Back to hair oil

Given the current state of the mane, which has depleted itself from leonine to horse’s tail in the span of the past few months, I have been in a state of deep dank depression so severe that I have often been tempted to hang around at hair salons and cellotape cut  and fallen strands to my scalp.

Every morning by the bathroom basin, I tremble to run the comb through my hair (always wide toothed, always after applying hair serum to avoid breakages), then I gather my fallen glory gently and consign them to the dustbin with almost full state honours. Of course, I draw the line at the gun salute, given that the child on premises would love to be in charge of said 21 guns, and create an infernal racket while he gets the chance. And probably kill some action figure in the process.

Now, after indiscriminate shedding which I would have welcomed had it been hair from other extremities of the body, the scalp peers cheekily at me from random spots. Therefore the mater has pressed on me the urgent need to use a special hair oil, not the vanilla coconut oil I normally stick with. Yes, I oil my hair almost every other night. And wash it off the next day. I also believe in alien abductions and ghosts.

I was given a bottle of an ayurvedic concoction by the grandmother, who felt my pain or more likely, was anguished by the trail of shedding hair I left through the house. It was a sweet thoughtful gesture. I did the decent thing, and put a clothes clip on my nose and applied said oil. Diligently. All over the scalp. And tied my hair up. And wandered out into the drawing room. The speed at which the room cleared up of its regular inmates namely the grandmother and the child, convinced me that this could be patented for use for those who want clear access to the doors of suburban local trains in Mumbai. I had, for a rare hour, complete undisputed access to the television and the remote at prime viewing time. This in itself was cause enough to keep the bottle of said hair oil in the locker for preciousness.

The husband looked at me strangely when I meandered into the bedroom, with my book du jour in hand, hoping for a nice quiet, winding down bed time read. “Whats that smell?” The man would never have made the cut as a diplomat. He would be sent to negotiate with terrorists and he would say, “You need to be shot dead right now.”

“Hair oil.” I replied. “How do you expect me to sleep in the same room?” he squawked in pure anguish. I think this here said hair oil could also be roped into the National Family Planning Programme. I saw the husband slowly edging around the bed where he had been lolling around carefree until a moment ago, ensuring he carefully positioned himself windward.

I ignored such undignified behaviour from a grown man and read my book unperturbed. And drifted off to sleep, no doubt aided by the cooling and calming herbal constituents of said hair oil. The husband tossed and turned through the night, muttering to himself at regular intervals and was sternly ignored by me, and finally at around 3 am, I was vaguely aware of him storming off, pillow under the arm to sleep on the sofa, muttering stuff about how a hardworking man is not allowed to sleep in peace in his own home. By morning, I was undergoing the fisherfolk syndrome, I couldnt figure out why noses wrinkled when I drew near and why folks turned purple in the face trying to hold their breath. And the child pushed me away with a violence he reserves for best friend he loves to hate, when they are in their enemies for life mode.

And then I went in for a bath. And found that the numbers of hair shuddering violently and giving up the ghost in dramatic Hindi film fashion was no less than what it was the previous day. But I did see the advantages of said hair oil. Guess what I’m slathering on my head, the next time I need some me unwinding time. I can even do the Germanic accent for the “I just vant to be alone.” If my family is smart, they will stock up on clothes clips.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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24 Responses to Back to hair oil

  1. R's Mom says:

    Can I have a bottle..or at least the secret ingredients in it???

    Its a green bottle with a long name, and green coloured evil smelling oil. A saintly faced man is on the label.


  2. pinku says:


    am here for the first time…through Mampi’s blog.

    Am wondering if it will be equally effective in keeping the boss at bay…in which case i wouldn’t mind knowing the recipe.

    Of course it will. It is something that is bought at a store. In a green bottle, with a very very long name…


  3. Shivani says:

    I have a glaring bald patch on my scalp (ok TMI :P) despite having tried various oils that are made from supposedly the most potent of coconuts & jadibootis. Given up now.
    It’s the Mumbai water, methinks

    I think its water, stress, pollution and inadequate diet. And there is no solution except to amp up our diet and treat the remaining strands we have with respect.


  4. Meira says:

    Nah, not Mumbai water, Shivani. I’m facing this is Gurgaon too! And my sister in Bangalore!!! It’s some alien planet that is conspiring against certain women on earth.

    I tell you. We need a Ginormica to save us.


  5. Sue says:

    LOL! So what oil was this, then?

    Some longnamed evil green looking thing in a green bottle with a saintly faced man on the label. Forget the name.


  6. anonymusketeer says:

    ok now a nineteen year old childless college student can FINALLY be of help!

    since you’re not shy of being smelly – amla, reetha, egg, curd, shikakai – mix and goop GENEROUSLY on head twice a week after getting the most vigorous oil massage on your head, that you can possibly get. Three weeks – almost zero hairfall.

    once in two/three weeks – extremely vigorous oil massage followed henna/egg/curd mix on head. superfabulous conditioner.

    I do the henna/egg/yoghurt thing once in every two weeks, since I refuse to colour my hair and cause it to fall out more. I need to do the amla, shikakai, reetha thingie…thanks dear.

    i had hairfall by the handfuls, and there is no exaggeration here whatsoever. You will smell like a municipal dump, but your hair will be shiny and remain on your head.


    • Arshi says:

      I’ve heard henna is actually bad for your hair. It leads to weak hair follicles. I live in Singapore and my hair falls a lot, and i mean a lot! I’m worried too. 😦 I should try the amla, shikakai, reetha mixture too.

      My experience has been to the contrary. I find my hair is better looking and better behaved since I started regular henna with egg, yoghurt and oil packs.


  7. mummyjaan says:

    Cute writing, Kiran :). Always makes me smile.

    Glad to be of service dear.


  8. V says:

    LOL!! Certainly takes a special talent to maake hair oil sound so funny!


  9. CA says:

    Oh Kiran … this is a post so close to heart.
    From being a person who had such lovely hair that random people in local bus and train asked me for its secret to now having an excuse of hair on the scalp … I can truly understand you.

    Restricting hair fall or not, I need this special Ayurvedic oil. I could use it for a variety of purposes.

    Its these children I tell you, they make our hair fall out by the handfulls.


  10. Poonam says:

    you do seem to find the funniest way to put into words the most testing problems in life!!!

    hope the oil works 🙂

    have you tried using a wooden wide tooth comb? the static in hair can cause them to break while brushing. And with winter (if I may say so) approaching in Mumbai, it does cause a lot of hair breakage.

    I do use a wide toothed comb, but not a wooden one. Let me get one. What winter, I’m mopping floors with my sweat every afternoon. We dont have any winter, alas and alack.


  11. shobha says:

    Hi, I have had some issues with hair fall too lately and my stylist recommended this – It is a leave in conditioner and is truly amazing. Am glad I found it and just wanted to share it with you. Good luck!

    Thanks, let me check if it is available here…


  12. maya says:

    i used to drink a lot of coke/pepsi and had serious hair fall. it stopped when the drinking stopped. don’t know if this is relevant, but hope it helps.

    I dont drink any carbonated beverages, nor tea, coffee, alcohol. So I need to look for another reason.


  13. sscribbles says:

    LOL, only you and you can make something so ordinary like a hair oil sound funny and intresting enough. My mane too has seen better days and is now enjoying the last few days of glory. I just can’t make myself apply reetha/yoghurt/egg etc on hair for fear that it will all start dripping. How do you guys manage all this stuff on head? Tips please.

    Make it a thick paste, not runny. And put an old dupatta or cloth around your shoulders for the half an hour you have it on.


    • Nishita says:

      Yikes…the whole thing sounds extremely unpleasant…is there no easier way? my husband will divorce me if I add some paste of curd/henna onto my head LOL!

      Well my husband doesnt get to see it.


  14. anonymusketeer says:

    also let me pass on something else i’ve been told… the livon-type leave-in hair conditioners are actually really bad for your hair. They attract dirt, apparently, and in some way end up aggravating hair breakage. two months and much trial and error later i have figured out how much more egg i need to use to let the leave-in conditioner go, and now the hair feels good. give it a shot.

    oh, and use something mild. dove shampoo. do not wash hair everyday, twice a week is fine.

    Oh, okay. I need to stop Hair serum? And I need to wash hair twice a week. The second will be tough, since washing my hair is like brushing my teeth for me…but let me try. I use Dove anyway. The antibreakage one. Or any fancy strenghtening shampoo conditioner that catches my eye at beauty stores.


  15. NainaAshley says:

    LOL. Only you can make light of such a situation!
    Hair loss seems to be a common problem experienced by women of our generation. My sis who is an ayurvedic doctor prescribed a course of some ayurvedic pills for me last year that seemed to help. They have no side efefcts. Send me an email if you would like to try those and I’ll put you in touch with her.

    Please do! Or just send me the name of the pills…


  16. NainaAshley says:

    Oh BTW just saw the picture from Krish’s b’day. You both look awesome!

    Thank you!


  17. Dee says:

    Hi Kiran,

    Been reading your blog for a few months and love it 🙂

    Figured I can finally be of use to you and decided to delurk…

    Have the same problem and my answer is thia oil called Zulfol, only available in pharmacies…works like a dream (atleast for me) 🙂

    Hope this helps.



  18. Nishita says:

    btw, I do find Shehnaz Hussain’s Shalocks hair oil useful, and combine that with Dove therapy shampoo & mask.

    For now, the combo seems to be working!

    Will definitely try it out.


  19. Sauabh says:

    Just apply dove

    Thank you. I will.


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