A good hair care routine, if followed diligently, can do wonders for our hair. One such habit — believed to strengthen the hair and also enhance its thickness — that has been passed down from generations is oiling the hair and keeping it overnight. However, Ayurveda suggests the opposite. Find out why.
Taking to Instagram, Dr Rekha Radhamony shared that leaving hair oil overnight can imbalance the doshas. “Let me break this down for you. Why do you use hair oil — to promote the growth of hair, give nourishment to the scalp, to reduce hair fall, right? So for giving all these benefits, a hair oil should be fortified with herbs that have specific actions,” she wrote in her post, adding that many of these herbs “have to have a cooling effect to work their magic” as “hair growth cannot happen with hot ingredients.”
She further explained that leaving oil overnight can cause “an imbalance of kapha leading to mucous, cough, cold, headache”, suggesting that the best time to apply hair oil is just a few hours before taking a shower.
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She also listed the ideal time to keep hair oil, according to the doshas
*People with oily scalp have their kapha dosha dominant and are more prone to mucous-related issues like cough, cold, and headaches and can easily fall sick if they keep hair oil overnight. “Do not leave oil in your hair for more than 15 to 20 minutes,” she suggested.
*If you have a dry scalp — a vata predominant one — you can leave hair oil for 45 minutes to one hour.
*If you have a pitta prakruti, the ideal time is 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
She advised that since babies are in their kapha phase “the time should be even lesser — 10 minutes to maximum of 15 minutes.”
“When you are trying everything to grow and improve the health of hair, let’s not imbalance our doshas,” she said, adding that if you are “habituated to using hair oil overnight all your life – (okasatmya – favourable by habit) and never felt any imbalances, you may continue to do so.”