As a little girl, on Friday nights my mom would literally bribe me to sit down to massage oil onto my scalp and keep it overnight. I used to hate the greasy yucky feeling in my hair that would linger on all night waking up to an oily face in the morning. I remember how she would go on and on about how nourishing head massages are for the nervous system, body and mind and of course deeper sleep.
Benefits of Head Oil Massage
Head oil massages tame vata. Literally, the heavy quality of oil grounds us when our mind and body are wandering and feeling unrested- typical vata imbalances. When I learned through Ayurveda how beneficial head oil massages are, I try to get one in at least once during the month. Here are some of the major benefits of an head oil massage:
- nourishes scalp for thicker and more lustrous hair growth
- prevents greying of hair
- gets rid of dandruff and scalp issues
- relieves stress and tension
- gives great sleep
- beneficial for those that are headache prone, especially tension headaches
- increasing circulation (cereal-spinal fluids) and strengthens the entire nervous system
- great for those staring at the computer screen all day, alleviates head related ailments such as sinus congestion, decongests lymph and cools the eyes down
- prevents hair loss
My relationship is slowly changing with head oil massages- I found a way to make this relationship work! Ideally, it should be done before bed, so that when we are sleeping the oil will penetrate through into our tissues, across 5-10 hours. However, I personally enjoy oiling my head during the day when I put my hair up in a bun and forget about it while getting other things done.
It may be easier to do this on weekends or after work if you have 5 hours or so before taking a shower and washing your hair. If you are running short of time then let the shower get steamy before stepping in, the steam will help the oil penetrate in. Or you can use a hot wet towel and wrap it around your head for 15 minutes before showering.
Consider These Factors
If it is the summer or you are feeling a lot of heat in your body, use organic unrefined coconut oil.
If it is the winter, use organic unrefined sesame oil.
Sesame or coconut is going to be something you will have to experiment with and see what suits you the best. I like using coconut oil or a blend with coconut oil and herbs like bhingraj in it. Either one will work great, as both oils are known to penetrate deep into the tissues.H
How To Apply
If possible, warm a few ounces of oil in a pot over the stove or using the double boiler method. It should not be too hot, just warm enough where you can dip you fingers into it.
Pour oil into your palm, and start by putting some oil onto the top of your head, the crown of the head. Move the hair to the side so that it is going into directly into the scalp instead of the hair strands, but of course the hair will get some of the oil too.
Repeat this all across the head and then use some oil to comb through with your fingers.
Massage different parts of the head with your hands in whatever feels right and good. Be gentle, but massage in strokes and you can also use your palms to massage in the oil.
For The Entire Family
A head oil massage is a wonderful way o treat your spouse to a 20 minute head massage. Sit on a chair and have them sit on the ground so that it is comfortable for you to see their head and also easier on your arms. This is great for everyone, including children. Though of course it is harder to do this on toddlers and young children during the day with them running around everywhere and spreading oil on everything they come in contact with. For toddler and children, I recommend before bedtime. Also, be sure to spread a large towel over the pillow and sheets.