What Is Amla Oil for Hair?

Young girl caring for curly hair tips with yellow oil
Young woman applying oil to her hair (Image: iprogressman/iStock/Getty Images)

Ayurveda practitioners use amla oil for its conditioning benefits and pigments. Indigenous to India, the Amalaki plant, also referred to as Emblica officinalis, produces amla fruit or Indian gooseberry. Mature amla fruit weighs approximately one-tenth of a pound. Cultivation of the plant occurs both commercially and in private gardens throughout India. Amla oil is applied to the hair or the scalp for conditioning and healing.

How It's Produced

Traditional methods of producing amla oil involve soaking dried fruit of the Amalaki tree in coconut oil for several days. Naturally occurring vitamins in the fruit dissolve into the oil. After removing the fruit, the remaining concoction undergoes filtration and purification. Amla oil remains after completion of this process. In some cases, production of amla oil involves oils other than coconut such as sesame seed oil.

What It Contains

Fruit from the amla tree contains about 82 percent water by volume along with protein, fat, minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. Amla oil users cherish Indian gooseberries for their high vitamin C content. Vitamin C found in amla oil resists decomposition when exposed to heat. Ayurveda practitioner H. K. Bakhru notes juice from an amla fruit may produce up to 3,470 mgs of vitamin C. Flavoinoids and polyphenols found in amla oil are purported to increase the effectiveness of the oil.

Conditioning Benefits

Ayurveda practitioners use amla oil to improve the condition of hair. Apply the oil to your hair after shampoo. Restore shine and soften hair texture with daily application of amla oil. Those with oily hair should apply the oil only twice per week to limit oil buildup. Decrease the effects of harsh shampoos by adding amla oil to the shampoo or applying to your hair prior to shampoo. Several commercial shampoos and conditioners contain amla oil.

For a Healthy Scalp

Amla oil promotes a healthy scalp, according to traditional Ayurvedic practitioners. Apply amla oil to the scalp to combat dandruff or soothe an inflamed scalp. The vitamin C present in amla acts as an anti-inflammatory. Apply nightly if you suffer from a chronically itchy or sore scalp. Massage the oil into your scalp using circular patterns.

It May Delay Gray

Add amla oil to your conditioner or shampoo to delay the graying process. D.N. Kakar notes in "All You Want to Know About Hair Care" that amla exhibits hair-darkening properties. Avoid frequent application of amla oil if you prefer lighter tresses.

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