The traditional Indian health care system, Ayurveda, has a holistic approach to overall well-being. Hair and scalp are considered to be a reflection of our health, and many factors are involved in hair growth and hair loss. Some of these include age, diet, hormones, seasonal changes, and climates. Trauma, stress and anxiety also affect growth because they reduce the blood and oxygen supply to the scalp, which is essential to healthy hair. This is why Ayurveda considers hair and scalp care to include more than just the application of ‘beauty’ products, and consider these things when caring for your hair.
In addition to keeping a healthy diet and lifestyle, Ayurveda recommends weekly scalp massage as one of the most beneficial treatments for maintaining beautiful hair and alleviating or reducing the symptoms of common hair problems, like psoriasis, dandruff, premature graying and baldness. Scalp massage has multiple benefits like increasing the oxygen supply to the brain. It improves circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, the life-giving sap, which stimulates brain development, relaxes the nerves and muscles, reduces fatigue and loosens the scalp.
For dry and sensitive skin, massage 1 tsp warm sesame, olive, coconut or jojoba oil into scalp for 10 minutes. Wrap head in hot towel and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Practice this massage at least once a week for dry skin or dandruff. The best time to do the massage is early morning or before bed; avoid doing it right after a meal when the blood supply is needed for digestion. For oily skin, with head down, dry brush hair 50 times from roots to end to spread natural oils.
You can also use classical Ayurvedic infused herbal oils like Bhringraja oil, Neelibhringadi oil, Mahabhringraja oil and Brahmi-Amla oil. Its important to buy only high quality Ayurvedic oils to ensure benefits. Buy Infused oils
Adding specific essential oils to the massage can strengthen and revitalize the hair and scalp while encouraging growth. Add 2 or 3 drops of the suggested oils to a weekly scalp massage.
- Vata dosha: Someone who is creative, tendency to worry, energetic. Best essential oils: Patchouli, Basil, Lavender, Sage
- Pitta dosha: A person who likes challenges, tendency toward anger, cannot skip meals. Best essential oils: Ylang-ylang, Lavender, Rose, Sandalwood
- Kapha dosha: Your personality is detail oriented, thoughtful, resistant to change. Best essential oils: Eucalyptus, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary. Buy Essential oils
Herbal support can also be beneficial. Fenugreek is an Ayurvedic herb that is thought to work with hair growth by increasing the dilation of the blood vessels of the scalp. It also has a unique mixture of constituents that contribute to healthy shining hair and well-nourished scalp. Take 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds and soak in hot water for 10 mins and drink daily. Indian Goose Berry or Amala is known to enrich hair growth and hair pigmentation. Washing with a decoction of the herb or preparing a hair pack can be beneficial as it strengthens the root of the hair and maintains its color. Eating the fruit Amala can also be a benefit. For dandruff and skin lesions use neem for its antiviral, anti fungal, anti-dandruff and antibacterial properties.
Aloe vera is another option for haircare. It has high anti-inflammatory properties prevent hair loss and is beneficial in alopecia, moreover the herb is very effective for the stimulation of hair growth. Use the suggested Aloe vera hair pack.
- With a sharp knife or gardening scissors cut fresh aloe vera stem.
- Using knife slowly slice the aloe vera so the middle of the aloe vera is exposed.
- Scrape the gel off (I usually don’t mind having some of the green stem in the gel mix, so don’t stress if you are not scraping it perfectly, its all about using the most of the plant)
- First brush, then wet your hair. Apply the fresh gel on your scalp and massage it slowly. Then apply the rest of the Aloe on your hair and comb through it with your fingers to make sure it is covering all parts of the hair.
- Leave for about 10 minutes and rinse off.
On a side note, remember some basic general guidelines for healthy hair; avoid very hot or very cold water to wash hair, sleep without any tight barrettes or hair ties, and avoid as much chemical products and hair dyes as possible.
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.