Ayurveda To Manage Your Hair Wellness!
According to Ayurveda, the hair is a direct by-product of your bone tissue (marrow) and it is also linked to the central nervous system and gut. This means any weakness in the bone tissue, nervous system and digestive system will naturally result in hair loss or diminishing hair growth.
In other words, the imbalance in your unique constituency or ratio (prakriti) of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas (bodily forces) will lead to the underlying issues in bone marrow, nervous and digestive systems, which in turn reflect in your scalp and hair.
You can understand your underlying dosha imbalance or physiological imbalance by assessing your hair texture and type of hair problems you have.
- The imbalance in Vata Dosha causes excessive dryness and flaky dandruff. Your hair becomes frizzy and brittle.
- The imbalance in Pitta Dosha causes receding hairlines, hair thinning and premature greying.
- The imbalance in Kapha Dosha can result in needless oil secretion. The excess oil blocks the follicles of your scalp, which leads to wet and sticky dandruff.
Now before we get into the Ayurvedic hair growth secrets, let's first look into different external and internal factors that buildup toxins (ama) in your body, resulting in Dosha imbalance and simultaneous hair loss.
Every time you see a bulk of your frail hair strands tangling in the hairbrush, it terrorizes you, right? We know exactly how you feel. With most hair products in the market being chemical-leached or adulterated, how can you deal with it safely?
Thankfully, the great Indian sages have left us with their incredible wisdom of Ayurveda! " We have a plethora of healing therapies and herbal formulations along with holistic health routines in Ayurveda. It offers you powerful and natural remedies to strengthen your innate hair growth competence without side effects" says Dr. Unnikrishnan, Chief Ayurvedic Medical Advisor at HairSmart.
So, let’s understand how you can regrow your lost hair and maintain its strength with the help of Ayurveda.
- Can Ayurveda Regrow Hair?
- Factors Causing Hair Loss As Per Ayurveda
- Ayurvedic Ways To Regrow Your Hair Naturally
- Other Medical Procedures
- Can We Use Ayurvedic And Allopathic Medicines Together?
The Ayurvedic system is based on the concept of keeping the three dosha levels - Vata, Pitta and Kapha - In balance. According to Ayurveda, hair fall occurs when there is an imbalance in these doshas, which form your innate Prakriti. Thus, in order to reverse hair loss, you need to work upon balancing your Ayurvedic doshas.
According to Ayurveda, the hair is derived either as a by-product or produced as a breakdown product of Asthi (bone tissue). Any disturbance in this tissue metabolism, which very much depends on the digestive fire, can affect the health of the hair. To a certain extent, the quality of hair depends on the body constitution.
Excess of Pitta dosha in the body is increased by hot climatic conditions, excessive intake of spicy, salty and sour food, hot and sharp food, tea, coffee, alcohol, meats and excessive smoking. Eating too much fried, oily, greasy, and acidic foods also aggravates Pitta.
The first step is to locate the root cause in your diet or lifestyle that may be increasing the Pitta dosha. Once you locate it, try to give up or at least reduce the diet, habit, or activity responsible for increasing Pitta. Internal use of Ayurvedic medicines like Thikthakam kashayam, Thikthakam ghritham as per medical advice are effective to correct the metabolism. Ayurvedic general tonics like Narasimha rasayanam, Chyavana prasam are effective for improving hair growth. In alopecia, due to systemic diseases, treatment of the same is also required.
"But, to achieve and maintain such a balanced state of dosha levels, you must take a vow of consistency in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is not just about curing illnesses, but also a lifestyle that prevents the occurrence of illnesses," says Dr. UnniKrishnan.
Factors Causing Hair Loss As Per Ayurveda
- When Vata dosha spikes in your body, it dehydrates your scalp tissues. Your hair follicles lack protection from harsh conditions like UV radiation. This creates breakage and split ends in your dry hair. The roots also become weak and hair falls off from the damaged follicles. Eventually, these damaged follicles become dormant, causing hair loss.
- When Pitta elevates in your body, your scalp tissues receive excess heat from inside. This causes inflammation in your follicles, which weakens your hair roots. The inflamed follicles fail to nourish the hair, leading to hair fall and premature greying.
- When Kapha level raises, your scalp starts over secretion of sebum. The sebum build-up clogs the hair follicle receptors, from where it receives nutrients from the blood. This prevents hair growth. Greasy scalp with oily dandruff is caused due to Kapha aggravation in your body.
Below are the fundamental aspects responsible for dosha imbalances in your body:
1. Poor Nutrition
When your diet lacks essential nutrients like Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K along with iron, magnesium, zinc, protein, etc, it leads to the elevation of Vata dosha in your body, leading to hair fall and hair loss.
Crash dieting, unhealthy foods and nutritionally poor diet can lead to hair loss. Hair loss and malnutrition are often an index of an unseen, severe mental or physical health concern. One of the ideal ways to keep a healthy hair is to eat a nutritious diet.
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2. Stress & Anxiety
Pitta levels in the body spike up when you undergo severe emotional and physical stress. When you are stressful and anxious, your body secretes excessive hormones to prepare itself to combat any potential threat it assumes to receive.
These sudden hormonal changes in the body affect hair growth. Unless it is a life-threatening situation, it is not good for your body to undergo stress-related hormonal changes.
A normal human being has approximately 1 million hair follicles on his body, of which 1 lack hairs on the scalp. A hair normally grows at the rate of approximately 1 cm per month, but each hair grows in cycles, each cycle being constituted by :-
- The growth phase (Anagen)
- The transition phase (Catagen)
- The resting phase (Telogen)
Stress and hair loss don't have to be permanent. If you get your stress under control, your hair might grow back. To know more about your Hair Wellness, take Hair Expert Advise
3. Poor Lifestyle
If factors like toxic or polluted environments, alcohol, smoking, etc, are part of your lifestyle, then you may have severe hair loss due to the build-up of excess oxidative stress in your body.
Smoking can even damage your DNA and speeds up the hair fall condition. Hence, individuals, especially with genetic baldness, are highly recommended to avoid poor lifestyle choices to prevent faster hair loss.
Your hair cells are the second fastest-growing cells in your body, after your intestinal cells. However, your body does not prioritize the high energy needs of hair as it comes under the category of non-essential tissues (unlike your liver or kidneys). Therefore, it is crucial to support your hair with regular maintenance, a healthy diet, and a lifestyle for stronger hair growth.
Expert shares some daily habits that cause serious damage to your hair.
2. Unhealthy Diet
3. Beauty treatments
4. Mental Stress
Ayurvedic Ways To Regrow Your Hair Naturally
1. Ayurvedic Therapies
In Shirodhara, warm oils or liquids formulated with soothing Ayurvedic herbal ingredients are poured on your forehead from an oscillating container hung above. While the medicated liquid or oil travels down from the forehead to your scalp, the therapist gives a gentle massage on your scalp. This has an immensely soothing and cleansing effect on your nervous system.
Shirodhara therapy is exceptionally beneficial to balance Vata and Pitta doshas in the body. Besides decreasing your hair loss, Shirodhara has a calming effect on your mind. It reduces stress, induces sleep, regulates fluctuations in blood pressure, and relieves you from migraines.
B. Shiro Abhyanga
Shiro abhyanga involves massaging the head, neck, upper back and shoulders with warm Ayurvedic oils. It is a therapy to relieve stress from muscles and tissues in your upper body along with your scalp. According to Yogic science, Shiro abhyanga balances the three upper chakras - Anja (between eyebrows), Sahasrara (top of head) and Vishuddha (in the throat).
The warm medicated oils are gently poured on the area of action and massage is given by various kinds of hand movements to stimulate pressure points in that area. The head massage in Shiro abhyanga enhances the flow of oxygen and blood into your scalp, thus, ensuring nutrient supply to your follicles. A regular Shiro abhyanga promotes healthy nourishment to your hair.
C. Shiro Lepa
In Shirolepa, different Ayurvedic herbs in dry powdered form are mixed into a fine paste as per powerful Ayurvedic formulations in ancient texts. After applying this paste thoroughly, your scalp is covered with banana leaf, leaving the top portion of the scalp, from where a medicated Ayurvedic oil is poured on to the lepa. This enhances the interaction of medicinal paste with the deeper scalp tissues.
Shiro Lepa is best used to pacify Pitta dosha and is extremely beneficial in treating premature greying, hair fall, and dandruff. Besides balancing aggravated doshas and providing nourishment to your hair follicles, Shiro Lepa relieves you from the issues of headache, the heaviness of head and stress.
Ayurveda suggests Nasya as one of the best therapy for hair loss related to the imbalance in tridoshas. The practice of lubricating your Nasal passages with Ayurvedic herbal oils is called 'Nasya' Kriya.
In Nasya kriya, you need to lie down horizontally and slightly tilt your head backward. Few oil drops are instilled into the nostrils and allowed to hit the back of your throat internally. Practicing Nasya in the morning is best to treat Kapha related problems, afternoon for Pitta disorders, and evening to relieve Vata disorders. Nasya also aids in enhancing immunity by strengthening the mucosal pathway and clearing your sinuses.
You can perform Nasya at home every day with Sesame oil. It has a warming and calming properties that help in balancing your nervous system. Also, you can use Brahmi Ghee for treating elevated Pitta dosha, Tikta Ghee for pacifying Vata or Pitta doshas, and Vacha oil for treating imbalanced Vata or Kapha doshas.
E. Regular Massaging With Ayurvedic Hair Oils
While your busy lifestyle and tight schedules make it difficult for you to take regular therapies of Shirodhara and Shiro abhyanga, you can adopt regular scalp massages with Ayurvedic oils at home to keep your doshas in balance. All you need to do is gently massage your scalp for about 15 minutes with pure Ayurvedic hair oil.
This stimulates your blood vessels and enhances blood circulation in your scalp. You can use hair oils with medicinal herbs specific to your elevated dosha, which soaks into your scalp tissues and heals the specific scalp disorders caused by imbalanced doshas. Thus, you can successfully prevent hair loss with regular oiling and scalp massages.
At HairSmart, we formulate Dosha balancing Ayurvedic hair oils by combining Coconut-Jojoba-Argan-Tulsi oils with tri-doshing herbs like Amla, Bhringaraj, Bhrahmi and Neem which balance all doshas, reduce inflammation and have specific hair healing properties. Ideally, you need to massage your scalp at least twice or thrice in a week. Ayurveda suggests giving a scalp massage a night before you plan your hair wash. This gives your scalp and hair a conditioning effect.
Oils Used For Scalp Massaging
Sesame oil, Coconut oil, Amla oil, Almond oil, Olive oil, Neem oil, Brahmi oil, and Bhringraj oil are some of the commonly used hair oils to promote hair regrowth. Thankfully, we have created the perfect Ayurvedic Oil for you so you don't have to do any of the work!
F. Regular Hair Cleansing With Ayurvedic Herbs
If you don't clean your hair regularly, the oils secreted and external pollutants clog your hair follicles, which leads to scalp irritation, itching, and hair fall. For best results, avoid chemical-free shampoos and start using Ayurvedic herbal shampoos which are mild.
You can also use natural Ayurvedic herbal solutions as hair cleansers, which boosts your hair growth by providing nourishment to your scalp besides cleaning action. It is best to have hair wash at least twice or thrice in a week to keep the scalp clean and healthy.
Ayurvedic Herbs Used As Hair Cleansers
Shikakai (Soap Pod), Reetha (Soap Nut), Triphala (Haritaki+Bibhitaki+Amalaki), Kumari (Aloe vera), Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Japa (Hibiscus), Methi (Fenugreek), Nimba(Neem), etc. are some of the commonly used Ayurvedic ingredients for Hair cleansing.
Ayurvedic Herbs For Hair Regrowth
Below are some of the most commonly used herbs you can seek as ingredients in the above mentioned topical Ayurvedic treatments for hair regrowth.
a. Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
b. Bhringraj (Eclipta Prostrata or Eclipta Alba)
c. Kumari (Aloe Vera)
d. Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)
e. Japa (Hibiscus)
d. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
According to Ayurveda, a wholesome diet that is rich in essential vitamins and minerals for hair growth plays a crucial role in keeping your doshas in balance and maintaining hair health.
Below are a few nutrient-rich foods that Ayurveda suggests for healthy hair regrowth. Ensure you consume them regularly based on the status of your dosha levels.
Cucumber contains vitamin A, Vitamin C and silica, which helps in hair regrowth. It aids in pacifying the increased Vata and Pitta doshas in your body and promotes healthy hair growth with a soft texture.
Pumpkin contains essential minerals for hair growth like Potassium and Zinc. While potassium enhances regrowth of hair by activating your follicles, Zinc helps in maintaining the collagen levels on your scalp and strengthens your hair roots. It is ideal in treating Vata and Pitta related hair loss.
C. Leafy Vegetables
Leafy vegetables like Collards, Spinach, Kale, etc are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and iron, which are essential for healthy hair growth. Most of the leafy vegetables help to pacify all the three doshas in the body.
Yogurt has been known as one of the best hair care ingredients since ancient times. It is rich in lactic acid that helps in repairing hair with aggravated Vata related problems like dry and damaged hair. Also, it contains multiple vitamins required for stronger hair regrowth.
Peppermint acts as a vasodilator in the body that enhances your blood circulation. Unless you have proper blood circulation in your scalp, the follicles do not receive nutrients you consume through your diet. Lack of blood circulation due to Pitta imbalance is one of the most common reasons for hair loss.
Coriander contains iron, magnesium, and manganese along with Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and protein. Include coriander in your everyday diet to combat hair fall and support your follicles to regrow healthy hair.
3. Ayurvedic Medicines
Below are the most commonly prescribed Ayurvedic medications for hair regrowth:
- Narasimha Rasayanam
- Thikthakam kashayam
- Thikthakam ghritham
- Chyavana prasam
You need to consume all Ayurvedic medications under the guidance of your Ayurvedic doctor only. For More details consult with Hair Expert
4. Stress-Free Lifestyle
A. Exercise Regularly
Take out time every day for your exercise regimen. Besides helping you stay fit, regular exercising enhances blood circulation and muscle functioning. In turn, it boosts your overall health and keeps your hair healthy.
You can also adopt stress-relieving practices like pranayama and yoga, which can soothe your nervous system. While Pranayama helps you in detoxifying and restoring mental balance, yoga helps you achieve overall physical and mental well being. Also, Ayurveda bestows different yoga routines to calm down specific dosha imbalances in your body.
B. Sleep Sufficiently
According to Ayurveda, your sleep cycle is one of the most important factors in maintaining your dosha levels in equilibrium. Your body systems undergo reparations and reorganization when you are asleep. During sleep, stem cell activity on the scalp gets triggered to generate epithelial cells for hair growth.
Irregular and insufficient sleep causes disturbance in your body clock and leads to its inefficient functioning due to stress build-up. Six hours of sound sleep from 10:00 pm to 4.00 am is what Ayurveda suggests to maintain your body and dosha levels in balance.
The above treatments may not be very helpful when the hair loss is due to a genetic disorder. For more details Diagnosis Your Hair Wellness with an Hair Expert
Other Medical Procedures
1. Topical Medications
You may also experience hair loss if you have skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, etc. In such cases, your doctor may prescribe you specific medicated hair creams, oils and shampoos to heal your scalp. Dr. Zeel recommends using sulfate-free shampoos. "Shampoos that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate dry up the natural oils on your scalp and this may eventually cause hair loss," she says.
2. Oral Drugs
Minoxidil and Propecia are the most popular drugs used in hair growth treatments. Minoxidil is also available as a topical solution. However, it is advised to intake these drugs only under the guidance of an experienced doctor. Oral drug boosts your immunity, reduces stress, reduces inflammation, improves blood circulation and neutralizes free radicals.
It improves immunity, acts as a blood purifier, natural expectorant & decongestant. A powerful hair food complex which improves energy, increases blood circulation & reduces stress.
Oral drugs may includes multiple ingredients which helps in hair regrowth.
3. Surgical Treatments
A. Laser Treatment
Laser treatment is less invasive than hair transplantation and helps in stimulating blood circulation on your scalp. Although it is a painless process, it may not be effective for people who have hair loss in advanced stages.
Laser treatment improves the nutrient supply to hair follicles and improves the cellular-level metabolism. It helps to push the hair from Telogen to Anagen phase, prolonging the Anagen Phase. As a result - the miniaturization process is reversed. NOT only does more hair grow out of each follicle, but the density, thickness and quality of each hair strand are improved.
B. Hair Transplantation
It can be ideal for people who have genetic baldness or injured scalp. There are two types of hair transplantation surgeries you can opt based on your hair loss stage- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
Note: Hair transplantation is not recommended if the hair loss is due to chemotherapy.
Can We Use Ayurvedic And Allopathic Medicines Together?
The first and most important aspect you need to remember is that you should never self-prescribe any medication, whether it is Ayurvedic or Allopathic. The consequences of using Ayurvedic and Allopathic medications simultaneously depends upon your medical requirements. It is highly recommended to consult your Allopathic doctor as well as an Ayurvedic practitioner and let them know about your medical history.
This helps the doctors examine if you are allergic to any ingredients or identify any medicine combinations that need to be avoided. In general, as Ayurveda deals with natural herbs, they should not be clashing with other forms of medical drugs. But, in situations that demand immediate medical intervention, you need to check with your doctor if you need to have only chemical medications.
The Last Word
Whether you choose topical therapies or a more general approach with diet and lifestyle regimens, Ayurveda involves a holistic and intrinsic approach in treating your hair loss problems by addressing the root cause. Based on your current dosha levels, HairSmart helps you to incorporate the most effective hair care regimen with natural Ayurvedic products customized for your hair.