Causes of hair loss:
Hair loss happens due to various reasons and some of the common causes are poor diet, external and internal heat, stress and tension, hormonal changes, thyroid imbalance, medications, illness or allergies, shocks or worries, use of perms and dyes and genetic tendencies. Both men and women are susceptible to hair loss. Learn what Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss may help you.
Three Doshas and hair loss:
Ayurveda says that a person’s constitution is an unique combination of three doshas - vata, pitta and kapha – with one of them dominating. Each of the three doshas has different physical and psychological characteristics. Ayurvedic tests can help in finding out the person’s constitutional type. Generally, hair loss is associated with pitta constitutions and Ayurveda holds that people with pitta constitutions must take a diet that includes, milk, almonds, sesame seeds, ashwagandha, bala and amalaki. Vata individuals having hair loss are advised to include onion, garlic, sesame, almonds, eggs and dairy foods in their diet. Kapha individuals must take a high protein diet of lean meat, fish and ghee and avoid fried foods.
Some of the Ayurvedic herbs used to treat hair loss are gotu kola (Centella asiatica), sandalwood (Santalum album), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), bhringaraja (Eclipta alba), amalaki (Embelica officinalis), haritaki (Terminalia chebula) and vibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica). According to a study conducted in India in 2008, it has been found that massage of scalp with bhringaraj extract is more effective in promoting hair growth than the allopathic medicine Minoxidil that is used to treat hair loss. The rice weed plant van bhengra (Tridax procumbens) can be taken orally or used to prepare hair tonics for hair loss. The Ayurvedic herbs ashwagandha and amla are also reported to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss.
Treatment using oil:
Essential oils of these herbs are also used widely to treat hair loss. In the Ayurvedic way of treatment, the oil is kept slightly warm and massaged into the scalp. This causes relaxation and nourishment of the hair roots. The most commonly used are bhringaraj oil and brahmi oil. Warming olive oil or a herbal oil can also help especially when the massage is followed by wrapping the hair in a hot towel, leaving it on overnight and shampooing in the morning. A paste of cooked urad dal (black beans) and fenugreek (methi) when used to wash the hair can act as a powerful conditioner and prevent hair loss.
Thus, an Ayurvedic treatment for hair loss includes eating a balanced diet, massaging the scalp with a suitable essential oil and adopting a relaxed lifestyle.
Verret, D. J. Patient Guide to Hair Loss & Hair Restoration. DJ Verret Publishers, 2009
Miller, Bryan. Ayurveda & aromatherapy: the Earth Essential guide to ancient wisdom and modern healing. Lotus Press Publishers, 1995
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