Often, people mistake traditional practices for Ayurvedic wisdom, given the age-old heritage of Ayurveda. An instance of this is the customary practice of leaving oil on your hair overnight.
In India, it is a common tradition to leave hair oil on overnight – a practice that Ayurveda discourages.
In this blog, let us delve into the reasons behind this recommendation.
Purpose of using hair oil
Hair oil serves various purposes, such as promoting hair growth, nourishing the scalp, and reducing hair fall. To deliver these benefits, the hair oil should contain specific herbs that have specific actions. These herbs need to have a cooling effect to work effectively because hot ingredients do not aid in hair growth.
Even in my product, Doctor Rekha Ayurvedic Hair Oil, I exclusively use cooling ingredients for this very reason.
Leaving oil on your hair overnight can disrupt the balance of the Kapha Dosha. This leads to issues like excessive mucous, cough, cold and headaches, among others. Thus, it is advisable to apply hair oil only when you intend to shower within an hour of application.
How long should you leave oil on your hair?
The ideal time period to leave oil on your hair mainly depends on your body type (Prakriti).
If you have a dry scalp, which is predominantly Vata in nature, you can leave the oil on for 45 minutes to an hour. For those with a Pitta Prakriti, the ideal duration is 30 to 45 minutes. However, if you have an oily scalp with a Kapha predominance, and you are prone to mucous-related problems like coughs, colds and headaches, it is best not to leave the oil on for more than 15 to 20 minutes.
For babies, as they are typically in the Kapha phase of their life, the recommended time is even less—10 minutes to a maximum of 15 minutes.
The only exception to this rule is if you have been habitually using hair oil overnight throughout your life (known as Okasatmya, favorable due to habit) and have not experienced any imbalances. In that case, you may continue with your practice.
It is crucial to avoid disturbing your Doshas when striving to enhance hair health. Rather than blindly following traditions, it is advisable to consider your Prakriti to achieve the best possible hair health and overall well-being.
Want to improve you hair health? Then book a consultation with us. We will help you heal!