Freedom from Hair Woes with
- By Patricia Tedeschi-Galarneau -
In India, healthy hair symbolizes strength for men and women. Even in Biblical stories, remember Samson and Delilah. Ayurveda prescribes any number of remedies to “keep a cool head” and maximize hair thickness. We all know that internal heat is released through the top of your head. Remember your mother exhorting you to wear your knit cap in the winter time? She was right.
Doshas and Your Healthy Hair
Higher levels of internal heat correspond to less hair, which is why Pitta types (Type A) sometimes have thinner hair than Vata types (high energy) or Kapha types (low energy). Ayurvedic products and beauty rituals for the hair and scalp use oils and botanicals that focus on lessening heat, strengthening hair follicles, and promoting healthy hair.
Ayurveda in a nutshell is all about regaining our natural inherent balance and overall natural beauty. Vata imbalances (and hair styling tools) can cause damaged, dry and fly away hair. Pitta imbalances can cause flaky and itchy scalp. Kapha imbalances cause excess oil production which dull the hair and cause dandruff.
Holistic Care for Healthy Hair and Natural Beauty
Ayurvedic hair care is as much internal as external. Vitamins and minerals are important. Adding grains to your diet helps to promote healthy hair – think Amaranth, Barley, Millet and Quinoa. Quinoa is great for people with a gluten intolerance. These grains provide special proteins, nutrients and vitamins which help in the growth of healthy hair. Hair should not be washed every day. Daily cleansing strips the scalp of natural oils. Here in the West we tend to be oil-phobic which is a misguided approach to health. In Ayurveda, hair is conditioned with oil prior to limited shampooing instead of washing too often and then using too many products to restore shine and health. Even for excessively oily hair, a scalp massage done prior to washing hair can break up excessive oils that have accumulated on the scalp and hair.
Vitamins from whole foods support our mind, body and soul. Vitamin A (best source fish liver oil), Vitamin B (yeast or liver), Vitamin C (best source derived from rose hips, the berries on the fruit of the rose after the petals have fallen), and Vitamin E (from soybeans, wheat germ or corn) are some of the most beneficial substances to add to your diet to help support healthy hair.
Last but not least is to protect your hair from too much iron in your water. Too much iron can cause the following issues:
-Hair that is dry, brittle and crunchy
-Hair that lacks shine and looks dull
-Chemically treated hair turning unattractive shades of orange
To prevent iron deposits:
-Install a water filter or use reverse osmosis water
-Shampoo and rinse with cooler water as this prevents iron deposits from settling into hair
-Use pigmented shampoos
-Hot oil treatments can help prevent iron from sticking to the hair
Keep in mind that health begins at the source: the food you eat, the thoughts you think and the energy you send out into the world. If you are not taking care of yourself internally, your hair and skin will never look healthy and strong.