Authentic Indian Head Massage with Oils

Head massage with oils is an integral part of Indian culture. “It is a must in any Indian family,” says Christy Mathew, a mother from India. In this blog, Christy shares her experiences of using head massage in the family home through the generations. And the benefits are not only physical but emotional and social too – helping to strengthen family bonds and improve focus and concentration.

“I was born in Kerala but my Dad’s work involved travelling, mainly around North India so I have lived in different states. The culture is different in every state – and so are the types of massage used and the oils. For example, Kerala is the land of coconuts so they were very much part of our daily life from food to hair oils. As we travelled through the different states, I learnt about the various oils and their properties.

“The oils are chosen specially for their properties and impact on the hair. They are mixed in exact quantities according to detailed study and research. The main oils that I use in my blends are: jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, castor oil, avacado oil, amla oil, jasmine oil, rosehip oil, almond oil, pumpkin seed oil, Neem oil, black seed oil, peanut oil and walnut oil, and also Shea butter. Then I add different essential oils including tea tree, rosemary, sandlewood, rose, peppermint and lavender.

“I grew up with head massage with oils. In India, babies are massaged from birth and then when we are about 3-4, we have our heads oiled. When I was young, I didn’t like it as I wanted to be outside. But as I grew older, I started to enjoy it. The house stood still as my mother did head massage telling us about her childhood, and about my grandparents. I loved this special time of hearing stories of games and jokes and sibling fights!

“I haven’t ever trained in head massage. I’ve picked up the different moves from childhood. And I just use them with family and friends. At university, my classmates would sit on the staircase and massage each other whilst talking and looking back on the day. It was a wonderful way to get to know each other a little more. Powerful moments were shared and are still treasured now.

“I live in the UK now, but I still continue the tradition of head massage with my husband and our three children – our 17 year old daughter, 14 year old son and 5 year old daughter. It is a simple way of being together without any gadgets or screens. It helps teach family values, respect, sharing and empathy – as well as all the physical benefits that massage can bring including promoting hair growth and eliminating scalp conditions.

“The oiling usually lasts about 20-25 minutes but it can take longer because we are talking so much and enjoying each other’s company.  The mixed oils are heated to lukewarm temperature in a special warming pot (see below) that I brought over from India. Then we put the oil in a bottle with a nozzle so that it can be applied directly from the top of the scalp downwards. Then we massage the oils into the scalp. Any left over oil is applied to the whole length of the hair.

“In India, long, healthy hair is much admired. Recently, my daughter made up a special hair oil with over 10 different vegetable oils and four essential oils to help stimulate her scalp and keep her hair well moisturised. You can see from the ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos that hair has grown in length, strength and thickness – so it definitely works!”


Learning more about Oils for Indian Head Massage

Do you use oils in your Indian Head Massage sessions? Would you like to know more? We are planning a presentation on oils at our annual Indian Head Massage Community Seminar in Central Brighton on 17th October 2020. Please contact us for more information: indianheadmassagecommunity@gmail.com