Are you starting ayurveda but are unsure of where to begin? This beginner ayurveda for 4c naturals is for you!
Ayurveda is gaining increasing popularity in the natural hair community. With growing interest in natural products and DIY hair treatments, ayurveda allows 4c naturals to customize their hair regimen in a way that targets their specific hair and scalp’s needs.
Many 4c naturalistas are excited about the prospect of starting their ayurvedic journey, but ayurveda can feel quite intimidating and many 4c naturals are unsure of where to begin. What is ayurveda? Where do I begin? How often can I use it? Can I use it on children? These are some of the questions frequently asked by naturals in my online hair family.
We often associate “natural” with “good” or “healthy”, however some natural substances can be harmful. Before starting your ayurvedic journey, be sure to research all herbs and plants for potential side effects.
Remember: Research does not constitute recommendations made by your health care practitioner. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns, or should problems arise. The information on this website does not replace the care of a physician. Should you have any concerns about using products on yourself or your child, please consult your medical professional before use.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic healing system developed in India over 3,000 years ago. It uses plant-based treatments such as roots, leaves, fruits, bark, and seeds to create internal and external wellness.
What are the benefits of Ayurveda for 4c naturals?
Botanical and ayurvedic herbs have a variety of healing properties that are beneficial for both scalp and hair. Ayurvedic treatments are completely customizable to your scalp and hair’s needs. Some herbs can relieve scalp issues, while other herbs can strengthen your follicles and encourage growth. There are herbs that can strengthen your hair and others that can impart softness. Many 4c naturals can benefit from adopting herbal and botanical treatments into their regimen.
What is an ayurvedic mask? Gloss? Tea? Oil?
An ayurvedic hair pack, also know also known as a “hair mask” is the mixture of ayurvedic herbal powder and hot water, tea, milk/yogurt, aloe vera juice, or other liquids.
A gloss combines an ayurvedic mask with a moisturizing deep conditioner.
Ayurvedic teas are herbal powders and/or leaves steeped in hot water. These herbs and leaves are then strained before use.
Ayurvedic oils are the result of infusing powders and/or herbs in oil. You can make infused oils either by applying direct heat to the mixture for a quick infusion or by slowly infusing the oils at room temperature over a long period.
How often can I use Ayurveda on 4c natural hair?
Ayurvedic masks are quite potent and use the full strength of the herbs. When you are first starting Ayurveda, it’s advisable to work your way up to using masks. Masks can make your hair feel very dry, especially if your hair isn’t used to the herbs. When you are starting on your ayurvedic journey, it is better to limit the use of ayurvedic masks to once per month or less, until your hair becomes accustomed to the herbs. You should follow up a mask with a moisturizing deep conditioner. This softens your hair after the application of the strengthening herbs. (Note: All ayurvedic herbs, even the ones that are consider moisturizing, have strengthening properties.)
Compared to ayurvedic masks, glosses are quite gentle. This is because the treatment combines the softening properties of the moisturizing deep conditioner with the strengthening process of the herbs. Ayurvedic masks are a great place to start on your ayurvedic journey and you can use them weekly.
Teas are very easy to make and offer the benefits of the herbs in a form that is not as strong as an ayurvedic mask. They can be a wonderful addition to a hair regimen. You can use them weekly as a treatment mid-shampoo. You can also make them into a treatment spray, which you can use throughout the week.
Ayurvedic oils are also a gentle option for ayurvedic treatments. You can make your own ayurvedic oils or purchase them at your local South Asian market. Oils have a variety of uses including as a pre-poo, as a regular scalp treatment, or even as a sealing oil for your LOC/LCO routine.
Which is stronger: An ayurvedic gloss, mask, tea, or oil?
Ayurvedic masks are the strongest form of herbal application. Unlike glosses, masks are not diluted with conditioner or with excess amounts of water, like teas.
Deep conditioners partially buffer the strength of the herbs in ayurvedic glosses. For this reason, glosses are not as potent as masks.
Teas and oils deliver all of the ayurvedic nutrients to the hair and scalp and are not as a potent as the other two treatments. Teas can be followed up with rinse out or deep conditioners. Oils are gentle enough to use daily.
What are the best herbs to start with if I’ve never tried Ayurveda before?
Personally, I find that fenugreek is a great herb for those who want to try Ayurveda on their hair, but don’t know where to begin. Fenugreek seeds and fenugreek powder are easy to source and can be created into masks, glosses, tea rinses, leave-in spritzes, and oils. Fenugreek is used to treat hair fall and aid in hair growth. When prepared with hot water, fenugreek releases a mucilage, which aids in detangling. It’s believed that fenugreek helps to stave off premature greying as well as control sebum production and treat scalp issues.
Can I use ayurvedic herbs in an oil?
Of course! Infusing ayurvedic herbs and botanicals in your favourite carrier oil is a great and gentle way to enjoy the benefits of Ayurveda.
How do I prepare my hair for using a gloss or a mask?
For many nautralistas – particularly for 4c naturals – it is advisable to treat your hair prior to doing an ayurvedic treatment. Pre-shampooing, also known as “pre-pooing” and uses oil to coat the hair before a cleansing session. Coating the hair with oil creates a buffer between the hair and the ayurvedic treatment, which prevents the hair from becoming overly dry when using a hair mask, gloss, or tea is applied.
Can I use henna or low-po hair?
Many naturals wonder if they can use henna on low porosity hair. Henna is a natural dye used for creating body art and for permanent colouring hair. Henna treatments are also used to condition hair. This herb contains lawsone, the dye released to which creates the coppery-red colour that makes henna popular. This colour deposit sits on top of the hair and coats the surface of the hair. This can make it difficult to infuse moisture into the hair.
I think that henna masks could provide issues for low porosity naturals, but you may find success by combining it in smaller quantities with other herbs and/or using it in less strengthening treatments such as glosses, teas, or oils.
Is Ayurveda safe to use on my children?
Although Ayurveda treatments are made from natural herbs and botanicals, Ayurveda should not be used on newborns and infants. Glosses should be reserved for older children as their systems may be better suited to handle the herbs. Oils may be a suitable way to introduce children to Ayurveda. Please consult your medical practitioner before starting ayurvedic treatments or if you have any questions or concerns.
Can I use a protein treatment if I use Ayurveda?
You can keep protein treatments in your natural hair care routine, however, I wouldn’t advise doing one on the same day that you are doing your ayurvedic treatment.
What Ayurveda products can I use on my 4c hair?
Ayurveda for 4c naturals can be as easy or as complicated as you would like to make it. There are so many options when it comes to using ayurveda on your 4c hair. These days, “ayurveda” seems to be popular within the natural hair care industry, though many naturals have been using products from companies such as Henna Sooq and Belle Bar Organic for years.
For those that enjoy DIYing their hair and skincare products, ayurvedic powders and herbs can be easily sourced and made into masks, glosses, teas, and oils, which can be used throughout your hair care regimen. For those who prefer ready-made products, you can find a variety of shampoos, shampoo bars, conditioners, and hair oils at local South Asian markets.
Do you use ayurveda in your hair care routine?