If you’ve grown up in an Indian household, chances are you know all too well about Mum’s weekly head oil massages. If you haven’t, don’t be fooled by the glamorous name. In fact, in my youth, I remember it being somewhat of a torturous punishment. 9 times out of 10 my Mum would apply the most pungent smelling oils she could possibly find. My hair would become disheveled and my head somewhat scarred from all the vigorous rubbing. Of course, now that I’m older, I realise what an ungrateful kid I was. There’s nothing more soothing than the feeling of someone running their fingers through your hair (smelly oil or not).
I decided to embark on a trip down memory lane during a recent ‘Indian shopping’ trip with my Mum. I’ve always been more of a coconut oil/hair mask kinda girl rather than the traditional ‘Indian’ oils that you see strewn across the shelves in many Indian grocers, but one bottle, in particular, caught my eye and I couldn’t resist the purchase.
The Himani Navratna oil had been highly recommended to me by my sister-in-law as a great remedy for relieving heavy heads. I don’t often suffer with head aches or migraines, but after a long working week I would never say no to a ‘stress-relieving’ treatment.
Infused with Amla (Indian Gooseberry), menthol, Ylang Ylang, rosemary oil and a long list of other ingredients – this oil is one of the best ‘head reliving’ methods I’ve ever tried. The smell isn’t that great, if I’m honest – a crossbreed between TCP and mustard oil (both gross). A little too strong in my opinion (much like the colour), but it doesn’t linger like most ‘Indian’ hair oils do. In fact, the smell near enough disappears after 10 minutes. What I do love is the fact that it’s not overly thick like some that I’ve used; which makes it fairly easy to wash out.
The core ingredient of this oil is Brahmi herb; which is a combination of centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola and bacopa. Brahmi oil is a core ingredient in many mainstream hair products due to its nourishing and strengthening properties. Amla oil (Indian Gooseberry) also plays an important role in the ingredients list. Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Amla oil is a fantastic natural remedy for dandruff, hair loss, grey hair prevention and loss of shine. The ‘head-reliving’ part of the ingredients list is induced by the inclusion of menthol and camphor. The cooling sensation can relieve the deepest of headaches and leave your head feeling as light as a feather. This also works great as a sleep-treatment. I’ve had some of the best night’s sleep with this oil; which is rare for an insomniac like myself.
Along with its cooling, head-reliving capabilities, the Navratna oil works fantastically at creating hair density. The concoction of ingredients encourage blood circulation in your scalp; which in turn promotes hair growth. I’ve been using this oil for a little over a month now and I can certainly feel a difference in my hair.
Of course, with any hair oil, this works best when massaged in by someone else. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having this super-cooling oil gently worked into your scalp (and shoulders) by another set of hands. If you’re not lucky enough to have someone give you a head massage, you can of course apply this yourself, particularly after a bath/shower.
You can find bottles of the Navratna Hair Oil on the shelves of most Indian grocers around the Uk for the mere price of £5.99; which, let’s be honest – isn’t bad at all. If you don’t fancy bracing the mean aisles of Indian grocers (don’t blame you), my wonderland (Amazon) have plenty of links for it.