With a focus on scalp skinification, here’s how haircare in India has evolved over the years

Evaluating the haircare advancements today, from natural solutions to in-clinic treatments and beyond.

Harper's Bazaar India

As Indians, we’ve taken pride in long, thick, and healthy hair for generations now, and it continues to be the goal for women across the country. Oiling and head massages have been a core component of Ayurvedic haircare, and we’re witnessing a surge in the ritual, with modernised formulas hitting shelves. The biggest industry-wide change today is the skinification of the scalp—we’re after a healthy scalp, and the products and treatments are a reflection of that. We evaluate the haircare advancements worth trying, natural and in-clinic, and what the future holds.


Natural haircare solutions in India largely veer towards at-home rituals. Spas do offer rituals that boost scalp health, using Ayurvedic principles such as massages with potent oil blends, hair masks, or shirodhara that involves pouring warm, medicated oil over the forehead and scalp to combat dryness and boost hair growth. However, at-home practices with over-the-counter products are the ones primarily seeing momentum.

Hair oiling in India has come a long way with brands today blending multiple oils and botanicals to create the most potent and effective product. “We have noticed a growing demand for personalised haircare solutions tailored to individual hair types and concerns,” says Mira Kulkarni, founder and chairperson, Forest Essentials. “Consumers appreciate the customised approach of Ayurveda, which takes into account their unique dosha (body-mind type) and recommends products and treatments accordingly.”

Forest Essential, Head Massage Oil Japapatti
Forest Essentials Head Massage Oil Japapatti

Kama Ayurveda’s Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment Oil boasts a large loyal fanbase as consumers continue to see improved hair health with regular usage. “Oiling the scalp helps extract excess doshas, restoring balance, and promoting overall well-being,” explains Vivek Sahni, founder and chairman, Kama Ayurveda. “When indulging in a scalp massage with our Bringadi hair oil, we target specific marma points to stimulate blood flow and robust hair growth. This ritual, combined with our Ayurvedic formulations, strengthens hair, balances the scalp, and imparts a silky shine.”

While most Ayurvedic haircare brands in the country started out with one or two products, names like Forest Essentials and Kama Ayurveda have now expanded to offer tailored solutions based on multiple hair types and concerns, following the growing global trend and consumer demand for personalised routines with tailor-made products.

Kama Ayurveda, Brigandi Hair Cleanser
Kama Ayurveda Brigandi Hair Cleanser

Overseas, Ayurvedic haircare brand Chãmpo’s award-winning Pitta Volumising and Growth range claims to sell one product every minute, further establishing that thinning continues to be one of the major concerns on a global level.“We are introducing consumers to a blend of ancient Ayurvedic wisdom and modern trichology through our clinically proven formulas,” says Kuldeep Knox, founder, Chãmpo.

What’s next?

Champo, Serum
Chãmpo Pitta Growth Serum

The future of natural haircare solutions lies in “a continued emphasis on holistic well-being, sustainability, and the integration of ancient wisdom with modern scientific advancements,” says Kulkarni. Knox adds, “This integration allows for the creation of products that are not only effective but also backed by scientific evidence, providing consumers with confidence in their efficacy. As consumers become more discerning and educated about the ingredients they use on their hair, there will be a growing demand for transparency and authenticity.”


Dermatologist and trichologist solutions for hair concerns have primarily consisted of treatments like hair botox to combat dryness or PRP (platelet-rich plasma) infusions to stimulate growth. However, as scalp health becomes the focus, in-clinic treatments have seen advancement as well. Dr Jaishree Sharad, a Mumbai-based celebrity dermatologist and medical director at Skinfinitii Aesthetic & Laser Clinic, witnesses clients with all kinds of concerns—from stress-and-hormone-led thinning to premature greying, scalp dermatitis, and alopecia.

She goes beyond PRP with treatments that do more than just boost growth. “ACP or autologous conditioned plasma is an advanced method of preparing PRP with the added benefit of getting more volume than PRP alone along with higher concentration of platelets and growth factors,” explains Dr Sharad. “A very new and promising hair treatment is the exosomes therapy. Exosomes are tiny vesicles from stem cells that have excellent regenerative capacity. A concentrated solution of exosomes can be injected into the scalp to boost hair growth.”

Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, a Delhi-based aesthetic physician and founder of ISAAC Luxe, is riding the skinification of the scalp wave with treatments like the Keravive Scalp Treatment (a three-step process that includes cleansing, exfoliating, and hydrating the scalp), and Dolphin Facial (using Jet Peel technology to employ a non-invasive, soothing stream of saline and oxygen to the scalp). “They specifically address scalp health, providing deep hydration and cleansing to create a healthier base for hair growth,” she says.

For hair loss, she trusts exosome therapy as well along with QR678 Neo (a hair regrowth treatment that involves injecting a proprietary blend of growth factors into the scalp), Hair Gen X (targets hair at the genetic level to repair and regenerate hair follicles by enhancing their natural growth cycle) and Progenra (a micrografting technology that restores tissue damaged by androgenetic alopecia).

What’s next?

Haircare treatments work in combination with supplements and a balanced diet, where nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances are taken care of. For Dr Sharad, the way forward for haircare lies in regenerative medicine. “Stem cell therapy and exosomes are showing great results in terms of boosting hair growth and improving hair quality,” she says. Dr Gupta favours a highly personalised and minimally invasive approach. “The ability to tailor treatments to the individual’s specific genetic make-up, lifestyle, and unique needs will revolutionise how we approach hair loss and scalp health.”

Feature image credit: Getty Images

This article originally appeared in Harper's Bazaar India, April-May 2024 print issue.

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