Saturday, July 16, 2011

My ayruveda hair oil massage experience

I celebrated a birthday recently by getting special treat for myself that I've wanted ever since I saw an Indian scalp massage youtube video over 2 years ago. You must be sick and tired of reading post after post after post on scalp massages by now but I'm just so intrigued by the possible benefits that I can't stop talking about them.


The massage treatment I received yesterday was an ayruveda massage. Which means that it involves traditional medicinal practices native to India. Prior to my session, I was asked to complete a questionnaire that had some really bizarre questions where I was asked to select one of three options to describe various aspects of my self. Based on these responses, she would identify my dosha. Once determined, she then created a special blend of herbs that aligned most with my body's needs based on the answers I provided.



Next she gave me a brief overview of the massage process and then we began. I laid flat on a massage table/bed face up. She covered my eyes with warm, damp wash cloths and talked me through a guided breathing exercise to help bring on relaxation. Soon after I began to feel the sensation of hot oil being poured to my hairline. The oil was really warm, almost to the point of being uncomfortable. I could tell by the number of times I felt the warm oil, that quite a bit of it was being used. The oil, by the way, was a blend of coconut, sesame, essential oils, turmeric and several other indian herbs.



Prior to the massage I engaged in several coaching conversations with the woman (both over the phone and in person) instructing her on how not to handle my hair during the process. My biggest concern, of course, was around tangling and breakage from over manipulation. Because of this she was really gentle with my hair during the process. I even gave her feedback after the massage that she could use a little more pressure next time. Once the massage was over I was given a towel to wipe off the excess oil from my neck and shoulders. I did as instructed and used the cloth to absorb excess oil from my hair also. Once I got up and looked at the mirror, I saw that my hair was laden with oil. I couldn't believe how saturated it was. My next move was to put in a bun. But no matter how much oil I tried to soak up with the towel, there was more.



We had a brief wrap up conversation at the front desk before I was on my way. I did have a day of shopping planned but that was sunk because I had to back and wash the oil out. I put a plastic cap over my hair to keep the excess oil away from my clothing and to prevent oil from slowly dripping down my neck. Moments before I stepped into the shower, my dogs start barking because a package is left at my door. I bring it in, open it up and smile from ear to ear. Lo and behold, the folks from Heutiful send me a hair steamer for review and it happens to get here on my birthday, seconds before I wash my hair. It's like the stars were aligned or something. I thanked God for a perfect birthday gift and immediately prepared to steam my hair. The full review for the Heutiful steamer will come later. I washed and roller set and styled as usual.



Looking back at the experience, I don't regret it. I'm sure my hair has benefited from deep hot oil treatment it received. The experience got me thinking on how I could replicate and create modified version of the massage. For one thing, she over saturated my hair way to much. Even after the wash, my hair was still slightly oily. Perhaps if I came in with extremely damaged, dry hair, that amount of oil would beneficial. The practitioner told me I experienced no breakage during the process and I examined the floor after the massage was over to validate her claims. Not a single strand was on the floor believe it or not. Overall I enjoyed the massage but I think the oil/herb mixture (while beneficial) was a bit of an overkill based on the amount of oil she used. Fast forward the video to the 50 second mark to get an idea of my experience. During my treatment, less oil was used. It didn't pour continuously like seen in the video. She applied the oil a little at a time manually.











So here's what I'm thinking. "What if I were to pull the benefits of this process and try to create a modified version to do at home?" Next wash day, when I do my dry deep conditioning, I'll seal in the deep conditioner with a layer of warm oil then proceed to sit under the dryer or steam. I bet that will be amazing! As far as the massage is concerned, I'll still continue to massage my scalp several times a week, then set aside a 20-30 minute chunk of time on the weekend to conduct a full massage session. If I do it myself, I know how much pressure I can apply and I definitely won't have to worry about over manipulation or tangles since I know how to handle my hair. I don't regret getting the massage, in fact I learned from the experience. The best part about it was when she told me that my dandruff wasn't that bad, thanks to the eucalyptus/coconut oil combination that I've massaged my scalp with for the past several weeks.



'Till next time!"




  1. Just a quick correction, the questions you answered helped identify your Dosha....not chakra.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes! That's it, Dosha. Thanks for the clarification.

    ReplyDelete

 

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