Via The Beauty Brains

Celeste asks… What is Amla powder and what does it do for hair?

The Right Brain replies:

Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is a fruit from the myrobalan-tree which is native to India and Burma. Like its cousin the North American gooseberry, amla fruit is edible with tart citrusy flavor. Amla is allegedly high in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and tannins which give it high antioxidant strength. Amla also contains flavonoids, kaempferol, ellagic acid and gallic acid.

Preliminary medical research has shown Amla potentially provides a surprising variety of benefits including antiviral and antimicrobial properties; prevention of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, activity against some cancers; reduced severity of acute pancreatitis, age-related renal disease, and diabetes; and reduction of blood cholesterol levels. Not bad, eh?

Is Amla good for hair?

It’s popularly believed that amla fruit is good for hair when applied as a conditioner. A quick search reveals claims about nourishing hair and scalp, adding texture and volume to hair, and preventing premature grey hair. Does amla really deliver against any of these claims?

“Nourishing” claims are fairly ambiguous and are therefore easy to support. Any material that provides a conditioning effect can be said to be nourishing, so it’s likely that amla does have some benefit in this regard. Texturizing may be one area where amla really delivers, provided it’s left in your hair. There are a number of anecdotal stories of these benefits.

The grey hair claims may come from the fact that amla is used in inks and fabric dyes to help “fix” the dye in place. Unfortunately, hair dyes work by a different chemistry than fabric dyes and we can find no reference to in the cosmetic science literature to indicate that amla has any effect on hair color what so ever.

Interesting bonus fact: In Punjabi, amla is called olay, as in “Oil of Olay” beauty products from Proctor and Gamble. Is this coincidence, or sinister design?

What about Amla Oil?

While Celeste didn’t specifically ask about it, amla fruit is also available in oil form. We would be very cautious about purchasing this version because in several of the products we reviewed the so called “amla oil” was really just amla extract diluted down in mineral and canola oil. You’re better off with the concentrated powder.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

While some of the claims are outlandish, you may perceive some basic conditioning and texturizing benefits from applying amla powder to your hair. We’d expect this to be true of leave in applications and wouldn’t expect to see any difference when it’s rinsed out.

Ladies, have you tried amla in your regimen? How does it work for your hair?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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44 Comments on "Is Amla Good For Hair?"

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Tried amla mixed with warm coconut oil last week, hoping to boost my hair growth after I lopped most of it off impulsively. It is a bit messy, and the mixture smells like tray bake, but that’s ok. Left it in for about 3 hours, with a warm towel on top, then rinsed it out but didn’t shampoo for another18 hours. Definitely helped to reverse the sticking-out-ramrod-straight-at-funny-angles from the henna, and took down the red tones a notch. Few days later, I thought my scalp was getting dry, but to my surprise I found I have a LOT of new… Read more »

Amla does alter hair colour but it makes it a light golden brown so unless you’re blonde you’ll never notice it, it is used in conjunction with henna to crest lighter brown shades.
Henna CAN have a loosening effect on curls but it’s not guaranteed and depending on the person it may take many applications to see or may not occur at all. I haven’t seen anything conclusive regarding amla but then it is usually used alongside henna so who knows
And there’s nothing wrong with people straightening their hair via henna, better that than relaxers


I purchase Amla oil (Seseme oil infused with Amla) and use it as it deep conditioner/prepoo, leaving it on for 4 to 8 hours before washing my hair, either once a week or biweekly, and notice that when used regularly, my hair is softer and more manageable. However, I also notice when I go more than two weeks without using it, my hair is extremely dry (particularly my ends, and difficult to manage so it’s one of my go to products.

I have used it 3 times now. I say it dyes hair, because my grey hair has become some brownish, and because my nails are brown and NOTHING takes it off!!!! Of course it´s not like a chemical, because I can see my grey hair here, but if you used it longer probably it will become darker and darker. About the texture, my hair is thick and tending to dry, but I apply it with any vegetable oil. I applied it with water once and it became TERRIBLE! Now I just make a small amount of amla +oil and apply… Read more »
yolanda pegg

I think that alma legend would the best solution for my hair 😀

Mel Stevens

check out the pro naturals argan oil. Not only is it a good moisturizer, it is also a heat and nature’s pollution protectant


I use Amla/Tulsi/Neem masks on my hair every 2-3 weeks. I leave it in overnight and wash it out in the morning (two shampoo treatments). I’m Indian so my hair is different. It makes my hair browner (I dyed it black a while ago) and shinier! I also find my hair is softer when I straighten it and less frizzy. I don’t use henna as it tints hair red. That’s my experience on really long, wavy, Indian hair.

Nana Esco

Thick, coarse hair should not use amla oil nor henna. It’s like a caucasian using a hair relaxer. It’s made for a different hair type like Indian, Asian and Hispanic hair type. Henna dries out already dry hair because it is a protein. Natural hair is so Amazing and beautiful straight caucasian hair is so boring embrace your hair the way it is God created you and he does not make mistakes!


Henna does not dry out everyone’s hair. This idea has been repeated, but it is not true. African women do henna for their hair often with excellent results. Just as African women do not want to be insulted because of their texture, it is equally wrong to offend anyone with straight hair. You state God doesn’t make mistakes, but you insult people with straight hair? Nonsense.

Razia Renee Johnson

The definition of natural hair is the hair that is on your head now. Doesn’t matter whether it’s relaxed or not, it’s still your natural hair. All hair is beautiful, so your point is very invalid. Hair is hair and is only beautiful if it’s taken care of. Second, henna etc is very good for anyone’s hair, I used it and my hair never seems to split. Lastly, you say God doesn’t make mistakes but call other people’s hair boring but your own. So ignorant




Wow. You think by putting down naturally straight hair is the way to go? Not just caucasians (People of Europe, north africa, horn of africa, south and central asia) have straight hair. Stop putting down others to make yourself feel better. Pathetic.

Rhoni Thompson

I have used henna once, leaving it on for 7 hours. Five weeks later I combined henna with alma leaving it on for 7 hours. The first application loosened my coils some. The 2nd application with the alma really loosened it. My hair is basically coiless. I also noticed my hair to be coming out at the root.
I havevreadcthat alma may help me get my coils back. Im not happy…my hair seems strong, but lifeles.
Any suggestions? ???
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Amla is also available as dried fruits, soak several berries in lukewarm water, leave for 24 hours and apply as hair conditioner.


Hi. How often do you leave alma in your hair?? Is it bad to do it every second day which you leave over night wash in the morning?

My hair is natural. I first used henna 6 months ago. For the second time, I henna my hair 3 weeks ago. I need to know if it is ok to use the amla powder by itself on my next wash. Another words, how long in between should I wait to use both products separately. In addition, Im a little confuse on the mixing of the amla powder. Some people mentioned coconut oil, some warm water, and some conditioner. Which is the most effective one. My hair is very dry and is thinning from front to middle. I am also… Read more »

Use Design Essentials Honey Creme and Oat Protein & Henna Shampoos. Wash twice with the Honey Creme and once with the Oat Protein & Henna. Condition with Design Essentials Stimulation Conditioner. It should make your hair soft and manageable.

Bea Here I mention a hair pack… great for hair growth— For shoulder length of hair ..1tbsp of amla paste( soaked dried amla for the overnight minimum for 15 to 18 hrs and then make them a paste, I use mixie for that), 2tbsp of Fenugreek paste (follow as same amla paste procedure), Juice of a Small onion, paste of 7/8 pieces of Hibiscus flower( the red one), 1/4 cup of Black tea liquor( its a very good hair conditioner . trust me), 1 whole egg and 2tsp of sour curd( optional)….mix them well like a tooth paste consistancy and… Read more »
I’ve used amla powder for over a year and it is by far my favorite ayurvedic herb…well besides henna. It conditions my hair perfectly and I attribute amla powder for growing my hair as well as stopping my premature greying. I purchase amla powder for $1.99 at my local India market here in Houston. My mixture is so simple: one box of amla powder mixed with hot tap water only. I then apply it to my damp hair and allow it to sit for one hour. Then I proceed to rinse and cowash with my VO5 conditioner. My hair is… Read more »
I have used amla and coconut oil on my hair and it has worked wonders. i had this probelm of hair loss and someone recommended to have a juice of three amla’s every day to suffice the vitamin C requirement. and trust me I am not complaining a bit. This berry has not only reduced my hair loss but it has also given me a glow on my skin. Another remedy is to grate Amla and keep it soaked in an iron vessel for three days. It leave a black residue which needs to to scrapped off from the corners… Read more »

Apologies for the spelling mistakes and grammar though in the above message.



Has anyone used it as a daily moisturizer?


It’s too oily to use as a daily moisturizer

I adore Amla oil! I grew up on this stuff and as much as it made my hair greasy it did wonders for it. Never used the powders and stuff though. What I know, having grown up in a coloured family, Amla oil is a staple for our hair, especially after relaxing, cutting, washing or braiding. As it can get quite greasy and having such a strong, somewhat medicinal scent, we don’t use it ALL the time, and we only use it at the roots of our hair. The main reason for this is that it helps grow the hair,… Read more »

I just bought the Hesh brand Amla powder online and am going to try their suggestion and mix it with Dabur Vatika oil as a pre-poo conditioner. I hope it works!

Florence Ahlemeyer

For goodness’ sake, eat some food. Diets like the one you’re describing may result in temporary weight loss, but the key word is temporary, because no one can live the rest of their lives subsisting on nothing but liquids, fruit, and vegetables. Sooner or later you’re going to get hungry and eat some complex carbohydrates (and there’s nothing wrong with carbs! They’re an essential source of energy!), and you’ll gain the weight back.


This isn’t about taking Amla oil internally. It’s for topical use on the hair and scalp and says nothing about weight loss. I’m thinking (read: hoping) that you somehow posted your comment under the wrong article. Maybe you hit backspace one too many times.


Ok, so I used amla oil years ago and had so-so results. I felt like my hair felt greasy and dry. But, now I want to try again.

For the oil, when doing the prepoo and/or detangle, do y’all mix it with anything? Mix it w/ store bought condish?

For the powder, mix with other ayurvedic powders and water and put on hair? Won’t that dry your hair out?

Thanks in advance!

i love amla. i add the powder to my deep conditioner mix. i also use brahmi and bhringraj (maka) powders. they have really helped change the health of my hair. my hair is very very black and when i use these powders on a regular basis my hair has the black sheen that is out of this world. i also use products like qhemet biologics that has ayurvedic ingredients in it already. my hair just loves it. also amla powder is really good for the skin. use it as a facial mask (just at a little water to the powder… Read more »

I Love Amla!!! and Brahmi!! they are awesome herbs


I went out of my way to get as organic as possible. Recommend Gary and Sun Amla oil. One bottle is 20 plus dollars but they last me a LONG time.

One caveat it works better on my locs than on my loose hair.


I love amla and I can testify it did my hair good. My hair is thicker and stronger. And I see less single strand knots.


Most definitively a staple product in my regimen!! I use the Alma oil to prepoo and detangle my hair the night before wash day. I let it sit on my hair overnight! My hair reacts to it pretty well!! It’s shinier, softer and way more manageable than when i don’t do my prepoo with it!!


My hair loves amla!! My hair’s health and growth skyrocketed once I started using amla (I’m talking sheen/luster, strength, growth in weak spots, and popping curls). I use the powder, along with other Ayurvedic powders to make a rich deep conditioning treatment (with regular conditioner and oils). Sometimes I add henna to the mix. I’ve also used amla powder to infuse olive and coconut oils. It’s amazing.

lillian mae

I am an amla addict. I begin my weely pre-poo oil wash and finger detangle using amla oil. I read the ingredients when I purcased the product and it was not cut with mineral oil, but coconut oil so I felt safe. To stretch it, I have mixed it with olive oil. Amla, the fruit, is something that can be purchased at an Indian grocery store. You can infuse it with any oil you like. Will be doing a video of my amla infusion soon!
Benefits I’ve seen include:
Stronger hair strand
Darker hair
Can’t call the conditioning claim bc I DC after everything.


My hair loves the Amla oil!! I just don’t like the smell so I mix it with other oils in a little bottle and apply as needed. It definitely gives my hair a great shine, and coats my scalp so it’s not itchy. My Indian co-workers have said that it really helps with hair growth. So far…so good.


Ditto! My hair loves the Alma Oil as well. Great results and nice shine. I read somewhere that it was like liquid gold and I must agree with that. At least that’s how I felt after using it a few times.


My hair loves amla powder, I usually mix it with an oil like grapeseed just to get my hair extra soft. Usually I follow up with a dc as well.


I’ve used amla and it turned my hair crispy crunchy dry. I mixed it with conditioner. However, as Toi and Antoinette had good results with it I’m willing to try it again by mixing it with coconut oil.
I should add that my hair does not like henna either even when I mixed the henna up and then added honey my hair was still dry after use. It may just be my hair which also reacts badly to 100% coconut oil.



Add 1/4 cup of black tea liquor to ur hair pack….black tea liquor gives ur hair super softness and shine…


Natalie, did you use a conditioner after using henna? If not, this is probably why you felt it was drying. It’s necessary to do so…


Hi Neo,
No, I don’t think I did DC afterwards, I’ll try that next time I use henna or amla. Thanks for the tip.



I LOVE AMLA! My hair loves it too. When my curls aren’t acting right and my scalp is too itchy to bear I hit my local indian grocer for some Amla. Just mix it with water, apply like you would any perm or color, leave on for X amount of time ( i usually do 40 min-1hr) and rinse out. And of course wash after. Its a bit hard to get out but trust me when i say you will have soft, defined, and manageable curls! It’s def. on of my fav Ayurvedic staples along with Vatika Oil!


I’ve tried amla and loved it. I made a Ayurvedic conditioning treatment with a pack of amla, brahmi, coconut milk, acv, and almond oil and my hair loved every minute of it! My hair was very manageable and soft afterwards. Idk if it was just the amla since I’ve never used it on it’s own, but I think it may have had something to do with the result.