Before you go breaking out the Grey Poupon I am talking about mustard oil. Yes, you heard me right though many of you are probably wondering “What in the heck is mustard oil?”. Used by Romans and Greeks for centuries, mustard oil is prized for its many uses including culinary (something now banned in the US and Canada for the euric acid found in the oil) and multiple beauty and health uses. It is also prized as an oil fed to the “Saturday God” in Delhi, India where people come and feed the mustard oil to the god in hopes of “currying” favor. (I couldn’t resist!) I myself use it to burn my many oil lamps and find it a non-toxic solution to kerosene.
One day while trolling one of the countless markets in India, I met a woman with long, very strong, lustrous hair. I mean it was shiny, almost “blingy”. It caught my eye not only because of the sheer health of her mane but also because she had it heavily streaked red (not an easy feat really with as black as it was) and it was still really healthy.
Because India is starting to become disenchanted with the beauty secrets of their ancestors with Pantene, Dove, and Alberto VO5 becoming the norm in
causing repairing damaged hair, I held my breath and asked her how she got her hair so long (well past her bra strap creeping down towards her hips) without a trace of split ends.
Her response. Mustard oil.
Everyone that has read through this blog knows that I love oiling my hair and I even give a tutorial on the step by step of oiling. I had been using sesame oil mixed with Bringadi oil from Kama Ayurveda (a brilliant line we will be talking about at length very soon) in the winter and coconut oil with the same oil and I do have awesome results with soft silky hair and minimal split ends.
Still, with the ravages of pregnancy with the hair in the brush getting more copious every day (I am checking for bald spots, I swear), changes in water and momentary loss of control over healthy eating habits, the memory of that woman and her long, strong, shiny hair keeps floating through my mind.
Time to give mustard oil a try.
I am thrilled to report, yesterday I made my quarterly trip to the hair salon for some much needed highlights and while he was doing my blow out I noticed all kinds of grow out!! I am not kidding you, in the six short weeks of using mustard oil I must have two inches of regrowth that appears to be much thicker than it ever has been. For a new mother who feels “less than sparkling” lately, that’s a real plus.
I am also happy to report that the ends of my hair break infinitesimally less than normal which means I get to keep my length instead of stuck in the middle between mid length and long.
So how does mustard oil work? Fatty acids (where Omega 6 and Omega 3 coexist happily) are responsible for conditioning and strengthening hair. It is “warming” and acts as a stimulant for hair growth as it increases blood flow along with its Vitamin A and C content along with its selenium and zinc content help maintain a healthy scalp which minimizes (or in my case, nearly ends) hair fall.
Mustard oil is a known anti fungal which makes mustard oil a prime choice for those suffering from dermatitis, dandruff or seborrhea (and even ring worm).
My favorite mustard oil is a certified organic cold pressed mustard oil from Down to Earth which retails for $19.95 but lasts for absolutely ever when used for hair.