Affordable Hair Oil Hacks for Indian Women

Nivedita talks about the best hair oils and simple hacks and tricks to keep your hair in good shape.

Nivedita Nagpal October 1, 2016 at 6:02

Woman with long, luscious hair

Image: Beauty & Health Tips

Long before modern cosmetics and make-up tools arrived onto the scene, Indian women relied on their luscious beautiful hair to ensnare men of their choice.  South Indian women continue to have oil baths and special hair washes to ensure that their wavy tresses snake down until the waist.

There is something about tel malish for women or a champi malish for men that make hair oil a necessity in Indian homes – the number of oil bottles outnumbers shampoos and conditioners.

Let’s look at a few different type of hair oils along with usage and benefits – you can pick one or two according to your hair needs. These are simple hacks that will give you good results and save you a lot of money compared to using more expensive parlour treatments.


grandma  Grandmother’s Secrets & tips

How many girls remember their grandmothers lovingly applying hot oil on the hair and massaging it as a weekly ritual? Well, at least I do, as I sat down asking why I needed to have a rivulet flowing down the temples and when I could wash it all off. Her persistence helped as many years later I see that hair fall/loss/dandruff /dry scalp are issues that I have never faced. How I wish she were still here to do a good tel malish.

Sadly, I replaced the hot oil routine with shampoos and conditioners, serums, and other hacks that left my hair with less volume. Could it be chemicals, could it be over use or aging? Now that I have returned to the old traditional ways, my hair has the same bounce. What have I done in the absence of my grandmother? I am using the same old techniques and thankfully some hair oil brands do exist that can prove to be useful to you as well.

I love sharing my knowledge and here is what works for me. Take your pick.

Parachute Coconut Hair Oil

No other recognizable hair oil brand packs so much coconut oil. It scores because it is not greasy or sticky and it has a very faint fragrance. If you have dry or frizzy hair, it is useful. It is one of the most affordable brands across India. In winters when it gets thick, put the bottle in a pan of hot water or let it stand in the sun. It certainly brings back memories of my grandmother applying the oil on my hair and then massaging her dry hands and legs with it.

Available at stores across India.

Satthwa Hair Oil

Satthwa Hair Oil

This brand may not be as well known in some areas, but it is an excellent choice for greying hair, premature falling and also dandruff. It contains a mixture of 9 other oil blends-castor, olive, vitamin e, emu, almond, grape seed, coconut, jojoba and amla. This mixture has anti-inflammatory and anti bacterial properties. It is worth trying to restore the hair on the scalp. Don’t be thwarted by its price of Rs. 500 for 100 ml. Don’t you spend so much on shampoos and conditioners?

⇒ Buy from Flipkart


Cantharidine Hair Oil

Women living in west Bengal will be familiar with this brand. It has a sweet fragrance. Its golden color promotes hair re-growth-only if you use it at least twice a week. It costs merely Rs. 210 for 320 ml. It will be a better option for re-growth compared to other cosmetic processes.

Availabe at chemist shops. You can buy online from AramShop here. Rs. 190 for a 400 ml bottle.


Trichup Oil

Is your hair dull and drab? Use Trichup oil, which helps in restoring hair that has been exposed to dust, UV rays and pollutants. When you style your hair in the salon, chemical based products are used. This oil will restore the follicles and bring back the shine. It contains Bhringraj, Amlaki, Neem Gunja and Til oil blends. The price? Rs.192.

PS: Don’t bother about its sticky nature, as it will add shine to the rejuvenated scalp.

Trichup Oil

Trichup Oils is a well-established Ayurvedic brand now. Manufactured by Vadodara based Vasu Health Care, they make a variety of hair care products including a variety of oils and shampooos. For more info, you can check their website here.


Aroma Magic Stimulate Blended Hair Oil

Are you hair follicles susceptible to infections in some seasons? Do you need to clam down after a stress working week? Try Blossom Kochhar’s AMSBHO that contains some pure breed essential oils like cedar wood, rosemary and ylang-ylang. It is light on the palms and can be rubbed into the scalp easily. Its aromatic nature really calms the mind.

Buy from Amazon for Rs.339. This item is part of Amazon’s Super Value Pack – so special cash backs are available if you buy on the 1st or 2nd days of the month. 


champi icon  Best Oils for Tel Malish


 sar jo tera chakraye, ya dil dooba jaya, aaja pyare paas hamare kahe ghabaraye-tel malish, champi malish…’

This Bollywood song from the black & white era is still popular and shows how oils still form a part of our lifestyle as much as Hindi film songs. Amongst the most affordable oil hacks for women are also some home made recipes that work wonders. Grand mothers have been using them since ages and our DNA accepts them till today! Are you still wondering which oil to use and if mother nature offers any shampoo and conditioner? The following tips may prove useful:

  1. 1. Coconut oil and sesame oil are by far the best and cheapest. Feel like experimenting? Then make a herbal blend of brahmi, amla, gotu kola, marigold, hibiscus, and rosemary. Use carrier oil like coconut to make this infusion. Its cold pressed nature has no side effects and the results are 100% better or equal to a salon-spent afternoon.
  2. Regularly oiling will do away with the split ends of the hair. The massaging exfoliates the scalp and makes it dandruff free.
  3. Before branded shampoos and conditioners hit the market, there were natural remedies. Reetha, shikakai, hibiscus flowers, amla, kali itti, methi seeds, lemon and orange peels, henna powder were used to wash hair. They do not contain parabens, sulfates and additives. They are mild to the hair and have a lower pH value.
  4. Exercises increase blood circulation in the scalp. It keeps the follicles healthy.
  5. After a hair wash, apply pea sized hair oil to the lower ends of the hair; avoid the scalp. This will give your hair a good lustre.

Do these oil hacks work for you? Let me know after trying them out for at least 3 months and don’t forget to share your own hair story.

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