Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 Haircare Challenge: Simple Effective Ayurvedic Elements For Regimen Building

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This post is for those that are interested in going the Ayurvedic route for the 2011 Healthy Hair challenge. - Ayurvedic regimens typically include cleansing the hair with herbal infusions, and conditioning the hair with nourishing oils. The result is hair that is extremely healthy, thick, and full of body. Ayurvedic regimens can be as simple [incorporating a few elements], or as complex [following a strict regimen, cutting out commercial products] as you choose. 

The benefit of adhering to an exclusive Ayurvedic regimen is that you will be using products free of silicones, preservatives, synthetic ingredients and harsh sulfates. I can honestly say that my hair thrived under these conditions. The drawback to practicing an exclusive Ayurvedic regimen is the amount of time it takes to prepare treatments. However, you can also decide to incorporate highly effective elements of Ayurveda into your regimen, such as Henna treatments, Coconut pre-shampoo conditioning treatments, and herbal pre-shampoo conditioning treatments. These inclusions are extremely beneficial for the promotion of healthy, thick, vibrant hair; yet require less time commitment than an exclusive Ayurvedic regimen. 

Want to include simple elements of Ayurveda without committing to an entire Ayurvedic regimen?
While there are many ways to use the products mentioned in this post, the following products are Ayurvedic treatments that have been the most effective during my hair journey. These products also include numerous traditional Ayurvedic herbs which is a plus for those that aren't into complex hair regimens which requires the purchase of tons of different ingredients. Get the benefit of Ayurvedic herbs with only a few easy to find products.
You will need:
Vatika Oil: Vatika Oil is comprised of Coconut Oil and infused with traditional Ayurvedic Herbs [Brahmi, Neem & Amla just to name a few] Coconut Oil strengthens hair at the roots, promotes hair growth, and actually penetrates the shaft to repair areas of the hair damaged from protein loss. - Vatika Oil has been a staple in my home for the past two years! It makes my hair extremely soft, shiny, and manageable.

Kalpi Tone: Kalpi Tone works to strengthen hair at the root, strengthen the hair shaft, and promote hair growth. Kalpi Tone leaves your hair noticeably stronger, softer, and full of body. Those that wish to keep their regimen simple will also appreciate that this powder includes other herbs beneficial to hair care [like amla, maka, hibiscus, and methi just to name a few]. Kalpi Tone is hands down one of my favorite pre-packaged herbal hair products by Hesh.

Henna: Think of Henna like a natural protein treatment. Henna works to stop breakage by strengthening the hair shaft. Henna also works to seal and repair the cuticle which makes for more manageable hair, a plus when it comes to detangling. Although Henna is mainly known as a mega strengthener, Henna has conditioning properties as well, which leaves the hair shiny, soft and full of body.

How to use these products in your regimen: 
You may notice there are two pre-shampoo conditioning formulas here. You can stick to one, or alternate weekly.  
Vatika Oil/Pre Shampoo Treatment: Once weekly [on washday], oil unwashed hair liberally with Coconut Oil and cover hair with a plastic cap for about 45min-1hr. This is known as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. Pre-shampooing will help ensure the hair stays moisturized even after shampooing with a product that contains sulfates [which is usually drying to hair]. Another benefit to this quick and easy pre-shampoo treatment is that it also works to strengthen and nourish hair follicles; preventing hair fall and promoting hair growth. 
*Coconut Oil tends to solidify in cooler climates; to use just run the bottle under warm water to bring it back to a liquid consistency. 
**Vatika Oil is safe to use on relaxed and transitioning hair alike.

Lock in the moisture with Vatika Oil: You can use this oil to seal the moisture in after using your favorite moisturizer. Add a dime size amount of oil to your hands, rub hands together to distribute oil, then apply to the entire length of the hair paying special attention to the tips/ends.

Kalpi Tone/Herbal Pre Conditioning Treatment: Once weekly [on washday], add 3-4 tablespoons of the herbal product into a clean container. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture is a thick, muddy consistency. Apply the mixture liberally [as you would a relaxer] to unwashed hair. Cover, and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. To rinse out, add a few generous size dollops of cheap conditioner [like V05, or Suave] to your hair and work it through in a gentle, massaging motion. Rinse immediately, as the tiny flecks of herbal product should rinse clean with the aid of the conditioner.
*Kalpi Tone is safe to use on relaxed and transitioning hair alike. 

Henna Treatment: You will need the following:
200G Henna [two boxes for thick hair] [100G/one box for shorter length hair]
1/2 cup Hello Hydration Conditioner
1 cup Lustrasilk Mango & Shea Butter Conditioner
1/2 cup of Coconut Oil added to mixture before applying the Henna
Check out this video for info on how to mix and apply Henna

I recommend the following brands of Henna: Jamila, Nupur, and Dulhan. If you have relaxed or transitioning hair, please use Body Art Quality Henna only [like Jamila]. You can also purchase Henna at your local Indian Grocer, or {here}.

Are you interested in an exclusive Ayurvedic hair regimen?
Check out the following posts which includes recipes for cleansing, conditioning, and moisturizing your hair. 

Where to find the products mentioned in this post:
All products mentioned above can be found in your local Indian market. I recommend going to one of the larger markets for a better variety of products. If you are having trouble finding an Indian grocery store in your area, you can also purchase many of the products mentioned via vendors on Amazon or The Indian Food Store [link].  


Questions are always encouraged! You can leave a comment in the comment area [I will check comments nightly], and also ask questions during the two check-ins I will have monthly.

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