Ayurveda for Healthy Hair

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Healthy-HairHair is an integral part of one’s personality, from ancient time’s hair has been men’s glory which was used to define their physical appearance and personalities. In today’s fashion world your hairstyles, long or short hair, along with clothing can be an expression which reflects your identity. The condition of our hair reflects a noteworthy variance in personal attractiveness. There is nothing more radiant and beautiful than shiny vibrant hair. Our lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking and stress plays a very important role in keeping your healthy hairs. External factors such as pollution, sun exposure and hair products such as bleaching or dyeing also have an undesirable impact on vitality of our hairs. Extensive and sever hair loss, premature graying of hair, baldness, alopecia, dandruff, split ends, excessive dryness of hairs, nowadays these are few very commonly heard complaints about the hair.

In Ayurveda, hair is said to be a “mala” (byproduct) of “Asthi Dhatu” (Bones). If the food taken provides rich nourishment to “Asthi Dhatu”, then the health of hair will be good. Also, it is believed that hair problems are because of underlying imbalance of doshas in our body. It is because of excesses in either vata or pitta doshas that can cause hair loss. Excess pitta can cause premature grey hair, and excess kapha and vata can cause dry and brittle hair and an itchy scalp. Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss depends upon your body mind type. Once you know the dosha that is responsible for your hair problems, you can make the right choices in your diet and daily routine which may save you from many bad hair days as well as future health problems.

Different Types Of Hair As Per Dosha And Few Remedial Measures
  1. Vata Dosha (Imbalance): Vata body type are prone to hair loss. Vata dosha maintains the movement and transportation of food nutrients through the channels of the body. Excessive or imbalanced Vata dosha can result in an obstruction in the flow of the food nutrients that supply nourishment to the hair cells, leading to dry scalp, dry hair, split ends, and finally, thin hair or hair loss
    • Balancing Vata Dosha: When the vata accumulate within the body and mind due to imbalanced diet, lifestyle and season, it begins to manifest various imbalances. In order to harmonizing vata dosha, it requires a regular lifestyle routine. To balance Vata, make choices that bring warmth, stability, and consistency to your life as vata is cold, light, dry, and always changing
      1. It is important to get adequate, good-quality sleep so that our body can rejuvenate itself, help us to keep of stress aside and balance the dosha
      2. Exercise daily and practice breathing exercises (pranayama) to relieve mental and physical stress
      3. Listening to soothing, calming, music can also be therapeutic and reduce stress
      4. Massage your scalp with 1-2 teaspoons of oil especially in night, gently massage it into your scalp evenly with your fingertips. Do this scalp massage 2-3 times a week to promote relaxation, to aid sound sleep, to stimulate circulation, and to moisturize the scalp. Almond oil or sesame oil can be used for massage, these oils are very nourishing in nature for the scalp and hair which helps to reduce stiffness and tightness in the scalp and can make Vata hair stronger, thicker and can bring back the lusture
    • Diet: Health comes from within and it is important to eat foods that have a balancing effect upon the dominant dosha so that they can pacify (stabilize) the dosha that has become excessive or aggravated. Balanced nutrition, digestion, assimilation and elimination are important to overall heath and healthy hair. Below are few recommendations:
      1. “Warm” and “cooked” are key factors in the Vata-pacifying diet. Vata favor the sweet, sour and salty tastes stews, nourishing soups and hot cereals, hearty grains are all good for vata type body and also for excellent hair growth; avoid bitter, pungent and astringent foods; dairy products such as milk, fresh cheese, and lassi will also help. Almonds and walnuts are considered excellent “hair food” add them to your diet
      2. Uses spices which can aid the digestion and can add nutritive value to the food as well because imbalance in vata dosha makes digestion irregular. Spices known for hair growth include curry leaves, cilantro, cumin, turmeric, and black pepper
      3. For dandruff, mix few drops of lemon juice with oil; massage it into the scalp and let it soak in for half an hour
  2. Ayurveda-for-healthy-hair

  3. Pitta Dosha: Pitta governs all heat, metabolism and transformation in the mind and body. Pitta governs the important digestive “agnis” or fires of the body. Any disturbance in this tissue metabolism, which very much depends on the digestive fire, can affect the health of the hair. Pitta body type sometimes have bright red hair, oily, silky but baldness or thinning hair is also common in a Pitta. Mainly excessive pitta is considered as a major cause of hair problems
    • Balancing Pitta Dosha: To balance Pitta, we need to make choices that are cooling, sweet, and stabilizing. Few steps for balancing pitta in your body:
      1. Avoid hot temperatures and hot food
      2. Don’t overwork, allow some free time every day for yourself
      3. Daily oil massage using cooler oils such as coconut can be very helpful
      4. Avoid dehydration, drink plenty of water
      5. Eat cool foods with sweet, bitter and astringent tastes like cucumber, melons etc. as the excess heat in the body may ultimately result in thin, oily and graying hair Reduce pungent, sour, salty tastes and warm, oily and light foods
      6. For Pitta personalities cooling coconut oil is suited as coconut is Pitta-pacifier. A gentle coconut oil massage can retard hair problems such as thinning and premature graying that are associated with an aggravated Pitta dosha
    • Diet: Dairy products like milk, butter and ghee are good for pacifying Pitta. Yoghurt, cheese and cultured buttermilk should be avoided as their sour tastes aggravate Pitta
      1. All sweeteners are good and can be taken except honey and molasses
      2. Coconut, Olive and sunflower oils are most recommendable for the use. Avoid sesame and almond oil, they increase Pitta
      3. Eat sweet and fully ripened fruits, such as melons, cherries, coconuts, pomegranates, mangoes etc. Avoid sour fruits and unripe fruits as they can aggravate the pitta, such as, olives, papayas, and unripe pineapples etc
      4. Pitta balancing vegetables are pumpkins, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, green beans, asparagus, cucumbers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. Avoid hot peppers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, radishes and spinach
      5. In spices chili peppers, clove, ginger and cayenne should be avoided. Cinnamon, coriander, cardamom can be used
  4. Kapha Dosha: The kapha hairs are thick, wavy lustrous and oily. They are blessed with the best hair types and face very less problems related to hair like premature greying, hair loss and thinning. But to maintain these characteristics one has to maintain their lifestyle and diet habits healthy so that kapha dosha remain balanced in the body
    • Balancing Kapha Dosha: Kapha people are heavy and slow. So regular exercise every day will help. This is the best way to avoid stagnation and the accumulation of toxins in the body. Few steps for balancing Kapha in your body:
      1. Stay warm as kapha people are very sensitive towards cold
      2. Preferably wear warm colored clothes like red and orange
      3. Avoid taking naps during the day
      4. Kapha people should wash their hair regularly as they have oily hairs in nature because of that they have tendency to accumulate more dirt in them
      5. Sesame or olive oil are good choices for hair massage in order to keep scalp healthy
    • Diet:
      1. Avoid the intake of dairy products as they tends to increase Kapha
      2. Always drink warm milk
      3. A Kapha diet should be lively and full of energy to help spark the digestive and metabolic systems. Most of vegetables are good to eat but avoid sweet vegetables like potato and tomato
      4. Avoid consuming cold foods like frozen desserts, ice cream, curd etc. Include beans and reduce nuts in your diet
      5. Eat light fruits like apple, pears and pomegranate
      6. Honey is excellent for reducing Kapha
Few Ayurvedic Herb Recommendations
  1. Bhringraj is a well-known Ayurvedic herb for hair growth, when taken internally as well as applied externally the hair will eventually become healthy, strong and black. It is an excellent rejuvenator for body and hair
  2. Brahmi can provide nourishment to your scalp and make your hairs thick. This herb is known for its excellent memory enhancer property. Gentle massage in form of oil can cure insomnia and stress
  3. Amlaki, commonly known as amla and Indian gooseberry is rich with Vitamin C and thus contains antioxidants which help to remove toxins from body. It is considered to be the best herb for pacification of pitta dosha and prevents hair fall
  4. Neem has natural blood purifier and cleansing properties which makes it a natural remedy against dandruff and lice. Neem can be used internally and externally in different forms. Best recommended usage is mixing neem powder with oil and then massage it on scalp
  5. Ritha act as a natural soap that is used for cleaning hair without stripping off the natural oils
  6. Ashwagandha is known as rasayana for vata dosha. It is also used in disorders like loss of sleep, loss of sexual drive, impotence and other such disorders causing mental stress ultimately leading to hair fall. Constant use of herb can makes you feel energized and healthier
  7. Guduchi pacifies the pitta dosha and cures infective conditions of scalp. This herb is known to nourish the asthi dhatu which leads into the healthy hair as hair is known as a byproduct of asthi dhatu
Therapy Management For Hairs:

There are also few Ayurveda Panchakarma treatments that help restore hair growth. These include:

  • Shiroabhyanga: A warm oil scalp massage is given in order to increase blood circulation of head and to prevent dry scalp so that it can enhance the lustrous nature in hair
  • Nasya: an oil nasal administration to promote circulation
  • Shirodhara: It is a treatment where warm oil is being gently poured on your forehead, it induces a deep state of relaxation, soothes and strengthen the nervous system and stimulates the endocrine system

Written by Rachna Sharma

I am an Ayurvedic doctor with an experience of 4 years, have done my B.A.M.S degree from Delhi University. Also I am a mother of new-born baby and enjoying my motherhood. I am addicted to books and tea. Books are my escape from real world. Apart from that I love to travel and very fond of old songs.

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