Hair Care- The Ayurvedic Concept
Ayurveda- The Indian traditional system of health care believes in a holistic approach
to health care and hair care is one of the vital parts of it
Ayurveda believes that just external application and precautions are not sufficient
to keep it full of life, strength, luster, sheen, color, vitality and healthy life
long. This issue is discussed in almost every classical text in detail which shows
that our Rishis (sages) were also aware of the importance of this field. Ayurvedic
Ahara-Vihar (Diet and Lifestyle) concept are two major factors that influence whole
body and the health of the hair as well.
Irregular dietary habits, Poor diet, Illness and Deficiencies of any particular
Vitamin and Mineral affects the quality of hair and problems like dandruff, thinning
hair, early baldness, premature graying, spoil the hair quality.
In an individual the condition of the hair is the reflection of the complete constitution
of his physical state. If the person is not healthy then the bad health will reflect
from the hair. Ayurvedic classical literatures thrust upon overall regulation for
hair care. Basic guidelines one should follow in life for wellbeing of hair are
- Massage scalp regularly:
Topical application of medicated hair oil improves nourishment to the scalp which
helps to keep your hair long, lustrous, strong, shining and thick. The warm oil
head and scalp massage, especially when done with oil infused with Keshya (hair-friendly)
herbs, nourishes the hair and scalp, alleviates dry scalp, enhances circulation.
Coconut oil or Sesame oil, infused with herbs like Amalaki (Emblica officinalis),
Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) or Japa (Hibiscus), helps maintain
the color and luster of hair.
Ayurvedic herbal hair oils contain a blend of hair-friendly herbs. If you can massage
two or three times a week preferably in morning (1-2 hours before bath) for nourishment.
Apply Narikela (coconut) oil or Sarshapi(mustard) oil (depending upon availability
and suitability) at least three times in a week. Use of Classical Ayurvedic Medicated
Oils like: Bhringraja oil, Neelibhringadi oil, Mahabhringraja oil and Brahmi-Amla
oil helps to control complaints related to the scalp and hair.
- Regular cleansing of scalp and hair:
Always keep your hair and scalp clean to avoid clogged hair follicles and itching
of scalp. Cleanse with a gentle herbal shampoo or baby soap or soft home made herbal
based shampoo. Over or excessive shampooing, especially with a harsh shampoo can
lead to dry out the scalp and damage hair. Use lukewarm or fresh water to wash your
hair, and follow with a natural conditioner.
Let the hair dry naturally rather than blow-drying it. Trim hair regularly to take
care of split ends and natural wear and tear. Regularly cleaning and brushing the
hair is very important. When the hairs are brushed, oil-producing glands in the
scalp get stimulated. This natural oil makes the hair glossy and healthy. To give
extra shine to the hair, after washing rinse the hair with some lemon juice mixed
in a cup of warm water.
- Regulate dietary habits:
Irregular or unhealthy eating habits affect over all performance of all of our systems.
Healthy eating is just as important for effective digestion and absorption as the
healthy diet itself. Food should be fresh and whole and prepared lovingly.
Ayurveda advocates that every one should have food in properly ventilated, calm,
quiet corner and should not do any other job at the time of having food like watching
your favorite television show or talking and discussing any business issue.
Eat with your attention on the food, in a calm and serene frame of mind, and one
should chew food properly before swallowing. For a good digestion a healthy person
should not drink too much water during meals, few sips of water in between bites
is fine, otherwise proper watering time is half an hour after food.
One should drink luke warm water if oily, spicy and non vegetarian food is consumed.
Dinner should always be light. All of such restrictions are important if you wish
to keep your body free of Ama (toxins). Toxins build up in the body obstructs nutrients
from reaching the cells and tissues of the body.
The food articles and bad habits which one should get rid off are discussed also.
They are as follows: Excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, meats and smoking
should be avoided. Eating too much fried, oily, greasy, spicy, sour and acidic foods
is always harmful. Chemical or synthetic medicines should be avoided. Low blood
circulation, anemia, general weakness after disease, stress, anxiety and mental
tension should be treated by improving dietary habits and routine.
Diseases like typhoid fever, jaundice and hormonal imbalance cause excessive falling
of hair and aggravate the incidence of dandruff. Especially after the age of forty,
it is important to undergo periodic internal cleansing to flush away Ama (toxins).
Triphala (mixture of equal quantity of fruits of Amalaki - Emblica officinalis,
Vibhitaka – Terminalia belerica and Harad – Terminalia chebula) is a very popular,
gentle, non- habit forming cleanser that can be taken frequently to regulate the
- Nutritious diet:
Ayurvedic concept of way of life strongly is of the view, that healthy and nutritious
food improves body of hair, so a balanced assortment of nutrients is necessary to
prevent premature hair loss and early graying.
List of beneficial hair foods include white Sesame seeds, fresh Coconut, Green vegetables,
whole Grains, Dates and Raisins, Dadhi (curd), Sprouted mixture of beans, Nuts and
Seeds and healthy fats such as Ghee or Oil.
Ayurvedic system of medicine advises to cook food with spices and aromatic herbs
as they improve digestion and detoxify our body tissues. Ayurveda advocates for
regular intake of Haridra (Turmeric), Maricha (Black pepper), Methi (Fenugreek),
Dhania (Coriander) and Jeera (Cumin) are both flavoring and Agni (digestive fire)
Herbs like Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Hingu (Asafoetida),
Bhringraja (Eclipta alba) and seasonal fruits especially citrus fruits help to improve
digestion and immunity for all age groups and all Dosha types.
- Sleep Sufficiently:
As per Ayurvedic concepts: Sleep is as important as nutritious food for well being
of human body. Improper or irregular sleeping schedule causes disturbance to our
body clock. Sleep is the phase when our body repairs tissues and reorganizes systems.
One should retire to bed before 10 p.m. and should finish dinner two hours prior
to sleep. Light dinner with less spice followed by a glass of milk (an hour after
dinner) is always found to induce good quality sleep. Lack of sufficient sleep can
lead to poor health of hair.
- Stress management:
faces high levels of mental and emotional stress due to fierce competition in
day to day life of modern times. Living regularly in such state of stress can lead
to excessive falling, premature graying, dry, dull-looking, lifeless appearance
of hair. Herbal tea enriched with any one or more of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandookparni
(Centella asiatica), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Jatamansi (Nardostachys
jatamansi) supports natural ability to manage stress. Always spare time to rest
and relax and practice relaxing yoga techniques and meditation to keep stress under
control. Massaging scalp with medicated herbal oils is found to be helpful to mental
relaxation and to control mood swings.
*Ayurvedic hair cleanser - Blend together coarsely grinded Amalaki (Embilica
officinalis) – 50 Gms., Shikakai (Acacia concinna) – 30 Gms. and Arishtaka (Sapindus
trifoliatus) – 20 Gms and Water – 1.5 Ltrs. make a decoction by boiling contents
so that the water is reduced to 1 Ltr. and keep after straining it for washing the
hair, but application of oil is always advisable prior to it. This should be made
fresh.This a quantity of ingredients in this formulation is for reference only;
quantities should be adjusted as per one’s daily requirement. Use of freshly made
hair wash solution is always advisable.
This article in nutshell:
- Shape or condition of your hair is reflection of your internal health.
- Good quality sleep relieves stress which is one of the causes of bad hair health.
- Following healthy food habits is always beneficial for wellbeing of hair.
- High protein diet improves condition of hair, controls excessive falling of hair.
- Crash dieting, hormonal imbalances, anemia and low blood circulation cause hair
- Regular milk intake, sesame seeds, almonds and dry fruits help to make hair full
- Application of Sesame oil or Coconut oil or Mustard oil is always good for healthy
- Regular shampooing with undiluted shampoos should be avoided as it will damage hair.
- Hair oils enriched with Keshya (Hair friendly) herbs are always beneficial for hair.
- Regular maintaining of scalp hygiene is of prime importance to control hair disorders.
- Brushing naturally dried hair stimulates circulation to the scalp and hair follicles.
- Cleaning with hard water should be avoided, as it makes hair dry, rough, messy and
Always dilute shampoo by adding
- 100 times soft or mineral water to it.