I wash my hair every 2-3 days. On these days I use hair oil first. Living in Canada, I use hair oils with a sesame oil base most of the year. I use coconut oil based oils when it is humid in the summer and when I have some Pitta/heating imbalance in my body. I have been using hair oil consistently for several years, so I usually use 2-3ml per application. I apply oil to my scalp with my fingertips, starting by massaging the Marma point at the crown of the scalp and then covering the sides and back of my head. I always make sure that I get right to the front of my hairline and around the edges where my hair is still thickening after I experienced some hair loss five years ago. After my scalp is covered, I rub my hands together over my hair to gently distribute the hair oil through my hair. Sometimes I get hair oil right to my ends (my hair is more than halfway down my back with lots of layers), and other times I don’t end up oiling my ends. I leave the oil in my hair while I do Abhyanga and Udvartana. In the winter, sometimes I leave it on longer while I sit in my steam tent.
I apply heat to my hair so the oil will absorb deeper into my hair and scalp. I take a microfibre towel and run it under hot water, squeeze out the excess water, then wrap my hair. I leave the towel on until it cools down, while I mix my shampoo. I repeat this step with the towel one more time. This step makes a big difference in the appearance of your hair. My hair was never shiny without this step, and now it is consistently shiny.
I take out my kitchen scale and short thermos to weigh my shampoo. When I use sesame hair oil, I use 50g of shampoo, and when I use coconut hair oil, I use 40g of shampoo. I mix it with warm water from the tap to make a paste. Sometimes it’s pretty thick, sometimes a medium paste, and other times I accidentally use too much water and it ends up pretty liquidy. There is a perfect paste like consistency that is easiest to apply, but they all work well.
I wash my hair briefly with a small amount of shampoo, only near the roots and mostly rinse it out. Then I apply the rest of the shampoo to my hair in sections, all near the roots. After I have covered my head, I gently distribute shampoo to the rest of my hair that has oil on it. If my ends don’t have oil on them, I will not shampoo my ends. I put my hair up in a clip and leave the shampoo on for a few minutes while I rinse my body.
I fill the thermos with the residual shampoo with hot water (there will be some suds), then pour it over my head, and massage it through my hair. This part was my husband’s addition to the routine. I put my hair back in a clip, then wash off any shampoo that may have gotten on the shower walls.
I rinse the shampoo out of my hair in sections. I don’t like the feeling of getting shampoo all over my body, so I hold my hair under the shower to one side to get a lot of the shampoo out from the ends. Then I do the same on the other side. I then stand under the shower to get shampoo away from the roots from the top, followed by putting each side of my hair under the water, and then the ends again. I follow that series of steps a few more times. Sometimes I flip my head to make sure there is no shampoo at the base of my head or on my neck. I also make sure that there is no shampoo residue in and around my ears. I find that when I rinse out shampoo this way I don’t usually end up with any shampoo residue in my hair.