Ayurveda, the “science of life” is the oldest medical system of the world. It defines the condition of hair loss as “Khalitya”, which implies weakening of the hair follicles from its roots. As per Ayurveda, the human body is made up of five elements such as aakash (Space), jala (Water), prithvi (Earth), teja (Fire) and vayu (Air). The combination of these elements results in Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha and Kapha Dosha.
The Channel 46 caught up with Vedika Sharma, Founder of Mantra Herbal, a subsidiary of Baidyanath, for some essential hair care tips you should keep in mind during winters.
The Ayurvedic Perspective Of Hair Problems In Winter
In winters, Vata Dosha gets aggravated which results in various “Shirogas” (hair conditions) such as:
- Kesh Rukshata (Hair Dryness)
- Darunaka (Dandruff)
- Keshpatan (Hair fall)
11 Ayurveda-Inspired Hair Care Tips For Winters
Now, let’s have a look at the Ayurveda-inspired treatments for hair fall, hair loss and regrowth:
1. Massage Your Scalp With Ayurvedic Oils
This technique in ayurveda is known as Shiro Abhyanga. It is a Sanskrit word, composed of two words namely, “Shira” meaning “head” and “Abhyanga” implies “inducing special movements on the body with gentle massage oil”. Using Almond Oil for instance, has warming properties which helps in scalp conditions such as dryness, flakiness and dandruff. It improves blood circulation and prevents premature greying of hair.
Go for a cold-pressed almond oil that has the best qualities of almonds, which provides complete hair nourishment. A hair oil that is free from toxic chemicals such as parabens, mineral oil, artificial colour and fragrances makes it effective for scalp and hair. When massaged onto skin, it delivers anti-ageing properties and keeps skin moisturised.
2. Use A Mild Hair Cleanser
For complete hair care routine, it is important to introduce a mild hair cleanser that is free from surfactants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), parabens, PEG, etc. These damage your hair follicles and disturb the pH balance of the scalp, resulting in scalp itchiness, dryness, hair fall and dull hair.
Read the shampoo labels mindfully and preferably opt for natural formulations. Look for active ingredients like shikakai and bhringaraj, which prevent hair fall and help in hair growth.
3. Keep Stress In Check
Excess stress can aggravate Prana Vata in mind, which can inhibit the hair-building process and accelerate premature grey hair. In this regard, using mahabhringaraj oil, a combination of bhringaraj along with powerful herbs such as sesame oil, amla oil, Yasti Madhu, for head massage is an excellent solution for relaxing your mind. This miraculous hair oil also helps in overcoming disturbed sleep and prevents premature greying of hair.
You must exercise regularly with yoga asanas that keeps stress levels in check. Meditation provides deep rest and natural resistance to stress. Practicing grounding techniques also help to relieve anxiety and depression.
Read: 5 Simple Yoga Asanas For Relaxation
4. Follow A Healthy Diet
Ayurvedic Vaidyas recommend cooked leafy green vegetables as they are especially good for hair and balances Vata Dosha. One must also incorporate “hair superfoods” such as almonds, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds as well in their food habits. Follow cooking your meals with cold-pressed olive oil or organic ghee that helps to nourish our tissues and bones.
One must avoid foods that are difficult to digest such as deep-fried food, packed food and refined sugary food. Apart from this, consuming Vitamin C rich fruits such as oranges, blueberries, and guava play a vital role in reducing hair fall.
5. Introduce Nutritional Supplements For Healthy Hair
We already know that Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant when it comes to your skin health. But, as for your hair, it helps to neutralise free radicals which can age your hair and block hair growth. Vitamin C plays a significant role in boosting production of collagen. The protein that comprises hair, Keratin, is also made from this.
Invest in a product that is not just enriched with Vitamin C, but is also empowered with the goodness of amla, which strengthens your hair locks and protects it from environmental pollutants. This, in turn, encourages hair nourishment and healthy hair growth.
6. Incorporate Essential Oils
Neem oil is referred to in Ayurveda as “saravaroganivarini” and possesses anti-fungal properties that cure fungal infections like dandruff. When blended with other essential carrier oils such as rosemary oil and sesame oil, it works wonders on your hair. Similarly, clary sage essential oil and tea tree essential oil are also helpful in curing different scalp problems.
7. Provide Deep Conditioning To Hair
Deep conditioners provide a one-stop solution to all winter-centric hair problems such as dryness, brittle hair, split ends, frizziness and aids in detangling your hair. Deep condition your hair whenever it feels dehydrated. Look out for natural ingredients such as argan oil, fenugreek seeds, and hibiscus flower extracts. Avoid scalp irritants such as silicones, SLS, SLES & Petro-chemicals.
8. Avoid Taking Hot Showers
Hot showers may be relaxing for your mind but not good for your tresses. Hot water opens up hair cuticles making it more susceptible to breakage, dryness and frizziness. Instead, use lukewarm water to wash your hair. For better hair nourishment, you may add neem leaves into the water.
9. Avoid Going Out With Wet Hair
Stepping out in winters with damp hair, opens up the possibilities for dehydration and tangling. Moreover, your hair is more porous when it is wet and more exposed to damage due to pollution, dry winds and friction. Opt for a cold-blow dry.
10. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water to keep yourself from getting hydrated from within. Have fruits that are rich in water content like oranges and apples. This keeps your hair roots nourished and pacifies Vata Dosha and problems associated with Vata Dosha imbalance.
11. Hair Mask
Pamper your hair with nourishing hair masks after conditioning. This provides moisture-boost to your hair shaft and revitalises it with essential oils. You may try a hair mask with moisture-rich DIY hair mask at home with ingredients like banana, avocado, and honey. This hair mask is rich in amino acid, potassium and Vitamin C that replenishes dry strands and gives silky smooth hair. Leave it for 30 minutes before rinsing.
By following these simple hair care tips, you will be able to protect your hair from problems that are typical to the winter season. So, enjoy a hot cup of ginger tea (or coffee) and be stress free!
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