That means that it’s time for my morning Ayurvedic hair care regimen.
As I am furiously getting back on track with this blog, I realized that I should be a little more informative when I write my posts. That means I should probably explain a little of what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
Which means I should probably learn it myself. Hmm.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda translates to “the knowledge for long life” and is both a traditional and alternative medicine in India. (Thank you, Wiki!)
Different levels of Ayurveda have been used for centuries in health, beauty and even spiritual enlightenment. By emphasizing the use of herbs and oils to purify the body and the mind, an individual can supposedly emerge cleansed, clear minded and void of many diseases.
And here I was just trying to grow my hair super fast.
Years ago, after sulfate shampoos lathered my relaxed hair down to nothing, I decided to look into safer methods of cleaning my hair and getting the same results – well, better ones. I lurked through multiple online hair care forums, both general and African American-focused, and discovered that a lot of women were going “mud-based” in their shampoos. That is, they were completely avoiding lathering shampoos and taking an approach that included mixing their own products with powders derived from herbs.
I found recipes, descriptions, and results. Real results. Amazing results. Exciting results.
“My hair is growing like crazy!” one post would say. “My hair has never been this healthy,” another added. “It’s so soft and defined now.” Whatever negative comments I saw, there were 10 or 20 replies to soothe the original naysayer and offer advice on how to fix the human error.
In 2008, I decided to give it a whirl. I bought a box of Brahmi powder, mixed it with tap water, slathered it on my relaxed head and washed it out. Then, I rushed to the mirror to be amazed.
I wasn’t. My hair was dry, stuck together and even a touch crisper than I remembered.
I, in all of my melodramatic form, was devastated. I shoved the box to the back of my closet and returned to my sulfate shampoos, pledging repentance and promising never to stray again.
Fast forward to today. It’s been about a year since I cut off my relaxed hair and returned to my natural roots – literally and figuratively. Since that time, I also returned to my Ayurvedic research and discovered just how poorly informed I was originally. A lot of factors played into my lackluster (no pun intended) results four years ago:
- My relaxed hair was already damaged beyond repair, and there was little I could do to reverse that.
- The type of powder I’d chosen is usually mixed with other Ayurvedic powders to – that’s right! – ease its drying effects many people experience.
- My use of tap water, though not bad, was ill prepared and would not give an optimum outcome.
With this in mind, I judiciously recovered from my mistakes and learned about other Ayurvedic products, techniques and practices that originated with the Indian culture centuries ago and has since been personalized by nationalities across the globe.