Step by step DIY How to - For A Traditional Herbal Hair Oil
There are four main herbs that bless the hair with their natural goodness. They are:
Fenugreek seeds (Methi Dana)
The True King of hair care - Bhringraj (eclipta alba - Karisilankanni in Tamil).
Add henna leaves, hibiscus leaves as well as its flowers to these and we can make a very potent, cost effective herbal hair oil.
Most how-to guides on herbal hair oil preparation recommend that you soak the herbs overnight and then grind them in a powerful blender and then heat the carrier oil and fry the paste in the oil or alternately sun dry this paste and then heat the oil and fry the herbal paste for X minutes. This is no doubt an effective method but there are two losses in it
The vitamins in the oils and the herbs can be lost while frying/heating there will be quite a bit of oil lost in the process of heating (around 20%)
The traditional way that grandmothers make this is explained below
Ingredients (for 5 Litres of Hair Oil)
1. Bhringraj Leaves - 150 g
2. Curry Leaves - 100 g
3. Henna Leaves - 100 g
4. Hibiscus flowers (dried or fresh) - 10 -12
5. Hibiscus leaves - 25-30
6. Fenugreek Seeds - 50g
7. Amla fruits - 500g
8. Base Oil - 5 Litres (organic, cold pressed coconut oil OR organic, cold pressed sesame oil)
Step 1 - Soak amla fruits for an hour or two and de-seed them. Cut them into fine pieces. Grind it into a paste and keep aside
Step 2 - Soak fenugreek seeds overnight and filter the water out (about 8 - 10 hours will make the seeds very soft and malleable). Grind it into a very fine paste
Step 3 - Grind all other ingredients (except oil of course!) with a small quantity of water (if required) and make it into a paste
Step 4 - Mix all 3 pastes together and make it into small vada like cakes
Step 5 - In a stainless steel plate, shade dry these cakes - (they have to be close to the sunlight but not directly exposed to the light - see picture)
You may have to dry these cakes for 3 days (depending on the temperature of the sun etc) - make sure they are very dry.. [when we made the above quantity the final cakes weighed only a total of 250 grams!]
Step 6 - When you have the herbal cakes fully dry and ready, warm about 5 litres of base oil (we used organic cold pressed coconut oil from purvanaturals.com - sesame oil would work as well..probably better!) - the ratio we use is 5% dried herbal cake (that is we put 1 litre of coconut oil for every 50g of herbal cake) .. more than this would be a very concentrated hair oil and the user may catch a cold!
Step 7 - Steep the cakes in warm oil for 4-5 days for all the herbs to seep into the oil - it will turn black and smell gloriously to heaven! If weather permits you should keep the steeping oil in the sun for a few hours everyday (this will make it super effective)
This is by far the best hair oil one can make at a very affordable price - it can be used both as a pre-shampoo hair mask and also as a post shampoo leave-in oil. Recommended to use twice a week .. this will prevent hair fall, deter dandruff, nourish the hair strand and follicles and also help in taming frizz, making hair dense etc
This has a very long shelf-life and can be used for 12-15 months easily.