Ayurvedic Hair Care for Black Women

Coconut is considered hair-healthy in Ayurvedic beauty regimens.

Photo: Martin Poole/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Dry, dull hair can age you just as fast as dull wrinkled skin. You can’t turn back time, but you can look to the past for up-to-the-minute hair care. Ayurvedic beauty rituals can tame outraged tresses and nurture brittle curls. Ayurveda believes that the three energy patterns live in us all, so women of all colors can benefit from these ancient tips.

Know Your Type

Ayurveda says that we all have three patterns of energy inside. Knowing whether you are Vata, Pitta and Kapha will help you pick the hair care that’s best for you. Vata is associated with motion, Pitta with metabolic systems and Kapha is centered on growth. Strong Vata girls have have drier and more delicate skin and hair, so concentrating on moisturizers and gentle treatment is best for you. Dominant Pitta is more common in blondes and redheads with sensitive skin. Kapha women of color have thick and oily hair that needs gentle cleansing to keep its supple shine.

Keep It Clean

No matter what your type, cleaning is a must. Shampoo your hair with very mild shampoo. Wash only your scalp, massaging the shampoo into your skin with small, circular motions. Ayurveda is big on massage for better circulation and soothing snarled nerves. Rinse your hair with warm water and slather on a deep conditioner. Coconut is an Ayurvedic fave for its rich nutrients and sweet smell, not to mention the moisturizers that black hair craves.

Feed It Well

Healthy hair starts on the inside, according to Ayurvedic teachings. Your hair is made of protein, so pack in small portions of lean meats and beans. Load up on leafy, green vegetables, fresh fruit and dairy like yogurt and milk for nutrients like vitamins A, C and E as well as folic acid and calcium. Coconut is an all-around winner for your hair, both inside and out. Ayurveda also cautions staying away from ice-cold drinks, though Western science sees no issue with them.

Treat It Right

Treat your tresses with plenty of TLC. Don’t brush it wet, or it may break. Dry brush it for 100 strokes every night to rev up circulation and remove dead skin cells. This also smooths your hair’s natural oils along the length, keeping it silky and supple. Twist longer hair into braids at night to protect it from tangles. Wrap short hair in luscious silk or satin to keep it safe from friction.

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