There are several alternative approaches to regrow hair that have proved to be quite effective for many balding men and women. Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss is one of them.
Ayurveda is a traditional system of medical treatment that originates from ancient India. Ayurvedic medicine has evolved throughout its 5,000-year-old history and nowadays continues to be one of the most influential systems of alternative medicine. Consisting of two Sanskrit terms – ayus, meaning “life” or “longevity”, and veda meaning “knowledge” – the word Ayurveda literally means “knowledge for longer life”. It offers a complete, holistic approach that holds an all-time focus on all aspects of a person’s life rather than occasional and/or selective treatment.
Three Doshas and Hair Loss
Ayurveda is based on the physics of five elements which compose the human body as well as everything in the universe. These elements are: air, fire, earth, water and ether. They come together to produce three basic elemental energies, or doshas – Vata, Kapha and Pitta. Vata is the ether and air elements which fill empty airspaces and channels in the body and help to govern the nervous system. Kapha includes the water and earth elements which govern the majority of the physical composition. Pitta is the fire and water elements which are present in the body mainly as bile and acid, governing the digestive and elimination systems.
A person’s body type is a unique combination of three doshas with one of them dominating. You can learn your dominating dosha, i.e. your Ayurvedic body type, by consulting an Ayurveda physician or simply by taking a dosha quiz – you will find many of them in the Internet. When dosha is balanced the body and mind will work at their best, but when imbalanced, a person is susceptible to diseases and disorders. Hair loss results from the imbalanced state of your body, precisely a high level of Pitta dosha. Therefore, Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss focuses on lowering Pitta dosha and balancing your body type. It basically includes changes to diet, use of herbs and Ayurvedic scalp massage.
Ayurveda Diet for Healthy Hair
To regrow your hair and bring back its health and shine Ayurveda recommends to always eat wholesome, fresh and natural foods as the best way of delivering essential nutrients to your hair.
Include lots of fresh fruits in your diet plan. Choose from apples, berries, citrus fruits, melons, sweet grapes, peaches and plums and try to vary your fruit ratio from day to day. Eat more coconut fruit as it’s a great Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss. It balances the fiery component of Pitta, prevents dryness and nourishes your hair and scalp.
Dark green leafy vegetables play a special role in Ayurvedic medicine. They are a rich source of vitamins (A, K, B1, B2) and minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron) for your hair. Such vegetables as spinach, collard greens, chard, lettuce, sorrel, kale and turnip greens are particularly useful. As with fruits, it’s recommended vary them from day to day.
Ayurveda practitioners advice to drink a cup of aloe vera juice and eat a handful of white sesame seeds every day. While the former disinfect and moisturize the scalp, the latter fortifies hair follicles by providing them with a sufficient amounts of calcium and magnesium.
Whole milk, fresh cheese (paneer), yogurt and some other dairy products lower Pitta dosha and balance your body type. To improve its digestability, it’s better to boil and cool milk before drinking. Blend yogurt with water to get the so called lassi, which is also easier to digest.
Whole grains supply hair follicles with many important minerals and vitamins. Ayurveda recommends eating grains at each meal, as they provide the body with necessary energy. Basmati rice suits all three Ayurvedic body types and, what’s more important, it is the best grain for balancing Pitta dosha. Barley products will also do your hair only good.
Also include nuts in your Ayurvedic diet plan. Almonds and walnuts are very useful for natural hair regrowth and preserving hair color. Eat a handful of nuts every day, but first soak them in hot water to make them easier to digest.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Natural Hair Regrowth
Ayurvedic practitioners have been using herbs to treat hair loss since ancient times. These herbs have properties which help to improve blood circulation, restore natural hair color, reduce inflammation and irritation of the scalp and stimulate natural hair regrowth. Here’s the list of them:
- Gotu kola, also known as Centella asiatica, is probably the most popular Ayurvedic herb to regrow hair. This small herbaceous plant also helps to stimulate brain cells, thus improving concentration, memory, awareness and overall longevity.
- Horsetail is a unique “living fossil” plant with a long history of medical use. It is rich in silica, which makes hair strong, healthy, sleek and shiny. To promote hair regrowth use it to massage your scalp on a regular basis.
- Salvia (sage) is a pretty well-known herb in alternative medicine. Salvia tea stimulates natural growth of hair. Use it to rinse your hair alone or with apple cider vinegar.
- Burdock is another useful herb to combat hair loss and improve your scalp condition. Tea made from burdock and marshmallow, apart from its exotic and delicate taste, is also great for dry hair.
- Van bhengra, a.k.a. Tridax procumbens is a flowering plant that also has hair regrowth properties. It leaf juice can be taken orally, as well as it can be applied as a hair tonic.
- Eclipta alba, or Bhringaraj, is a traditional Ayurvedic treatment for dosha imbalance. It helps to return natural color of gray hair as well as promotes new hair growth.
- Other Indian Ayurvedic herbs used to treat hair loss include haritaki, vibhitaki, ashwagandha. Amla, sandalwood and licorice also help to prevent hair thinning and regrow hair.
Herbs as Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss may have a strong effect on your body. They are generally safe butin certain cases they may interfere with other treatments and drugs you are currently using. Therefore, to avoid any side effects all Ayurvedic herbal remedies should be taken with caution. Discuss it with your doctor (it would be better if he’s into Ayurveda).
Ayurvedic Scalp Massage
Scalp massage with the use of herbal, natural and essential oils is one more effective Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss. It improves blood circulation in the scalp and causes its relaxation. Oils used during massage nourish the roots and shafts of hair, stimulating hair regrowth and making hair strong, thick and lustrous. Oils also give good protection against bad weather and hazards of sun rays. Ayurvedic massage helps to treat such unsightly scalp conditions as dandruff, psoriasis, dead skin and others. Ayurvedic physicians claim that it may even prevent hair from premature graying. Moreover, it will definitely help you sleep better.
Bhringaraj oil is one of the most commonly used. According to a study conducted in India several years ago, regular scalp massage with bhringaraj oil promotes hair regrowth even better than the popular FDA-approved medication Minoxidil (which is considered to be one of the strongest treatments of androgenic alopecia, by the way). Coconut oil is another oil which is widely used in Ayurveda. It is one of the most nutritional oils and, therefore, very useful for hair and scalp. Olive, sesame, mustard, almons and neem oils are also pretty common.
At its best massage is done by Ayurvedic practitioners and usually lasts for about 30 minutes. It requires certain skills and knowledge, which come with regular practice. Unfortunately, not everybody has the opportunity to have their head professionally massaged on a regular basis. One of the ways out is to do self-massage which is also very good for you. Take the following steps:
- Pour some oil (let it be olive oil for the first time) into a bowl and warm it;
- Divide your hair into strands and apply the oil little by little to different areas of your scalp and along the strands with your fingertips;
- Rub the oil into your scalp with slow circular motions gradually covering the entire scalp;
- Wrap your head with a soft towel and keep it on for at least half an hour (the longer – the better; you can even leave it overnight);
- Wash your hair with a good organic shampoo and rinse it with moderately cold water.
And finally, check out this video – it has an unforgettable Ayurvedic spirit about it.