In Ayurveda, hair care is about more than the external upkeep of our tresses; it's a reflection of our overall health. Ayurvedic hair care requires us to know how to nourish our tissues (dhatus). We also need to be specifically nourishing the bone tissue (a.k.a asthi dhatu), as our hair health is directly linked to our bone health. 

Asthi Dhatu and Your Hair

Our tissues or dhatus are the materiality of our body. There are 7 layers of major tissues, and then each tissue has minor tissues connected to them. 

The hair is a direct extension of asthi dhatu, aka bone tissue. Asthi dhatu is also responsible for the nails, as both the hair and nails are physiological reflections of one’s bone health, and are made up of a series of proteins and keratinized tissues that extend directly from the tissue. 

The state of the hair can also be related to the healthiness of our skin and scalp. The root of the hair is held mostly in the epidermis of the skin and partially in the dermis. The root of the hair is directly connected to various capillaries (blood and nutrition sources), sebaceous glands (oil and sweat), and nerve endings.

The shaft of the hair is comprised of three parts and layers: the medulla, which is soft and contains thousands of transparent cells; the cortex, which houses melanin and keratinized cells (this is where the strength of the hair lies); and the outermost layer, the transparent cuticle, being the ultimate reflection of what most others will see in our hair. The cuticle is where we would see the shininess (or dullness, if one is imbalanced) of one’s hair.

The Doshas and Your Hair

Understanding the metabolic function and tissue relativity in regards to Ayurvedic hair care, we can now start to magnify issues and features related to hair and the Doshas, such as excessive amounts of hair, a lack of hair, dryness, dehydration, oiliness, and split ends. A lot of these actions of the hair are shown more predominantly in the specific individual and their prakruti and vikruti.

Vata Hair

Vata hair will often be fine, wavy or straight, light in weight, and lighter in color. Vata dosha often have difficulties in the circulation of nutrients in the body resulting in dry scalp (which will then result in dry hair), thinning hair, premature and patchy hair loss, slow growth, early greying, and split ends.

Pitta Hair

Pitta hair is often thicker than Vata hair, has a stronger root and shaft, varies in color (although many Pitta people often have “vibrant” hair colors), and there is plenty of it. Pitta issues relating to the hair and scalp often stem from overheating, especially in relation to the blood (which directly provides nutrients to hair follicles). Pitta types can experience dermatitis of the scalp, including itchiness, dryness, dandruff, and reddening, as well as balding, premature thinning, and early greying.

Kapha Hair

Because Kapha is seated strongly in the asthi dhatu, its reflection in the hair is often the most dominant and illuminated. Kapha hair is often thick, abundant, curly, dark, lustrous, shiny, and bouncy. However, when out of balance, Kapha hair and the scalp often look heavy, dull, oily, and greasy, and the hair can become frizzy and grow in excess.

Ayurvedic Hair Care Explained

Ayurvedic physician Dr. Savitha Suri states that taking an Ayurvedic route when treating hair care “gives you a complete health treatment, which works on the complete body system… and that the benefit is forever.” Whereas following more allopathic routes “are based on the concept of sudden and instantaneous relief… but the origin of the disease is not eliminated… and there comes the probability in the future for the origin to be worse.” 

Unfortunately, sometimes Doshas can reflect issues in hair that are directly connected to another Dosha as well: A Vata individual could resemble symptoms related more closely to those of a Kapha imbalance, or a Pitta individual might suddenly exhibit features of dry and brittle hair (a more Vata imbalance).

Following the Ayurvedic path when treating and caring for the hair begins with addressing issues related to agni of the asthi dhatu and its direct relation to the Doshas. This can be achieved by:

  • Performing the type of exercise that is best suited for your Dosha
  • Adjusting your diet to be more suitable for your specific Dosha
  • Maintaining a diet for hair growth that is richer in proteins and vitamins like iron
  • Identifying and eliminating the causes of any dis-ease or illness which is causing the imbalance
  • Using Ayurvedic herbs for hair care
  • Washing the hair and scalp with chemical-free shampoo that’s infused with Shikakai
  • Toning and nourishing the tissues with rasayanas like Chyawanprash
  • Managing stress more efficiently
  • Taking a restorative hair supplement like PIOR Living Hair, which contains a 30-herb blend that supports nourishment, growth, shine, and detoxification, resulting in stronger and healthier hair.

Ultimately, Ayurvedic hair care is about achieving health in the body and mind. Improvements to hair health and appearance will result from consistently caring for your Agni and your Doshas.

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