What Ayurveda says about leaving hair oil overnight; is it healthy or harmful? | Health

Oiling your hair has always been considered an important part of hair care routine and our mothers and grandmothers have always believed oil massages are the secret behind long and luscious hair. However, our elders remain divided on whether or not to leave oil in the hair overnight. The traditional wisdom of leaving hair oil overnight might be different from what Ayurveda suggests. The ancient medicinal practice recommends washing your hair soon after oiling your hair. (Also read: Worried about your cracked heels? Easy home remedies to treat them)

Ayurveda expert Dr Rekha Radhamony says leaving hair oil overnight can aggravate Kapha and should be avoided.

“One should not leave hair oil for more than 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your dosha imbalances. As soon as you finish oiling, you must take a head shower,” suggests the Ayurveda expert.

Dr Radhamony says this piece of advice comes from Ayurveda practices of Kerala as it’s the state that’s closest to the ancient medicinal practice than others.

“India has a rich culture and Ayurveda has been finely interwoven with our culture since time immemorial. Ayurveda was practised extensively in India before British rule, to the extent of doing caesarean sections and even plastic surgeries with Ayurvedic principles and instruments. However, during British rule, Ayurveda faced a lot of backlashes, especially in Northern India. In South India, the Ashtavaidyas – 8 Ayurvedic families in Kerala continued to practice despite facing opposition from the British. That’s why, even today, Kerala stands closest to Ayurveda than any other state in India. (Maybe that’s why my grandmother never allowed me to sit with oil in my hair and always asked me to wash it off ASAP.),” writes the expert in her latest Instagram post.

The Ayurveda expert says there are a lot of practices today that are termed as traditional but are more of “western-influenced wisdom”.

She gives an example of teaming raw salads with lunch which was never a practice in India before the British rule. Ayurveda generally recommends warm and cooked food for all, especially those with weak Agni or digestive fire, and doesn’t promote eating salad with food. According to Ayurveda, the best time to eat salads is noon and summer season, when the digestive fire is good.


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