I have always had super-fine hair, and it’s been getting thinner with every passing year (thank you, grandmom, for the lovely genetics!). Add to this the fact that I recently underwent radiation as part of my tongue cancer treatment and it’s been a horror show.
My hair has never been so brittle, dull and damaged that it’s falling out in clusters.
However, I do have the good fortune of having the best beauty experts on call. And this time my quest for thicker, healthier, glossier, and stronger hair took me to a small corner of South India, called the Kerala backwaters.
Where I found the most effective (and easy to make anywhere in the world) Ayurveda hair mask.
Because the small hamlets of Kerala are not only some of the most beautiful, most serene parts of the world… they are also the epicentre of all things Ayurveda.
It’s where King Charles III came to celebrate his 65th birthday and also where the likes of Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Demi Moore, Cherie Blair, Jade Jagger, Sting and Bob Geldof have come for mental and physical rejuvenation. Yes, this place is that good.
So, here I am. In the centre of the Ayurvedic world. Trying to figure out how to translate this 3,000-centuries-old science into beauty recipes that can be recreated anywhere on the planet. And this is my first hair mask is my first answer.
Ayurvedic herbs for hair damage
Haircare in Ayurveda has long centred around two natural ingredients: shikakai and amla.
However, while these are easily available in Indian stores across the continents (and on Amazon!), the whole process of soaking-boiling-pounding them is laboriously time consuming.
Which is why I needed a recipe that pulled in all the potency of these herbs, nuts and berries into an intensive treatment that gave immediate results.
And I finally found it in a tiny South Indian hamlet called Teekoy. Here, an 86-year-old practioner of this ancient science took me through the steps needed to make an Ayurveda hair mask for the modern world.
A mask made from medicinal herbs that’s like a juice cleanse for your strands — all underlined by the woman’s own surreally unlined skin and thick, glossy hair.
This hair mask will strengthen your hair, detox your scalp, reduce hair fall and make every single strand shiny and super-healthy.
Trust me, I’ve tried it and reaped the results. It even helped revive the hair loss I suffered due to radiation, which is saying A LOT.
And it suits all hair types, from dry hair to over-greasy strands.
Ingredients needed for the Ayurveda hair mask
- 2 tablespoons amla powder
- 1 tablespoon shikakai powder
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek powder (methi)
- Juice of one lemon
- Enough yogurt to make a paste
How to make the Ayurveda hair mask
- Soak the amla and shikakai powders together in lukewarm water to make a paste; let stand overnight
- In the morning, add the yogurt and let stand for an hour
- Finally, add all the remaining ingredients and mix into a smooth paste
- Apply this paste all over your hair and scalp; wash off after an hour
PS: Do NOT let any of this get into your eyes. It stings like crazy!
How does this organic Ayurvedic hair mask work?
This is the best hair mask for damaged hair as it contains medicinal properties of Ayurveda’s most potent herbs:
Shikakai, which literally translates into “fruit of hair” is a herb that’s packed with vitamins A, C, D, E and K, along with many essential phytonutrients.
These provide deep nourishment to the follicles, which boosts hair growth and strengthens strands from root to tip.
It also has a very low pH, which helps eliminate dandruff and dryness, leaving hair glossier with every use.
Also known as Indian gooseberry, Amla’s high vitamin C content and essential fatty acids help reduce hair fall, strengthen the hair shaft and add lustre.
This berry also has anti-bacterial properties, which combats dandruff and other scalp health problems (buh-bye, itchy scalp!) with regular use.
Yogurt contains protein and zinc, which are perfect for rebalancing the scalp’s ecosystem to keep it healthy and free from dandruff, boils or itchiness. This is essential to keep hair follicles working at optimum capacity, which in turn is essential for strong strands and maximum growth.
Yogurt also contains lactic acid to stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, along with hefty doses of natural conditioners that make it a potent hydrator for damaged hair.
Lemon juice is yet another natural hair conditioner that busts dandruff, prevents hair loss and strengthens hair. It also strips away toxic buildup from the strands, leaving them soft and supple.
Finally, there is fenugreek. This ancient spice contains proteins, nicotinic acid and large amounts of lecithin, which literally rebuild the hair follicles.
This makes hair stronger right from the root, while the inherent natural tonics moisturise the hair, bringing back lustre and bounce.
I should definitely try this. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for sharing this great tip for hair!
This sounds great! Do you have a good source in the states or online to pick up the powders? Also whats better, reg. yogurt or greek yogurt?
Thanks for sharing!
I can’t wait to try this! How often should you use it?
Wow I read this article this morning, and then headed to town to do some shopping and randomly stumbled upon both skikakai and amla powders. Unfortunately the store did not carry fenugreek, but I still think this was just meant to be. Excited to try it!! 🙂 thanks a bunch!
Hi. Thank you for sharing.
How often will you recommend this treatment. I have slightly coarse hair. And dandruff. Will love long. Glossy hair.
Thank you so much for sharing the recipe… now i really need to test it out and find those ingredients…
p.s. what is the portion of water you use to soak the 1st two ingredients? thanks… i am trying to grow hair out to donate… hoping this would help with the breakage when the hair is getting long….thank you so much.
Miss Sabine FAURE says
I was Delighted to read this great article on your site
which spreads the authentic beauty recipe,and is
written in a very unique style .
Good for You ! well done job!
Miss Sabine FAURE,
Sabine FAURE S.A. Mlle
Alopecia Ayurvedic Treatment says
Wow. That’s really good tips. Thanks for sharing. My strong believe in Ayurveda.
Thanks for sharing your ayurvedic hair mask.I have a couple of ayurvedic recipes from a specialist.Do give them a try as well.I have personally enjoyed using them and reaped benefits!
Dried shikakai pieces- 15 gms
Dried amla pieces – 15 gms
soak the above in 1/2 liter water overnight.In the morning boil it for 10 to 15 mins. strain it.when it becomes luke warm apply to the scalp and hair, massage well & leave for 15 mins.Massage well again, pour water massage again, till done.
Ayurvedic hair mask for strong and healthy hair growth
mix 1 tsp shikakai powder, 1 tsp amla powder with a cup of curds.Marinate for 12 hours.Apply to scalp and hair.Leave for an hour.Wash hair with cold or luke warm water.
Hamza Agdmoun says
Hair Loss , Alopecia and other problems can be solve by a good health n i think there is a good connection between heath food and Hair problems ,
Hi! Should we rinse/wash off with water or is shampoo needed with this pack? Thanks!
Very well researched blog. I have been learning the ways of my haircare naturally and found iahas.com for some great natural remedies. I will add your blog to my list as well.
Alexa G. says
Thanks so much for impacting us with your knowledge and time you spend to do research we appreciate.
This felt AMAZING on my curls! I’ve found my staple hair mask. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Shri vidya says
Hi, is this suitable for all types of hair and doshas