Some of my nearest and dearest are of Indian origin and they all have gorgeous lustrous locks. When I dig to find out the secret, genetics aside, the words “oil” and “alma” always come up. So when I was offered the chance to try Alchemy Amla Hair Remedy I was keen to see what it would do for me.
Amla, also known an Indian Gooseberry, is a fruit bursting with nutritional benefits. One small fruit alone has the Vitamin C content of two oranges. It is a mainstay of Ayurvedic medicine as well as used as a hair tonic as it stimulates hair follicles which can encourage hair growth. Amla both as a paste (the powdered dried fruit) and as an oil (oil infused with the dry fruit) are considered hair essentials in Indian families.
Like with many other beauty trends, the Western World is learning from other parts of the globe and oils are having a moment. Alchemy aim to fuse their Eastern heritage with Western upbringing to share their range of hair oils.
Alchemy Amla Hair Remedy promises “to fight premature greying, promote growth and impart a lustrous shine.” Now honestly my hair doesn’t really do shine and I’m not bothered by grey yet. My priorities are to get rid of knots – so prevent unneccessary hair loss, stop hair feeling like straw, reduce frizz and keep curl definition.
The Alchemy Amla Hair Remedy is an 100% natural blend of nourishing oils including sesame infused with amla extract, coconut, avocado and lemon which work in harmony to naturally condition and cleanse. Note that any amla oil you see in the aisles is a carrier oil infused with the fruit, there is no such thing as 100% amla oil.
First let’s talk about the delish smell. The lemon essential oil gives the most wonderful zingy scent which I find really uplifting. To be honest I find hair washing can feel like a such a chore – detangle detangle detangle snore snore – but this oil smells so uplifting I look forward to using it.
I use it pre-poo left in the hair for as long as possible and as an overnight hair treatment. I sometimes mix it with a treatment mask. It’s rich but not horrendously greasy and makes detangling a breeze. After washing my hair feels soft and curls are popping. I also like to use the Alchemy Amla Hair Remedy as a hair serum to revive curls and de-frizz. I dampen my hair then run a few drops through it.
The blend of oils seem to be in the perfect proportion that hair is deeply conditioned and soft but not weighed down. If you’ve got very thick, dry or curly hair this is the business. Alchemy also offer a Grapefruit Hair Remedy suitable for other hair types.
WONDERLUSTING CHATS WITH ALCHEMY
I had a chat with the founders of Alchemy to find out a little bit more……
What lead you to launch Alchemy and why the name?
“We noticed a gap in the market for natural oils, sure there are a lot of hair oils on the market that are available but they’re used as serum replacements and we wanted to introduce hair oil to the market in the way that we have grown up using it because it is so beneficial for hair health.
We chose the name Alchemy as we felt that it fit well. The most basic definition of ‘alchemy’ is that it’s concerned with the transmutation of matter, focused on converting base metals into gold. And we feel like we’re applying that theory, converting our individual ingredients into blends of something better, more valuable.”
I’ve travelled and worked in India. Everybody has gorgeous hair. Are oils the secret?
“Absolutely! It’s a standard ritual, to have your mother or grandmother massage oil into your hair and leaving it overnight. And it’s so good for scalp and hair health.”
Are the Alchemy hair oils based on traditional Ayurvedic recipes or did you create your own blends?
“We use a mix of ayurvedic ingredients such as almond and amla with newer oils that have become more popular over the past few years. We believe the blend of old and new along with the fusion of Indian haircare rituals with British styling sensibilities is what sets us apart.”
What’s the science behind how your hair oils work?
“There have been several studies into each individual ingredient’s benefits for hair health and particularly hair growth. They’re chocked full of vitamins that nurture the hair follicle helping it in its growth stage, for example; Castor Oil contains ricinoleic acid which balances scalp pH, replenishes the scalp’s natural oils and undo some of the damage of harsh chemical hair products. It also helps increase the circulation to the scalp and encourages hair growth. The antioxidants in castor oil promotes stronger and thicker hair.”
Any tips on the best way to use the oils on curly / afro hair?
“To apply a little heat to help penetration. This can be done by either popping our bottles into some hot water to heat up the oil, or by applying the oil to dry or damp washed hair and putting on a shower cap and applying heat via a hair dryer.”
Why is it important for Alchemy to only use natural ingredients?
“It’s the most important thing for us to use natural ingredients. We don’t believe in using synthetic ingredients because you simply don’t need them. And in the long term they do more damage to your hair than good. Also consumers are becoming more and more savvy about what goes in their products and we support that, you should know what you’re putting on your hair and skin. The shift towards more natural haircare and vegan products is a truly a good one.”
As the season changes, are they are any different ways to use the hair oils?
“In more extreme weather conditions, whether really hot or cold, we’d suggest deep conditioning treatments with the oil more frequently. Other than that, it can be used the same way year round.”
What is your top (non-product related) beauty tip?
“To tweeze your eyebrows right after having a shower for the most pain free experience. The hair follicles are open because of the heat from the shower and it’s the easiest time to do it.”
Do you use amla or a hair oil?
Amla Hair Remedy, 100ml, £27 alchemyoils.co.uk