Ayurvedic Hair Care

Almost everyone either knows someone or is himself experiencing baldness, thinning hair, the beginning of white hair. In the West, products have been used to counter the aging process, but most remedies are temporary and create noxious by-products. However, in India, helpful products may be found, and they have a successful track record of hundreds of years. These products are part of the traditional medicine of India called Ayurveda.

In Ayurveda, hair is considered to be a byproduct of bone formation. The tissue responsible for building bones is also responsible for the growth of hair. Ayurveda doctors believe that premature hair loss is related to body type and the balance of the mind-body constitution.

Hair loss is treated in Ayurveda with a combination of diet, herbs, oil massage, meditation, aromatherapy, breathing and yoga. Rub some coconut oil on your scalp and on the soles of your feet at bedtime. Massage your scalp with brahmi oil or bhringaraj oil at bedtime to help prevent hair loss. Massage the hair with vitamin E oil. This also may prevent or slow down the hair loss.

An Ayurvedic diet for the hair includes eating a handful of white sesame seeds every morning. One handful of these small seeds contains about 1,200 mg. of calcium and magnesium. Eat some yogurt everyday (unless you are allergic to milk).

Start with a nutritious diet: A balanced array of nutrients is necessary to prevent hair loss and premature graying. Good-for-your-hair foods include white sesame seeds, shredded fresh coconut, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, dates and raisins, fresh yogurt or lassi (during the day), bean sprouts, nuts and seeds and healthy fats such as ghee or olive oil. Cook with spices that enhance digestion and purify body tissues: turmeric, black pepper, fenugreek, coriander and cumin are both flavorful and digestion-enhancing. Avoid bad fats, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.

Practice mindful eating: Healthy eating habits are just as important for effective digestion and absorption as the diet itself. Food should be fresh and whole, and prepared lovingly. Eat with your attention on the food, in a calm and serene frame of mind, and sit quietly for five minutes after your meal to start the digestion process before dashing off to the next task of the day.

Take care of you hair: Keep your hair and scalp free of oil, sweat and bacteria. If digestive toxins build up in the body, they prevent nutrients from reaching the cells and tissues of the body. Especially after the age of forty, it is important to undergo periodic internal cleansing to flush away toxins. There’s a gentle, non-depleting cleanser that can be taken every day to tone the digestive system and promote regularity.

Get plenty of sleep: 10 p.m. marks the start of the Pitta period of the night related to activity, heightened digestion and awakened physical and intellectual energy, and it is not the ideal time to try to fall asleep. Go to bed before 10 p.m., during the Kapha time of the evening, to be able to fall asleep easier and get better quality of sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to poor hair health and appearance. Manage stress: Ongoing high levels of mental and emotional stress can lead to falling hair, premature graying and dull-looking hair. Take time out to relax, and practice relaxing yoga poses and meditation to keep stress from ballooning out of control.

Follow a gentle but regular cleansing routine: Keep your hair and scalp clean to avoid itchy scalp and clogged hair follicles. Cleanse with a gentle herbal shampoo every other day. Over-shampooing, especially with a harsh product, can dry out the scalp and damage hair. Use lukewarm water to wash your hair, and follow with a natural conditioner or detangler if your hair knots up during cleansing. A final water rinse will leave your hair soft and shiny.

Never comb or brush wet hair, because your hair is most vulnerable when it is wet. Gently run a wide-toothed comb through it when it’s almost dry to remove any knots and style it into place. Whenever possible, let hair dry naturally rather than blow-drying it. Trim hair regularly to take care of split ends and natural wear and tear.

Your crowning glory needs regular attention to stay that way! Ayurvedic healers recommend a holistic approach to hair care to maintain its health, strength, color and vitality for the long term.  As we have read, an alternative medicine or treatment exists in Ayurvedic medicine. Their methods have been used successfully for millennia and may be a reasonable alternative to Western ways which give some only a temporary solution.

About the Author

Dr. Sonica Krishan is an Author, Freelance Health Writer, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant at Herboveda and Holistic Healing Coach based at Chandigarh, India. She has a Bachelors in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery and also an Advance Diploma in Naturopathy and Yoga.  She has authored three natural home cure books: Herbal Healers, Home Remedies, and Healing through Ayurveda. You may contact her at sonicakrishan@gmail.com or visit her website http://www.herboveda.co.in.

Note – Information presented in this article is solely for the purpose of imparting education on Ayurveda and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or mitigate any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult a qualified health professional.