Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicine method, is renowned for its holistic approach to health and well-being. It offers a wealth of knowledge and natural remedies to enhance various aspects of our lives, including hair care. Ayurvedic principles emphasize the importance of maintaining a balance between mind, body, and spirit to achieve optimal health.
Regarding hair, Ayurveda provides valuable insights and effective remedies to promote strong, shiny, and vibrant tresses. Here, we explore the principles of Ayurveda for hair care and discover the best practices and remedies to nurture and nourish your locks.
Understanding Ayurveda & Hair
According to Ayurveda, hair is considered a byproduct of bone formation. It is closely connected to the quality of our blood and the health of our liver. It is believed that imbalances in the doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—can affect the health of our hair. Each dosha represents different qualities; an imbalance in any of them can lead to specific hair concerns.
Vata hair tends to be dry, brittle, and prone to split ends. Pitta’s hair is often fine, straight, and susceptible to premature graying and thinning. Kapha hair tends to be thick, oily, and prone to dandruff and a dull appearance. By understanding our hair type and identifying imbalances, we can tailor our hair care routine using Ayurvedic principles to restore balance and promote healthy hair growth.
Ayurvedic Hair Care Practices
- Scalp Massage: Regularly massaging the scalp with warm Ayurvedic oils stimulates blood circulation, nourishes the hair follicles, and promotes growth. Oils such as coconut, almond, Brahmi, and bhringraj are commonly used for their therapeutic properties. Lightly massage the oil into your scalp in circular motions for a few minutes, leaving it on for at least 30 minutes before washing it.
- Cleansing Rituals: Ayurveda recommends using natural cleansers like shikakai, reetha, or amla to wash the hair instead of chemical-laden shampoos. These herbs cleanse the hair without stripping it of its natural oils, maintaining its moisture and luster. Prepare a paste or a decoction of these herbs and apply it to your scalp and hair, gently massaging it before rinsing thoroughly.
- Ayurvedic Hair Masks: Various Ayurvedic ingredients can create nourishing hair masks. For example, a mixture of fenugreek seeds, yogurt, and aloe vera gel helps combat dandruff and nourish the scalp. A henna and amla powder paste helps condition the hair, adds shine, and strengthens the strands.
- Diet and Nutrition: Ayurveda emphasizes the role of diet in maintaining healthy hair. Foods high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, such as leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds, can provide essential nutrients for hair growth and health. Additionally, staying hydrated and avoiding excessive consumption of processed and fried foods can contribute to vibrant and strong hair.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Common Hair Concerns
- Hair Loss: A blend of Ayurvedic herbs like bhringraj, amla, brahmi, and neem can be mixed with coconut oil to create a hair tonic that nourishes the scalp and build up the hair follicles. Regular application of this tonic promotes hair growth and reduces hair fall.
- Dandruff: Neem, tea tree oil, and aloe vera are excellent Ayurvedic remedies for dandruff. Neem oil has antimicrobial properties that combat fungal infections, while tea tree oil reduces scalp inflammation. Aloe vera gel soothes the scalp and provides hydration. Applying these remedies to the scalp can effectively treat dandruff and maintain a healthy scalp environment.
- Premature Graying: Ayurvedic herbs like bhringraj, amla, and henna help combat premature graying. Applying a paste of these herbs to the hair provides a natural color. It nourishes the hair follicles, promoting healthier hair growth.
Ayurveda offers a comprehensive approach to hair care that goes beyond external treatments. By balancing the doshas, adopting mindful hair care practices, and incorporating Ayurvedic remedies into our routine, we can achieve and maintain healthy and lustrous locks. However, it’s essential to remember that Ayurveda is a holistic system, and results may take time to manifest. Patience, consistency, and a commitment to overall well-being are key to reaping the benefits of Ayurveda for hair. Welcome the wisdom of Ayurveda, and unlock the secrets to nourished, vibrant, and beautiful tresses.
NourishDoc: Well, happy weekend. So, summer is around the corner, and what do we want to do for our hair? And that’s the topic we want to discuss is how Ayurveda can help us with our hair care. Well, we have Salila. Salila has beautiful hair. As you can see, she is a third-generation Ayurveda and diet health coach joining me live from Los Altos, California. My neighbor, I would not have known about her. So, thank you so much, and Namaste as well for joining me.
Health Coach Salila: Such a pleasure, Thank you for having me, Amita Ji.
How Can Ayurveda Help With Hair Care?
NourishDoc: All right, so let’s understand how Ayurveda can help. We need to understand how Ayurveda can help with hair care especially.
Health Coach Salila: Absolutely. Did you ask me a great question initially about why Ayurveda Hair Care for Summer? What’s different, right? The reason is that Ayurveda divides all food and ingredients into hot and cold. We call it the Guna of something.
So, in summer, when the sun is beating down on us, the temperatures are rising high; if we continue to use ingredients in our hair oils in our hair care regimen that are hot, it will increase something called pitta, which is again increasing heat within our head region, which is not good because already there is heat in the atmosphere, the body wants to come to homeostasis. We are preventing the body from doing that.
So, then that will throw us off balance and create issues like rashes, burning sensation, eyes burning, acid reflux, feeling dryness, and bleeding from the nose because this is a very important organ. Our head houses our most important organ, the brain, which is why for centuries and millennia, Indians have been very particular about how to manage hair care and how to manage the health of our sinus passages. So it becomes extremely important that we are mindful of the ingredients we use during summer. They should be different from the ingredients we were using during winter.
Different Herbs or Oils Used in Different Seasons
NourishDoc: Okay. So let’s talk a little deep dive about the difference in ingredients you just talked about, like summer versus winter. There are many herbs, Ayurveda herbs; Brahmi, there are many things. So talk to us about the difference between winter and summer and the herbs we should use or hair oil. What is it we are talking about?
Health Coach Salila: Okay, so when we talk about hair oil, the first thing that comes to mind is coconut, sesame, mustard, or almond air oil. These are the base carriers. So in winter, when it was cold, we used warming oils like almonds, sesame, and mustard. People who were using coconut might have had sinus passage infections, might have had rhinitis.
As we are transitioning into a hotter atmosphere, we all have to switch to coconut. So that the head stays cool because coconut, as I said before, has a cooling Guna. It has cooling, so this is excellent for us to switch to coconut. Now let’s look at the ingredients commonly used in Ayurvedic hair oils. So Bhringaraj is a very common Ayurvedic herb that’s used in hair oils. So Bhringaraj is warming, and as we move into summer, we have to look at ingredients like henna like Amla.
So if you were using Triphala in the hair oil before, now we switch to just Amla in the hair oil. Suppose we were using other heaters like tulsi and pepper. In that case, using Palando and onion in the hair oil is fashionable. You will see a lot of high-end cosmetics using onion in the air oil. So that is hot potency. Now we have to drop that.
Many Instagram and TikTok influencers create these hair oils with fenugreek, curry leaves, and onion. Again, three very hot things. We’ve got to discontinue that. We’ve got to move into things like vetiver, we’ve got to move into Amla, we’ve got to move into hibiscus, aloe vera. These should be the one ingredients we should be moving into as summer is in full swing.
NourishDoc: Okay, and now to get out here growth, to be luscious like yours, in addition to hair oil, should we be consuming something like some kind of herbs to help with the hair growth as well?
Health Coach Salila: We should have seeds in our seeds and nuts and dry fruits in our diet daily. A handful of nuts, especially cashew nuts, almonds, and walnuts. We can go right. Sesame, I like to make laddus, and I also have some recipes on my Instagram. Just take a bit of sesame, some nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, and mix it all with some ghee and a few flax seeds; give it a whiz in the coffee grinder, and it will come together into a little ball. You eat that first thing in the morning and provide your body with all the essential nutrients for hair growth, fertility, strong nails, and strong bones.
Is There Any Specific Way To Use Different Shampoos?
NourishDoc: Okay, and we talk about the hair oils, nuts, and spice. I mean nuts as nourishment. What about like shampoos? How do we that’s something we are applying but how do we wash it off? Like, is this some mantra for that also? Washing it off and conditioning it?
Health Coach Salila: Yes. So Indian, our old, millennial-old formula for hair washing is Amla, Reetha, Shikakai, soap nuts, Shikakai, and Amla, a mixture of this. We can mix this other and keep it in a little box. Just take a couple of teaspoons, add some nice warm water, make a paste, and then after we have applied oil to your hair generously. We leave it for about 45 minutes, wash it off with this paste, and then wash it under flowing water.
Use a comb to remove some residue because sometimes slight residue can remain. After all, we use herbs. This very soft, gentle, nourishing, conditioning shampoo will heal and improve hair growth as it cleanses the scalp. This provides nutrition to our scalp. If you have extremely dry hair, I have extremely dry hair because I have coarse hair. I like to follow up with a nice, high-quality conditioner based on herbal extracts.
That is from whole foods or sprouts. I may have picked up a bottle, something like that, because my hair tends to be very dry, and then I also follow up with a few drops of almond oil. It’s still cold here. I woke up, and it was cold. So I’m still using almond oil on my hair. But I will switch to coconut once summer takes on full swing.
Effects of Menopausal Issues on Hair
NourishDoc: Sure. So a question I want to ask is completely different; many women, as they are hitting perimenopause or menopause, their hair starts thinning. Your client gets these questions a lot, right? So, do you want to say something about that? What should they do? Because women don’t want to start getting bald, right? As we age. So what do we do is, as we start aging.
Health Coach Salila: As we start aging, we have to get, especially during the transition of menopause, have to attack this problem from several layers. As I said, one is diet, having those nut and seed laddus. Two is stress management. Three is sticking to cooling foods like milk, ghee, cucumbers, and things that bring that cooling aspect into our life. We must become very conscious about making sure that we are using aromatherapy on our pillow so that we eat ourselves down.
So we’re using smells like sandalwood, rose, and lavender to cool us down, all these things that, as women during our periods of menopause or puberty, we are naturally attracted to. Cooling, calming, bringing the system down to stable from that high being a little frazzled, which happens when many transitions are going on in the body, bringing it to a stable system.
Then, doing yoga and meditation, we cannot escape finding those 15 minutes to calm our bodies. All this affects how our skin and hair appear and then get granular and intentional about hair care. Using beautiful masks like whipping up some coconut oil with some henna with a little bit of hibiscus powder and a little bit of coconut milk and then applying that avocado mash, applying that into our hair, becoming very intentional about taking two, three hours on the weekend to have a nice, long bath, self-care, put on masks. It becomes very important.
NourishDoc: Okay, well, this is a short 10-minute session that we bring daily to advocate a holistic lifestyle, and we are launching a holistic lifestyle platform as well, making it super affordable and accessible. Anything else that you like to add, Salila, before we wrap up today?
Health Coach Salila: Absolutely. Summer sweating is something that we all should be careful about. So covering the head with a scarf or a hat when we go out. We were covering our heads with a beanie. But now we switch off, switch to a hat, super important, and if we have much sweating on the scalp, it’s not good because it traps dirt and bacteria build-up, affecting our hair fall.
So just washing it off daily. A quick rinse, and maybe you will have dry hair, then follow it up with a few drops of coconut oil. Mixed with a drop of neem-like, create a bottle full of coconut oil, like about a hundred ML. Add a couple of drops of neem oil, Karanja oil, lemon essential oil, and lavender essential oil, and then apply it to your scalp. Just a few drops after we wake up in the morning. So that the scalp stays free of bacteria that might hurt our hair growth, rinse it off. No need to shampoo it.
Rinse it off, and another thing to do is use Rasnadi. Rasnadi is an Ayurvedic herbal formula. It’s a powder. So use that in our Maang, a few pinches of that. That will also help keep the hair scalp healthy when it gets hot and sweaty because sometimes some people have very thick hair. The hair is the base of the scalp, and the follicles are wet. People might catch a cold. It’s super important that a drop of a few pinches of Rasnadi will help when we notice that we put in.
NourishDoc: These are great tips. It would help if you thought of having your hair care line. Thank you so much for being with us, and everyone, keep supporting us. We have over 200,000 followers, and they keep giving us feedback on how we are doing. We are here to serve the community and live a better, healthier life, and that’s all our mission is. With that, have a great weekend, and thank you, Salila, and Namaste, everyone.