Why Amla is a Miracle Ingredient for Hair and Skin

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Amla (also known as Indian Gooseberry, Phyllanthus emblica and Emblica officinalis) is one of our most popular ingredients for both hair and skin. This juicy fruit is rich with vitamin c, tannins, iron, calcium and antioxidants, so a diet and skin wonder.

indian gooseberry amla

This Amla tree explodes into yellow blossoms, which later fruit into edible gooseberries. Like their British cousins, they’ve a thin skin and taste bitter and sour; definitely an acquired taste.

At It’s Pure we use the powdered version of the Amla fruit to condition the hair and exfoliate the skin, but in Indian medicine, the whole plant is utilised for holistic therapies.

Renowned in Ayurvedic and Indian cultures for centuries, it works for so many beautiful reasons, that we’ve almost lost count, but to remind ourselves and you, we thought we’d share them here:

1.       To add beautiful shine to all hair colours

Many people turn to mainstream conditioners to shine their hair. These work by smoothing the hair cuticles flat and reflecting the light with ingredients like silicone.

The problem with this, is that over time the hair gets weighed down with product, becoming dull and dry.  You need to use intensive clarifiers to remove the build up and the hair condition is actually lessened.

Amla is rich in natural nutrients that support the hair's critical functions, restoring shine in a non-invasive way.

2.       To protect from environmental stressors

For those who live in built up urban environments particularly, environmental damage to the hair is a particular problem.  It can lead to dullness, dryness, greasiness and premature grayness as well as hair loss.

Amla is rich in antioxidants that work to support the hair’s natural defenses against free radicals, UVA and UVB rays and the pollution coming from petrol and chemical agents like cleaning products.

When used in skincare, for example as a scrub, it can help in a similar way, by protecting and removing free radicals and environmental aggressors.  

3.       To prevent hair loss as we age

A 2015 study of various Thai plants, found that Amla showed positive signs of preventing hair ‘fall’ or hair loss, thanks to the property of a specific enzyme that slows the rate of shedding.

This can also leave hair looking fuller for much longer.

4.       To help rebuild skin collagen

Amla, when used in skincare or taken as a supplement, has demonstrated success in preventing the breakdown of collagen, which forms the building blocks of the protein matrix in your skin and soft tissues.

As we age, our body creates less and less collagen naturally, which leads to the sagging of skin.

5.       To support hair growth

To encourage hair growth, you need two things: healthy hair and a healthy scalp.  We advise dissolving some amla powder in a little warmed coconut oil and massaging it into your scalp, increasing blood flow to the scalp. 

Using a wide tooth comb, comb through the hair and wrap in a warm towel for half an hour to allow the magic of the amla to do it’s work on your hair

6.       To balance your hairs ‘Vata’

Amla, when used in conjunction with Shikakai powder, is considered a powerpack for nutrition, shine, dryness and balancing your Ayurvedic Vata (the type of hair you have).

7.       Treat Head Lice

Mix Amla with a little yoghurt and a few drops of tea tree oil, and this 2014 study suggests it’s far more effective at treating head lice, then many OTC remedies, which are far more toxic.

 

8.       Reduce scalp irritation a dandruff

Anecdotal evidence has shown the gentle antiseptic properties of Amla is effective at reducing scalp irritation, flaking and dandruff.

 

9.       Improve the look of your henna

If you’re using natural henna to dye your hair, pairing it with Amla allows it to develop into a cooler, ashier red and a slightly cooler brown.

Everyone’s hair is different so ALWAYS do a patch test.

For more advice on coloring your hair with organic henna, ask our hair colour experts now>