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Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil

June 22, 2013 Reviewed by SarahK 13 Comments

I may have dry skin, dark circles under my eyes and be paranoid about hyperpigmentation, but the one thing I can safely say I am truly happy with and lucky to have is good hair. Now, good is good – but why not strive for great?

It all started when my sister came home from college nearly four weeks ago. Her normally shiny, dark hair was strangely frizzy, dry, dull and just plain unhealthy looking. She claimed that her hair hadn’t grown in three months, since the last time she had it cut. Surely a lot of this has to do with the college lifestyle – too much alcohol, stress and greasy food coupled with too little sleep and exercise can wreak havoc on skin and hair.

Our hairdresser suggested heading to a local Indian grocery store and picking up a bottle of Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil, which she guaranteed would solve my sister’s problem for the nominal cost of $5. Eager to try anything, she  picked up a bottle. Three weeks later, she’s addicted. And I’m pretty impressed myself.

My sister has been applying Vatika to her hair 3 times each week, anywhere between 1 hour and overnight. The results have been quite drastic; her hair is shinier and completely free of frizz. She’s also convinced that her tresses feel much stronger and healthier. They certainly look it.

All of her results are in line with what Vatika claims; apparently, my sister owes her new crowning glory to “8 magical ingredients:” triphala, brahmi, henna, neem, lemon, rosemary oil, kapur kachri and soya extracts.

Triphala is an ayurvedic formulation consisting of three equal parts of Indian gooseberry, beleric and haritaki. All three are fruits from trees, which together form an antioxidant.  Brahmi, also known as bacopa monnieri, is an herb that is commonly found in India. Supposedly, it can do everything from treating epilepsy to improving memory function. But for our purposes, know that it has also been used in hair and on skin as an antioxidant. Kapur Kachri, more commonly known as Hedychium, is a genus of plants that grows in the Himalayas; it contains a high level of phenolics (antioxidants) and alpha tocopherol (a form of vitamin E). Neem, a tree native to India, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has popped up in products that have been very well reviewed on TIA.

Rosemary oil, which is one of the more familiar ingredients in Vatika, is often used to stimulate hair growth and treat “eczema of the scalp.” Lemon oil is often used to promote shiny hair and is even speculated to help with hair loss. Most people know henna as a safe, natural hair dye, but the plant is also a natural conditioner, allowing it to soften and smooth hair.

I’m not as religious with my usage of Vatika as my sister is; I distribute the oil generously throughout my scalp and hair twice each week for about 3 or 4 hours each time. While I was lucky enough to have good hair before testing Vatika, I can still see improvement (though not as drastic as the progress my sister has made with her hair).

My absolute favorite result of using Vatika has been the disappearance of my dry scalp problems. No more itching or flakes. This oil has also kept my dandruff at bay, something that no other product, oil or other, has ever done. In addition, my hair is incredibly soft – so soft, in fact, that I now only brush it once every other day before washing my hair. There’s no need to brush it any more than that since I don’t have tangles or knots. Of course, my hair is quite straight – I wouldn’t recommend not brushing for everyone. But before using Vatika, my hair wasn’t nearly silky enough to even contemplate not brushing at least once each day. The other fantastic benefit of using Vatika is that I don’t seem to shed as much hair as I used to. Gone are the days that I had to clean massive amounts of hair out of my clogged shower drain.

I do have one major qualm about using Vatika, and that is its inclusion of tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ). The FDA and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have deemed that TBHQ is safe enough to actually consume in foods – though that doesn’t mean much. After all, there are plenty of ingredients that shouldn’t be allowed in our products that are. Several studies have shown that “chronic exposure to TBHQ may induce carcinogenicity.” However, the EFSA doesn’t consider TBHQ to be carcinogenic (and Vatika is made in the UK). While I understand why Vatika uses TBHQ – it is a stellar preservative, and there are a lot of things that could go rancid in this oil – I would still much rather that it not be included as an ingredient.

Ingredients: Coconut oil (Cocos Nucifera Oil), Neem (Azadirachta Indica Leaf Extract), Brahmi (Centella Asiatica Plant Extract), Fruit Extracts of Amla, Bahera and Harar Extracts of Emblica officinalis, Terminalia belerica and Terminalia chebula, Kapur kachri (Hedychium spicatum rhizome extract), Henna (Lawsonia inermis leaf extract), Milk, Rosemary Oil (Rosmarinus  officinalis oil), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum oil), TBHQ (t-Butyl Hydroquinone), Fragrance.

  • November 11, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Damir, no this cannot prevent hair from going gray. There isn't a product on the market that will do that.

  • November 10, 2016

    by Damir

    I have a question does this oil prevent grey or white hair?

  • March 10, 2014

    by sanalavanya

    Now I used vatika it is good for hair my hair will grown 3 inches within 1month I really happy to say thank you so much for vatika

  • July 29, 2012

    by ruth

    intriguing! (and good review)
    should a person with fine/thin hair try it?

  • July 28, 2012

    by juana

    I have a question, after applying on hair overnight, do I wash it with shampoo or just rinse with water.
    Thank you so much

  • June 19, 2012

    by Laura Wolfhart

    This has a very strange smell, which I think is due to the neem and amla. It kinda smells like lemons and coconuts and the longer you leave it on your hair, the stronger it gets! It also made my scalp itchy so I stopped using it. I’m now using Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan oil instead and it’s very light and the smell is very subtle. I love it and my hair is really improving!

  • July 24, 2011

    by barb

    can this product be used on silver/gray hair? i'm worried about the henna in it. thanks.

  • June 30, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    I ordered from Amazon, and it comes in a duo pack ($6.97 total). Plan to give one to best friend (17 yrs younger) who is always needing hydration and goes for super straight. Soooo, I shall let you know! ~jk

  • June 30, 2011

    by SarahK

    Hi Richard - so excited this oil is working for you so far! Please keep me updated on how it does.

    I've only slept with it in my hair once (usually I only put it in for a few hours at a time), but my sister sleeps with Vatika in her hair often and now one of my friends does too. I have a few recommendations. My friend sleeps with a shower cap on, but I find that the crinkly noise it makes bothers me. My sister uses an old pillow & case on the nights that she applies Vatika and washes it once a week. I've found that wrapping a Turbie Twist (http://www.amazon.com/Turbie-Twist-Hair-Towel-Pack/dp/B000PQSI2Q)around my hair works best for me. Hope this helps!

  • June 30, 2011

    by Richard

    SarahK, I want to thank you for the excellent review, I purchased this oil after reading it. I suffer from bad dandruff on the back of my scalp caused by seborrhea dermatitis. I have to wear a black shirt to work every day and I constantly brush my shoulders and back off hoping to prevent people from noticing the flakes (that method hasn't been that successful). Well I used it for the first time last night and while it didn't get rid of all of the flakes, I noticed that the back of my head isn't itchy and there were significantly less flakes! I'm really looking forward to this oil again tonight! I always complained to people that there was nothing that I tried that actually worked in fixing my dandruff problem. I want to thank you so much, this might be the cure! Oh and after I washed my hair this morning it looked a bit fuller, thicker and shinier too! My hair is really fine and thin, so this is a really fantastic side benefit!

    Quick question. What should I use to wrap my head at night? The one downside of this oil is that it is an oil and its very greasy. What should I use to wrap my hair to prevent it from getting all over my pillow?

  • June 25, 2011

    by SarahK

    Emily - so glad you're liking this oil! And thank you for adding more details about the product. Definitely update us on how it works on your scalp. I'm still kind of surprised by how often I use this oil; normally I tire of products very quickly, but this one's a keeper for me.

    And Julie Kay, I want to hear how you get along with Vatika too!

  • June 24, 2011

    by Emily

    Sarah K, thank you! I read this review Wednesday, love the explanation of the ingredients, and took it as an immediate excuse to rush to Kalustyan's yesterday looking for Vatika; with the added bonus, of course, of loading my shopping basket with yummy rices, lentils, spices, chiles, etc....I was eager to try Vatika; my hair has been contrary, dry, and miserable-looking recently. (I am fortunate to have a very full, and usually healthy, head of hair; still a lot of it for 56, and of course, it's color-treated.) And more troublesome, my scalp has for months now developed some kind of irritation (I don't know if it's from a product, but I've tried to change them up)...not dandruff, really, but what seem like abrasions. So I was particularly interested in the scalp-soothing properties of these ingredients.
    So I grabbed it (just $5.99 for over 10 oz (300 ml)) and tried it out last night for the first time. It's a very pleasant product--I was afraid it would smell like some kind of pink-umbrella drink, with all that coconut--but it isn't cloying, and the texture is thicker than most hair oils but not too unctuous either. Waking up this morning, I was pleased with my hair's condition after shampooing: smoother, silkier, but in no way weighed down. I can't yet tell about any effect on my scalp, but I'll report back.
    I am really looking forward to continuing to experiment with it. I still use and love the Moroccan Oil, but it's more for finishing, I think, and in any case, many times more expensive--while I can slather on the Vatika. Emu Oil, which I use occasionally overnight, does improve the hair's condition but I don't know that it has any benefits for the scalp, and after a night's sleep I feel a bit rancid. (And it's expensive too.) But in the meantime I wanted to thank you for this tip!

  • June 23, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    I just might have to try this and give you the "take" of an aging head of hair! =) Currently I use Neem oil (I switched from Morrocanoil) on towel dried hair at each wash for the purpose of deep hydration and (the bottle says) sun protection. But I'm looking for an easy way to combat hair loss with the hydration- this looks like a good way to go! Thanks for the tip. ~jk

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