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Ayurveda with Anushree

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Hair Fall

Premature hair fall and/or baldness, in Ayurveda, is related to excess pitta in the system. Such individuals may also find that they have the associated problems of premature graying of hair. The excess pitta starts accumulating at the base of the hair follicles, causing inflammation and hair fall.

Hair fall can have several causes – diet that is deficient in calcium, hormonal imbalance, general infection in the body or localized scalp infection, and genetic factors.

Hair Fall Home Remedies:

  1. Drink aloe vera juice regularly to reduce pitta.
  2. Massage coconut oil or almond oil on your scalp regularly before showering. Massaging the scalp with brahmi oil or bhringraj oil at bedtime. This has the dual effect of reducing body heat and also improving circulation at the roots of the hair.
  3. Eat white sesame seeds every day. These are a great source of calcium and magnesium as well.
  4. Drink a tea made with equal proportions of jatamamsi and brahmi in hot water.
  5. Grind fenugreek (methi) seeds with water and apply the paste on your scalp. Leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it off completely.
  6. Boil a handful of neem leaves in water. Cool and filter. Use this water for rinsing your hair.
  7. Hibiscus is another great flower that is useful against hair fall. It is usually stored in the dried form for a few months. In a cup of coconut oil, heat 5 fresh flowers or a tablespoon of dried flowers till charred. Filter and use as hair oil. 
  8. Curry leaves are also very effective for general hair growth. Internally, you can eat curry leaves as part of your regular diet, as curry leaves powder with rice and ghee etc. or even apply topically on the scalp as a paste made out of curry leaves and water. Wash completely after letting it remain for10-15 minutes.
  9. Amla (Indian Gooseberry) is also very effective in preventing hair fall. Externally, it can be applied on the scalp as oil (amla oil). Internally, it can be eaten in several forms – whole fruit soaked in concentrated sugar syrup or used in chutneys and other recipes, dried amla fruit or amalaki powder.

 

Diet and Lifestyle Changes:

  1. Following a pitta-pacifying diet and lifestyle will be helpful, in general. Avoid spicy, salty, deep fried, sour, fermented foods and alcohol. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Avoid over exposure to the sun and over exercising, adopt some relaxation practices to reduce stress, and try to take it easy in general (I know, easier said than done!).
  2. Eat a nourishing diet with adequate dairy products (if you are able to digest them) like milk, home-made fresh yogurt that is not sour, buttermilk. Grains like ragi, fresh leafy vegetables, coconut, white radish, cabbage and cooked apples are also good for hair growth.
  3. Yoga and meditation are very effective for reducing stress. Just observing your breath with your eyes closed for a few minutes every day is highly beneficial, not just for hair fall, but for general well-being as well. Some effective yoga poses are Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana), Camel Pose (Ushtrasana), Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), Cow Pose (Gomukhasana).

 

Here is an easy, effective homemade hair oil using natural ingredients for a host of hair ailments like early graying, hair fall, dryness and frizz etc. All you need for this recipe is some coconut oil (or sesame oil, depending on your constitution and the season), hibiscus leaves and flowers (fresh or dried), curry leaves and fenugreek (methi) seeds.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Coconut (or sesame) Oil (1 cup)
  • Dried hibiscus flowers and leaves (1 tsp)
  • Curry leaves (make sure these are not wet) (5-6)
  • Fenugreek (methi) seeds (1 tsp)

 

Method:

  • Heat the coconut oil on a low flame.
  • Add the dried hibiscus flowers and leaves.
  • Add the curry leaves.
  • Add the fenugreek seeds.
  • Continue heating the oil on a low flame for 5 minutes or so.
  • You will start to get a “sweetish” aroma from the hibiscus and also simultaneously get the distinctive aroma of hot coconut oil. Switch off the flame.
  • Transfer the oil after it cools down into a glass or steel container, without straining the herbs, so that they can continue to soak in the oil.

 

Usage Instructions:

  • Apply warm (not hot) oil into your scalp using your fingertips and massage gently. You want to make sure you cover your entire scalp. The tips need not be oiled, but you could apply some oil on the tips if you want to.
  • Let the oil remain for at least 15 minutes and then wash it off using a gentle shampoo. I use an amla and shikakai shampoo on these days. You can let the oil remain overnight if you want, but that doesn’t suit some people – I prefer to keep it on for a maximum of 1 hour before a warm shower, but not overnight.
  • Make sure that you don’t use very warm and definitely not hot water on your scalp. It heats the scalp too much, and can lead to a further increase in graying. It also loosens the hair follicles and leads to hair fall. Room temperature or slightly warm water is best.
  • There is no restriction on how often you can use this oil. Use it as much as you need to.
  • If you have a cold, cough, or fever (or any kind of  Kapha(aggravation), don’t oil your scalp. It will aggravate the condition.
  • You can store this oil in a glass or steel container in a cool, dry place for a few months. In fact, after a week or so of soaking the herbs in the oil, you could strain out the herbs and store the oil alone. The point is to ensure that all the essence of the herbs soaks in the oil.
  • You may substitute the base (carrier) oil with sesame oil or castor oil or almond oil or a combination thereof, instead of coconut oil. I wouldn’t recommend olive oil since there is a fair amount of heating involved in this recipe.
  • Where to get hibiscus: If you are in India, there are many herb stores and holistic health stores that sell dried hibiscus flowers and leaves. If you are outside India, you can buy a hibiscus plant. When the flowers are in season, you can pluck them along with some leaves, dry them in the sun until completely devoid of moisture and use over time. You can do this even if you have access to a hibiscus plant, in general. If buying online, you will probably get another variety of the hibiscus plant (hibiscus sabdariffa instead of hibiscus rosa sinensis) that is still very effective. Based on the volume of questions I received, we have updated this post with some Amazon links for some of the ingredients used in this recipe. Hope this helps!

 

Notes:

  • Hibiscus encourages hair growth by stimulating circulation, discourages split ends, prevents premature graying of the hair strands, thickens hair, is a mild cleanser, and is a great hair color for natural hair especially in combination with henna.
  • Curry leaves are rich in natural antioxidants, strengthen and nourish the hair follicles and prevent hair fall, promote natural hair growth, restore natural pigmentation of the hair and combat graying.
  • Fenugreek (methi) seeds bring shine and silkiness to hair, promote hair growth and combat baldness, hair fall and thinning and also dandruff.
  • Coconut oil is cooling (hence optimum for pittas or during summer months) and sesame oil is warming (so can be used by vatas and kaphas or during cooler months).

 

The Big Picture:

  • Graying is genetic, but the process of graying can be “accelerated” due to incorrect lifestyle factors. An apt example here, for which I can personally vouch is the relationship of heat on the scalp and graying. Overusing hot irons, hot water on head while showering, strong chemicals, to name a few can have the effect of accelerating graying. Likewise, some mindfulness by minimizing these chemicals and styling products and hot appliances, applying cooling applications and oils, allowing the hair to dry naturally or towel drying, room temperature water while showering – all go a long way in slowing down this genetic propensity for graying. Eating a good, wholesome, healthy diet is also one such lifestyle factor.

 

  • Hibiscus acts as a sort of pigmentation in this oil. Although it is not as “strong” as the chemical dyes available in the market now, it is effective in gradually changing the hues of the hair to its natural form, especially when combined with herbs like pure henna leaves. So, it is a sort of “external” method to cover up the effects of graying, in a safe, natural manner. Again, the results will not be as striking or dramatic for you to see the effect immediately – but you will definitely see a positive change over time.

 

  • This is no “wonder oil” that when used will instantly give you a mane of healthy, shining, jet-black hair. Like all things good, it is a package deal – good diet and lifestyle, combined with these simple practices can together bring about positive change gradually. 

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This article was first published at : http://theayurvediclife.com/home-remedies/hair-fall/

 

About the Column : In this column,"Ayurveda with Anushree"  I'll post recipes with Ayurvedic analyses, home remedies for common ailments and sometimes blogs for my take on several Ayurvedic principles like how to do a quick Ayurvedic home facial or how to detox safely etc.

About the Author : Until a few months ago, I was in a high-tech job as a software engineer at EMC, California. I left the job 9 months ago, to pursue my passion, and now don several different hats. I actively run a website, http://TheAyurvedicLife.com, which is my effort to share with others the learnings of Ayurveda that have positively changed my life. The website gives Ayurvedic analyses of food recipes, home remedies for general maladies and also contains a blog for Ayurvedic concepts and my thoughts in general, on topics like Detox, Facials etc. I have used the better part of the last year to become a certified Ayurveda Wellness Counselor. As women of the 21st century, in mostly nuclear homes on foreign or home lands, juggling a professional and family life, with little or no help, we have some unique challenges that were likely unknown to our mothers' and grandmothers' generations. However, despite societal norms and other pressures, we need to rise above it all and see that our (and our family's) mental and physical health is a primary pillar, which when cared for will bring about amazing positivity and harmony in the rest of our lives! This is, in a nutshell my life’s purpose – to help people bring about this harmony in their lives through good diet and lifestyle routines!

 
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