Homemade Amla Oil for Darkening Hair
Amla hair oil is a popular natural treatment to promote hair growth and thicken and darken hair.
Commercial amla oil preparations are available but I wasn’t keen on the chemical ingredients, like mineral oil, and thought I could make something better at home.
My results so far have been very encouraging so I thought I’d share my amalaki hair oil recipe and how to use it.
Amla Oil Benefits for Your Hair
Many people online rave about the hair benefits of amla powder and coconut oil mixed together over gentle heat.
I tried this homemade amla hair oil myself and found it very moisturizing. I had even better results though when I added the extra ingredients in the recipe below.
It’s particularly good for adding volume to normally thin hair and even seems to cover up occasional gray hairs.
Due to its darkening effect, people with darker shades of hair will get the best results. This amla hair treatment is not recommended for blondes or other lighter hair tones.
The exact amount of amla powder and other ingredients you need may take a little experimentation. I have short hair so only used a small amount. Women with very long hair would need significantly more.
I’ll give estimates after each ingredient but feel free to use more or less keeping roughly the same ratios of oils to powders.
- Amla powder – I use this whole fruit organic powder that is quite fine. Cheaper powders may be a bit grittier. Amounts are 2 level teaspoons for short hair, 2 1/2 teaspoons medium hair and 3 teaspoons for long hair.
- Extra virgin coconut oil – Coconut oil is moisturizing and nutritious for the hair and scalp. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties, clears away dandruff and is said to stimulate new hair growth. Women with short hair would use around 3 tablespoons, medium hair 4 to 5 tablespoons and longer hair 5 to 6 tablespoons.
- Brahmi powder – Brahmi is another Ayurvedic herb known to strengthen hair roots and prevent hair loss. Use 1 teaspoon for short hair, 1 1/4 teaspoons for medium hair and 1 1/2 teaspoons for long hair.
- Rosemary essential oil – Rosemary oil stimulates circulation on the scalp, is antibacterial and anti-fungal and encourages new hair growth. It also makes your hair smell great. Essential oils are potent though so keep to the small amount suggested and avoid any contact with your eyes. Short hair would use around 4 drops, medium hair 6 drops and long hair up to 8 drops.
How to Make Amla Hair Oil
Here is how to make amla oil for hair at home:
- Start by heating the coconut oil in a small saucepan on the lowest heat setting. You just want to melt the coconut oil, not see it bubbling yet.
- Add the amla powder first and mix it in. Once it’s well blended add the brahmi powder and then the rosemary oil and stir all the ingredients well over a low heat.
- Keep heating and stirring the mixture until it just starts to bubble. At this point turn off the heat and leave the amla oil for a few minutes to cool to a level where it’s just warm rather than hot.
- Now you can then transfer it to a bowl to use. Or just take the saucepan with a towel underneath to the bathroom ready for application.
This homemade amla oil works best on freshly washed hair that is still damp.
Ideally you could wash your hair with a chemical free shampoo (like this popular one that clears blocked follicles) just before making up the oil so it is clean and still slightly wet before application.
Wearing gloves is recommended as the brown oil can get under fingernails and be difficult to get out.
- To start, dip both fingers into the oil and begin massaging it into the top and center of your scalp. Head massages are great for stimulating healthy hair growth so why not combine it with the hair oil application?
- To do this curl your fingers as if making a cat’s claw, dip them into the saucepan to coat them in oil and press firmly into the scalp, squeezing the fingers slightly together.
- Move slowly outwards and down, not so much dragging your fingers as pressing them into each part of your scalp coated with the oil.
- Once you’ve pressed the oil into your scalp from the top to the sides, you can slowly finger comb it over both the top of your hair and from underneath to cover it as much as possible. Having an old towel around your neck is a good idea to catch any drops.
- It does usually have a gritty feel from all the chopped up seeds but they are part of what makes it so good for your hair. So try and ignore the texture going on and see how it feels later after you’ve finished the treatment.
- When you’ve got as much of the amla hair oil as you can on with your fingers, use a wide bristle comb to gently work it through even more. Stop if you come to any tangles. These are the much easier to get out later so it’s best to leave them for now.
- Once the amla and brahmi oil is worked through your hair well, cover it with a shower cap or a towel you don’t mind washing afterwards and leave it to do its work. Check for any oil on your ears, forehead or neck and wash it off with a little soap. I personally haven’t had any stains but it’s been mentioned online as possible.
How long you leave this amla oil hair treatment on will depend on the time you have available but I’d suggest at least half an hour, more if you can. The longer you can leave it the better it works.
I’ve been leaving this treatment in for at least an hour when working from home. Alma really does have many benefits for your hair and scalp so it’s work keeping on for a while.
The improvement in the way my hair looks and feels when I wash it out has convinced me it’s worth how silly I probably look typing away in a shower cap.
Regardless of how long you have, when you do go to the shower take your time really running a lot of warm water through your hair. Perhaps use the same wide bristle comb under the shower to make sure you’ve got it all out.
Once it feels like any residue has been washed away, lather in a small amount of shampoo. This is just a quick wash for any excess oil on the hair itself. You want the amla oil to stay in the hair shaft and do it’s work.
Curly hair in particular may need a really good rinse and a little extra shampoo to remove all the amla and brahmi powder particles as well as the coconut oil.
Interestingly, people with curls often report much better hair with amla oil so a little extra time washing the treatment out should be well worth it.
Hair Oil Results
Your hair should look really healthy and shiny and feel both soft yet thicker and much fuller after this hair treatment and you definitely shouldn’t need any commercial conditioner afterwards.
I hope this homemade amla oil works as well for your hair as it has for mine and many other people’s. I’d appreciate hearing your results if you try it for yourself.
Of course, amla is also very healthy for your hair when taken internally as well. You can read about the best ways to take amla here.
I’ve also recently written about where to get the best amla powder and other Indian gooseberry products, including a new amla oil without mineral oil.
For good internal nutrition for hair it’s also worth considering potent black currant seed oil or this great tasting hair smoothie recipe that combines different superfoods into a healthy hair treatment that tastes great too.
I am SO confused re. Amla and Brahmi. I read they darken hair but one of the sites that sell these herbs ( and brahmi/ amla oil–bringhra oil) says it doesn’t…. even Amla powder
so… what’s the real answer?
( I have light brown hair and do not want to change my color, just make my hair stronger and grow faster)