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Does Onion hair oil prevent hairfall & stimulate hair growth? Ayurvedic insights from Krya

Does onion hair oil actually prevent hair fall

People often come and ask us, can we use onion oil to treat intense hair fall? When we suggest Krya products combined with change in diet and lifestyle practices instead, they still ask if they can combine these with the onion oil treatment.

What is the onion hair oil treatment all about? Is it really as effective as many claim it to be? What is the Ayurvedic perspective on using onion on hair and scalp? Let’s find out. 

Decoding the Onion Hair Oil Trend

Today, a simple search on the Internet will throw up numerous results around brands selling onion hair oil for hair growth and hair fall, or bloggers posting DIY videos on making onion hair oil at home. In fact, there’s even a study by Research & Markets, which indicates that the onion hair oil is set to touch a whopping US $112.6 million by 2030!

Onion hair oil market is said to touch 112 million dollars by 2030!

But, what is the basis of this sudden rise in demand? Is there even scientific evidence to the claims being made about onion oil effectively treating hair loss?

We did a lot of probing around this subject to find that there is only ONE scientific study which has attempted to analyse the effects of onion hair oil on the scalp. This study was performed in 2022 on a very tiny sample size of people aged between 18 and 22 years. It was later published in the Journal of Dermatology. 

The study divided patients into two groups. Group A had 15 patients (8 men and 7 women), and Group B had 23 patients (16 men and 7 women). Group A applied tap water on their scalp, and Group B applied onion juice on their scalp. After 4 weeks, the study observed that 17 out of 23 patients had hair growth, and after 6 weeks 20 out of 23 patients had hair growth.

While it used these results to prove the effectiveness of onion juice, this study had some glaring gaps. 

The sample size was statistically insignificant. The groups did not have a fair pattern of selection like the same number of people in each group, the same composition of men and women, and same composition of age groups. More importantly, if tap water was considered a neutral hair growth ingredient, anything in comparison to it, like vegetable oil or any other herb oil, would obviously yield better hair results. 

This study, therefore, did not do justice to the hype around onion juice as a miraculous hair growth ingredient. It did not form any kind of basis either for the hundreds of websites out there now promoting this treatment.

Understanding Properties of Onion from an Ayurvedic Perspective

According to Ayurveda, onions are guru (heavy), madhura and katu (sweet and pungent), snigdha (oily) and teekshna (penetrative). They balance vata, slightly increase pitta, and aggravate kapha. They are also warm in potency, and promote strength and appetite.

Using onions on the scalp comes with its pros and cons. Their moderately pitta-aggravating and heavily kapha-aggravating properties can improve hair thickness and growth. But, using onion can also increase heat in the scalp if not combined with the right pitta-balancing herbs and oils. 

Onions have very specific properties according to Ayurveda

Moreover, if used in excess, their oily (snigdha) and sweet properties can create a breeding ground for microorganisms. And, this can trigger oily dandruff. 

The third concern is the variety of onion we use. Some varieties of onions, like white onions, are also known to be picchila (sticky and slimy). If such onions are used in the scalp, they can clog the srotaas (minute channel openings on the skin and scalp). When the srotaas get clogged, they can impair the supply of nourishment to hair roots, which can lead to weak, brittle hair, and hair loss. 

It is also worth noting that classical Ayurvedic preparations using onion are very less. Instead, the texts have suggested a very wide array of herbs of both plant, mineral and animal origin. If at all, there are a few Kerala Ayurveda traditional  formulations like murivenna oil, which is used for treating fractures, sprains, joint aches etc because of the “sandhaneeya” or fracture healing properties of onion.

Onions are not used heavily in classical Ayurvedic formulations

Although the onion has hair thickening properties, this has not been traditionally used in any Ayurvedic hair oil, maybe due to the concerns we highlighted above. 

So, what then is the Ayurvedic solution for hair fall? To answer this, let’s first look at why you might be facing hair fall.

Note: After this section, we’ve also suggested Ayurvedic solutions for addressing different kinds of hair fall. 

Oiling regularly can prevent hair fall (sometimes better than using an onion hair oil)

Everyday, when you spend long hours working at home or at the workplace, you put a strain on your brain and eyes. This strain can aggravate Vata and pitta dosha. In effect, this means that your scalp can get quickly heated up and dry, with a possible constriction in blood vessels , leading to eye strain, frequent headaches, etc.

To offset this, Ayurveda tells us that regular hair oiling must be done everyday. You might ask, when the body is already producing sebum, why do we need to oil our hair?

Sebum production varies depending on our dosha imbalances and our diet and season. So, there can often be an imbalance in sebum levels that we need to address.  Secondly our sebum comes with the same dosha imbalances in the rest of our body. An ayurvedic hair oil can help counter these imbalances using the right targeted set of herbs chosen for our scalp.

Regular hir oiling with a good ayurvedic hair oil helps counter hairfall (sometimes over onion application)

So we should not rely on sebum alone for nourishment. The hair needs regular oiling to balance the doshas and get the required nutrition to grow.

When we oil our hair regularly, our vata and pitta doshas get regulated. Our scalp and hair roots get nourished, and sebum levels get balanced. There is also enough food for the hair to grow thick, dark, strong and long. 

Chemical shampoos and conditioners can weaken hair leading to hair fall (even if you use an onion hair oil)

A shampoo, even minus the SLS is effectively a detergent made primarily of two ingredients; a degreaser invented in the 1940s to clean factory floors, and cars and petroleum-based emollients to artificially coat hair. 

While these ingredients are effective for removing grease and dirt from factory floors and vehicles, they can be very harsh on the human scalp. When used regularly, your body can overreact and increase the sebum production. Or, it can strip your scalp off sebum and make the hair strands dry, brittle and rough. 

Excessive shampooing with synthetics weakens hair, makes it brittle triggering hairfall

An ideal and safe alternative to shampoo and conditioner is using natural hair wash powders made with whole herbs that have been processed in the right manner. 

Is your shampoo truly natural?

Heat, styling products and texture alteration can damage hair leading to hair fall

Have you wondered why, in your younger days, your hair looked more naturally glossy, shiny and smooth for long periods of time? Whereas now, you need to frequently wash, style and comb it to get the same effect? Two very possible reasons for that could be that; the cuticular structure on your hair has been damaged. And, the di-sulphide bond in your hair has been broken. 

Synthetic colours, heat and salon treatments can damage hair and increase hair breakage

Cuticles are layered structures on the outer part of your hair. Healthy cuticles look like fish scales, and they make your hair look smooth and shiny. When you don’t oil your hair regularly, colour your hair using chemical products, or perm, straighten or smoothen your hair, your cuticular structures get damaged. Not only that. When they do, your hair strands become dull, feel rough and break easily.

Di-sulphide bonds, on the other hand, give natural strength and texture to hair. They give your hair strength and elasticity. They allow you to plait, braid and style your hair without breaking it. When the di-sulphide bonds are strong, the eratin (protein in your hair) also remains strong.

Every time you iron or perm your hair and do chemical rebonding, they aggressively break the di-sulphide bonds. When they break, your hair strands become weak and prone to breakage and split-ends. When done repeatedly over long periods of time, these treatments permanently damage your hair. 

Is this hair damage reversible? Yes, hair responds to good treatment. We’ve written about how you can treat chemically damaged hair in the later part of this article. 

How do coloring, perming and other salon treatments damage hair?

Poor sleep and high stress can trigger hairfall (and this needs inner work)

These can cause two types of dosha aggravation; vata and pitta. 

Vata aggravation happens when you don’t sleep on time or don’t get sound sleep because of insomnia or high stress. The aggravation makes your hair strands weak, and your hair growth becomes poor. Your hair quality also becomes frizzy and static. 

Stress is strongly linked to hair fall issues

Similarly, pitta aggravation happens when you are facing anger management issues, or you are stressed because of work overload. Pitta aggravation can cause hair thinning, hair greying and widened parting of your scalp. It can also lead to headaches, anger issues and more. 

An unhealthy diet creates weaker hair leading to hair fall

According to Ayurveda, when we eat, the food we consume gets absorbed by our body in layers. For example, the food we eat first builds our rasa dhatu (lymph system). It then goes on to build the next system, ie blood, and so on. So after each body system is nourished, the nutrition available after nourishing this system goes to form the next system. Hair is considered an offshoot of the bone and joint system in Ayurveda. In fact it is said to be formed from the mala / wastes after nourishing the bone and joint system. Therefore the food we eat must be rich in nutrients and be able to be processed well Only then it will deeply nourish each system and have enough left over to form good quality hair.

An unhealthy diet and poor eating timings trigger hairfall

When we eat over-processed or junk food, the food does not contain enough nutrients to nourish the body deeply. This leads to poor quality or weak hair. That is why for healthy hair growth, a healthy diet, and regular meal timing is crucial.

Find out more about what constitutes a healthy diet and ideal meal timing according to Ayurveda

How Krya Treats Different Kinds of Hair Fall 

At Krya, whenever we receive complaints of excessive hair fall, we try to analyse the dosha imbalance behind this hairfall and accordingly suggest treatment, diet and lifestyle practices you can adopt. 

Krya analyses hairfall carefully understanding the key trigger

For hairfall due to lack of oiling and use of chemical shampoo and conditioners, we recommend regular scalp oiling & switching to an ayurvedic hair wash choornam. You need to oil your scalp at least 3 to 5 times a week. And to eliminate the clogging effect of shampoos and conditioners, you can use a hair mask and hair wash powder regularly. Depending on your dosha imbalance, at Krya we have a range of hair care products. For vata hair type (dry hair), you can use the Krya Dry Hair Care range. For pitta hair type (hair thinning and hair greying), you can use the Krya High Pitta range. 

For heat-styled and damaged hair, which requires a lot of care, we suggest the Krya Damage Repair range.

For stress-related hair fall, you can use the Krya Harmony Hair Oil range. For maintaining the asti dhaatu (bones, which provide nourishment to hair and scalp), we suggest you do a regular abhyanga.

To supplement all these hair treatments and abhyanga, you also need to ensure you have a healthy diet, and keep regular meal times.  

The Krya Verdict: Should you continue with onion hair oil or not?

Like we said earlier, while using onion on the scalp can improve hair thickness and growth, when not combined with the right herbs, it can also increase scalp heat and trigger oily dandruff. For the different kinds of hair fall reasons we have looked at above, solely adding onions may not be adequate. For example, onions may be too thick to treat hair fall due to chemically damaged or treated hair. 

Krya does not recommend onion for hair fall

Therefore, onion oil or onion in hair oil is NOT an overall panacea. It is just one of the thousands of Ayurvedic herbs available. And, it comes with its own pros and cons. To understand and treat your hair loss correctly, you should understand the trigger and proceed accordingly.

Ayurveda always tells us that we must choose a holistic, long term solution to ailments, and choose good health. When we follow health giving habits and a healthy diet, our imbalances become gently, but steadily corrected.

If you would like to talk to us about your hair fall concerns and identify ways to treat it, reach out to us by email. You could also DM us on WhatsApp using the link below.

 

DM Krya on WhatsApp for a free Hair / Skin Consult


 

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The Krya Ayurvedic makeup cleanser | 2 all-natural variants

Makeup cleanser - a better alternative from krya

What happens when you don’t remove makeup with a proper makeup cleanser & leave it on at night? When we posed this question to our customers who use makeup regularly, many reported experiencing a bad reaction to their skin and appearance. Some said they woke up with a severe breakout the next day. Others said that they had to apply even more makeup because not removing it earlier made the skin look dull, bloated, and tired. This clearly tells us that makeup needs to be removed properly after each use with a suitable makeup cleanser.

Cosmetic Intolerance Syndrome (CIS)

Our skin develops sensitivity to products, especially when it is exposed regularly to strong chemical products. In 1987, HI Maibach described this phenomenon as “CIS – Cosmetic Intolerance Syndrome”. The interesting thing to note in cosmetic intolerance is that our skin’s sensitivity is not only immediate, like a rash or a skin burn. Sometimes, it builds up over time due to micro accumulation and then reacts after 8 to 10 uses. 

We did some research on the ingredients that go into different makeup products and found that ingredients like colophony resin or nickel (used in eye makeup, especially mascara) are irritants and cause dermatitis in some people. Ingredients like AHAs, PEG, alcohol, fragrances, and preservatives found in cosmetics & skincare products, increase skin sensitivity and aggravate symptoms like dermatitis. And the fragrances, preservatives, and color pigments used in lipstick are also a source of concern. 

Skin sensitivity is a much more serious problem for women than for men. Women’s skin is thinner (lower cutaneous thickness) compared to men’s, and the impact of hormonal changes on their skin and skin sensitivity is higher. 

Ayurvedic Explanation for Toxic effects of Cosmetic Products on Skin 

Interestingly, according to Ayurveda, the maamsavaha srotaas are the fine channels that transport maamsa dhatu or muscle tissue in our bodies. These srotaas develop from the ‘twak’ or our skin. When we frequently apply cosmetic products on our skin and leave them on for a long time, they get bioaccumulated and transported to other parts of our body via these srotaas. When our srotaas are impaired and become clogged, Ayurveda says we develop extra growths or ‘arbuda’ internally in our bodies. 

This has a strong correlation with modern research which studies the probable carcinogenic effects of many synthetic ingredients used in personal care and cosmetic products. For example, there are many concerns over the use of aluminum salts in underarm deodorants & their link to breast cancer. The Ayurvedic explanation above gives us a clue into how an external cosmetic product can possibly cause an internal disease like cancer.

How does a Makeup Cleanser Work?

Most makeup products are oil-based. Therefore, makeup cleansers usually work by the same principle as detergents. These cleansers use a combination of surfactants in a base of either water or oil to break the lipid bond that helps makeup adhere to our skin. For example, when we apply lipstick, mascara, eyeliner, or blush, the products glide onto our skin and strongly adhere to it. 

Usually, a strong facial cleanser can remove light makeup. But, if we use false eyelashes, high gloss, or pigment-containing heavy eye makeup, the surfactants in the facial cleanser may not be able to break the resin and the lipid bond between the makeup and skin. So, regular makeup users may need a specialized oil-based makeup cleanser followed by facial cleansers. Alternatively, they made may need a double application of an oil-based and water-based makeup remover.

In most synthetic makeup removers, the active ingredients are essentially chemical surfactants similar to those used in laundry detergents. Even the new category of micellar waters are essentially a mild suspension of surfactants in water – which is just a diluted form of a facial cleanser.

What is in Micellar Water?


Micellar simply describes the basic property of many types of surfactants. For example, in commercial detergents, ingredients like soy isolates are added to the detergent formula to prevent the redeposition of dirt during the washing process. These soy isolates, along with surfactants like LABSA, form micelles (tightly bound structures) with the dirt removed from clothes. These micelles then get washed away during the laundering process. So, the concept of micellar cleansing is neither new nor a major breakthrough. 

Calling Micellar water ‘water’ is another misnomer. It is essentially a diluted chemical surfactant, which means it is not safe to leave on skin. In fact, many  micellar water products carry a disclaimer stating that the product has to be removed by rinsing the face with plain water for this very reason. Leaving on synthetic surfactants can denature natural skin protein or even scalp protein. 

Do you want an alternative to scalp denaturing synthetic shampoos ?

Read here to find out you need a better hair cleansing option…

Can I use baby oil as a makeup cleanser?

A cult favorite among makeup artistes and models was to to use non-sticky baby oil as a quick fix makeup remover. It’s baby oil, isn’t it? What can really go wrong? 

Many baby oils are formulated with LLP (Light Liquid Paraffin) or mineral oil. Mineral oil is not a good ingredient to be used regularly on scalp or skin. We mention scalp, because mineral oil is one of the main ingredients in most non-sticky hair oils brands. 

Mineral oil tends to be comedogenic, and forms an occlusive barrier on skin. It clogs the pores and srotaas (fine channels), over time leading to localized buildup of pitta dosha, breakouts, . It also impairs heat exchange an circulation in skin. While it works very effectively in dissolving the oil-based makeup in the short term, in the long term it is not a good addition to cleansing routines.

Can I use coconut oil as a makeup cleanser?

Coconut oil is natural, rich, and nutritious. Ayurveda has researched the properties of coconut oil extensively, and we’ve written about it here and here. While it is certainly a superior option compared to soaps, synthetic makeup removers and baby oil (eye roll!), coconut oil comes with its own set of drawbacks. 

Coconut oil is sheetya (cold), brhmana (nourishing) and guru (heavy) when consumed internally. It is also described as durjara, which can be interpreted as difficult to digest.

This oil has its implications when used externally as well. On one hand, because it is brmhana and vrishya, it can potentially nourish skin. But, because it is also sheetya and durjara, it is heavy and thick and may not penetrate skin deeply.

When we compare coconut oil with other vegetable oils like sesame oil, the latter is much lighter and penetrates skin much faster in comparison. This is because sesame oil is ushna in nature. This is why in the ancient Ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, sesame oil is generally referred to as the base taila (oil) for all skin oil formulations.

So, to answer the question on using coconut oil to remove makeup – yes, it can work to remove oily makeup (any oil can do that to some extent). However, in the long term, coconut oil can be clogging and slightly heavy to absorb for the skin. Therefore, it needs to be processed (cooked) with the right herbs to alter its natural qualities and make it lighter and easier to penetrate through the skin.

This is also the case with other natural oils like olive oil, sesame oil, kokum, and butter. Every single plant-based oil, butter or any natural oil comes with its own set of pros and cons when applied in isolation (without mixing any herbs) on skin. 

Natural oils are MUCH better than any synthetic oil like mineral oil in removing makeup. However, they become EVEN better if we are able to process them with the right Ayurvedic herbs. We can also opt for a mixture of oils and process them with herbs, so we get a very ideal combination of oils and herbs that work well on skin.

Using a soap as a makeup cleanser: Is this safe or effective?

Before makeup removers and makeup cleansers became common, many of us used just plain soap to wash off our makeup. We would sometimes need a double wash to properly remove some difficult makeup products. 


The problem with the bar soap method is of course that it is both pH altering and drying. Being alkaline, soaps cleanse very effectively, but they wreak havoc on the delicate sebum balance in the skin. 

So, we could probably get away with this method if we are young, use very light makeup, or have incredibly oily skin. But the effects will show up later on the skin in the form of premature aging, dryness, or sensitivity. 

Also, soap does not work well to remove tear-proof eye makeup which is designed to strongly cling and adhere to the skin (hence the name tear /waterproof). It is also not helpful for the newer 12 hour / 24 hour/kiss-proof lipsticks or foundation. This is because all long-stay makeup products use a combination of resins and oils to stick like glue to our skin. 

How we formulate the Krya makeup cleansing oil

The Krya makeup cleansing oil has two variants, one for dry skin & one for normal-oily skin. This oil is manufactured like all our other oils; in the Ayurvedic tila paaka veedhi

The Krya makeup cleansing oil for dry skin – An Ayurvedic makeup removing oil that also helps nourish dry, dull, vata type skin. 

This oil is processed for over 3 days using 31 Ayurvedic herbs in a base of 8 cold-pressed organic oils and butter variants like kokum butter, mahua butter, apricot oil and sesame oil. The final makeup cleansing oil is a gentle, skin-healing makeup cleanser. It can also double up as an oil cleanser or a replacement to our regular face wash if we live in very cold climates.

This Krya makeup cleansing oil formulation has two main objectives. 

  • It treats vata imbalance, dryness and dullness caused from using rich makeup products
  • It treats skin darkening and pigmentation

Generally, those of us with dry skin tend to use richer, creamier makeup formulations that glide better on our skin. It is also easier to remove makeup from our skin because the skin lacks enough oils to make a very firm bond. However, such makeup also tends to imbalance vata further and make dry skin drier and duller.

At the first level, the Krya makeup cleansing oil for dry skin gently lifts and dissolves the lipid bonds between makeup and skin. It uses extremely gentle, cleansing herbs like kushta, yashtimadhu, bala, karanja and almond milk to also treat skin dryness, reduce vata imbalance, and add brightness to our complexion. The astringent, grease and oil dissolving herbs like triphala, babool bark and nimba bark in the cleanser provide basic cleansing and break down rich makeup formulations. 

For those of us with dry skin, vata aggravation can also cause skin darkening, patchiness and pigmentation. Sariva, patranga, pushkarmoola and a special variety of turmeric called Wayanad turmeric help treat this and make the complexion even. 

The important thing to keep in mind for those with dry skin is that pigment-based makeup products bond onto our skin. They can be chafing and stripping on the overall skin. So, it is advisable for us to have a few makeup-free days to allow the skin time to heal.

The Krya make up cleansing oil for oily skin – an Ayurvedic makeup removing oil that helps balance and deep cleanse oily pitta or kapha type skin

The Krya makeup cleansing oil for oily skin works in 3 ways;

  1. It goes deep into the skin and removes impurities 
  2. It resolves sensitivity and mild skin irritation, and balances sebum on the skin 
  3. It balances pitta and kapha, making the skin less blotchy and pigmented

With oily skin, we have the opposite issue compared to dry skin. The bond between makeup and skin oils is much tighter as the skin already has a rich lipid profile. This makes the makeup-skin bond very close. So, we have to use a stronger set of cleansers to break the bond.

We also face an additional problem of clogged pores, sebum plugs and uneven skin complexions. This is because oil-based makeup tends to deep clog the skin srotaas over time. So, the goal here is to go really deep into the skin to remove the impurities, but do this without irritating or sensitizing skin. We also work on pitta and kapha balance so oiliness is balanced and skin is less blotchy & pigmented. 

To cleanse oily skin, we use deep cleansing and unclogging herbs like soapberry, shikakai and triphala. The second concern we address is the issue of unbalanced sebum. Oily skin is easily irritable and sensitive. And, sebum production aggravates in the presence of makeup or using too many cosmetic products on the skin. 

This can lead to mild redness, surface-level inflammation, and excess sebum on the skin. Herbs like arjuna, shirisha, udumbara, and mango, come to the rescue here. They help resolve sensitivity and mild skin irritation, and balance sebum on the skin. 

The third concern addressed by the Krya makeup cleansing oil is skin blotchiness and pigmentation. Pitta-type skin can be blotchy and flushed looking due to imbalanced pitta dosha. The product works on balancing pitta, soothing skin, relieving redness, and evening out our complexion using kanti vardhaka  (luster enhancing) herbs like lodhra, sariva, vetiver, manjishta, durva

To manufacture this product, over a period of 3 days, we process 26 Ayurvedic herbs in a base of 8 cold-pressed organic oils and butter like karanja oil, coconut oil, and kokum butter.

The final Krya makeup cleansing oil for oily skin is a balancing, unclogging, and brightening makeup cleanser. In cold climates, even oily skin end up feeling slightly taut and stretched, especially when we cleanse skin with water and a face wash. In such circumstances, the Krya make up cleanser for oily skin can act as a gentler replacement to your face wash. However the composition of the oil will ensures that oily skin stays balanced. . 

How to use the Krya makeup cleansing oil?

FAQs

I am a dancer and wear heavy makeup on my skin. Is this product recommended for me?

Krya Make up cleanser for oily skin may be used for heavy, stage makeup. We also suggest following an appropriate skincare routine and following practices like abhyanga and pada abhyanga. These will help the body recover after practice/performances.

My teenager uses makeup. Is the Krya makeup cleanser safe to use on her skin?

Yes. The Krya makeup cleansers (both variants) are gentle, safe, and effective. They can be used on your teen’s skin. We also suggest establishing a basic skincare routine for your teen. If your teen is acne-prone, please explore Krya’s Teen products here.

Can the Krya makeup cleansing oils be used in the oil cleansing method? Or are they only for makeup removal?

Both Krya makeup cleansing variants are excellent to use in the oil cleansing method. Choose a variant depending upon your skin type. The products can also be used in cold weather as a basic skin cleanser when you don’t want to use water and one of our face wash choornams.

Here’s a video showing how to use this as a makeup cleanser.

Can I use this as a base/primer before I use my makeup?

As both products are formulated for deep cleansing, they will not be ideal as a base or primer on skin before makeup application. Instead, we suggest you use one of the Krya skin serums for this purpose. You can choose the classic skin serum (for oily skin), moisture plus skin serum (for dry skin), dyuti skin serum (for dry skin with hormonal pigmentation), vyoma skin serum (for oily, sun tanned skin), or anti-acne skin serum (for oily, acne-prone skin).

Do I need to follow up with any other cleansing product after using this product?

We suggest wiping off your makeup with the product twice. This is sufficient for most skin types. However, if you have very clogged skin and are very prone to blackheads, whiteheads, or breakouts, you can follow up with our Ayurvedic face wash choornams (according to skin type). 

Can men also use this product? 

Yes, men can also use this product. If makeup cleansing is not something you are looking for, you can use this product for night cleansing. You can use it once a month for deep cleansing using the oil cleansing method.

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A 6 step Ayurvedic winter skin care guide

krya blog - winter skin care guide

Looking for a healthy winter skin care routine to help dry , taut , stretched or dull skin? Synthetic moisturizers are a temporary fix only. They only work on the surface of the skin, leaving it feeling temporarily moisturized. However, this effect is not long-lasting. Worse still most synthetic moisturizers contain srota clogging ingredients which prevent the skin from doing its normal role of thermal exchange correctly.

The effect of winter on skin – Ayurveda explains

A specific winter skin care routine helps heal the imbalance we see in our skin in this season. First, we must understand that Ayurveda divides the 12 months of the year into 6 seasons of 2 months each (and not the 4 we are used to in the Western worldview). Of these, the 4 months between mid-November to mid-March are the 2 Winter seasons – early Winter(Hemanta) and Late winter (Shishira)

Due to the effect of Visarga Kala (away movement of the Sun), these 4 Winter months (both seasons) naturally help increase our body’s strength and immunity. For more on this, please read our detailed post on what Ritucharya is and also our blog post on Hemanta Ritucharya.

The effect of the cold winds in both Winter seasons is that all the heat and moisture in the external parts of the body like the hair, skin, and extremities are all driven inwards into the Digestive tract ( Koshta). This concentrates the Agni in the Digestive tract and intensifies it. This is why in Winter, we have increased appetite, better digestive fire, and sharper hunger.

In order to put this high digestive Agni to work, we are asked to eat well and appropriately for Hemanta Ritu and Shishira Ritu. You can read more about this in our upcoming posts on the Krya blog.  As all the body warmth has been driven inwards, and as we are also continuously assaulted by the cold wind, there is an aggravation in Vata build up externally in the body. This leads to dryness in hair and skin. It could also increase stiffness, joint aches, increase clicky knees and trigger backaches.

A holistic winter skin care routine – and why a synthetic lotion is ineffective

This is why using synthetic moisturizing options or synthetic cleansers do not help solve dry skin completely in Winter. As the dryness is due to underlying Vata imbalance, we must treat the vata imbalance in skin. Using moisturizers etc. have only a temporary superficial effect. The dryness keeps coming back as we are not addressing the root cause of Vata imbalance in skin.

winter skin care - synthetic lotions are ineffective

On the other hand, if we are able to treat the vata imbalance to skin, we get a much more holistic effect in winter to manage dry skin. The skin is naturally better nourished and is healthier and is able to function better.

6 Ayurvedic winter skin care tips

1.      Always Pre-oil your skin before a bath

Vata dosha responds to “Sparsha” or touch and “Taila” or Oils (formulated to balance Vata dosha). Using a vata balancing oil & doing a mini massage of your skin before bath is essential, says Ayurveda. This pre-oiling helps moisturize the skin, bringing in the warmth that helps balance vata dosha. This becomes even more critical in a good winter skin care routine.

The choice of oil is critical. While many online websites and blogs recommend the use of pure cold pressed oils like Almond Oil, Olive Oil or Coconut oil, or Sesame oil, the Ayurvedic view point is different.

Base oils like Coconut oil and Sesame oil are all excellent ingredients to use to manufacture Ayurvedic oils but should not be used in their plain form. Even for baby skin, using cold pressed coconut, or olive oil is unsuitable. Each one of them comes with their own inherent properties. Some oils like coconut oil are unsuitable to use in Winter because of their cold and clogging nature. Olive oil is not nourishing to skin as it has astringent properties. Sesame oil, while excellent for skin, often needs to be tempered with additional vata balancing herbs.

When we add herbs to oils (extracted according to Ayurvedic principles) and then “cook” the oil in the Ayurvedic tila Paka veedhi process, we get an oil that is better absorbed by skin and also contains the benefits of the herbs that we incorporate into it.

If you have the time, it is an excellent idea to build a regular Abhyanga into your Hemanta routine. These are some of the benefits you will see with a regular Abhyanga:

  • Improved strength

  • Better Dosha Balance

  • Reduction in tiredness and fatigue

  •   Gradual improvement in strength and overall immunity

For pre-oiling, you could choose from our Abhyanga oils or our Baby oils.  If you choose our Abhyanga oils, you will get added benefits like pain relief, bringing down fatigue and deeper vata balance. But in order to get the best benefits from our Abhyanga oils, it’s advisable to do a proper complete Abhyanga massage.

If your purpose is simply to  nourish skin, and take care of skin dryness (or) when you don’t have time to do a full Abhyanga, krya baby oils are the best option, even for adults. The baby oils are to be applied pre-bath, 20 minutes before, on all dry skin areas.

Please follow up with a warm water bath using a properly formulated Snana choornam.

1a. Post bath – repeat oil application in case of intense cold or super dry skin

In most cases, the pre-bath oiling is more than enough to manage dry skin. But if you live in a particularly cold and windy climate or have extremely dry skin, you can also lightly moisturize your skin post bath with the Krya baby oils again. Again, do note that this is only needed if you feel that pre-bath moisturization is not sufficient.

winter skin care - post bath moisturization

 For post-bath moisturization – Apply a tiny amount of oil on damp skin and massage in. The skin must not feel like it has a layer of oil post-application.

2.      Bathe in Warm and not hot water.

Ayurveda tells us that we must bathe in “ushnodaka” or warm water for good health. This is advised through the year, except in greeshma (summer) ritu, when the weather may permit baths with cooler water. However, in many cases we tend to go overboard with this recommendation. In very cold climates, people often bathe with extremely hot water and not warm water. This dries out our skin worsening dry skin conditions.

winter skin care - bathe in warm not hot water

Also, The Ayurvedic recommendation of bathing with “ushnodaka” is only for the portion below the neck. Hot water must never be poured on the head region or on the face (however cold the weather may be). Hot water on the head weakens the nerves, and damages eye health over time.

3.  Use a Snana Choornam and not a Soap / Gel for your bath

In Ayurveda, the Acharyas recommend using a carefully selected mixture of finely ground lentils and a selection of dosha appropriate Ayurvedic herbs to cleanse skin. We have written more about this here and here.

This beats using soap / gel throughout the year. In Winter, we get further benefits from a Ayurvedic Choornam. Snana Choornams (when carefully formulated) are very gentle and mild on skin. They leave the natural oils in skin intact, and also work to balance minor dosha imbalances in skin.

winter skin care - use an ayurvedic choornam to bathe in

Choosing the right Snana choornam is very important. Please Avoid choornams that are made with high percentage of drying ingredients like turmeric or those that use high amounts of besan or channa dal.

At Krya, We have carefully formulated different products that suit different skin types. Choose the Snana choornam according to your body / skin needs. For example, if you tend to have high body odor, you can choose either the Krya Classic or Krya Classic plus body wash. If you have back or chest acne, you can choose the Krya Anti acne body wash. For normal to dry skin, choose the Krya Moisture plus body wash. For skin that is very tanned from high sun exposure, choose the Krya After sun body wash.

All our Snana choornams are extremely gentle and do not dry out skin.

4.      Use correctly formulated Facial oils for facial skin

If you have been using gentle Ayurvedic facial products for your facial skin, it is not essential to pre-oil facial skin. However, post Snana, oiling of facial skin is essential. This is because facial skin is thinner and more delicate compared to body skin. Moreover, the face is also heavily exposed to the Sun & air, unlike body skin. Because of its thinner and more delicate nature, facial skin finds it hard to absorb heavy, sticky oils. So we suggest using a light, nourishing, completely natural Ayurvedic facial oil (serum)l for moisturisation. Facial skin requires just 2-4 drops of a well-formulated facial oil. This should be applied after gentle cleansing on damp skin and patted into the face and neck.

winter skin care - use a well formulated facial oil for face moisturization

Avoid using heavy oils like cold pressed sesame oil or coconut oil on your face. Classical Ayurvedic Abhyanga formulations like Dhanwantaram tailam, Nalpamaradi Taila, may also be extremely heavy for facial skin. Formulations like Kumkumadi tailam do not suit all skin types (read this guide to Kumkumadi Tailam here). So make sure to choose your facial oil correctly.

We have a good range of specially formulated facial oil serums for different skin types at Krya. Do explore our skin serums here.

If you would like our help choosing the right skins serum for you, do WhatsApp us on this link

6.      Use the right cleanser – this is CRITICAL

We do not think enough about how we cleanse our hair and skin. And this is often the start of sensitivity, dryness and fizziness (in hair) because the cleansers we use are harsh and unsuitable for human skin or hair.

Facial skin is much thinner and more sensitive compared to the rest of our skin. This is because it has been weathered by the constant exposure to sun and wind. Facial skin needs a very delicate and gentle cleanser that is pH balanced, uses high-grade food-like substances, and also contains dosha balancing herbs. An Ayurvedic powder cleanser that has been correctly formulated and thoughtfully manufactured to be fine and gentle is ideal for facial cleansing.

Consistent use of the right facial cleanser keeps skin from being over-sensitive, cleanses delicately and gently and also aids proper dosha balance, especially when we accumulate extra heat due to high sun exposure, or extra vata due to excess wind or cold weather.

winter skin care - cleanse with a well formulated ayurvedic facial cleanser

When looking for an Ayurvedic powder cleanser, look for a cleanser that is free from essential oils and botanical extracts – these ingredients can be highly sensitive to facial skin. Choose a product that is formulated for your skin type as well. Generally, a catchall face and body cleanser is not suitable for either body cleansing or facial cleansing. Body cleansing requires different kinds of herbs to solve issues like body odor, etc. Facial cleansing tends to focus more on unclogging, improving skin texture and evening out skin complexion.

Choose from Krya’s delicate facial cleansers here.

  If you would like our help choosing the right skin cleansers for you, do WhatsApp us on this link

We also have 2 oil based cleansers that are perfect for gently removing makeup – chose from our dry skin variant or our variant for oily, clogged skin.

Makeup is very harsh and drying on skin, especially in Winter. Make sure you remove every trace of makeup before going to sleep. Give your skin time in between without any makeup or foundation to breathe.

6.      Eat correctly for this season – Choose warm, well cooked, nourishing and heavy foods and hot drinks

In Hemanta Ritu, we see distinct things happening in the body. The cold wind pushes all the agni inwards and it concentrates in the Koshta (digestive tract). This makes the outer body, skin and hair and extremities cold and vata aggravated. However, the Agni in the Digestive tract is highly intensified leading to high appetite, greater ability to process food. You can read more about this in our Hemanta Ritucharya guidelines blog post.

This intensified Agni must be given a good amount of work to do, otherwise it can eat up the internal tissues. Hence food must be extremely well planned in this season and strictly follow Ritucharya guidelines. We must eat heavy, slightly difficult-to-digest, nourishing, freshly cooked, and warm food.

winter skin care - eat season-appropriate foods

 Along with this, we must make an effort to drink only well boiled, hot or at least warm water preferably with the correct herbs added to it.

 To sum up: Ayurvdic winter skin care

Ayurveda is a science dedicated to the first principles of health care. The Acharyas have benevolently and generously shared the principles of health by focusing on what we need to do to prevent disease. When we follow the principles outlined like daily living (Dinacharya) and seasonal living (Ritucharya), we come into health, harmony, and balance.

Ayurvedic skin is never merely surface level. Ayurveda tells us that organ systems like skin and hair reflect our deeper state of health. So we see how the external weather and season-related dosha imbalances can lead to the dry, uncomfortable skin we often face in Winter.

We hope this article helped you understand how to heal dry skin in Winter and also understand the underlying principles for different Nithya karmas we are asked to do like Abhyanga, Snana, Ahara (food) in the context of Hemanta Ritu and how these activities should be modified for better balance and health.

If you would like our help customizing an Ayurvedic winter skin care regimen for you, please email us or send us a message on WhatsApp using this link. In our next post, we will dive deeper into Abhyanga for Hemanta and how the Abhyanga routine should be modified for this season and the benefits it gives us.

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Hemanta Ritucharya – Ayurvedic Seasonal Guidelines for Early Winter

Hemanta ritucharya guidelines

There are subtle hints of Hemanta Ritucharya practices given in the Srimad Valmiki Ramayana. 

In the Aranya Kanda, Sarga 16, Lakshmana gives a rich, poetic description of Hemanta Ritu as seen in the forests on the banks of the Godavari river to mother Sita & Lord Rama in about 25 shlokas

He begins the description with the following verse :

वसतस्तस्य तु सुखं राघवस्य महात्मनः।

शरद्व्यपाये हेमन्तऋतुरिष्टः प्रवर्तत

As the great souled Sri Rama lived happily there (near the Godavari), autumn passed by and his favorite season of Hemanta set in. 

While every season has its own charm, it is very nice to know that Lord Rama had a special place in his heart for Hemanta Ritu

What is Hemantu Ritu ?

The Indian Calendar is very unique in that it identifies six different seasons of two months each that constitute one full year. Of these 12 months, the winter season of 4 months, is split into two parts :

  1. Hemanta Ritu ( Early Winter) from mid-November till mid- January
  2. Shishira Ritu ( Late Winter) from mid-January till mid-March

Ayurvedic texts too recognize the same calendar. Due to the different characteristics of each season (Ritu) they give us specific rules (achara) to follow in that season. This concept of seasonal regimen is known as Ritucharya. When it is applied specifically to the early winter season, it is known as Hemanta Ritucharya.

The ayurvedic texts additionally explain one more concept based on the movement of the Sun relative to the earth, which we also know as Dakshinayana & Uttarayana. They call the 6 months period of Dakshinayana as Visarga Kala or a period that enhances the strength of the human body progressively. 

In particular it is important to note that the two months of Hemanta Ritu is when our body is at its strongest in the whole year.

This has fascinating implications for us in terms of Hemanta Ritucharya habits

Impact of Hemanta Ritu on our bodies

The harsh , cold winds of the winter season has two primary effects on our bodies, which in turn determines the habits that we need to adopt in the season

1. The harsh cold drives all our body heat into the koshta (gut). As a result , it sharply increases our appetite and also our ability to digest food

2. It also leaves the extremities of the body & the skin very dry and subject to the external cold. This results in a sharp increase in Vata dosha in our extremities.

As a result of the strong digestive fire in our gut, we need to eat really well in Hemanta and feed this fire. Otherwise the digestive fire when unattended , eats up the internal tissues. 

A clear indication of the extreme cold in Hemanta is seen in the following Shloka, wherein Lakshmana is describing various scenes of Hemanta as seen near the banks of the Godavari river

स्पृशंस्तु विमलं शीतमुदकं द्विरदस्सुखम्।

अत्यन्ततृषितो वन्यः प्रतिसंहरते करम्।।3.16.21।।

The wild tusker, extremely thirsty, touches the clean, cold water joyfully, but immediately withdraws its trunk unable to bear the cold.

Hemanta Ritucharya Habits to follow

As the skin and extremities are strongly impacted by Vata aggravation, oil application is highly important in the winter season. It is strongly recommended to apply suitable oils on the head and body also known as Abhyanaga in the mornings itself. After applying oil on the body, vigorous exercise is also recommended. For the post oil massage Snana, ubtans with herbs of kashaya rasa (astringent taste) are recommended to remove all the excess oil from the skin.

As per the Ashtanga Hridaya text, the 3 primary tastes to consume in our foods in Hemanta are Madhura (sweet) Amla (sour) & Lavana (salty)

Meats and meat soups prepared with oils/fats, salty and sour juices of healthy aquatic and marshy animals are specifically recommended in the Caraka Samhita text.

Further it is said that in Hemanta we should regularly eat preparations of cow’s milk, sugarcane juice, fats, oils (like sesame oil), beverages made with molasses & rice flour, pastries made with wheat or rice flour or black gram,  New rice (from fresh paddy). We should also regularly drink warm water throughout the day in winter. By eating these foods our lifespan is increased.

The following shlokas from the Sri Ramayana describing the features of Hemanta ritu also mention the use of new rice & cow’s milk, especially in the season

Lakshmana says 

नवाग्रयणपूजाभिरभ्यर्च्य पितृदेवताः।

कृताग्रयणकाः काले सन्तो विगतकल्मषाः

Pious men offer their libations of the first crop (new rice) at Agnistoma sacrifices and thereby please their ancestors (pitrus) and get rid of their sins.

प्राज्यकामा जनपदास्सम्पन्नतरगोरसाः।

विचरन्ति महीपाला यात्रास्था विजिगीषवः।।3.16.7।।

People in the countryside have had their desires satisfied  by obtaining abundant cow’s milk at this time (hemanta) 

And Rulers of the earth are out on their expedition with a desire for victory.

In Hemanta Ritu, the texts also mention that we can indulge well in sexual intercourse. Moreove the sex helps balance aggravated kapha-dosha and brings about strength in the body.

Preventive Measures in Hemanta Ritu

The texts strongly exhort us to stay away from the cold winds of winter and to stay in well-heated inner parts of the buildings. Moreover, all our beddings and seats should be well wrapped with thick, winter-appropriate materials and we should also wear heavy warm clothes.

Further, Acharya Charka also says that in Hemanta, we should avoid foods and drinks that are very light & tend to aggravate vata-dosha. We should also avoid fasting in winters.

Krya Products that are suitable for Hemanta Ritu:

  1. Abhyanga Snana Products
  2. Snana Choornams
  3. Baby Oils
  4. Face Cleansers
  5. Face Serums
  6. Jal Krya (Herbs to add to water in Hemanta Ritu)

To sum up : Hemanta Ritucharya habits

The Ayurvedic texts clearly mention that following Hemanta Ritucharya helps to increase our body’s strength also extends our lifespan. This is subject to us understanding and following the specified guidelines for Hemanta sincerely and correctly. Due to the peculiar nature of Hemanta, the following 5 habits are key Ritucharya pillars:

  • 1 . Apply oil on the head and body regularly. This is Abhyanga Snana
  • 2. Exercise vigorously
  • 3. Eat really well. Sweet , heavy to digest foods are suitable for Hemanta
  • 4. Drink warm water regularly
  • 5. Ensure you are well covered, wear suitably arm clothing and protct yourself from the cold air that can aggravate vata dosha

When we follow the Ritucharya guidelines advised for Winter, we can take full advantage of our body’s increase in strength and stability. We can make a significant change to our health, harmony, and immunity by simply following some basic Ayurvedic seasonal guidelines.

We hope you found this post on Hemanta Ritucharya useful. If you have any questions on this or need help choosing the right krya products, please email us. Alternatively, you can click on this link to consult us on whatsapp.

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The importance of Diwali Cleaning

It was 2002 in Green Park, Delhi. I was a lowly Management Trainee in Sales living in a 2 room Barsati in an upscale neighbourhood in Delhi. My landlord had built a bunch of 1 ad 2 room sets in an outhouse off his main house to rent to women students and women employees who lived in Delhi and wanted a safe, yet convenient place to live out of and commute. That it was about 50 km one way from my place of work is besides the point here.

On most days, the main home would be shrouded in darkness, and all I could hear was the incessant blare of a television set. But about 2 weeks before Diwali, my landlord surfaced and asked if I wanted the home cleaned specially in any way.

“After all, beta”, he added, “yeh to Diwali ke din hain”.

As I saw the painstaking painting and house repair work that was done in that Delhi home that week before Deepavali, I wondered about the connection. Why is Diwali so linked to home cleaning, repairs, gold, silver, and special baths?

The answers lie in our history. So let’s dial back.

Diwali Cleaning and Deep cleaning: Significance from Sri Ramayana

Deep cleaning of the home, plastering and painting over cracks in the home, cleaning the home of cobwebs, deep cleaning the floors, bathrooms, walls, are all common practices done in Indian homes in the weeks leading up to Diwali. In fact, “Diwali cleaning” or a “Diwali cleaning checklist” are common search terms in India around Diwali every year.

Diwali cleaning - traditionally home cleaning and repairs are done

In the south home painting and repairs are traditionally not carried around this time as this is the season for rains in Kerala and Tamilnadu in October, and November. Such home repairs are normally carried out in these states after Pongal, when the sunshine is strong. Practically it is a great idea to carry out wet work like repainting in this period as strong sunshine helps the paint dry quickly. However, home cleaning is a common practice in these parts.

The significance of this can be observed in our study of the Srimad Valmiki Ramayana. In the last few Sargas of the Yuddha Kanda once Lord Sri Rama has won the war, and is preparing to come back to Ayodhya, Hanuman reaches Ayodhya before the Lord. He speaks to Lord Bharata of the Lord’s great victory and his imminent return to Ayodhya.

Diwali cleaning - In Srimad Ramayana Lord Hanuman rushes to ayodhya to give Bharata the news of Lord Rama's victory

Lord Hanuman is also sent in advance by Lord Sri Rama as Lord Bharata vowed to wait not one day beyond the Lord’s 14 year vanvas. He vowed that if the Lord did not return as promised on the dot of the end of the vanvas, He (Bharata) would enter into Agni and immolate himself. So to ensure no such mishap occurs, Lord Hanuman is dispatched ahead of the divine couple to convey the good news to Lord Bharata and Lord Shatrughna.

Bharata’s devotion to Lord Rama was so great that he decided to immolate himself if Lord Rama did not come back as promised after his Vanvas. He spent the entire time during Lord Rama’s absence thinking of him and devoting himself to the rule of Ayodhya and betterment of citizens on behalf of Lord Rama

Bharata commands Shatrughna to line the streets of Ayodhya with citizens, dancers, reciters of the Puranas, Musicians and members form all arts, trade guilds, the Army and the families of the ministers, and finally the royal family.

Hearing Bharata’s orders, Shatrughna immediately organizes a vast number of workmen and laborers to do the following activities:

  1. Pave the roads from Nandigram to Ayodhya – pave over every small crack and cavity so that the entire road is even, smooth and flat
    1. समीकुरुत निम्नानि विषमाणि समानि च || ६-१२७-६
      स्थानानि च निरस्यन्तां नन्दिग्रामादितः परम् |
  2. Sprinkle the ground with ice cold water. Then strew parched grains and flowers on the roads
  3. Let the streets in Ayodhya be decorated with flags. Let each house which is on the main street be decorated until the sun rises. शोभयन्तु च वेश्मानि सूर्यस्योदयनं प्रति 
  4. Let hundreds of men sprinkle 5 fragrant colours on the main royal highway, and also line it with rows of garlands and flowers
    1. स्रग्दाममुक्तपुष्पैश्च सुगन्धैः पञ्चवर्णकैः || ६-१२७-९
      राजमार्गमसम्बाधं किरन्तु शतशो नराः |

We can see from these verses from Srimad Valmiki Ramayana, how the entire kingdom of Ayodhya prepares for their Lord’s return. The roads, homes, animals, cavalry and all citizens go to work joyously making every road smooth, and decorating the city with flags, auspicious torans, flowers, colors and lamps to welcome back their King and Queen.

For every Deepavali in India, to celebrate the return of Lord Rama and Mother Seetha, and to celebrate the victory of Dharma over Adharma, India cleans and decorates the home for Deepavali.

Bring in Mangalya into the Home this Deepavali

One of the qualities of the Divine Mother, Goddess Mahalakshmi is “Mangalya” (auspicious). Her name itself means “one who is the opposite of alakshmi” – Alakshmi is lack of prosperity or Daridra.  Auspiciousness and prosperity comes with clean surroundings, neatness, carefully selected objects (a few), no hoarding and proper placement of all objects in the home.

Clutter, dirt, cobwebs and excessive hoarding are also considered bad for mental peace in Ayurveda. In fact, an excess of object hoarding is indicative of kapha aggravation mentally and indicates an increase in tamasic state (or can also trigger tamas).

Before we decorate the home, the home must be cleaned and decluttered well. Decluttering creates space, reduces tamasic tendencies and brings in freshness and positivity.

Suggested Deepavali decluttering checklist:

  1. Seal any small cracks in the home which can harbor insects, roaches
  2. Clean cobwebs in the home
  3. Send out broken, unrepairable items to waste e-cycling
  4. Give away things you have not used for a long time (and see no future use for)
  5. Do not hoard things (people have a habit of hanging onto restaurant cutlery sauce packets, plastic bags, etc. as they believe they may use it in the future)
  6. Clean the window frames, and corners of furniture in the home

Deep cleaning the home for Diwali 2021

Ayurveda tells us that we have 5 panchamahaboothas that combine to form this entire prakriti (universe), flora, fauna, rock, earth, water and ourselves. So everything in this universe is a mixture of 5 panchamahaboothas.

So also our homes reflect the presence of the panchamahaboothas. Homes contain akash and vayu – combination of air and wind in the spaces that surround the objects within. We also have components of prithvi (earth (, agni (fire) and jala (water) in our home in different parts of the home.

When we clean our homes, we most often pay attention only to floors and hard surfaces. Ayurveda suggests we also cleanse the space and air within homes through the use of special sounds, herbal fumigation, light and positive energy. Light, smoke and sound all have the capacity to cleanse air and space, reduce negative vibration in the home and infuse it with a positive, spiritual aura.

In an Ayurvedic home cleanser, we look for the following properties:

  • 1. Swacchakara – To clean the surface thoroughly of dirt and grease
  • 2. Rakshoghna – to protect us from microorganisms and disease causing organisms
  • 3. Bhutaghna – To cleanse negative aura
  • 4. Jantuhara – To repel small insects and organisms
  • 5. Mangalya + Prana positive – To promote auspiciousness

The Divine Mother protects the environment being the Earth mother herself. So ideally we must choose nontoxic, environmentally friendly products that do not harm anyone. The implements we choose, as far as possible should also be natural, biodegradable and compostable. Read this earlier detailed post on how you can use natural herbs to safely and effectively clean the home.

Diwali Home Cleaning Checklist 2021

  • Use a non-toxic roach repellant in the kitchen and bathroom around sinks and drains for atleast a week to ten days to slowly bring down insect infestation
    • We suggest Krya Anti Roach oil from our range
  • Clean all bathroom fixtures, mirrors and reflective surfaces with an acidic nontoxic cleaner
    • We suggest Krya Lemon detergent strained in water
  • Clean all porcelain fixtures and bathroom tiles with a combination of manual scrubbing, natural acids and a natural deep cleaning product.
    • We suggest Krya Tile cleaner (make into a thick paste with water or vinegar and use to scrub)
  • Clean fans, insect nets and doors and windows with an insect repelling, dust and grease repelling natural cleaning product
    • A combination of the Krya Lemongrass detergent and the Krya Dishwash is very helpful here
  1. Professionally clean your hood / chimney – if this is not possible, soak the filters and scrub them well with an eco-friendly grease remover
  2. Surface clean the kitchen platform, gas stoves and tiles. Ideally gas stoves should be decorated with rice flour based rangoli whenever preparing Prasad for the Puja (this can also be done on a daily basis)
    • A combination of the Krya Sookshma floor cleaner and the Krya Lemon Detergent is very helpful here
  1. Clean your brass and copper puja thalis and cookware / serve ware with tamarind and salt, or an eco-friendly dish wash product
    • The Krya Brass and Copper Dishwash is an excellent option

To Conclude: Deepavali Home Cleaning and Decluttering in 2021

Urban life, especially today is riddled with things. Our homes and offices are packed with packaging material, paper, plastic and small things whihc we use rarely. Most of us can do without atleast 50% of the stuff aroudn our homes.

This clutter and excess stands in the way of our personal development. It leads to storage issues, insect infestation and creates tamas and heaviness across the home. We sometimes need the power of a spiritually charged traditional festival to help us clean up our acts.

Deepavali is one such spiritual portal for all of us. Bolstered by the very shlokas from the Srimad Valmiki Ramayana, and by understanding the nature and qualities of the Divine Mother who presides over this festival, we can draw meaning and will power to cleanse our spaces.



During this sacred celebration, we pray to Lord Rama and Mother Seetha to bless you and your family. We also ask them, in their Infinite Love, Grace and Wisdom to give us the strength and clarity to bring in Mangalya and positivity into our homes and offices.

Jai Siya Ram!


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Oily skincare routine from Ayurveda

an ayurvedic oily skincare routine - blog post krya

If you do a search for oily skincare routine, the following are the most likely results

Commit to an oil busting routine, screams one headline. Make sure you exfoliate often to slough off dead cells and keep those pores squeaky clean, says another. Try using an oil balancing clay mask at night, another suggests helpfully.

In other words, we should be waging war on our oiliness. Continuously cleansing, toning, exfoliating supposedly keeps our oiliness at bay. Keeping sebum secretion to a balanced state seems to be their one-point agenda in building an oily skincare routine.

But most websites, magazines and experts are mysteriously quiet on just exactly why our skin got to be this oily? Stress, genetics and environmental factors are the supposed underlying reasons . But no specific answers.

An ayurvedic oily skincare routine - why is my skin oily?

Why is the sight of a samosa causing our pores to drip oil? What are these mysteriously open pores? Should the word “mattify” be burned into our brains? And most importantly how should we ideally care for oily skin? How do we nourish oily skin without causing an oil rig like an explosion?

Prakriti (individual constitution): a valuable tool to identify the correct dosha imbalance in skin

Ayurveda classifies our prakriti as the unique mixture of doshas that make up who we are. This also includes unique factors like our age, the season, the climatic conditions where we live, current stresses ,life stage, etc.

Each of these factors contributes to our prakriti at any point in time. Depending upon where we live, season, age, etc., our natural prakriti may see a small change. This can cause an imbalance which can lead to skin, hair or other health issues. 

Characteristics of Pitta Type Skin

When Pitta is elevated in our basic constitution (prakriti) we exhibit the characteristics of this dosha in our skin, hair, behaviour, response to stress and the foods we enjoy.

Pitta type skin tends to sweat easily, have more oiliness, is sensitive to heat and spicy foods, and is quickly irritated and gets inflamed.

Ayurvedic oily skincare routine - characters of pitta skin

Pitta dosha is characterised by its swift response to situations – like Fire (Agni) which is an important part of Pitta dosha, pitta based skin also reacts quickly to stimuli. So if you are prone to breakouts, have a skin that you describe as sensitive and find that any changes in product/food can cause breakouts or reactions, you probably have pitta type skin.

Oily skin – and how it is linked to our life stage, food, behaviour and genetic makeup

Ayurveda tells us that “like responds to like”. Therefore, when we eat foods, have certain lifestyle practices that stimulate pitta dosha, we can trigger “pitta like” changes in skin and hair. This could be despite the fact that we are not genetically dominant in Pitta dosha.

So for example, if you constantly eat pitta aggravating foods, work in a very high-stress environment, respond very quickly with anger or type A behaviour, you constantly draw on Pitta dosha in your body. This leads to Pitta being overblown in your body leading to Pitta type skin and hair issues like oiliness, sensitive skin, redness and rosacea, premature greying, hair thinning, hair oiliness, etc.

Ayurvedic oily skincare routine - pitta is linked to lifestage

Pitta dosha is also closely linked to the body’s hormonal system and blood tissue. In certain periods of our life when we are naturally prone to hormonal changes like teenage, menstruation, pregnancy and perimenopause, we tend to elevated levels of Pitta in the body. This can lead to pitta type skin issues.

Ayurvedic oily skincare routine – how to cleanse pitta skin

Ayurveda gives us very clear rules for Skin cleansing. Our Skin is always cleansed with an optimum combination of herbs, grains and lentils. This ensures that the skin’s pH and barrier function is well maintained. Depending upon the prakriti of the individual and ritukala (season), specific herbs are added to the base.

When cleansed this way, the sebum levels in the skin are never suddenly depleted or produced in excess. Skin remains soft and does not feel parched and tight. Most importantly, the cleansing is strongly functional and removes clogged material and toxins from the cells. This frees up the skin and helps it function normally.

In pitta aggravated skin, Ayurveda suggests that we follow a few special rules while cleansing skin to avoid stimulating Pitta dosha further:

  • Cleanse in cool water as much as possible – warm or hot water aggravates Pitta and is anyway NOT suggested in Ayurvedic facial care
  • Use only mridu (gentle) pitta balancing, soothing herbs. Even strong cleansing herbs like Shikakai, Soapberry can be avoided for pitta prone skin. Instead, we are asked to use adsorbent based cleansing using gentle clays and lentils
  • The processing of herbs and grains and clays must be done to a very fine degree. The herbs must form a gel like thick paste in water – this ensures they do not scratch or irritate the skin stimulating pitta dosha
How to cleanse pitta type skin correctly
  • The use of Ushna (hot) and Teekshna (intensive) herbs must be very closely monitored. Even if they are used in the formulation, they must be balanced by Sheetya (cooling) and Swadu (sweet) herbs. For example –there are many homemade and DIY formulations that rely very heavily on Haridra (turmeric). Turmeric is no doubt a very renowned skincare herb, but it has a very “ushna” or hot nature. If used indiscriminately without balancing herbs, it can increase the Pitta component of the product irritating Pitta type skin.
  • Products (even well-formulated Ayurvedic products) must not be overused. For example, many people with oily skin believe they must use Facial masks more than once a week. They also over-cleanse the skin and sometimes even when not necessary double or triple cleanse skin in the mistaken belief that this is helping their skin. Over cleansing and repeated stripping of skin sebum provokes a higher drawing of pitta dosha. So the routine must not be overdone
  • Do not handle skin frequently– as oily skin is a manifestation of Pitta dosha that has aggravated throughout the body, every part of the body is usually high in Pitta. Therefore, our sweat, secretions from the rest of the body are also high in Pitta. Over handling skin, touching it or picking at it also irritate and aggravate Pitta leading to minor breakouts, inflammations etc.

The Krya Classic Face wash has been formulated following all these principles in mind for pitta aggravated oily skin. It is made from a mix of 25 Ayurvedic herbs, clays and grains. We use very interesting cooling and pitta balancing ingredients like Organic Ragi, Organic Himalayan Chamomile, Organic green tea, Triphala, and Pomegranate peel. The product is very refreshing, soothing yet deep cleansing on the skin. It does not irritate skin and cleanses the skin well. We recommend using once or twice a day using clean, cool water. This video demonstrates how to use the Krya face wash correctly on skin.

Ayurvedic oily skincare routine – using a Face Lepa

Ayurvedic Lepas help heal skin, balance dosha imbalances and help draw out excess Pitta from the face. Heat exchange is especially important in facial skin, as the face houses the eyes and brain.

Due to continuous activity, this area can easily get overheated disrupting the pitta-kapha balance. Therefore, all applications above the neck areas should only be done with products that are designed to draw out excess pitta.

Ayurvedic face Lepas are astringent, toning and mildly tightening in nature. So they can sometimes irritate Pitta aggravated skin. To balance this, Pitta aggravated Face Lepas are normally advised to be mixed with rose water and applied only once a week. When Pitta is under control, the face masking can be done twice a week. But it is advisable to start initially slowly allowing time for Pitta to stabilise.

Ayurvedic oily skincare routine - face lepas have skin and dosha balancing effect

Here is a detailed blog post on how to correctly use a face lepa. Here is a video demonstrating this as well.

The Krya Classic Face Lepa is an ideal Ayurvedic Face Lepa that suits oily, pitta aggravated skin. It is made from 32 Classic Ayurvedic herbs, grains and clays. Every ingredient is carefully chosen, sourced from high-quality sources, and sourced organic wherever possible. We use a mix of deep cleansing, astringent, sebum balancing, soothing and pitta balancing herbs like Shatavari, Manjishta, Lodhra, Arjuna, Ashoka and Shirisha. With regular use, the skin feels cool, refreshed, soothed, balanced and there is deep cleansing and unclogging of the srotas allowing healthy functioning of the skin and minimised looking pores.

To start with this product can be used once a week, and followed up with the Krya Classic skin serum. Do not wash the face again that day after using this Face Lepa. Also, avoid stepping out and exposing skin to further dirt and pollution on the day the Mask is used.

Ayurvedic oily skincare routine – using serums for balanced nourishment

The concept of emulsions is very well known in Ayurveda: so many ancient recipes for Ayurvedic creams exist. However, lotions are not a common skincare format in Ayurveda. For skin application, different kinds of oils are routinely used.

Many specific facial oils are referred to in Ayurveda: kumkumadi tailam is one such formulation, which has now become extremely well known. This is a very ancient formulation said to have been developed by the Ashwini Kumaras. Kumkumadi tailam is generally used for youvana pidaka (Acne) or skin that has hyperpigmentation, blemishes and darkening due to excess pitta or sun exposure.

However, when using products on the skin, Ayurveda shares a few concerns:

  • Skin is supposed to perspire and do heat exchange with the atmosphere keeping the rest of the body cool
  • Sweda (sweat) is an important vehicle to remove excess salts, and toxins that are excreted from the body. The proper production of Sweda supports other excretory organs like the kidneys which can get overloaded if your skin does not do its work
  • Therefore, the goal of Ayurvedic skincare is to properly moisturise the skin and all its layers and then cleanse it well so the minor srotas (circulatory channels) are open and functioning well to do their job of heat regulation and cleansing.
Role of ayurvedic serums in an oily skincare routine

Therefore, we should not clog the skin with the excessive layering of skincare products. Because this blocks skin and discourages the free exchange of heat, sweat and Malas from the body.

Apart from balancing pitta, the oils must be “sookshma” (subtle). They should easily penetrate the skin. They should not block or impede the skin in any manner. And they should be effective even in very small doses.

To formulate our line of Ayurvedic skins serums, we spent a lot of time researching the needs of different kinds of skin. The idea behind each product was to provide each skin with the exact Dosha balance it needed. So, we had to figure out the right set of herbs and base oils that can help .

In Oily, Pitta prone skin, there is a need to draw out excessive Pitta from the skin by balancing the Agni in the skin. We do not just focus on removing “excess sebum”. By working on the conditions that caused the excess sebum in the first place, we encourage the natural gradual balancing of sebum levels in the skin.

The Krya Classic skin serum has been formulated with 26, pitta balancing, soothing, oil balancing herbs like Manjishta, Patranga, Ela, Clove, Nimba, Shirisha etc.

We prepare the Krya Classic skin serum in the Ayurvedic Tila Paka veedhi . Over 4-6 days, We hand stir the oil and manufacture it . The team progressively adds fresh plant juices, herbal decoctions and herbal pastes to the oil mixture. This slowly infuses the oil with bio-actives from each herb . Over the process, the base oils completely transform in characteristics becoming very nuanced, subtle and highly penetrative into the skin.

For this oil, we use 8 plant oils and butter including extract based oils. For the pitta balancing and skin healing effect, we use Kokum butter, Coconut Oil and Karanja Oil.

Making of Krya Classic skin serum

Even Pitta prakriti skin can go dry in certain conditions. This is due to excess heat. So we need a skin moisturising product that also balances Pitta here. Continued use of the product helps work on minor skin blemishes, scars and evens out skin tone and lustre.

To sum up: An ayurvedic skincare routine for oily skin

I hope you found this post explaining how Ayurveda understands and helps care for oily skin useful. We write these posts for 2 reasons. The first is to provide a deeper understanding of Ayurveda and its unique perspective on hair and skincare.

The second is to share the internal working behind our products and our company. This helps improve transparency and gives you a greater understanding of what makes us tick.

We believe that greater knowledge and transparency promotes better choices. This helps you make better decisions on what you apply to yourself or use around you in your home.

If you have any questions on our products, product philosophy, or skin and hair, please do email us. For personalised recommendations of the correct skin and hair care products please WhatsApp our Customer Service team.

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The Correct technique for an Ayurvedic Foot Massage & its benefits

Tossing and turning at night? Worried about piled up work for the next day? Left wanting for better sleep? A regular foot massage with an ayurvedic oil (pada abhyanga) can be surprisingly effective!

Why am I unable to sleep?

An inability to fall asleep or sleep extremely lightly is linked to unbalanced Vata Dosha.

ayurvedic explanation for poor sleep

Vata dosha is flexible, subtle, quick, energetic, restless and when unbalanced we feel anxious, nervous, and unable to switch off or shut down. To calm Vata Dosha, Ayurveda suggests using well-formulated Ayurvedic “Tailas” or Ayurvedic Herbal Oils to soothe the body and mind and calm down Vata Dosha.

This process of applying an ayurvedic oil to balance Vata Dosha through the body is called “Abhyanga”. A special kind of Abhyanga is a Pada Abhyanga. Pada Abhyanga is a special foot massage in Ayurveda, which is done by applying oil to the soles of the feet, around the ankles and the Achilles tendon. A pada abhyanga can be done as a part of an overall body Abhyanga or can be done especially at night. When done as a standalone practice at night, an ayurvedic foot massage improves sleep quality, relaxes the body, relieves fatigue and stiffness in the legs, and promotes high-quality sleep.

 Pitta Dosha also plays a role in certain kinds of disturbed sleep. If you fall asleep easily, but find that you wake up a few hours after you sleep and are unable to go back to sleep, you may be experiencing derangement in Pitta dosha.

The Ayurvedic pada abhyanga also helps balance deranged Pitta and nourishes and soothes eye strain. It helps in settling disturbed sleep cycles by gently balancing deranged Pitta dosha. 

Benefits of an Ayurvedic foot massage (pada abhyanga)

Ayurvedic texts list certain wellness practices to be done daily. These practices fall into “Dinacharya” or a list of daily wellness practices. We are asked to follow these Dinacharya practices as regularly as possible to enjoy better health, balance and wellness. The Ayurvedic oil massage or Abhyanga is a powerful Dinacharya.

While describing the benefits of Abhyanga, the Ayurvedic texts pay special emphasis to the benefits of Pada abhyanga or foot massage with oil.

Benefits of an ayurvedic foot massage

Benefits listed in Charaka Samhita:

  •       Keeps the feet well moisturised – removed roughness and dryness
  •       Removes pain and fatigue and numbness
  •       Reduces inflammation and tenderness in the feet
  •       Clarifies eyesight
  •       Balances deranged Vata dosha from around the feet and lower limbs
  •       Reduces the tendency towards sciatica
  •       Reduces cracking of feet, and constriction of blood vessels and ligaments in the feet

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Fitting in a nightly Ayurvedic foot massage into your Schedule:

Incorporating a new ayurvedic wellness ritual often seems difficult. However, a pada abhyanga is one of the easiest and simplest Ayurvedic wellness rituals to fit into your schedule. The benefits of foot massage before bed are numerous and this ritual positively impacts the quality and timing of your sleep cycle. An ayurvedic foot massage also has many benefits for the eyes, so it is well worth the effort.

 Oiling and massaging your feet does not have to be a long-drawn-out ritual. It takes only ten minutes. It is best to do this before bedtime. Ayurvedic oil is quickly absorbed into the skin for most people. There would be no need to wash the foot after the massage or wear protective socks. However, if you plan to use plain vegetable oils, ghee that has not been processed with herbs, oils or ghee may remain on the surface of the skin after the abhyanga.

 Ayurveda tells us that nadis / special nerves that connect different organ systems end in our feet. So when we do an ayurvedic foot massage at night with herbal oil, we can slowly impact many connected organ systems. One clear example is how we can positively improve eyesight by doing an ayurvedic foot massage.

 What you need to start your Ayurvedic foot massage:

  •       A well-formulated Ayurvedic Oil
  •       An old towel/piece of cloth to place your feet on while doing the pada abhyanga
  •       Oil warmer – if you live in a very cold climate alone

How To Choose The Right Oil For your Ayurvedic Foot Massage:

An ayurvedic pada abhyanga balances aggravated Vata dosha. The other dosha we work on is pitta dosha. We sleep at night. It is thus that we do the Pada Abhayanga at night too. Kapha build-up occurs at night. The choice of oil must ensure a balanced Vata-Pitta. This should be so without aggravating Kapha dosha. Coconut oil is very strongly cooling. Castor oil is both cooling and clogging. So neither is suitable for a nightly pada abhyanga.

Olive oil with its katu and slightly Kashaya rasa (spicy and astringent taste) is not suitable for pada abhyanga.

If choosing plain oils, sesame oil or ghee can be chosen for pada abhyanga. However, all plain oils or ghee comes with a set of pros and cons. Hence it is preferable to choose an ayurvedic oil or ayurvedic ghee that incorporates herbs along with sesame oil or ghee. This guarantees the best of both the oil base and the herbs.

how to choose the right oil for ayurvedic foot massage

 For a foot massage, we recommend avoiding products with essential oils. One must have prior knowledge of the skin before using essential oils. They are also potent and can cause adverse reactions if chosen incorrectly. Essential oils are also not a part of the classical Ayurvedic tradition.



Ayurvedic Oils and ghees for foot massage

Classical Ayurvedic oils like Dhanwantra tailam, Pinda tailam, Mahanarayana tailam can be used for Pada Abhyanga. Mahanarayana Tailam is useful for joint pain post Covid.

From the Krya range, we suggest the following:

  •        Krya Intense Abhyanga Oil: if you have insomnia, high stress, anxiety, light sleep and have difficulty falling asleep
  •       If you are emaciated, do high-intensity exercise, are postpartum or are a senior citizen: Combine the suitable Krya Abhyanga oil with the Krya Pushti oil (Pushti oil is excellent for rejuvenation and imparting strength)
  • If you are recovering post Covid and are lean or have very high joint pain, use a combination of Intense Abhyanga Oil + Pushti Oil. For moderate – heavy build, or moderate joint pain , use a combination of Krya Classic Abhyanga Oil + Krya Pushti Oil

 Ayurvedic Foot Massage Technique:

Ideally pada abhyanga should be done on an empty stomach. We suggest timing this between 1-2 hours after your dinner. Best to avoid this just after dinner. Doing it immediately hampers the reset of pitta and Vata dosha. It can also cause digestion issues. 

Timing and preparation is key to a good foot massage
  1. Sit comfortably with your back straight. Place your feet on an old towel to protect your bed sheet
  2. Switch off the A.C. Ensure your feet are clean before you begin the process
  3.  Use a combination of brisk shaking, extension and flexion of the toes, and twisting of the feet clockwise and anti-clockwise to warm up the feet
  4. Apply warm oil on the foot (one by one) and begin your Pada abhyanga
  5. In Ayurvedic foot massage we pay attention to the toes, the space between the toes, the soles of the feet, the Achilles tendon, and the alignment of the fine bones and ligaments in the entire foot and the overall structure of the foot
  6. Do watch our video on the complete Pada abhyanga technique for better sleep and relaxation here.
  7. If you have less time available, follow a smaller set of repetitions per movement. Children should have shorter, gentler pada abhyangas. 
  8. After the pada abhyanga, wipe the excess oil off the feet with a warm damp towel. For senior citizens, we recommend washing the foot with a paste of the Krya Intense ubtan in warm water and wiping the feet dry before sleeping. This is to prevent slips and also to protect from excess Kapha aggravation

Watch the Pada Abhyanga Video

https://youtu.be/8l_pOHsWcUI

To conclude: Ayurvedic foot massage for better sleep and wellness

Ayurvedic wellness regimes are carefully studied and suggested by the Ayurvedic Acharyas to help build health, harmony and balance into our lives. With a rise in stress, and anxiety today due to a variety of reasons, adopting a simple wellness routine like an ayurvedic foot massage can help us wind down, relax the body and promote better sleep.

We hope this article inspired you to try out this ancient wellness technique. You could read more about the benefits of a pada abhyanga here. Read this piece to understand how a daily abhyanga can additionally benefit you. For any further questions do write to us or WhatsApp Us.              

 

 


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The 3 step Ayurvedic hair care routine for hair growth

3 step ayurvedic hair care routine - krya blog post

Are you looking for a good, wholesome Ayurvedic hair care routine? Have you been spending a lot of money and time researching the best shampoos, serums, conditioners only to find that your hair is dull, listless , oily with poor hair growth?

synthetics are not good for hair

Here is a detailed post explaining why you should switch out of a synthetic shampoo and conditioner and how an authentic, simple 3 step Ayurvedic hair care routine can help you. Read on.

Traditional skin and haircare depended solely on Herbs

In the beginning we only had herbs!
Civilisation as we know it has been around for thousands of years. In these many thousand years, despite the invention of soaps, these were never used to cleanse skin or hair. You can read about the history of soap in our earlier post. Soaps were prized for their ability to clean and  to launder linen and were always considered extremely harsh and unfit for personal use. If you believe modern technology has changed and soaps are gentler, you might be mistaken. Read this post on what goes into a baby soap to know more.

Indian civilisation which records many firsts including the discovery of the zero, advanced mathematical and astronomical progress, high progress in surgery, medicine and hygiene, never used a synthetic soap and a shampoo for either laundry or personal use. This is despite the fact that the procedure to make a lye based soap has been around for at least 5000 years and would have been easy to make and accessible across India.

India used a rich variety of herbs to clean and care for ourselves

We instead used a rich variety of herbs for different kinds of cleansing in India. In India cleaning was multifaceted: we cleansed our person, our laundry, our floors and even our air using herbal smoke. Many of the herbs used were also edible and could be used to solve dis-eases. This meant that we only used extremely safe, tried and tested herbs that could be eaten.

This obviously meant that we were not harming our body, our hair or our skin. This also meant that we did not pollute the soil, water or the earth in our quest to clean and care for ourselves.

How the synthetic shampoo was born (& the dawn of hair problems):

The harmonious situation we described in the previous paragraph came to an end when Hans Schwarzkopf, a German, invented the first liquid shampoo in 1927. Initially a liquid shampoo was simply a watery soap. This made the preparation strongly alkaline and extremely harsh on hair. So in 20 years, shampoo formulations “evolved” to use synthetic surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and Sodium Laureth Sulphate.

Little did we know when we all agreed to this change that we were merely substituting hair roughness and damage for far more insidious long term side effects like dermatitis, with SLS. You can read much more about how much damage SLS and SLeS do to hair, skin and the earth here & here.

The fallouts of using a synthetic shampoo

Many of us have come to appreciate the feeling of using a synthetic shampoo. A shampoo and a conditioner give the hair an instant feeling of smoothness. There is no external serration or roughness when we wash or comb our hair.
However, with repeated washing, we notice that the sebum secretion in the hair either becomes excessive or very poor. So as a result we suffer from either extremely oily hair or very dry scalp and hair with constant itching and flaking. There is also a slowing down in hair growth. We may also notice hair breakage, frizziness and hair thinning.

Synthetic shampoos dry out and damage hair

Why is it that our hair quality worsens so much internally , but the external appearance and smoothness is maintained when we use a synthetic shampoo?

Synthetic shampoos target & disturb natural scalp sebum

The surfactants in a synthetic shampoo dry out the secretions of your scalp’s sebaceous glands. Sebum, produced by our scalp is not a simple oil. It is a complex mixture of triglycerides, waxy esters, and metabolic secretions of fats along with squalene. This mixture of substances forms sebum and this helps lubricate our skin and hair.

Depending on the weather and temperature, sebum changes in structure. For e.g.: In rainy weather, there is a greater production of fat based cells which act as a waterproof layer for skin and hair.

Sebum is intelligent

This intelligent, skin and hair protecting secretion is mercilessly stripped dry whenever we use a synthetic surfactant based shampoo or a soap on our skin. The harsh detergent in the shampoo does not have the ability to remove only excess sebum. Instead it completely strips hair of the sebaceous secretion forcing the sebaceous glands to repeatedly waste energy re-producing the sebum.

Natural sebum in the right quantity gives hair a healthy sheen. It gives the right amount of oily coating to the hair to ensure that hair does not build up static, or go dry and frizzy. It maintains the synergistic bacteria on our skin and scalp by giving them nutritive substances. It keeps hair strands healthy and does not allow hair to go dry thereby facilitating hair growth and health. Most importantly: as the sebum composition is decided by the body using intelligence, it is able to anticipate the needs of the body and vary its composition accordingly.

Synthetic shampoos replace natural sebum with plasticizers and silicone based conditioners

The consistent use of synthetic shampoo tampers with the natural production of sebum and alters how much is produced, by either drying out the sebaceous glands or excessively increasing sebum. This means that without this sebum and with the excessively harsh detergents in the shampoo, the hair is bound to go completely dry and get damaged.

To ensure that the hair does not look too dry or damaged, a shampoo uses silicone based hair coating substances in the shampoo.

Silicones are synthetic coatings that simply mask hair damage

Dimethicone: PolyDimethylSiloxane (PDMS) (a silicone used in moisturising skin care and shampoos)

A typical example of this kind of silicone is Dimethicone, which is found across many leading shampoo brands. Dimethicone is an industrial emulsifier found in putty, certain food brands and across skin and hair care products, in heat resistant tiles, in herbicides and hydraulic fluids. Dimethicone is an emulsifier and provides a smooth coating on skin and hair, which is why it is so favoured in the cosmetic industry.

Dimethicone when applied on hair forms a synthetic plastic like coating with a reflective shine. This coats over breaks in the hair’s cuticles and gives us a smooth gliding effect. This makes us believe that our hair is much healthier and well maintained than what it actually is.
The important thing to note here is that our hair is still damaged. Dimethicone is only forming a layer over the damage preventing us from observing the damage.

Concerns in the use of silicones in skin and hair care products

When used on hair, silicones can aggravate the sebaceous glands, stimulating aggressive sebum production. This can create a breeding ground for fungal attacks on the scalp leading to seborrheic dermatitis or stubborn fungal dandruff.

Silicones can increase build up on scalp triggering dandruff

Silicones can interfere with the natural function of the skin and scalp by preventing temperature regulation and the interaction of the skin and the scalp with the environment. In skin, silicones can also lead to breakouts and acne as the plasticky coating can trap dirt and bacteria close to the skin.

The secret to Indian hair : the wholesome Ayurvedic hair routine

A few paragraphs before, we made the statement that in the beginning we all used herbs to cleanse ourselves. And this has worked pretty well until the last 50 years for all of us, especially Indians.

Indians discovered synthetic shampoos quite late in the day (around the mid 1990s) and synthetic conditioners even later (for the last 15 years). This explains in part why Indian hair was so prized over the world for its health, texture, length and colour. Until today, Indian hair is exported across the globe to make wigs and human hair extensions for the rest of the world which has suffered from hair damage from a much longer use of synthetic hair products.

Indian hair is prized all over the world for its health and quality

The secret behind healthy Indian hair was simple: We followed the wholesome Ayurvedic hair care routine.

Ayurvedic hair care routine Step 1 : Hair Oil

Ayurveda recommends generous and frequent oiling of hair with a herb infused oil made from a specific combination of herbs chosen for the hair concern at hand, in a base of sesame and coconut oil. This hair oiling is good for us for several reasons. Apart from supporting the sebaceous glands, assisting the scalp’s nutrition and naturally conditioning and strengthening hair, hair oiling also helps cool the scalp and the eyes and helps balance pitta dosha in the body. When pitta dosha goes out of control, our hair starts to thin down, goes grey and loses its natural colour.

Hair oiling is an extremely important part of Ayurvedic hair care. Hair is never supposed to be left “dry” in Ayurveda as the body is always generating excess heat in the form of the brain and the eye’s activity. This excess heat is released through the scalp which means that hair is constantly subjected to internal heat. When this internal heat is left unchecked, hair can go dry, brittle and lose its colour and strength.

Hair oiling - key step in ayurvedic hair care routine

No matter what our age, Ayurvedic head oiling should be done regularly and frequently , according to Ayurveda.  We must oil the head 4-5 times a week and leave it on. We must also coat the hair with oil before we wash the hair , once or twice a week. This oil coating must not be done overnight. It should be done 1-2 hours before hairwash. when done this way, it protects the hair from getting excessively dry during wash.

Ayurvedic hair care routine Step 2: Hair Wash Choornam

The second part to cleansing and maintaining your hair is to use the right combination of Ayurvedic herbs to wash your hair. An ayurvedic hair wash choornam is formulated very differently from a synthetic shampoo.

A synthetic shampoo mainly has 3 kinds of ingredients: a detergent to clean hair, silicones to coat hair and hide the damage caused by the detergent and colours and fragrances to trick you into thinking the shampoo is a luxurious and safe product to use.

Cleansing less with an ayurvedic choornam - second part of hair routine

A natural hairwash like Krya’s range of hairwashes on the other hand have many different kinds of herbs to perform different functions: release excess heat, gently remove excess oil and dirt, restore the acid mantle of hair, improve hair growth, and clean the srotas (minor skin openings) in the scalp well so that the scalp is able to perform all its normal functions. All these functions are achieved using edible grains and lentils and carefully chosen, hair improving herbs.

Here is a video that explains how an ayurvedic hair wash is different from a synthetic shampoo and also how to use it effectively on hair.

A video demo of How to use an Ayurvedic Hair Choornam to wash hair

Ayurvedic hair care routine Step 3 : Hair Lepa (Mask)

The third part of a good Ayurvedic haircare routine is the weekly or fortnightly use of an Ayurvedic Hair Lepa or Mask. An Ayurvedic hair lepa is designed to deep clean the fine Srotas / follicles of the scalp. The product helps unclog the srotas, release dead cells and debris, and prepare the scalp to receive nourishment better in the form of hair oils. The Lepa also helps improve dosha balance on the scalp.

The cleanliness, flexibility and health of the srotas determines the amount of nourishment the scalp is able to absorb. For many of us due to habits like not oiling the hair and the excessive use of synthetic shampoos and conditioners, the Srotas are stiff and clogged. This impairs heat exchange, traps heat within the scalp and also causes build up on the scalp.

3rd part of hair routine - using a hair lepa once a week to deep clean scalp

The Ayurvedic Hair Lepa should be used once a week, or atleast once a fortnight. This is especially useful when there is strong persistent fungal dandruff, slow impaired hair growth due to chemical damage or hard water, or when hair is recovering after an illness. In these cases, the use of the Hair Lepa regularly jump starts the health of the scalp. Hair Lepa is also useful when we begin oiling after a long break. In this case, the srotas are extremely stiff and are unable to pass nourishment properly into the scalp. So the use of the hair oil along with the Mask helps improve Srota health.

Before you begin an Ayurvedic hair care routine

An Ayurvedic hair care routine is shorter and simpler compared to synthetic hair care products. But the products are very different from what we are used to.  The products are much more raw and earthy looking and on first glance may seem rougher or coarser than synthetics.

This is very far from the truth. Synthetics only look gentle. But as we discovered earlier in this article, they are full of dangerous toxins and are also extremely damaging to hair structure.

Synthetics look deceptively gentle and mild

The second question on your mind could be whether this is going to be difficult to transition to. It is not more difficult, but it definitely needs a mindset change.

We are used to not oiling our hair and depending almost solely on a shampoo. So the new regime of depending upon an oil, washing less and also using a Mask could seem hard. But , we have seen consistently that sticking to these routine gives tangible results. so it is worth sticking to.

What can you expect in the short term? In the short term you may struggle with this transition. Ayurvedic hair wash choornams are not as harshly cleansing as shampoos. Ayurvedic hair oils come with a herbal aroma. And you may struggle to fit in the Ayurvedic Hair Lepa into your routine. Everyone struggles with the transition in the short term.

But in the long term, this routine works. Stick to it with patience and perseverance.

How to choose the right Krya Hair care routine for your hair

The Krya hair care products are formulated by hair concerns. we suggest picking the hair care regimen that most closely matches your concern. If you have a mix of concerns, use a mix of 2 systems.

  1. For an oily scalp and mild premature greying, choose from the Krya Classic hair range
  2. For dry frizzy hair prone to split ends, choose from the Krya conditioning hair range
  3. For hairfall due to high stress, insomnia and anxiety, choose from the Krya Anti stress Range
  4. For oily, sticky dandruff, choose from the Krya anti dandruff range
  5. For chemically damaged hair or extensive hard water damage choose from the Krya Damage repair hair range
  6. For hairfall after long illness or due to long term medication like fertility treatment, choose from the Krya Intense hair range.

Is your Ayurvedic Hair care routine working? How to evaluate

The Ayurvedic hair care routine is different from a synthetic hair routine. The routine works in the long term to correct hair damage, repair the cuticular hair structure and trigger high quality hair growth. But initially it can be frustrating as you get the hang of using the products.

Many Krya users report missing (atleast initially) the cues from synthetic shampoos like foam, immediate hair smoothness after using serum or conditioner, and similar cues. So we made this list to explain what you should look for to understand that your new regimen is working well for you.

how to understand if hair care routine is working

Depending upon your body’s state of health, your hair could experience these stages one at a time or several at a time. The time taken to cross each stage again depends on your health. For hair issues like hair thinning, poor hair growth or intensive hair fall, we recommend adding a regular Abhyanga programme and also suggest diet changes to balance the dosha aggravation in the body. These should be taken seriously and followed diligently for good results.

Short – Medium term – 1 – 4 months: (Usually in month 0 people are still getting the hang of using the products correctly)

  1. Balanced sebum production: hair and scalp stays “cleaner” much longer and needs to be washed less frequently.
  2. Sufficient sebum production (related to above) : Hair does not feel dry or break at the tips as sufficient sebum is produced in the scalp to coat the entire hair strand
  3. Scalp feels clean and healthy without any visible breaks, flaking or boils
  4. Hair tangles and breaks less and generates less static
  5. Hair is smoother and easier to comb.
  6. Hair reflects light better without any styling products or conditioners used – especially in sunlight. This means that your scalp is producing sufficient sebum and that your hair strands have no or minimal cuticular damage.

Medium to long term – 4 – 9 months

  1. Visible reduction in split ends despite growth in length
  2. Hair is able to grow longer – this usually is achieved when scalp is healthy and there is sufficient growth medium for hair to extend in length. This is also achieved when sebum production is sufficient and balanced – when there is too little sebum, hair length is poor and split ends are high as there is not enough sebum to maintain a long strand without damage.
  3. Hair elasticity improves – so there is less breakage when you tug, braid, pull or handle your hair.
  4. New hair that grows is thicker and blacker

Long term plus – 9 months and higher:

  1. Hair growth is healthier, thicker and longer
  2. There is a visible slowing down in hair greying
  3. There is a filling of hair in previously thinning areas like the crown of the head and the forehead

Do look for these signs of hair improvement when you switch to any of the Krya hair systems. These are ways to monitor the progress in your hair and give you confidence you are on the right track, despite the initial difficulties in switching to a natural system.

Contact Us

We hope this post resonated with you and you were able to get a sense of how deep, holistic and well thought out genuinely natural products based on Ayurveda are. We also hope we gave you a sufficient sense of horror and disgust at how poorly thought through, bad for hair health and bad for the environment synthetic personal care products can be.

With the abundance that nature provides us, and the fantastic solid framework that Ayurveda provides us, we do not need to resort to synthetics to care for ourselves and our families. Do write to us with your questions, reflections and if you would like us to write about a particular subject you are seeking answers or insights to.

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Give your baby the ayurvedic baby hair oil advantage

'the importance of using a baby hair oil - krya blog post

One of the highly searched terms on the krya website is baby hair oil. Well, we are a company that makes extremely well received adult hair oils and skin serums. So, it is no surprise that a concerned parent would want this same goodness for their babies in a baby hair oil.

So why should you, a concerned parent, spend time researching the best baby hair oil? Is there any merit in looking for a well formulated Ayurvedic baby hair oil? What are the benefits we must look for when looking for the best baby hair oil for our child?

ayurvedic baby hair oil and why parents should care

Let’s dive into the Ayurvedic science behind a baby hair oil. Along the way, let us also look at the many risks of using chemical-laden, petroleum-based commercial baby oils that are widely sold today.

Brain development in baby : A few key insights

The amazing human brain has an even more amazing developmental path in a baby. There is a rapid development and expansion of the baby’s brain in the first year. The cerebral cortex swells by nearly 90% in the first year. The cells in the brain are also in the process of forming myriad complex connections and associations as babies piece together the stimuli they receive.

The baby’s brain at this stage is also extremely flexible and mouldable. As the baby puts on weight, some of the fat deposits received by the baby are used to slowly develop the fat based insulation around the nerve fibres in the brain called the myelin sheath.

Babys development in brain linked to healthy growth and play

During play with an adult, a baby’s brain literally “syncs” up with the adult especially when they are facing each other and the baby is able to observe the adults’ face well. The Princeton Baby research Lab studied real life face to face communication between adults and babies during playtime. The strongest activity occurred in the prefrontal cortex which is used is learning, planning and executive functioning. In fact, the researchers found that the infant and the adults brain formed a closed feedback loop. The infant brain was in fact ahead of the adults brain, suggesting that babies through eye contact ,sounds and gestures were leading adults in the play, guiding them towards what the babies wanted to do next.

The cerebral cortex is the largest part of the human brain, and it is this that sets human beings apart from our nearest ape relatives like the Chimpanzee. However the difference in the cortex is not any particular type of cell. The structure of the human cortex and the chimpanzee cortex are similar. The difference actually lies in the patterns / connections or the intricate synapses the individual human neuron is able to make within the first 3 years. At the baby’s birth , the brain contains 100 million neurons. This does not greatly increase in number by the time the baby becomes an adult.

But what increases are the synapses or the connections each individual neuron makes with the next . at birth each neuron has 2500 synapses or connections. These 2500 synapses grow to 15000 synapses per neuron. These synapses are built during the early formative years of a child , and most rapidly in the first 3 years of the child’s life.

healthy play and stimulation rapidly help neurons form more connections

This frenetic pace of activity is supported by a huge amount of energy and vitality required for an infant’s brain. In adults, the brain uses upto 20% of the body’s total energy availability, the highest among all organ systems. About 2/3rds of this energy is simply used to help neurons fire signals via electrical impulses through the brain. To prevent leaks of electricity, adults have a well-developed myelin sheath that insulates the electrical pathways.

However, in babies the myelin sheath is still not completely developed. Hence there is no fat layer to absorb the excess electricity / heat generated by the rapidly expanding synapses. This leads to a daily build up of vata and pitta energies in the baby’s head. To help ground this rapidly developing brain and support, calm and ground the baby, Ayurveda suggests daily head oiling in babies using an oil processed with calming, soothing, grounding and medhya ( intelligence) promoting herbs.

a baby hair oil is suggested to ground, and soothe this rapidly developing brain

Ayurvedic Science: Benefits of using the correct baby hair oil

Hair oiling or head oiling is a Dinacharya we write often about at Krya. For adults, this Dinacharya is vital to keep pitta in balance, help calm and soothe the brain, allow excess heat that collects in the eyes to be released easily and also helps strengthen the skull bones and keep us in good cheer.

Besides these important benefits, regular head oiling helps stimulate the scalp, supports the natural sebum production, and nourishes the hair follicles so that hair growth is healthy and hair quality is good. The practice of head oiling also protects the hair strands from weathering and dryness, preventing split ends and hair breakage.

If an adult derives so many benefits from a head oil, can a baby be far behind?

Strengthening the head region and helping the fontanelle openings close properly

The Ayurvedic texts emphasise that regular head oiling is critical for baby to help strengthen the skull bones. In fact, regular body oiling is also suggested to help develop and harden and strengthen all bones and joints across the baby’s body.

Particularly in the skull, the texts mention the “Brahma randhra” or anterior fontanelle as a minute sookshma opening which slowly closes over at 18 months after birth. This is a small gap in the body, which is naturally present to allow easy delivery of the baby during birth. The minute gap between the 2 plates of the skull in this area helps allow the baby’s head to be squeezed through the birth canal with minimum pain for both mother and baby.

Hence, after childbirth, we are asked to use taila (oil) regularly to help harden and strengthen these soft bones and encourage proper closing of the fontanelle bones.

baby hair oil is critical to strengthen skull bones

What herbs should be used in a baby head oil and why?

A baby hair oil must be very carefully formulated according to ayurvedic principles. From the background, we can understand that the purpose behind the head oil is manifold: we attempt to soothe, ground and support the brain in its critical growth phase.

We also attempt to strengthen the skull bones and assist the body as the fontanelle gap is closed. For any bone growth, Ayurveda tells us that vata dosha must be in optimum balance.  Too little vata dosha means that there is not enough expansion and growth of bones. Too much vata dosha means that the bones are fragile and brittle and can easily fracture.

By regular application of oil with the right vata balancing herbs. We are able to keep vata dosha at the optimum level. This is why a regular body abhyanga is so useful to control vata dosha throughout the body and strengthen bone and joints. At Krya, we recommend regular Abhyanga for all healthy adults – it is especially helpful for those diagnosed with low bone density or women post menopause who are at risk from osteoporosis.

baby hair oil can help control vata dosha

Pitta balancing herbs are also critical in a good baby hair oil. The activity of the brain generates high amount of electrical impulses which generates high heat. The activity of the eyes generate further pitta energy and heat as the baby takes in the stimuli around her.

As both the brain and the eyes are organs rooted in fatty matter / kapha, the Acharyas caution against letting too much pitta / heat energy build up in the head. Regular head oiling helps dissipate this stored heat keeping the eyes and the brain in god health. When eyes are over strained / over used without adequate rest or the right amount of head oiling, eye strain builds up eventually leading to weakened eye sight.

baby hair oil also helps strengthen and nourish eyes

When the correct hair oil is applied to the head everyday, the stored pitta and vata excess energy is allowed to dissipate every day. The optimum balance of 3 doshas in the head is maintained leading to healthy scalp and healthy hair growth.

What base oils must be used to formulate an Ayurvedic baby hair oil and why?

Many new mothers reach out to us at Krya as they are confused with the information overload around them. Every few years there is a new trendy oil which is touted as a new miracle. 20 years ago, Olive Oil made inroads into India. An oil which was not native to India and which grew in the Mediterranean region and worked best with fatty meat based cuisine was introduced to Indian palates. Seeing the multipurpose use of traditional Indian oils like Mustard, sesame and coconut for topical application as well as eating, Olive oil importers touted Olive oil as a good substitute to traditional Indian oils for application.

We have written a much longer post on why we believe Olive oil is not a good oil for baby massage or application here. Given its astringent, shrinking and pungent taste, Olive oil lacks the madhura rasa (sweet grounding, nourishing taste) which the Acharyas recommend for baby hair and skin.

sesame and coconut are good base oil choices for baby hair oil

Traditionally cold pressed Sesame Oil and Coconut Oil are strongly recommended in Ayurveda for baby hair and skin. Even here, using the plain base oils without herbs is not recommended. We have written a post on why pain coconut oil alone is not a good choice for baby massage . The use of herbs in the oils enhances their natural properties, and corrects some of the properties we do not want like excessive coldness (mucous causing property) of coconut oil, and thereby renders it perfect for hair or skin application.

What about cosmetic / synthetic baby hair oils?

The baby market is always a big booming business. Concerned and worried parents make for easy buyers and there is a lot of misinformation out there on what baby hair oils contain.

Most synthetic baby hair oils are formulated with Light Liquid Paraffin / Mineral oil. This makes the oil light and non-sticky. But it also makes it highly clogging and heat producing. The use of additives like colours and fragrances further makes these products unsafe for tender skin.

In our earlier post on how many dangerous chemicals come in the way of baby care, we discuss how common preservatives and plasticizing agents are rampant in baby personal care, toys etc. This can quickly be absorbed by baby’s skin leading to toxin build up.

avoid synthetic baby hair products

Similarly synthetic compound fragrances and paraffin oil are unsafe for regular use on baby. Learn to read the label carefully when buying baby products. Avoid products with parabens, light liquid paraffin, mineral oil, synthetic fragrances, etc. Choosing a genuine, well formulated Ayurveda hair oils for your baby delivers many profound, long-lasting health benefits for your baby.

How we formulate Krya baby hair oil?

Krya’s special oil manufacturing process

Krya follows strictly traditional ayurvedic manufacturing practices and formulation practices. We have formulated the Krya baby hair oil using the guidelines given in the ancient Kashaypa Samhita and additionally from the Arogya Kalpadruma textbook.

We use only cold pressed, traditionally extracted plant oils from organic seeds for all our oils. We then manufacture the Krya baby hair oil by the Ayurvedic tila paka veedhi process, where every litre of oil is “cooked” on slow flame with 16 – 32 litres of herb Kashayas, fresh juices and herb pastes. This follows the traditional ayurvedic recipe where a small amount of oil is processed with a large amount of herbal decoctions, juices and pastes. When we cook oils with this proportion, in slow flame, we break down the oil considerably allowing the nutrients from the herbs to be absorbed well by the oils.

jrya's sepcial oil manufacturing process for all oils including baby hair oil

Krya also follows the ayurvedic method of cooking oils over 3-5 days. This allows the oils more time to absorb herb nutrients. The resultant oils are extremely nutrient packed and full of goodness. And they are well absorbed by skin and hair. It is this special ayurvedic manufacturing process that transforms plain base oils which are not well absorbed into ayurvedic oils that penetrate deep into the tissues carrying herb goodness.

Krya uses NO synthetics, colours, additives, preservatives or fragrances in any of its products. We declare 100% of all ingredients on the website – nothing more is added. No hidden ingredients.

Every herb is either bought from forest sources or from organic cultivation. We start only with whole herbs and use no extracts or similar shortcuts. The Krya team starts each oil from scratch, making each decoction, swarasa and herb paste correctly according to ayurvedic manufacturing techniques.

Herbs we use in the Krya baby hair oil

In a baby hair oil, to help dissipate excess vata due to the rapid growth and expansion of synapses and high amount of stimulus that a baby receives during the first year, we use herbs like Bala, Kushta, Devdaru, etc.

To ground the brain, provide stability and calm, we use herbs like Shatavari, Usheera, Coconut Milk, Yashtimadhu. To stimulate the minor blood vessels in the scalp and stimulate high quality hair growth, we use herbs like Bhringaraj, Amla, Triphala and Sariva.

jrya uses carefully selected herbs in the baby hair oil

To support correct development of Medhya, we use herbs like Brahmi. To support the eyes and help cool Pitta, we use herbs like Matsyakshi.

How to use this hair oil correctly for your baby?

Krya baby hair oil must be used regularly and left on the baby’s head to ensure full range of benefits for your baby. It should not be used just before hair wash. Rather you must think of the baby’s head as something which requires daily moisturisation much like baby’s skin.

Krya baby hair oil

We recommend starting with a few drops of baby hair oil. Apply this in the morning when baby is active and awake, preferably just before a bath. Warm the oil well in the palm of your hand before applying. Focus on application throughout the scalp, Use very gentle pressure and focus on the anterior fontanelle during oil application.

Many babies, due to rapid brain development and stimulation have extremely dry scalps. You may notice that the baby’s scalp rapidly absorbs the oil applied on the scalp.

After a week / two weeks of oiling at this level, slowly increase amount of oil used. Always be aware that babies are very prone to kapha aggravation / caching a cold quickly. As the baby hair oil is sweet and cooling, too much oil can aggravate kapha, especially if baby is prone to colds.

So always start with a small quantity of oil and observe how baby reacts before increasing the dose.

As a precautionary measure, we recommend applying small amount of rasnadi Choornam every day on baby’s head. This can be done after bath if you are applying hair oil before bath. Leave a gap of one hour between baby hair oiling and application of rasnadi Choornam. Rasnadi Choornam absorbs excess water and moisture from scalp, preventing kapha aggravation to some extent.

For cradle cap:

For persistent cradle cap, regular application of warm Krya baby hair oil helps soften the scales, reduce itchiness and helps

When to avoid hair oiling for baby?

Avoid head oiling if the weather is extremely cold. Also avoid head oiling if the baby has a cold or fever. Also avoid if the baby has indigestion, is excessively tired or cranky. This apart, please think of head oiling as a regular daily practice. Just like you may apply a moisturising product on baby / give baby a bath, you should oil the baby’s head.

Even though you may wash baby’s hair only once or twice a week, hair oil should be applied daily. Hair Oiling is a Dinacharya. If the baby has lice or nits, the Krya baby hair oil should not be used. Instead use the Krya anti lice hair oil in small amounts (more on this below).

What to wash baby’s hair with?

Baby shampoos are the subject of a great deal of discussion, and we will be writing a separate post on this. Synthetic baby shampoos are loaded with chemicals and are extremely harmful to baby’s health. Please read more on synthetic shampoos here. Baby soaps and shampoos are often marketed as highly gentle products loaded with natural ingredients. This could not be further from the truth if you are buying a regular cosmetic baby care product. This is an analysis we had done of a leading brand of baby soap. As you can see, babycare industry regularly over promises and green washes claims and active ingredients to convince parents that they are buying into a gentle product.

Using edible grains and natural herbs are an excellent way to care for baby’s skin and hair. We suggest using either plain green gram / mung flour to wash baby’s head.

Alternatively, we suggest the Krya baby hairwash. This is a 23 ingredient ayurvedic herbal Choornam (carefully manufactured and finely sifted blend of herbal powders). This hairwash has been formulated and manufactured after careful study of the ayurvedic texts. The product has the correct pH for baby’s skin and scalp, does not disturb the baby’s microbiome. It contains a wealth of wonderful natural herbs like Bhringaraj, Amla, Vacha, Brahmi, Nutgrass, etc along with organic green gram, and a small amount of plant surfactants like Soapberry and Shikakai.

Krya baby hairwash : alternative to synthetic baby shampoo

The product is extremely gentle and is calibrated to gently cleanse baby’s scalp without stripping it of natural oils or irritating skin in any way. It is excellent for babies with dry scalp and persistent cradle cap.

Using the Krya baby Hairwash for cradle cap:

For persistent cradle cap, regular head oiling with the krya baby hair oil and once a week washing with the krya baby hairwash greatly helps.

Please make a thin paste of the Krya baby hairwash and apply it like a pack on all the areas with cradle cap. Let it remain on the baby’s head for 1-2 minutes before rinsing with luke warm water. The herbs in the hairwash helps cut down thickening of cradle cap, and reduces itchiness.

The problem of lice in babies:

In babies with strong pitta based constitution, or when there is contact with older children or adults who are carriers, babies can contract lice infestation.

Lice in the head region can reduce the amount of healthy blood in the body, and can cause severe itchiness and discomfort to the baby. We suggest using the Krya Anti lice hair products in case your baby has contracted lice.

For babies under one year:

Use small amounts of Krya Anti Lice Hair oil in drops alone to oil the baby’s head daily / every alternate day. During this period do not use the Krya baby hair oil, any other hair oil or Coconut oil. Normal oils have a sweet , nourishing taste which are highly appealing to lice. On the other hand, the Krya Anti Lice hair oil is formulated with strong bitters that discourage lice. The oil also deactivates Nits.

Krya anti lice hair oil

However the oil does not kill lice as it is not made from any poisonous substances. It makes the scalp inhospitable, but lice are persistent. So please use a lice comb to comb out all adult lice . With regular oil application, all nits will be deactivated, so we need not fear any further fresh outbreak.

The Krya Anti Lice hair oil can be left on the scalp after oiling. As it is not poisonous or harmful, there is no need to immediately wash out the product.

 

Instead of the Krya baby hair wash, use a mixture of the Krya Anti Lice hair mask (75%) and the Krya baby hair wash (25%) once a week to wash baby’s hair. Apply the mixture as a moderately thick paste on baby’s scalp and hair. Allow it to stay on for 2-3 minutes before rinsing out. The Krya Anti Lice hair mask contains further bitter, natural lice repelling substances, which make the terrain inhospitable for lice.

For babies over one year:

The Krya anti Lice hair oil and the Krya Anti Lice hair wash can be used to maintain the hair in the same way as given above. For high infestation, we recommend using the entire Anti Lice hair system. For toddlers and children going to creches / playschools, we recommend using the Krya Anti lice products for atleast 2-3 weeks after the lice infestation has been eradicated to discourage fresh infestation.

Krya 3 part anti lice hair system that safely and naturally repels lice and soothes the scalp

Post care after Lice infestation has been eradicated:

Once the lice outbreak has been brought under control, the entire family and any close caregivers must also do 2-3 rounds of use of the Krya Anti Lice hair oil + wash as a precautionary measure.

Ensure al combs, pillow covers, towels and bed linen are washed and disinfected to ensure there is no nit / lice infestation remaining on these items. We suggest washing with the Krya Lemon detergent and drying in the hot sun for further disinfection.

Similarly all combs should be thoroughly washed and sanitised to remove any traces of nits which can get reattached to baby.

In summer, or seasons where there is high sweating, we recommend occasional use of the Krya anti lice hair mask as a precautionary measure to discourage Lice.

To sum up: classical benefits of an ayurvedic baby hair oil

In this article, we discussed the wonderful and frankly mind boggling development of the infants brain. We saw how the rapid development of the brain in the first 3 years after birth gave rise to some unique challenges.

We read how Ayurveda views these unique challenges and uses herbs and oils to assist and support the rapidly growing and developing infant brain. We understood the importance of daily head oiling for the baby and how when we use the right baby hair oil, we can help ground, calm and balance all 3 doshas in the head area.

We read about how the base oil in a baby hair oil must be chosen and how Krya formulates the Krya baby hair oil. We also read about how to use the product for babies, how to use the Krya baby hair oil in persistent cradle cap. We also discussed what to do when baby picks up lice and how to manage lice infestation naturally in babies.

We started Krya with a deep desire to explore and make available safe , holistic and highly effective products made from ayurvedic herbs which do not pollute the environment and are safe and effective for all. As we studied Ayurveda deeper and deeper, we were awed by the amount of useful, detailed and practical information the Acharyas have given us to develop better health and wellness. Through our blog posts, youtube channel , Instagram channel and facebook community, we hope to share as much of this wonderful information to benefit as many people as possible.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you would like us to write about other topics related to baby skin or haircare, please drop a comment below or email us. For any assistance on buying our products, please WhatsApp us using this link.