In Ayurveda, hair can be one of the indicators for how healthy we are on the inside. When we start to lose hair prematurely, experience a dry and itchy scalp, or see a general decline in shine, fullness and volume, we need to take a closer look inside to see if we are experiencing a doshic imbalance or problems with our agni. Based on this information, we can often treat with the correct diet, exercise, and lifestyle.
However, sometimes these efforts are not enough. Often, especially as we age, it can be helpful to incorporate Ayurvedic herbs for hair care in our daily routine to balance, maintain, and promote long term hair health.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Hair
If you’ve been taking good care of yourself and your hair is not up to par, there are certain effective Ayurvedic herbs that can help you find healthier hair, and prevent such ailments as prematurely thinning hair.
A tridoshic herb, bhringraj tailam has a more cooling yet stimulating effect, which makes it ideal for Pitta and Vata imbalances, however it can be used on all three doshas during an imbalance. It’s particularly effective in calming the mind and helps to promote sleep. The best way to utilize Bhringraj tailiam is to apply it to the whole scalp, massaging it in deeply and rigorously, from the follicles to the tips of the hair, and sleep with it wrapped in a scarf or towel 1-2 times a week (also, doing so right before a show, and letting the oil sit after massaging it through is effective also). Bhringraj tailam is especially beneficial for those who are experiencing thinning or hair loss.
Amla is indian gooseberry, and is packed full of Vitamin C. A lot of dis-ease in the body actually starts with the dysfunction of cells, and Vitamin C is essential in maintaining the health of the cellular metabolism and a well-functioning system. Amla powder can be purchased and mixed with coconut oil, to use as a scalp and hair mask. It’s tridoshic quality makes it wonderful for all 3 doshas, but is specifically beneficial in increasing blood circulation and balancing the natural oil production of the scalp, which helps with premature thinning and dermatitis.
Brahmi, or bacopa, is a crucial tonifying herb that works on the mind, but also on the scalp and hair. It has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to assist in cell advancement and helping the brain stay sharp. Externally, brahmi tailam is full of antioxidants which help with premature thinning of the hair, dry scalp, and help rejuvenate the follicles. Brahmi is said to be tridoshic, actually having cooling as well as heating properties, having an effect overall on all doshas.
Chyawanprash is a tridoshic herbal formula that contains a variety of health boosting herbs, including the daily recommended dose of amla and brahmi (bacopa). Chyawanprash nourishes and rejuvenates all seven of the body’s dhatus (tissues) to promote internal and external health, resulting in healthier hair, skin and nails.
Also tridoshic, triphala is rasayana that is recommended to take daily, and is a blend of three fruits that help regulate digestion, elimination, skin health, adrenal health, and mood. It is a tridoshic blend, with amalaki (or amla, mentioned above), haritaki, and bibhitaki. The seat of the health of the body is rooted in digestion, and the agni, and taking triphala daily (preferably at night before bed), helps assist in a healthy digestive fire. Recharging the digestive tract will allow the body to absorb nutrients better, which assists in doshic balance, resulting in a healthier scalp and healthier hair.
Ceanna Saatsaz, LME, CAP, LPH