There are many types of Ayurvedic treatments for hair loss and it’s a good idea to use some of them in conjunction if you want to see faster results.
Ayurvedic medicine focuses on treating problems from the inside, using herbs and foods to reverse hair loss, along with some other remedies like hot oil massages and pastes applied topically. Some of the recommendations include:
- Amla (Indian Gooseberry)- applied as a paste to the hair
- Champi- a hot oil massage used on the scalp
- Eating Lamba Kesini- a mixture of radish, black pepper and rock salt
- Methi- an herb that is applied as a paste to the hair
- Ashwaganda herb-taken internally
- Aloe Vera– for cleansing the system
- Jatamansi (also called Muskroot)- for blood purification
- Rosemary Oil– massaged into scalp
- Bhringaraj-also used as a paste
Other Ayurvedic Treatments
Ayurvedic treatment also focuses on things that are common sense good health practices. Drinking lots of water to keep the body hydrated is important, since all functions depend on good hydration, including having strong, luxurious hair. A healthy diet is also emphasized, with regular intake of all essential nutrients.
It is also recommended to never comb or brush hair while it is wet. If you need to just run your fingers through it to settle it, that should be fine. Wait until it is completely dry to brush or comb.
Getting enough sleep is another common sense recommendation from Ayurvedic medicine. Sleep is the time when your body is rebuilding and repairing, so giving the body enough time to regenerate is essential to having beautiful hair.
Another traditional remedy in Ayurveda for hair regrowth is a combination of turmeric, pine bark, and green tea applied topically. There was recent controversy when a company in Britain tried to patent this because India opposed the patent, as this is considered a treatment that is original to Ayurveda.
Homemade Hair Growth Recipes
It’s true that Indian women have some of the most beautiful, silky, glossy hair of any group of people in the world. Here are two traditional Ayurvedic recipes used for hair growth among Indian ladies:
Curry Leaves and Coconut Tonic
You’ll need some fresh turmeric leaves and some coconut oil. Boil them together until a black residue forms on top, then remove the residue and apply it to your hair. It is recommended that it be used twice a week to help hair grow faster and also to fight gray hair.
Indian Herbal Hair Recipe for Regrowth
This one involves massaging the scalp with a blend of different herbal massage oils to stimulate and purify the scalp. There are a few different oils that can be combined in a carrier oil, and you might want to experiment and find out which works best for you. These are:
Each of these oils have different qualities. Brahmi is calming to the nervous system, and can promote thickness and body. Amalaki is a cooling oil said to help with premature thinning of the hair and premature graying.
Hibiscus is also a cooling oil and promotes hair growth by stimulating the follicles.
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Rosemary also stimulates follicles, promoting growth and fights against premature thinning. Lavender stimulates hair growth and can help balance the amount of scalp oil produced.
Jasmine is considered a stress reliever, which can help fight hair loss brought on by stress.
Using an Oil Recipe for Scalp Massage
So once you have chosen which of the oils listed above you want to use, these are the steps you need to follow:
- Add a few drops of the oils you have chosen into a small bowl that contains a few tablespoons of a carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil, whichever you prefer).
- Place the bowl in a larger bowl of hot water. Let sit until the oil in the small bowl is warm but not hot.
- Dip your fingertips in the warm oil and part your hair. Apply oil to the part. Continue doing this until you have covered your entire head and back of your neck. Use the pads of your fingertips to massage, not your nails.
- Once your entire scalp is covered with oil, wrap a warm, damp towel around your head. Leave on for at least an hour, or even overnight.
- Shampoo the oil out using your regular procedure.
By now you’re probably thinking: “Great! All I need to do is massage some oils into my scalp or use a paste on it to fix my hair loss”. Although these topical treatments can definitely help, they alone won’t completely restore your hair to its former glory.
Ayurveda is a complete system for maintaining and restoring health through changes in your physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. It requires some lifestyle changes. These changes, combined with the use of physical treatments like oil massage, can go a long way in getting you to your goal of hair regrowth.
Is There Any Scientific Evidence to Support Ayurvedic Hair Regrowth Remedies?
One would be fairly hard pressed to find scientific evidence, but there are a couple of studies that present some evidence. The herb Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba), sometimes called False Daisy, has been shown to grow hair on mice more effectively than Minoxidil.
Please bear in mind though, just because there isn’t scientific evidence to support a treatment, that doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t work.
It just means no one has pursued the evidence. If many people have tried a remedy and claim that it works, that might be all the evidence you need.
How Does Ayurvedic Medicine Explain Hair Loss?
In Ayurvedic medicine, the quality of a person’s hair would be seen as a reflection of their overall health. There are three main “energy” systems in the body- Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. These are called “doshas”.
An excess of Pitta dosha is considered the main driver of hair loss for both men and women. Excess Pitta dosha can be corrected through change in diet, herbal treatments and exercise, and is mainly linked to some sort of digestive imbalance. The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism and a person’s level of energy.
The key concept in correcting a Pitta imbalance is cooling down, in all respects. This means eating foods that are not spicy, taking time to create a balance between work and rest, getting outdoors as much as possible, surrounding oneself with a cool colored environment and clothing, laughing as much as possible, getting massages using cooler oils like olive oil or coconut oil.
Pitta represents fire and water mixed, and excess Pitta creates a “hot” environment in the body. Although it is essential, according to Ayurvedic medicine, we can have too much of a good thing!
Some Nutritional Advice for Balancing Pitta Dosha
- Dairy can help balance Pitta (avoid sour and fermented products like yogurt and sour cream and certain cheeses). Sour tastes can be aggravating to Pitta.
- Sweeteners can be used but avoid molasses and honey.
- Oils to use to balance Pitta should be olive, sunflower and coconut. Avoid corn oil, sesame oil and almond oil.
- Avoid corn, rye, millet and brown rice. Other grains are fine.
- Stick to eating sweeter fruits, and avoid sour fruits like grapefruit and berries.
- Avoid nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, onions, garlic
- Use seasonings that are cooling like cilantro, cardamom, coriander, and fennel.
- If you’re not a vegan, it’s best to eat fowl (chicken, turkey) or any other fowl, and to avoid beef, seafood and eggs (these foods increase Pitta).
These are just some general recommendations. An Ayurvedic practitioner will be able to guide you to more in depth recommendations about foods, herbs, and lifestyle changes that will help you on your way to improving your health in ways that will help you regrow your hair.
Another aspect of Ayurvedic treatment is yoga. This is also something a practitioner will be able to guide you in. You can also do a search online to find many Pitta balancing yoga poses.
Signs You May Have a Pitta Imbalance
These are some typical Pitta disorders:
- Skin disorders such as redness, irritations and discolorations
- Warmer than normal body temperature, often higher than normal skin temperature
- Either a loss of appetite, or excessive hunger or thirst. Also problems with malabsorption of food.
- Problems digesting food, excess stomach acid or heartburn
- Hemorrhoids, piles, ulcers
There are some behavioral indicators as well. These include:
- You may be overly critical or easily irritated.
- You may have difficulty winding down after completing a project or finishing work.
- You may be intolerant of any annoying situations or of other people’s behavior.
- You can get easily frustrated and sometimes have uncalled for temper outbursts.
- You can be sarcastic or argumentative.
How Can I Incorporate This Information into My Daily Routine?
All of this can possibly seem a bit overwhelming, but you can take small steps, one at a time, to move towards using Ayurvedic practices for the purpose of regrowing your hair.
Try incorporating just a few things that will help you in the pursuit of new hair growth. Diet is a huge factor in correcting the problem. There are some guidelines listed above, but you can do more research about ways to eat to correct a Pitta dosha imbalance.
You can also look for a practitioner to help you. Supplements and topical treatments will surely make some difference for you, if used regularly, as directed. But not all supplements and topical treatments are the same.
Some are of better quality than others, and like anything else in life, you usually get what you pay for, though overall, many of these treatments are relatively inexpensive in comparison to drugs like Rogaine or Minoxidil. So don’t give up if you try something and it doesn’t work as well as you had expected.
Find other products and give those a try too. Recovering from hair loss isn’t controlled by a simple mechanism. It’s connected to your overall health. And it might take some patience on your part. You didn’t lose your hair overnight, and the regrowth won’t happen overnight either. So be diligent in using whatever methods you decide upon, and give them the chance to work before deciding to move on to the next thing.
To Sum Things Up
The three points we have covered that are most highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine for hair regrowth are:
- Massaging the scalp using an herb-infused oil is considered key to hair growth. Scalp massage increases blood flow and nourishment to the follicles
- Eating a good mixture of fresh, nonprocessed foods can promote beautiful, healthy hair. Consuming dark, green leafy vegetables and fruits (organically grown is better), and certain grains can promote scalp health and healthy follicles. Also whole milk, butter and ghee are good for balancing Pitta dosha. Consuming shredded fresh coconut and using coconut oil are said to slow down or stop hair breakage. Indian Gooseberry, which is used as an oil for massaging the scalp, can also be eaten or taken as a supplement.
- Reduce stress. One of the principles of Ayurveda is the connectedness of everything. If you feel negative emotions when preparing a meal, it is believed that your body won’t benefit as much and won’t receive the full nutritional value. This in turn means your entire body, including your hair, is affected negatively. Ayurveda recommends you should eat the largest meal of the day for lunch, since Ayurvedic practice states that your digestion is most efficient and strongest this time of day. It is also important to be in a calm, relaxed state and to pay attention to the tastes, smell and feel of the food you are eating so your entire body, including your hair, can reap the benefits of the food you’re eating.
In conclusion, benefitting from the use of Ayurvedic hair treatments can be done without the complimentary treatments that are part of Ayurvedic practice, but one can expect far better results if they treat the problem holistically, by including other lifestyle changes as part of their daily regimen.