Oil is a part of the family in most Kerala households. It is used in the Kerala homes for a variety of purposes like, bath, massages, cooking and for treating diseases too. Applying oil on the hair and scalp is one of the primary use of oil in this land and for this purpose most families just have one oil that is used by all. Little do they realize or understand that the same oil is not good for all. Hence, as per Ayurveda, this is a wrong practice. Therefore, we need to ponder on how and what oil a person should use and what are the factors to be considered for understanding which oils suits a person. Let’s understand more about this.
Most of us have been experimenting with different kinds of oil for our hair for long under the impression that these oils will increase hair growth and solve all hair and scalp related problems. But most f the time we have been disappointed since these oils have mostly resulted in hair loss and other hair-related problems. We need to understand that this is because we have not been using the right oil. A right oil means an oil that suits the nature of our hair and scalp.
In Ayurveda, a person has three states – youth, middle-age and old age. In these states either one of the tridosha (vata, pitta & kapha) is dominant. In youth or childhood, kapha is predominant; in middle age, pitta is dominant and in old-age, vata is dominant. Ayurveda says that nature of these tridoshas in the body of a person should be considered while selecting an oil for a person. Also, we need to understand that oil is used not just for the benefit of the hair and scalp but also for the health of the eyes and hence considering the age of the person before selecting the oil for hair is very important.
Youth / Childhood
During this stage the kapha dosha is dominant and hence oils that do not aggravate this dosha should be used. While bathing babies, it is good to use only cooked coconut milk. Since this is an age that causes a lot of diseases like stubborn fever, cough, wheezing, tonsillitis, congestion, it is good to use coconut oil cooked with poovankurunnila or little ironweed for the head and hair. Apart from this, shoeflower oil, lakshadi thailam and bala thailam can be used daily after consulting a physician.
This is the age when one experiments with a lot of different hair oils. At this stage a person is affected with a lot of problems like premature ageing, hair fall and dandruff. Also, the pitta dosha is predominant at this stage and hence factors like work overload, travel, tension, hot sun adversely affect the health of the hair. So it is recommended to use Neelibhringadi coconut oil, Kayyoini oil, Asana Manjishttathi, Balagudachyathi oils only after consulting an Ayurveda vaidya. This should be practiced by following the right diet and regimens.
In this stage the vata dosha is predominant and hence a lot rheumatic-related diseases will adversely affect the person. A decrease in vision, memory loss, loss of strength are certain characteristics of this age that can be easily controlled by a good oil massage. Oils like triphala coconut oil, balaguluchyathi, khseera bala oils can be used under the direction of a physician.
Ten factors like – faultiness, land, strength, time, fire, nature of the person, age, goodness of the person, satmyam, food are considered while treating a person through Ayurveda. Hence, it is good to consult an Ayurveda physician to understand the right oil for you which will be prescribed based on your body’s constitution.
Compiled by AHT Desk