Monday, April 23, 2012

The Oil Wars

When I was young I had witnessed a lot of Oil Wars and just so that you don't get me wrong I am not talking about the actual middle eastern wars.

I thought about those wars as I was combing my hair today, and man did they get nasty over the years! Desi people share a very special connection with Oil so it comes as a no surprise that for my mother it was a serious crime if I didn't let her apply oil on my hair. She would keep saying how my hair were getting thinner because I am not applying oil on them and really they were not. Back in the day I'd just have a couple of hair strings broken after I'd comb unlike now where there are millions of them

When I was a teenager (wow that really seems like ages ago!) I use to cry, I mean real tears when my mom would apply oil on my hair. Prior to me surrendering to her, our home would be like a place of war with me storming off from one room to another, me running for my life, me screaming how I'd never let her oil my hair. I'd usually try to avoid it, make excuses and try to find my way out of it. But my sweet mother, god bless her soul, when she sets a goal then it doesn't remain unfulfilled. So just like that, she'd be behind me until my hair were properly soaked in Oil.

Despite the fact that I don't live with her anymore, every time I visit my home in India she makes sure to apply oil on my hair once a week and although I hate oil, being away from her has made me realize how I miss this very nagging and head massage while I am away. Nobody would care about it, not even me but this is the kind of thing that makes it to the 'TOP 10 PRIORITIES LIST' of desi mothers.

Since we desis have such a deep connection with Hair Oil it should come as no surprise that we have a humongous variety in it.

To show you a few, I'll start with my personal favorite 
Parachute Hair Oil
Before the other brands bombarded the market, parachute was the choice of Indian Hair so in a way it's a legend on its own. Then started the phase of Vatika 
Nobody would have cared about this product due to its weird smell, color and unlike parachute which only concentrated on coconut oil, this product went an extra mile with amla and nimbu aka lemons but the marketing team did a splendid job and soon the classical Parachute Era was replaced by the Vatika revolution (at least in my home). This was followed by the 300% more hair growth claimant Dabur Almond Oil and for a nation that admires long hair who wouldn't want this product!
Now with 25% Extra!
This product was introduced in my family for a short while and then a new contender was introduced by my brother. It has the weirdest smell and color ever but apparently it is very soothing on the scalp, I love my hair but just not enough to experiment so drastically with it.
So despite all the oiling that has taken place on my hair growing up, what's the state of my hair today?
I am sorry I can't answer that question it's a ''Don't Ask Don't Tell'' policy :P


  1. How often do you usually apply hair oil now? And is it difficult to wash it all out?? I dread putting it on because then I have issues with getting the oil out so I can make wudoo' and the water reaches where it needs to be reached. OH and does it leave a strong smell if you go out and wear a head scarf over it?

  2. I always make a pact with myself to start oiling my hair regularly and then get bored and tired of doing it. How often should I apply it? Is once a week for around three hours enough?

  3. The same thing is with shampoos....

  4. Mu'minah :I rarely apply oil babe, when I do travel to India my mom makes sure she applies oil for me at least once in a week. It's not really all that difficult to wash (2 washes with shampoo will take it all out)but if you have the kind of hair then you can try a light hair oil and it should do the job. with regard to making wudoo I had my teacher tell me that it's not made with oil on, then I asked her about the narration in which Rasoolallah saws would apply oil on his hair on friday to make them look neat so she told me she'd check but she had to travel after that so I honestly have no idea. If you are applying simple coconut oil it would not smell under your scarf, it might irritate though if you are going under the sun.

    Jnana : I make that pact too now and then but I just can't do it. My hair are going skinny with each day.. I think Once a week or an hour before each wash should suffice. My mum would emphasize to apply it AT LEAST once a week.

    Mariya :Yes!

  5. LOL! Oh Shiru, it's not just the Desis. This infatuation with oil tends to spill onto your neighbors too! :P

    I went through the Parachute and Vatika days too. Then came the Dabur Amla Hair Oil days where all the females swore the hair will magically grow a few feet the minute you apply it! :P

    One would think all that oiling would have made my hair happy, but it seems to have staged a mutiny as it grew up *sad face*

    My condolences to your hair.

  6. Ah the famous hair oil. I'm desi too (well part desi) so I definitely know about the hair mom and I have Dabur Amla, but I don't even use it anymore. I've been losing alot of hair over the past few years so it's nice to see I'm not alone it just hormones maybe? My hair used to be super thick!

  7. aZiza : I'd like to blame every possible reason for my hair loss except my lack of enthusiasm for not applying OIL on them :P So hormones? YES!

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