Since having children, I have lost my natural kapha hair tendencies: it's gone from thick and shiny to dry with brittle ends. Do you have any tips for regaining hair health?Aaah, our dear heads of hair, how they can change and what they're trying to tell us when they do... In Ayurveda, hair is seen as a “waste product” of bone tissue, meaning: once all that is needed to nourish the bone tissue has been used, the leftovers are given to the hair (and nails). I wonder how your nails are? I suspect they might have become weaker too. There are a few things I would like to outline as means to understanding what is going on and how you can deal with it:
- Bone-nourishment depletion: without going into too much detail, there are seven levels of tissue in the body according to Ayurveda. There is an order to them too. Bone tissue features somewhere in the middle of this list. I say this in order to explain that the preceding levels of tissue need to be properly nourished, in order that the next layers can be too. And what happens when we are pregnant is that the foetus mostly feeds on the first level of tissue - the circulating fluids - namely lymph (rasa dhatu). The foetus feeding can cause depletion of this fluid. This then impacts on the next levels of tissues. So I would suggest you look into re-nourishing your tissues from the bottom up - cleansing and then rejuvenating (through Rasayana). I would encourage you to talk to an Ayurvedic Practitioner for this, as they will give you a personalised cleansing and nourishing treatment plan. (You’re welcome to get in touch with me here about this if you'd like to explore options). I would also advise you to take Chyawanprash as a supportive medicine in meantime, as it is a beautiful rasayana to feed your probably depleted rasa.
- Check state of your agni: how is your digestion and has it changed since giving birth? This is the first place to look when any change takes place in the body. I would suggest you investigate how well you are digesting your food. I suspect it might have changed since you’ve had children. Good agni is needed for proper tissue formation (as I mention above) and for a healthy balanced constitution. Again an Ayurvedic practitioner can help you with this.
- Vata imbalance: I suspect you have a vata imbalance since giving birth. You can assess this by looking into how you have been sleeping since having had your children? Has your digestion changed? Do you feel more anxious and jittery than you remember feeling before? There are many reasons for a vata imbalance to take place after giving birth, but just to touch on it: the lower section of your abdomen is the seat of vata, as well as the place a seismic shift has taken place for you. Any movement in the body is also governed by vata. Aaaaaaand, vata impacts the bones, hair and nails causing them to be brittle when it is out of balance. So I would suggest you give yourself some lovely sesame oil self-massage, abhyanga treatment.
- Oils that can help here and now: Ayurveda advises new mothers to spend the weeks following child birth covering themselves in oil. Just to gently hammer my previous point home, this is to rebalance vata. It is also to nourish and restore oneself to oneself after having given so much to another life. I see oil massage as one of the most self-supportive things we can do. An oil massage by someone else is pretty nice too! So I would suggest you cover your body and feet in organic cold-pressed sesame oil (feel free to add drops of essential oils you like the smell and feel of), and give yourself a head and hair massage with Bhringraj oil.