow it to sit for 4 hours or more. I would not add extra ingredients (extra oils, coconut milk, spices, EO’s, etc) until you see how HENNA works for you. HENNA will stain skin so Please USE GLOVES to apply HENNA to freshly washed damp or dry hair (easier to apply when hair is damp).
Apply in sections making sure you saturate & cover every strand; HENNA is a little gritty & should be thick, therefore you made need to knead it onto the hair instead of smoothing it in. Press the Henna into the hair very thick, especially the sides & where you have gray, wipe off all HENNA that is on the skin to keep from staining. Once you’re done, wrap your hair in saran wrap & place a plastic cap on top to prevent the paste from drying out, it takes a warm, moist environment to penetrate the Lawsone into the Keratin of the hair. Leave the HENNA in for at least 2 – 6 hours, the longer you leave it in, the deeper your color will be. Some people (including myself) will sleep with the HENNA in overnight.
When you are ready, rinse the HENNA completely out with warm water first then Co-Wash or use a small amount of a Moisturizing Shampoo to completely wash it out. Don’t forget to follow up with a Moisturizing Deep Conditioner due to the Henna that can be very drying to the hair.
HOW TO STORE HENNA
HENNA in its powdered form should be wrapped tightly and can be stored in the fridge, freezer or a cool dry place. Any HENNA Mix that you have leftover can be stored in the fridge for a few days or frozen for later use or Henna Mix used as a Henna Gloss, simply mix 1 part Henna Mix to 3 parts Conditioner (more or less depending on personal preference). A Henna Gloss can be done all over or great when just doing touch-ups, leave Gloss on for about 30 minutes to 1 or 2 hours & rinse completely. You can apply the thawed Henna to Roots for touch-ups followed up with a Henna Gloss on the rest of your hair. I would not advise doing Henna Glosses until you have achieved the color you want from prior Henna Applications since Henna Glosses don’t leave as much color as full strength HENNA. RESULTS
***Please Note*** Day One will NOT be the final Color! It may be a little bright at first so please allow 3 – 4 days for the color to Oxidize (settle & tone down), the Color Stain will get darker over a few days, you should have the Final Color Result by day four. You can reapply HENNA as often as you like; with repeated applications, the color will continue to get darker & richer. During Oxidation process, do not shampoo hair for at least 4 days. Also, make sure you continue to maintain a balance of deep conditioning & regular protein treatments when using HENNA. If you have Curly Hair, please be aware that HENNA could Loosen your Curl Pattern (by no means this does not mean everyone), some say that may be due to the weight of the Lawsone on hair strands, especially with repeated applications (curl patterns were not affected as much with henna glosses) Many Curlys & Coilys have added 2 – 4 tbs of Amla Powder to the HENNA powder prior to application and have successfully had great results in maintaining their curls. I myself had added Amla to my HENNA mixes & have personally not had a curl problem. So What Do You Think....Up for the Henna Challenge?
What has been Your HENNA Experience? Have You Considered using HENNA?
What were Your PROS & CONS?
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