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There’s no shortage of new ingredients that are touted to beautify our hair, but one that’s stood the test of time is amla oil. This naturally-derived oil has been used for centuries in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine and hair treatments for its therapeutic properties. And the beauty benefits of alma oil aren’t just for hair as the oil works wonders for skin too. The best part? One of the top rated oils is just $10 for 10 ounces — that translates into just $1 a month with the recommended use! Here, hairstylists and dermatologists share how this potent, natural elixir can rejuvenate your hair and skin.
What is amla oil?
Also known as Indian gooseberry oil, amla oil is a natural oil derived from the fruit of the Indian gooseberry tree. Amla is a small, green fruit native to India and is celebrated for its numerous health and beauty benefits. To make amla oil, the fruit is dried and then cold pressed to extract the oil. And the oil that is extracted is unusually high in vitamin C and rich in fatty acids and antioxidants, which make it a superstar ingredient to use on hair and skin. That helps explain why women in Thailand and India have been using amla oil to strengthen and grow hair for thousands of years.
(Click through to learn how amla powder can dramatically lower cholesterol.)
The benefits of amla oil for hair
Amla oil stimulates hair growth
Scott Fabian, a hairstylist at Sally Hershberger NoMad salon in New York City, favors amla oil for hair because it’s rich fatty acids that help stimulate hair growth and reduce thinning. Even though thinning hair has many causes, Michelle-Nicole Jones, a celebrity hair stylist and salon owner, agrees that amla oil can be a valuable ally in addressing this aging hair concern. “It strengthens hair follicles with its essential fatty acids,” she explains, “reducing the risk of thinning due to weakness and breakage.”
And when massaged into the scalp, this increases blood flow to hair follicles, which provides them with essential nutrients to grow healthier, thicker hair. Plus, the oil “also reduces breakage and improves hair elasticity, minimizing thinning risks,” says Jones.
Amla oil for hair ends dryness and dandruff
“Amla oil can also soothe a dry scalp and dandruff,” says Fabian. Thanks goes to the oil’s fatty acid and antioxidant content that hydrate the scalp and cut down on inflammation. And Jones notes that amla oil’s antibacterial and anti-fungal properties maintain a clean, healthy scalp, eliminating dandruff that can also cause follicles to fall out prematurely.
Amla oil for hair helps blend in grays if you have dark hair
“This oil can also darken hair, which could be good for grays — but if you’re blonde, I would recommend only using it on the roots and not to overuse it,” Fabian notes. Fabian adds that he doesn’t recommend using it if you have a sensitive scalp. “If you have concerns, you can always do a small amount in a small area to test.” (Blonde, gray or white? Click through to learn more about sandalwood essential oil for hair.)
2 ways to use amla oil for hair
1. To use amla oil to deep condition brittle hair
Warm amla oil (Buy from Amazon, $9.99) by placing a bottle of oil in a bowl of warm water for 2-3 minutes (warming the oil helps it penetrate your hair better). Apply 3 drops of the warmed oil directly onto the scalp, then use fingertips to gently massage the oil into your scalp in circular motions for one minute, paying close attention to the roots and any areas where you have dryness or scalp issues. Next, work the oil down the length of your hair (add more oil onto hands as needed) and saturate the ends, which is often the most damaged part of your hair. Brush through with a wide-tooth comb to ensure the oil is evenly distributed, then cover with a shower cap and let sit 30 minutes to 1 hour; rinse thoroughly with shampoo.
2. To use amla oil to boost shine
Grab a shampoo — mild, sulfate-free shampoos work best with the amla oil — and pour out a palmful amount, then mix one drop of amla oil into your shampoo before applying to wet hair. Massage it into your scalp and hair; rinse thoroughly and finish by using conditioner.
The best hair care products infused with amla oil
IGK Expensive Clear Gloss Top Coat (Buy from IGK, $32), which contains amla oil, is like a topcoat for nails, but for your hair. It seals hair’s cuticle to impart mega youthful shine, while it also strengthens strands and adds shine and strengthens strands, while it also protects hair color from fading due to exposure to the sun and hot tools.
Used as a pre-shampoo treatment, Fable & Mane SahaScalp Amla Soothing Serum (Buy from Fable & Mane, $36) removes any product buildup on the scalp and nourishes scalp skin at the same time. Plus, it contains aloe, which deeply hydrates hair and reduces any itchiness or irritation along the scalp.
Dabur Amla Hair Oil (Buy from Amazon, $9.99), which has garnered over 15,000 five-star reviews Amazon for leaving hair soft anf shiny. This hair oil is best used as a wash-out treatment by applying all over damp or dry hair, then rinse out after 20-30 minutes.
The benefits of amla oil for skin
- Promotes collagen production to firm skin
- Brightens and evens out skin’s tone
- Protects skin from sun damage
- Purifies skin due to its astringent properties
- Heals wounds
Additionally, Mona Gohara, MD, a Yale-trained dermatologist based in Connecticut says, “like other oils, amla oil can help to combat skin dryness.” This is due to the oil’s fatty acids and vitamins C and E that work together to restore skin’s moisture levels.
2 ways to use amla oil for skin
As a face mask
In a bowl, combine 1 Tbs. of plain yogurt (its lactic acid whisks away dead, dry skin cells), 1 tsp. of honey (it hydrates skin) and 2 drops of amla oil. Apply evenly all over a clean dry face and let sit for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water and pat skin dry with a towel. Immediately follow up with your go-to moisturizer to keep skin hydrated.
As a body scrub
In a bowl, combine 1 Tbs. of amla oil and 2 Tbs. of brown sugar (its granules gently exfoliate skin). While showering, massage the scrub onto damp skin using circulars motions for one minute and focus on areas that may need exfoliation the most, like elbows, knees and heels. Rinse off with warm water, then pat skin dry and moisturize with body lotion to seal in hydration.
The best skin care products made with amla oil
Beekman 1802 Golden Booster Amla Berry Vitamin C Serum (Buy from Beekman 1802, $21.75) is loaded with amla and quickly absorbs into skin to boost hydration and leaves the complexion with a youthful glow. Plus, its vitamin C content spurs collagen production to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Post-shower, apply MS Skincare Kapha Energizing Body Oil (Buy from MS Skincare, $58), which keeps skin on your body moisturized thanks to its blend of coconut and amla oils. These oils deeply absorb into skin so any crepey or saggy areas look tauter instantly.
Armed with these DIY and over-the-counter amla oil products for skin and hair, you’ll be moisturized, glowing and looking youthful in no time!
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