Beauty basics with SHAHNAZ HUSAIN
Kalonji are produced by Nigella sativa, a flower native to Eastern Europe, Southwest Asia, and the Middle East. Black seed oil is the fixed oil extracted by pressing the seeds of Nigella sativa, an annual flowering plant found in many parts of India.
The small and bitter-flavoured seeds act like food to your hair to cure baldness and fix problems like hair loss or premature shedding, greying and dandruff.
Kalonji seeds or onion seeds, as they are sometimes called, constitute 38% of oil that is responsible for its aromatic flavour. These little incredible seeds have been used in remedies for thousands of years for allergies, asthma, diabetes, headache, weight loss, arthritis and intestinal worms.
The unique-looking seeds have a distinctive flavour. They are used as flavouring agents while cooking, using them in various forms of bread like naan, paratha, chapatti.
The ability to restore health to the scalp is said to be one of kalonji’s greatest benefits. First of all, the oil has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. That is why it also helps to fight dandruff and eruptions on the skin or scalp. The oil of the nigella seeds can be diluted and applied to the scalp to soothe and cure infection and eruptions.
The black seed oil contains Omega-3 and 6 that encourages blood circulation, especially in the head. This is known to promote rapid hair growth within weeks.
Regular use of kalonji oil helps to not just prevent premature greying but also reverses greying of hair in a number of cases. Boil a few black cumin seeds until they appear bland in flavour. When the mixture is cool, strain it out. Add vinegar solution to the cumin water and rinse your hair with the solution. Wash off with shampoo after hours or the next day. You can use it thrice in a week for better results.
Since the oil of nigella seeds is said to contain antioxidants, it helps to fight age-related degeneration too and that is why it helps to control greying of the hair. It also improves the texture and quality of the hair and may even help to reverse greying.
The oil of the kalonji seeds can be mixed with other ingredients and applied on the skin or scalp. For instance, you can mix it with a pressed oil, like coconut oil, sesame seed oil or olive oil.
Mix one tablespoon of black seed oil with one tablespoon of any pressed oil in a jar. Start massaging the oil blend into your scalp. Focus on the areas that are losing most hair. Leave the oil in for about 30 minutes to an hour and then wash it off with your regular shampoo. You can use this mixture three times a week.
You can also mix it with aloe vera gel, or even honey and apply it directly on the scalp. Apart from using the oil, you can also grind the seeds into a powder. Mix one teaspoon of the powder with a little oil or milk and apply on the scalp. Leave on for 15 minutes and then massage the scalp lightly with the fingertips.
The powdered seeds work like a scrub and help to cleanse the pores of the scalp. They also help in the removal of sticky dandruff when the flakes adhere to the scalp. If there is dandruff, you can also mix the kalonji seed powder with apple cider vinegar and apply on the scalp. This helps to restore the normal acid-alkaline balance of the scalp and thus restores health to the hair. Or mix one teaspoon kalonji seed powder with aloe vera gel and apply on the scalp. Leave on for 20 to 30 minutes and then wash off. This really helps to soothe and moisturise the scalp.
Mix half cup of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon black seed oil to make a paste. Massage the mixture into your scalp using fingers in a circular motion. Cover your hair with a warm towel to improve the efficacy of the hair mask. Leave the mixture on for 30 minutes and wash it off with sulfate-free shampoo.
Squeeze out lemon juice from one lemon and massage your scalp with it. Leave it for 15 minutes and then wash your hair with your regular shampoo. Air dry your hair then rub the black seed oil on your scalp for about 10 minutes. Go to bed with the oil in your head and wash it off the next morning with shampoo. You can use it twice a week. You may avoid this remedy if you have sensitive skin as lemon juice can cause redness and irritation. Please, do not keep the lemon juice in your hair for more than 15 minutes as it causes dryness.