When we should be worried about the hair loss Before we talk about Ayurveda and the hair loss, we need to specify that not always the hair fall from the head is a disease process and a cause for concern. And when hair loss is due to a disease, it can occur in children, in men and in women, but it can be healed. In Ayurveda, the processes of restoration of hair growth are achieved through a special type of Ayurvedic diet combined with healing remedies that are completely natural, as well as with procedures that stimulate the body’s natural functions and purification, and with suitable yoga practices.
In Western medicine, for example, laser treatment, as well as medications for the general ailment can be used. If the problem is in the thyroid gland, then synthetic remedies are used for the treatment to balance the activity of the gland.
The hair grows on average for 3-4 years, and then makes place for another. Normally, 100-150 hairs fall per day. Naturally, no one will count them, but one can easily notice if more hair gets on the brush, comb, or clothes.
There is also an easy way to check. Catch the hair with fingers and pull slightly. If there are several hair in your fingers, there is no problem. But if tuft falls, we are talking about hair loss.
Typically, men lose hair over the years and some of them become bald, and these are natural processes, though not mandatory. Many men retain good hair density even when they are older.
In general, however, up to 50 years of age, over 80 percent of men experience hair thinning, as in women – every fourth one suffers from hair loss at a certain stage of life. If the problem persists, bald spots may appear on the head, the scalp begins to permeate through the hair. The causes are always individual, depending on internal and external factors.
Causes of hair loss
The internal causes of hair loss are various diseases that negatively affect the strength and hair growth. If there is a vitamin deficiency in the body, especially in the B group, the hair is thin, fragile, weak. This deficiency may be due to unhealthy nutrition or poor digestion due to a disease of the digestive tract. When there is a vitamin deficiency, the hair loss affects evenly the head, without any distinct spots. Hair loss can also be due to iron deficiency and anemia, as usually the causes are the same as in vitamin deficiency. Hair loss can also be due to scalp infections, hormonal disorders, autoimmune diseases where the problem begins with small spots that expand over time, and other diseases. Often, internal factors leading to hair loss indicate a serious health problem that develops in the body. There are also cases where the underlying disease affects more intensively the hair loss than the specific organ in which the ailment takes place. External factors include environmental pollution – industry-polluted air, high radiation, chemicals-related industries. Here we can add the harmful habits that cause various body damage, which can negatively affect the density of the hair. These include alcohol and cigarettes that damage the capillaries, and they begin to function poorly and disturb the nourishment of hair follicles. Stress, anxiety, depressive conditions can also lead to hair loss. Various drugs also can cause this condition because they can weaken the hair roots – beta-blockers, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, etc. The use of aggressive cosmetics, frequent change of hair color and hairstyle /curls, straightening/ can also damage the hair chemically and physically.
Hair loss according to Ayurveda
Ayurveda differs in general from Western medicine. The Ayurvedic approach is completely safe, the changes are activated naturally without the side effects of synthetic drugs. So we will look at the topic Ayurveda and the hair loss in several ways: how Ayurvedic people perceive the disease, what means they use, and what methods they apply.
According to Ayurveda, the diseases, including of course hair loss, are also caused by an energy imbalance in the body. We are talking about the three types of energies /forces/ biological entities through which the systems of the body work. Through these forces, the various processes in the body take place. The Pitta energy is responsible for the degradation of the consumed food, its processing and the absorption of the nutrients from the cells, i.e – metabolism. All kinds of movements – from blinking to blood circulation and transmission of nerve impulses – are guided by the Vata energy. The condition of the liquids is “entrusted” to Kapha dosha. These three forces are set in different proportions and in a unique balance. The energy which is clearly predominant determines the type of body – Pitta type, Vata or Kapha, or combined, if the predominance is two of the energies. Very rarely, the three biological entities are in equal proportions.
If one of these energies goes out of balance, some systems can not work optimally, and this causes illnesses. Since these energies are interconnected and dependent on one another in the balance, the disturbances in one of them cause deviations in others. This brings together a variety of diseases, and deviations in different energies can contribute to specific illness.
According to Ayurveda, hair loss is mainly caused by deviations in the Pitta energy, which must be balanced. However, as mentioned, hair loss may be due to some chronic illness or the use of synthetic drugs. Genetic factors may also play a role.
Hair loss and Ayurvedic diet
For energy balancing, nutrition is very important – any energy is activated or weakened by a particular type of food. For Pitta it is advisable to consume hot, spicy, salty and sour foods. So part of the balancing of Pitta and treating hair loss is to avoid these foods.
It is also recommended that there should be no frequent consumption of coffee and tea because they activate Pitta. It is also increased by oily and fried foods. Ayurveda therefore recommends the consumption of cooling products such as cucumbers, leafy vegetables, asparagus, potatoes, pumpkin, peppermint, coriander leaves, cherry, pineapple, yoghurt. However, ice cold drinks should be avoided because they are harmful to digestion.
Since the treatment is individual, the Ayurveda physician prescribes for each specific case an individual diet. At his discretion, a natural cleansing of the body of toxins is applied externally and internally according to the methods of Purvakarma and Panchkarma. It is especially important to clear toxins from the intestinal tract because they are responsible for the hair loss.
Hair loss and Ayurveda massages
To avoid hair loss, the head skin should be clean and well-nourished. Moreover, Ayurveda recommends natural products to be used for hair, not products with chemical compounds. It is often the case dandruff and foam to block the hair follicles if the hair is not taken care of properly. In this case, the massage with healing ayurvedic oils is very effective as well as the vigorous combing. In general, oily massages should be performed in the evening to allow the nourishing mixture to work during the night. Traditionally coconut oil is used, but also almond, sesame and olive oil. Usually the oils also include extracts of herbs for nourishment. Hot Ayurvedic massages improve the scalp circulation, which promotes growth from the hidden hair follicles.
The oils themselves help the roots of the hair to strengthen and thus prevent further hair loss. For massage use 100 ml of oil (say almond), you can add rosemary – 30-40 drops, thyme, lavender, lemon oil. The oil is poured, rubbed into the scalp to reach the follicles. The skin is massaged with the fingers that spread the oil circularly clockwise with small movements from the forehead to the neck and then from one ear to the other. The duration of the massage is different according to the length and thickness of the hair. Washing is done with ayurvedic shampoos that wash excess oil without drying the hair and scalp.
Hair drying itself can also be done naturally. After drying, the scalp is rubbed intensely with a small cloth until the skin becomes pink. Then, use a cotton fabric to make the hair smooth and dry, until no water drops fall out of the hair. The hair is then wrapped in another cotton fabric to become completely dry.
Combing should be smooth, without pulling. Movements are from the forehead to the top, from one ear to the other, and from the back of the head to the top until the hair becomes smooth. Of course, the effect of hair thickening is not instantaneous, but it requires complex procedures can take several weeks.
Ayurvedic remedies against hair loss
Аyurveda has a variety of nourishing remedies extracted from nature that help against hair loss. They are used in various forms – remedies for rubbing, powdered, compresses for the damaged areas, for indoor intake, etc. Some are used in massage oils, others, such as amla, shikakai and soap walnut, are contained in the special ayurvedic shampoos.
Amla is used not only in shampoos, but also in other forms. The plant is a natural antioxidant, it cleanses and tones the scalp, hair, skin, strengthens the follicles, prevents entanglement, and so on. Triphala acts as a balancing agent for the three energies, helps to purify the body from toxins, helps to solve various skin problems and much more.
Fenugreek seeds are one of the most effective remedies against hair loss. In addition to many other beneficial ingredients, fenugreek also contains lecithin. This substance strengthens the hair roots, hydrates it, gives it a shine. Fenugreek seeds can be soaked or or as sprouts, with a fenugreek mask especially useful for hair. Make a smooth paste by blending 2 spoonfuls of seeds that have been soaked for one night in cool water. A spoon of lemon juice or coconut milk can be added to it, then applied for 20 minutes on the roots. The oiled scalp is massaged lightly, then washed with ayurvedic shampoo.
Another herb used against hair loss is the licorice, which is also useful for “falling” hair and dandruff. It opens the pores and allows nutrients to penetrate better into the scalp. It has a soothing effect, removes the irritation that leads to depleted dry hair. The list can be continued with leaves of curry, henna, etc.