Much as I love mommy dearest, travelling to see her in Delhi is a surefire recipe for hair disaster. No! That’s actually not got anything to do with mom as such (yeah, I know you are reading this mom!) – the blame lies squarely with the city’s terrible aquatic supply, which pushes through hard water that leaves a terrible shine-dulling residue on my strands and makes the scalp flake quite unattractively.
So, this time when I got back from Delhi, I decided it was time to dig into the recipes of the past and see whether there was any way of restoring shine and vitality back to my lifeless hair. The solution was as simple as it is ancient – red hibiscus oil.
The red hibiscus (known as Jaswand in India) is a sacred flower, known most prominently for its associations with Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha. But hibiscus is more than just a floral offering to the divine – it has numerous cosmetic properties and health benefits that have been used since ages to treat ailments and as vital ingredient in beauty products. In fact, the flower is mentioned in the Atharva Veda and is a part of Ayurveda for healing ailments. And that’s not all – even science backs up the claims, asserting that:
- The oil from red hibiscus petals creates a hydro-lipid film that gives a silky smoothness to even the most brittle strands.
- It has hydroxy acids that restore the balance of cellular division, hence treating dandruff.
- It is rich in antioxidants that restore vitality and neutralise the effects of environmental pollutants.
Armed with this knowledge, I turned to a simple recipe that grandmom used to use with an almost religious fervour – take 8-10 flowers and dry them for 4-5 days. Then powder the petals and mix them with coconut oil – one teaspoon of powdered petals to one teaspoon of oil is a good ratio. Massage this concoction into the scalp once a day for at least a week – I did it at night, then washed it off in the morning since greasy locks are even worse than dry and brittle ones as a fashion statement. The results take 3-4 days to start showing but when they do – va va voom!!!! My hair has honestly never looked so glossy. Delhi, bring it on! I am prepared for any hair turbulence now!