Hair is a significant part of our body. It is associated with youthfulness and beauty, so it’s no surprise why we feel our hair is a ‘crowning glory.’ However, this phrase dates back to Biblical times, and it is still as important to us as ever.
Hair fall can be quite distressing and embarrassing. Head revealing the scalp can undoubtedly depress us and lowers our self-esteem. While we all are affected by the problem of hair fall at some point in our life, some give up while some resort to various treatment modalities.
Hair fall and our personality
As Martin Luther once said, ‘Hair is the richest ornament of woman,’ today it is as dear to a man as to a woman. Hair adds to our natural look, and good hair surely boosts our self-confidence.
In this age of fashion, hairdos have become a manner to reflect one’s identity, personality, and charm. But what if you are not suitable for hairstyling just because you are short of hair?
People are spending thousands of dollars to stop the hair fall anyhow. On the other hand, many are turning towards natural ways to avoid harmful side effects.
But, what if you can have your hair right with little hard work without pouring any chemical on your head and by using the ancient proven techniques?
But before getting into Ayurveda treatment for hair fall, let’s first see what does Ayurveda says about it.
Why does our hair fall?
Nowadays, nobody is untouched by the problem of hair fall. The rise in the use of chemicals in our day to day life is showing its true colors by throwing our body out of balance. So, it has become essential to treat these trivial trouble as a serious one.
Falling of hair is a natural process. Usually, 50-100 hair breaks in a single day, and it is replaced in time with newly grown hair. But in some conditions, the number of falling hair increases drastically, which for sure needs attention.
Ayurveda explains every bodily activity in terms of doshas. Hair fall is said to be because of the increased amount of spoiled Pitta & Vata Dosha. These doshas disturb the hair roots in the head and make the hair weak. Aggravation of these doshas triggers due to:
- Genetic factor like having Pitta body type
- Nutritional deficiency
- Prolonged illness, stress, depression, overwork
- Frequent exposure of hair to chemicals like hair dyes, shampoos, bleaching, straightening, wearing hair extensions
- Combing hair too much
- Constant exposure to heat, cold, dust, smoke, wind
- Eating too salty, spicy, sour, fried and hot food items
- Irregular sleep cycle
- Pregnancy, birth control pills, major surgery, diabetes, skin disease, thyroid disorder
- Fungal infection, intake of anti-inflammatory drugs, medications for seizures, hypertension, acne, etc.
Hair fall is a natural process as it is considered as waste material of Asthi dhatu (bones) and naturally waste needs to be eliminated from body time to time, which is why falling hair is not a worrisome issue.
But when Asthi dhatu, i.e., bony tissues get reduced then undoubtedly, the process of hair fall no longer remains a natural one. If the hair falls even after a reasonable time and even after taking good care, then it’s time to worry.
What to do to stop hair fall?
Hair fall in Ayurveda is attributed to the decreased Asthi dhatu and increased pitta dosha. So, drugs are chosen in a manner where they increase Asthi & reduce Pitta.
Ayurvedic therapeutic measures like diet, oral herbal medications, hair packs, external & internal oil applications, yoga, cleansing procedures have enough potential in curing hair fall. Let’s see them one by one.
A diet that can influence hair fall
- Food items of sweet taste promote healthy skin and hair
- Stick to protein rich diet like yogurt, cheese, soybean, fish, eggs, beans, etc.
- Eat green vegetables, raisins, dates, walnuts, coconut, curry leaves, garlic,
- To promote hair growth eat whole grain cereals, legumes, black pepper, dry fruits, brown rice, root vegetables, beans, cabbage, sunflower seeds, vegetable, and fruit juices.
- Use vegetable oils like coconut and sesame oil in cooking
- Avoid white sugars, fried foods, caffeine, tobacco, hot spicy foods, carbonated drinks, excessive raw foods, tofu, tomatoes, over-eating fruits, hormone therapy unless necessary
Herbs to prevent hair fall
Many herbs and formulations for internal cleansing of the body are available in the market in the form of powder, decoction, syrup, etc. Mainly they reduce pitta dosha in the body, thereby minimizing hair fall.
The following drugs can be used as per your choice and availability.
- Mulethi (licorice)powder
- Giloya (Indian Tinospora) powder or tablets
- Amla (Indian gooseberry) Rasayana
- Draksharishta & Kanakarishta
- Mahamanjishtadi decoction
- Juice of Patola (pointed gourd) leaves
- Brahmi (Indian pennywort), Bhringaraja(False Daisy), Bakuci (Psoralea seeds), Sandalwood
- Jatamansi (spikenard), Dashamula
Hair Packs (Lepa) which can diminish hair fall
Different kind of hair packs is mentioned in Ayurvedic texts, along with the use of several herbs and oils. Internal purification of the body is needed for preventing hair fall, but at then at the same time, a local application becomes a must to prove the efficacy of whole treatment.
These hair packs are easy to make at home and can be used according to one’s convenience.
- Lepa of sesame oil, amla, pollen of lotus, licorice and honey improves hair growth
- Gokshura (devil’s thorn) and sesame flower mixed with honey & ghee reduce hair fall to a great extent
- A mixture of sesame oil, licorice, and Amla is useful in preventing hair fall. Hair wash with the decoction of licorice also stops hair fall
- Soak ritha (Indian soapberry), amla and shikakai (soap pod) in equal quantities overnight. Boil in the morning and have a hair bath. It’s quick in stopping hair fall
- A paste of bhringaraja leaves, nilini (indigo) leaves, aam giri (kernel of mango), iron powder in equal quantity. Use it after keeping for overnight. Apply on head & keep for some time. It helps in growing the hair dense.
- The paste of ushira (khus khus grass) and black sesame makes hair healthy and treats thin hair
- The mixture of aloe vera and triphala powder grows new hair
- Mix coconut oil and lime juice. Apply and leave it overnight, later wash with a mild shampoo
- A paste of amla powder, shikakai with curd checks hair fall
- Soak fenugreek seeds and apply the paste for two hours
- A paste of amla, jatamansi, costus and bala (country mallow) grows healthy hair
- Wash hair with amla juice to prevent hair fall and greying of hair
- Apply the paste of curd, lemon and mustard oil for a half hour and wash
- Apply the paste of curd & gram flour in hair roots
Head Massage (external oil application)
Ayurvedic hair oil massage does not only render your hair soft, voluminous & black but also keeps you away from head diseases and fills vacant head. Some of the oils could be used directly while some are combined with other drugs to enhance their efficacy.
- Massage of warm sesame oil for 30 minutes regularly does not let you suffer from headache, greying of hair and hair fall
- Boil 100gm amla, 0.5-liter water, and 1-liter coconut oil till no water remains. It prevents hair from falling and helps to grow long hair
- Massage of camphor and coconut oil reduces hair loss
- Rubbing the mix of castor oil, coconut oil, and mustard oil makes hair stronger
- Bhringaraja leaf juice massaged on scalp for 5 to 10 minutes helps to grow hair and makes hair black & dense
- Apply Bhringaraja oil by rubbing on the scalp for at least 5 to 10 minutes daily. This is very effective and useful oil to stop hair fall, for growth and blackening of the hair
- Heat Curry leaves and coconut oil. When it gets dark, take out leaves and leave the oil to cool down. This oil is an excellent tonic for hair and helps in growth and checks hair fall. Eating curry leaves also help in premature greying of hair
- Massage with oils available in the market like Lemon oil, Nilikadi oil, Brahmi oil, Karanjadi oil, Jatyadi oil, Jambuadi oil, Chandanadya oil, Aksha oil, Danil hair oil could be done only after consulting with the physician about using oil as per your body type (Prakriti)
Nasya (internal oil application)
Instilling medicated oils through nose is called as Nasya. Ayurveda says that nose is the gateway to head. Nasya of herbal oils strengthens and nourishes hair roots and prevents hair fall.
Nasya of any of the following oils can be performed by a physician as per his analysis
- Anu oil – treats headache, hair fall, premature greying of hair, etc.
- Chandanadya oil – balances pitta and is also used as hair oil
- Vidarigandhadi oil – balances vata and pitta dosha involved in hair fall
- Yashtimadhukadya oil – relieves hair fall, itching on scalp, dry and thin hair
- Margosa seed oil – relieves dandruff as well as improves hair growth
Yoga and Ayurveda are interconnected. Specific yogic exercises, relaxation, and meditative techniques help reduce stress (a common cause of hair fall) as well as enhance hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the head & scalp.
Some of the yoga postures which can help in hair fall treatment are
- Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose)
- Shirasasana (headstand pose)
- Sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose)
- Kapalabhati (breathing exercise)
- Ushtrasana (camel pose)
- Uttanasana (bending straight forward pose)
What are the Do’s & Don’ts?
- Curling, straightening, hair dyes & hair dryers should not be used for a long time
- Avoid artificial hair coloring. If you can not avoid coloring then use natural means like henna leaves (Lawsonia inermis)
- Avoid tight hairstyles and hair extensions
- Use mild shampoo and conditioners
- Comb and rub your hair gently
- Restrict the use of caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes
- Take a balanced diet having the right amount of protein, calcium, vitamin C & iron
- Take sound sleep of 6-8 hours
- Manage stress and anxiety by daily meditation and yoga
- Use home-made products like hair packs, yogurt, hair oils more rather than killing your hair with harsh chemicals
Love & treat your hair right
Cases of hair fall have increased drastically since the past couple of decades. It is prevalent more in youths rather than old aged. The situation is more chronic in urban areas due to their faulty lifestyle and increasing hairstyle trends.
Hair is a beautiful gift by nature that requires extra care and nurture. The best way to prevent hair fall is to turn to natural means. Nature offers lots of herbs and plants that can be used in hair fall.
Ayurveda understands the significance of the relation between human and nature. Ayurveda does give us many golden pieces of advice, which could be followed in our day to day life to shine our crown of hair without any side effects.
Ayurveda certainly offers a wide range of natural options suitable to every person, and indeed, it brings us a step closer to nature.