The Magic of an Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepa) & how you can use one to improve hair

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The regular use of an Ayurvedic Hair mask / Lepa can be that clincher to accelerate the nutrition that is being delivered to your scalp, jump start holistic hair growth and ensure that your scalp and hair absorb the MAXIMUM nutrition for our Hair oils.

What makes the Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepa) such a potent game changer? The answer lies in both the composition, processing and the way an Ayurvedic Hair mask should be used for best results. Read on to find out more.

What is the role of an Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepa) in hair care?

Every week , during the Krya production meeting, I review the entire Krya Production & Customer team’s Home work – yes you read that right, Home work!

As a company focused on creating products that solve customer problems efficiently and holistically using ayurvedic wisdom, it is imperative for all of us to wear our learning hats whenever we do something at work. When we question and understand why we do something, I find that it sinks into our heads better and we are able to do what we do from a place of understanding and appreciation.

In this week’s questions, I had quizzed the team about the Krya Damage Repair Hair Mask. I had asked them about why an Ayurvedic Hair Mask was an essential part of a good hair care routine .

When it appears slightly time consuming to use, and we have a perfectly good hair oil that delivers nutrition, why do we need an Ayurvedic Hair Mask / lepa? 

What is the purpose behind an Ayurvedic Hair Mask or Lepa?

The answer of course, lies in the Ayurvedic principles of nutrient extraction.

Correct extraction of Herbs – how do we extract goodness from tree barks, roots and leaves?

When we formulate products at Krya, we study the correct methods of processing each herb, so that their nutrition is readily available to us when we use them. All of our herbs come to us in absolutely raw forms – like a large chunk of bark, or a heap of leaves.

Ayurvedic raw herbs need to be broken down and processed before we can use them

We cannot simply take this bark / leaf and rub it on our skin / hair – for one we will get scratched / bruised – and the second, what is in this bark / leaf has not yet been made readily available to the body.

Hence we use processing techniques like cutting, hammering, grinding, sifting, boiling in water, boiling in oil, etc to process each herb separately. When we do this correctly, we are able to un-bind the locked nutrients from each herb and make them easily available to transform skin, hair and health.

Procesisng of each herb unlocks nutrients from deep within it

Apart from processing techniques, the right “anupana” or medium is also important to ensure that the nutrients we have unlocked from each herb works correctly.

Anupana / Medium and Water soluble and Oil soluble nutrients:

Ayurvedic processing techniques also teach us about the difference, the Anupana (medium) of herb use and extraction brings to a product. In Tila paka manufacturing technique (ayurevdic herbal oil processing technique), we are asked to choose between extracting herbs in water (kashayas, Kwathas), in oil as a herbal paste (kalpa) and also as freshly extracted , cold pressed juice (Swarasa).

Each of these processing techniques is used to extract a different set of nutrients: the water extraction method (Kashaya and Kwatha) is generally used to extract water soluble nutrients that are bound tightly in ayurvedic barks, stems and dried leaves when fresh herbs are not available.

Kwatha and Kashaya are ayurvedic processing techniques to extract water soluble nutrients

Depending upon the hardness of the herbs and the availability of volatile elements like taste, aroma and fragrance, we can choose to extract nutrients via a cold infusion, or a boiled decoction. In the boiled decoction, we can opt for a less boiled extract or a very strongly boiled extract (reduced to 1/4 or 1/8th original volume) in the case of very hard and woody herbs.

In the case of fresh leaves, stems full of rasa (botanical juices) ,when available, we are encouraged to cold press these herbs to extract the rasa – this is called “Swa” (self generated) “Rasa” (juice).

Swarasas are cold pressed freshly extracted plant, vegetable and fruit juices from fresh produce

In the case of oily herbs with strong aroma and taste , which suggests the presence of volatile oil based compounds, we are asked to methodically grind these herbs to release these oils and add them directly to cold pressed oils. In the presence of the cold pressed  carrier oils, these herbs release their volatile essential oil based aroma and tastes. This extraction method is called making a “kalpa” or fresh herb paste in oil.

Kalpa is an extraction method for oily ayurvedic herbs

A typical herbal oil made in Tila paka method can carry kwatha, kashaya, swarasa and kalpa or a combination of these techniques used to extract nutrients from herbs. Each method is able to extract a particular kind of nutrient that is soluble in either water or oil.

Stiff and dry scalp & clogged srotas : with regular use of synthetic hair care products

As new customers discover the work that we do at Krya, they make the switch from synthetic hair care products to Krya’s all natural products. But the many years of using synthetic shampoos, silicone laden conditioners, and clogging hair sprays and serums takes a toll on the scalp’s basic health.

Synthetic haircare products leave the scalp dry, hard and brittle

The scalp becomes stiff, dry, and hard with the vata aggravation caused by excessive shampooing. Because of the high use of coating products like synthetic conditioners, we find the srotas of the scalp are clogged with sebum plugs, dead skin and silicones and the other plasticizing compounds from the hair sprays, serums and conditioners used.

Imagine a clogged tea filter – when we pour the best tea through a clogged tea filter, we get very little tea to drink as the tea is not able to pass through the clogged pores.

Synthetic hair products also clog the scalp preventing nutrient absorption
So too with a dry and clogged scalp. As the scalp is stiff and brittle it does not absorb oil easily. As the Srotas are clogged, the oil that is absorbed is unable to fully pass its nutrients into the scalp.

Unclogging the Srotas: functionality of the Krya Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepas)

All Krya hair masks have a dual purpose. First and foremost, they are formulated to be deep cleansing, astringent and help unclog the srotas in the scalp.

The Krya hairwashes are also designed to cleanse the hair and scalp. But the Krya Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepas-all variants) has a deeper and more concentrated action on the Srotas of the scalp. This is also because, by design, the Hair masks are left to interact with the scalp for a longer period of time, compared to our Hair washes.

When the Krya Ayurvedic Hair Masks are used regularly as a part of the Hair routine, we find that the scalp is able to absorb a larger volume of good quality hair oil in the daily routine. The hair and scalp also respond better to the nutrients being received via the hair mask and regular hair oiling. The transformation we seek is more holistic and quicker by using the Mask as a deep cleansing and de-clogging product regularly.

Regular application of teh hair mask deep cleans and unclogs the srotas allowing nutrients to be absorbed deeply by the scalp

To enable the Srota clearing property of the Masks, we use many astringent, cleansing and de-clogging Barks like Shirisha, Udumbura, Ashwattha, etc. These barks are best processed either as Kashayams or are processed as choornas.

To help the Krya Ayurvedic Hair Mask in the de-clogging and deep cleansing property , we process these deeply cleansing and astringent barks as Choornams (herbal powders).

So they are pounded by hand, size reduced and then further finely ground and sifted. As we hammer and chip away at the bark, we are able to release its tightly bound nutrients better.

Barks, roots and stems need a lot of tough processing to unlock the nutrients

When these finely processed choornas (herb powders) come into contact with water, as we have worked on the herbs and already unbound the tightly bound particles of the herb, the nutrients are easily released by the herb.

When these nutrients come in contact with water they work very well in their cleansing process.

Boosting scalp nutrition: second function of the Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepa)

Apart from the deep cleaning and de-clogging property of an Ayurvedic hair Mask, it is also a potent nutrient booster of the scalp. However, this functionality is unlocked and is fully available only when the srotas are unclogged and ready to receive nourishment.

To enhance the nutrient boosting capability of the Krya Hair Masks, we use a potent set of herbs and spices which are naturally full of volatile oils. For example, we process spices like Jatamansi, Mace,  Clove, etc into our Hair Masks. Along with these spices, we also process oil rich barks , stems and roots like Devdaru, Daruharidra, Usheera, Mushta, etc.

Oily and aroma rich herbs should be extracted differently according to ayurveda

Herbs and spices which are rich in volatile oils are best extracted in oil based pastes. To enable this extraction and to also ensure that the product does not go rancid / get spoiled, we process these herbs with a small amount of nutrient oils. In the presence of these oils, the herbs easily release their nutrients.

How to use a Krya Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepa) effectively

    • Start by adding clean cool water, or any other Lepa liquid suggested for you into the appropriate Krya Hair mask chosen for your hair type / problem
    • Mix the product well, until there are no lumps
    • The paste should be mixed to of a slightly runny consistency, like pancake batter. As we are going to let it stand, the paste will thicken slightly before we begin use
    • Allow the mixed paste to stand for about 30 – 45 minutes. We suggest mixing the Hair Mask paste before you begin oiling your hair in preparation for your hair mask to utilise your time more effectively
    • As the mixed paste stands, the herbs, essential and volatile oils and nutrient oils all interact with each other in the presence of water. This allows for better nutrient release. It also ensures that the paste is thoroughly mixed and easy to apply on hair
    • When your hair is well oiled, begin application of the Hair Mask (lepa)
    • Make appropriate scalp partings using a tail comb and
      “paint” the mask in using a henna applicator brush
    • The focus should be on applying the Mask as close to the scalp as possible before applying it on the hair length
    • Make as many partings on the scalp as possible with a tail comb and paint the mask in – if mixed properly and at the correct consistency, the mask should easily glide in when you apply it
    • Once you have finished applying the mask, cover your head properly with a shower cap / old towel. This is essential as the mask works properly only as long as it is moist. when it starts to dry up, it pulls at the hair and Srotas excessively and should be rinsed off at this stage.
    • If well covered and if the Mask has been mixed to the correct consistency, you can usually leave the mask on for 30 – 45 minutes before it starts to go dry
    • When the Mask starts to dry, rinse it out with clean water and follow up with the recommended Krya hair wash.


To sum up:

In this post, we looked at the benefits of adding a good quality ayurvedic Hair mask (Lepa) to your regular Hair routine. We saw how adding this Lepa helps deep clean and de-clog the scalp, boosting the way it absorbs nutrition.

We also saw how a good Ayurvedic Hair Mask (Lepa) can deliver potent nutrients to the scalp by judiciously using herbs and processing them the correct way to quickly and actively release nutrients for the scalp to absorb.

We finally looked at how to effectively use the Krya hair Mask (lepa) and how it needs to be mixed and applied for best results.

Krya has a wide range of Ayurvedic Hair Masks (Lepas) formulated for different kinds of hair types and hair needs. For more information on this, please go through our website. You may also call us (075500-89090) or email us for help on selecting the right Krya hair masks for you.

If you haven’t yet tried one of our Hair Masks do try one out – I promise you that the time spent will be worth it!


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