Hair Loss. Ayurvedic Remedies to Care for your Hair.
Part One. Hair Loss
One thing should be said upfront, hair and skin issues can’t be relieved overnight, and if you are not open to a possibility of making changes in your life, no topical or internal means will solve the problem.
Ayurveda considers hair being a by-product of Asthi (bone tissue). Any disturbance in this tissue metabolism, which depends on the digestive strength (agni), affects the health of the hair.
There are many reasons for hair loss, among them: overexposure to heat, cold or smoke; excess sleep; staying awake late at night; over sweating; suppression of natural urges (tears, sneezing, cough, urination, and stool); excessive water activities; excessive speech; sedentary work with bent head; work in bad smelling air and others.
Doctors and scientists invented dozens of terms for baldness that in fact don’t explain anything. Some are: alopecia areata, alopecia totalis, alopecia universalis, androgenic alopecia, traction alopecia, diffuse alopecia, cicatriacial alopecia, alopecia cencilis, alopecia adnata, alopecia follicularis, alopecia neurotica, trichotillomania, scarring alopecia and varicella zoster.
It is amazing, how modern medicine believes in labeling. If we find a name to an issue it still remains an issue until we cure it. Imagine you get a note that says “diffuse alopecia”, what shall one do with it?
Ayurveda is not interested in details such as the way the hair is falling out, in an oval or in a circular form, since this is not the cause of disease.
1. First step Ayurveda takes is analyzing the diet and life style to see if they are increasing the Pitta dosha. Once you find it, give up or at least reduce diet, habit, or activity responsible for increasing Pitta. (See Food list for Pitta; Ayurvedic lifestyle and eating habits).
2. Second step is to correct metabolism:
Maintain a regular bowel movement every day. Triphala (Trifala) taken 5 to 10 gr at bedtime with milk or water is useful in constipation (See Triphala).
3. Third step is to use general tonics for improving hair growth. Chyavanprash proved to be effective for this condition. (See new old secret of Chyavanprash).
4. Fourth step. Only in the fourth place we employ topical applications.
1). Amla (Embilica officinalis) and Shikakai (Acacia concinna) decoctions are very good for washing the hair.
2). Use coconut oil at least three times a week. Apply one hour before shower or before going to bed and wash it off in the morning. There some medicated oils you can use: Amla oil, Neelibhringadi oil, Kunthala kanthi oil, Kanjunnyadi oil, and Hasthi danta mashi.
3). Apply juice of green coriander leaves on your head.
4). Wash the hair with the paste of cooked green gram and Fenugreek (Methi) 2-3 times a week.
5). A paste of Licorice made by grinding it in milk applied in the bald patches induces hair growth.
6). The seeds of Fenugreek (Methi) soaked in coconut oil and kept under direct sun for 7 days prevent hair loss when applied to the scalp regularly.
7). Apply Keezharnelli (Bhumyamalaki, bot name Phyllanthus urinaria) on to the scalp 30 minutes before head bath.
5. Fifth step: Internal medicine and diet.
1). One part Amla (Embilica officinalis) and one part Bhringaraj (Eclipta Alba) powder. Mix and take 1 teaspoon three times a day with warm milk or water.
2). Combination of Bhringaraj (Embilica officinalis) powder ½ teaspoon 3 times a day; Bhringaraj capsules, one capsule twice daily with water after meals along with Bhringaraj oil externally yields very good results in hair fall and graying.
3). A mixture of lettuce and spinach, or carrot and lettuce juice is good to take in moderate quantities.
4). Always sit down to eat.
6. Sixth step. Other recommendations.
1). Never wash your head with hot water. When I had Pancha Karma treatment in India they applied oil to my head and body every day for three weeks. After that the massage ladies washed it out. I was impressed how much the temperature of hair wash and body wash differed. Head was washed with luke warm water and immediately dried out with a towel, while water used for the body was hot.
2). Rub your scalp vigorously after washing the hair. It increases the blood circulation, and activates the sebaceous glands. That is exactly what the Indian ladies were doing to me.
3). When your hair is almost dry rub a pinch of sandal wood powder into the part. Then inhale the smell of the powder from your fingers through the left nostril. Sandal wood is one of the most potent cooling herbs, perfect for balancing Pitta.
4). See also Dinacharya-daily routine and Ritucharya-seasonal routine.
TODAY’S TIP: Anyone suffering hail loss must be patient. The re-growth for hair is about two years with three months resting phase. Hair grows at the rate of about half an inch per month so it takes about a year for six inches to grow that can seem like a very long time especially for inpatient Pitta individuals. But who knows, maybe you have encountered this problem in order to learn patience.