Life and Long:12 Ayurvedic Herbs and How to Use Them for Hair Loss
One of the most common reasons for hair loss in young people is stress, apart from hormonal and nutritional deficiencies. Other reasons include pollution, hormonal imbalance, poor nutrition, reaction to certain medications, and lack of sleep. Those with hereditary baldness issues would be well advised to maintain a disciplined lifestyle and a nutritious diet as they would be most prone to hair fall issues.
Ayurveda and Hair Loss
Ayurveda is a collection of ancient medical practices that uses naturally occurring ingredients to treat a range of medical conditions. The practice is based on the belief that the body is made up of 5 basic elements space, air, fire, water and earth. The elements combine to create energies referred to as doshas which regulate the working of the body. The doshas are Vata (space & air), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth), each one responsible for a particular body function. Every human has a balance of these doshas, but one of them is usually dominant. It is believed that every body ailment is associated with the mix of the doshas in the human body. This is why most recommend Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
According to Ayurveda, hair is a breakdown product of bone tissue. Any anomaly in this tissue can affect hair health. The quality of the hair depends to a great extent on the health of the body.
The predominance of Vata dosha dries your hair tissues and makes them brittle; in this state they are vulnerable to UV radiation. An excess of Pitta heats up the hair tissues from within, and this blocks the entry of nutrients leading to hair fall and graying. When Kapha levels increase, an over secretion of sebum results and the openings to the hair follicle receptors are blocked. This leads to an oily dandruff and scalp, and hampers hair health. This problem can be surmounted with Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
A balanced and nutritious diet packed with minerals and vitamins is the best way to maintain your dosha levels and optimise hair health. However, in case hair fall does occur despite maintaining all precautions additional measures will be necessary. Ayurvedic herbs are considered to have a number of properties that curtail hair fall and enhance hair quality. These can be used individually as an oil or paste and also as a combination of different herbs. That is why experts have come out with a long list of Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth
If you are looking for a hair fall treatment that does not use harmful or harsh chemicals, then these five Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth are perfect for you. However many might develop an allergic reaction to different herbs, therefore it is advisable to do a patch check to find out how your body responds to them and select the best Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Amla is a natural antioxidant that fights the effects of pollution. It is also rich in Vitamin C, which combats the occurrence of premature graying and fights pigmentation. Amla has plenty of good fatty acids to build up the hair follicles’ strength, and the iron content improves blood circulation. Amla also has calcium and phenolic compounds called tannin, which help it fight against damage from heat and light. Amla is also a key ingredient in triphala for hair regrowth.
Hair packs made from Amla are also a very good exfoliator and cleanses the hair. The vitamin C in amla cleans the scalp and enhances its capacity to receive nutrients from the body. The cooling properties of amla delay the graying of hair and good blood circulation promotes the active nutrition of the hair roots. This makes them stronger and stimulates hair growth, while reducing dandruff. Amla also has vitamin E, which if applied topically may assist in cell regeneration and healing making it one of the chosen Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Boil dried amla in coconut oil till the oil turns brown. Use the resulting mixture after the oil cools down. The juice of the amla fruit can also be consumed. A number of people use amalaki rasayan for hair loss as its helps in natural cleaning and reduces acidity.
This ingredient from the sunflower family, is quickly becoming one of the sought after by those who want the benefits of natural remedies. In fact, it is a common ingredient in Patanjali Ayurvedic medicines for hair loss and is referred to as a wonder herb. The oil can conveniently penetrate the scalp and is helpful in treating a dry scalp. When used in the right way, the plant promotes hair growth and is ideal for addressing a range of hair issues, including alopecia. It is known to aid in vasodilation, which opens up the blood vessels and improves blood circulation. This helps in providing vital nutrients to the hair capillaries. Bhringraj is rich in Magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamin E, steroids, calcium and vitamin D which make it a natural therapy for treating hair problems. That is why it is also called Kesharaj or ‘ruler of hair’ – one of the traditional Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth. It is anti-inflammatory and so can be used to treat conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis. Put dried Bhringraj leaves out in the sun for 2-3 days and then put the dried leaves again in a jar of coconut oil for 2-3 days. Use it when the colour turns light green.
Most of us know the benefits of shikakai as a natural shampoo and an excellent jadi buti for hair growth, but did you know that it also helps prevent hair loss? It has anti-oxidants and vitamins which are very good for hair growth. The vitamins C, A, E and K provide the right dose of nourishment to the scalp. Anti-oxidants stop the hair from getting brittle and rough. The antibacterial and antifungal properties are extremely beneficial in protecting the hair against any infection. Shikakai is easily available and can be used by anyone with any hair type as an ayurvedic treatment for alopecia. It can be used to treat an inflamed scalp and its vitamin C content enhances hair growth. Used to treat tangled hair Shikakai also adds shine to your tresses. Do remember to include Shikakai as one of your Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Mix 1 tablespoon of Shikakai powder with a 1 tablespoon of Amla powder and a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add a cup of curd to it and make a paste. Apply it to your scalp and hair, and wash it off after an hour.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has many great properties that make it a go-to ingredient for many skin ailments. It acts as a coolant and is soothing for the skin. It is antifungal and has anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for curing scalp irritation and flaking skin. It is also known to promote cell repair. It is used to clear off the extra oil and impurities from the scalp. It is rich in vitamins A,C and E that augment the production of hair cells and restrict the damaging effects of the sun. Apart from numerous other benefits Aloe Vera is one of the most suggested Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Use a mask of aloe vera prepared with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera mixed with 2 tablespoons of curd and apply it to your scalp. Wash it off after 30 mins.
Neem has been documented for centuries for its amazing anti-microbial properties. It is also known to be an ancient hair growth Ayurvedic treatment. It promotes active blood circulation and strengthens the hair roots which in turn promotes healthy hair growth. The fatty acid content in neem is great for hair health. Neem water to rinse the scalp is recommended, as it cleans the pores and promotes hair growth.
Massaging the hair with neem oil removes dandruff and enhances hair quality. The regenerative properties of neem oil augment follicle growth and its anti-inflammatory properties are used to treat various scalp issues. Neem has been a prime ingredient in traditional medicines and also one of the important Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Massage your hair with neem oil and keep it overnight and wash it off in the morning for best results.
Also known as soap nut, reetha has been used for centuries as a natural shampoo for silky and shiny hair and keeps it tangle-free. It is a very gentle ingredient which means that it can be used daily to clean your hair without causing any damage. Its low pH not only keeps your scalp clean without stripping away necessary oils, but also volumises the hair. It is a very important ingredient in soaps and shampoos as it stops the frizziness. The antifungal and antibacterial properties of reetha prevent hair loss and dandruff. Reetha also helps protect the hair from the sun and helps your tresses become thicker. Regular use strengthens the roots, nourishes the hair and makes it grow faster.
Make a paste of reetha with warm water. Mix well in hair and scalp until some lather is created. Leave for 10 mins and wash off.
This ingredient, also known as Indian Winter Cherry, is regularly used in Ayurvedic treatments for hair loss. It helps regulate the levels of cortisol in the body, which is important for your hair’s health. It is a known antioxidant and improves blood circulation to the scalp and roots. Ashwagandha is also used to treat dandruff which, if left untreated, can cause hair loss. It is good to help fight inflammation by helping reduce stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha contains an amino acid called tyrosine that augments the production of melanin in hair. This helps in protection against the harmful effects of the sun and slows down aging. They also help make the hair strong and minimises breakage. However, it has to be used regularly for the results to show. As an adaptogen which helps an individual to deal with daily stress, it is also one of the popular Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Mix ashwagandha with water to create a paste that you can apply directly on your scalp to use the benefits of the anti-oxidants.
This ingredient provides essential nourishment to your hair roots. It is also one of the few ingredients that actually promotes the generation of new hair follicles. This gives the hair volume and length. Brahmi is also used in treatments to treat dandruff and split ends. It facilitates shiny and strong hair, while fostering hair growth. It adds health to the hair fibres and creates a protective layer around hair follicles. The biochemical compounds are useful in treating temporary baldness. Brahmi paste is one of the chosen Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Mix brahmi powder with amla and add some water to this. Apply this paste to your hair and wash it off with regular water when it is dry. A number of users have started using and promoting the virtues of Brahmi for hair regrowth.
Muskroot or Indian Spikenard is one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs for hair loss. It is typically used in the form as an essential oil. Due to its potent nature, it is used for improving blood circulation and removing impurities from the blood. It enables your body to provide adequate nutrition to the hair roots. The rhizomes in jatamansi expedite hair growth. Regular oiling helps you reduce dandruff and split ends. It has proved to be useful in increasing hair growth in cases of alopecia. Jatamansi is used to impart darkness to the hair, it is regarded as a natural dye. The roots need to be made into a paste and applied for hair growth and removing bald patches.
Mix 2-5 drops of jatamansi oil with 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil, and apply it on your scalp.
Fenugreek or methi is an important ingredient with a host of benefits when used correctly. Fenugreek in high in iron & protein and has good nicotinic acid content. The vitamins A, B1 and C are helpful in augmenting strength, shine and weakness. The mucilage present in it enhances hair growth and prevents hair fall by improving the health of your scalp. It is an excellent moisturiser and brings shine and lustre to your hair. Fenugreek is blessed with a combination of plant compounds like flavonoids and saponins which have anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects. It has essential fatty acids like oleic and linoleic fatty acids, and have a high concentration of oil. The amino acids are rich in keratin which make the hair robust and strong. A mix of fenugreek seeds and coconut oil is an excellent remedy for hair loss and fenugreek, on its own, is also considered one of the potent Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth.
Soak 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds overnight and grind it to a paste. Apply this slippery paste to your hair roots and keep it on for 20 minutes, before washing it off.
11. Hibiscus Leaves
The leaves of the hibiscus plant are rich in amino acids that are known to nourish your hair and keep your hair shiny and lustrous. It is believed to have anti-ageing properties and that is why it is also known as a botox plant. It also strengthens the hair follicles and stimulates dormant hair follicles, even in bald patches, to grow again. It is therefore used extensively as one of the ayurvedic herbs for hair regrowth. This is recognised as one of the most significant qualities of hibiscus and has contributed to its increasing popularity. The acids help in disintegrating dead skin cells and cleanses the skin. The leaves, rich in vitamin C and calcium, help in imparting strength to the hair follicles and deal with dull and thinning hair issues.
Make a mix of 3-4 hibiscus leaves, 1 hibiscus flower and a cup of curd and leave it on your hair for 1 hour. Wash it off with lukewarm water and shampoo later.
This ingredient is an important part of triphala which is used to treat scalp itchiness, dandruff, and hair fall. It is referred to as the king of herbs because of its multifold benefits. When used regularly it helps retain the dark colour of the hair. The tannins present are anti-oxidants which help combat free radicals which are harmful for hair and skin cells. Irons are responsible for the hemoglobin in blood which transport the oxygen for the growth and repair of hair cells. The leaves and bark of haritaki are full of antioxidants and phenolics which fight the harmful effects of the sun and makes it one of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth. It is also effective in resisting fungus and candida which feed on the keratin of our hair.
Crush the haritaki and soak it in coconut oil. Heat it till it turns brown and store in a glass bottle when cool. Apply the oil to your scalp and keep it overnight before washing.
It is very important that these ingredients are used in the right proportions and mixes to help you with hair loss. Not only is the right proportion instrumental in addressing hair health, the wrong mix can in fact cause more harm than good. Also, it is very essential to maintain consistency in the practice of Ayurveda. It is not only about curing an illness but to adhere to a disciplined lifestyle that would prevent the occurrence of an infection in the first place. Rely only on experts when using Ayurvedic formulas for hair fall, for one needs to take the correct doses for using Ayurvedic herbs for hair growth. Apart from these herbs there are several Ayurvedic processes that use hair oils to greatly enhance hair health.
Ayurveda prescribes ancient knowledge for our authentic, very present-day health conditions. If the normal diet does not suffice, you might be required to take an ayurvedic supplement for hair growth. A number of people use amalaki rasayan for hair loss as its helps in natural cleaning and reduces acidity; similarly they triphala for hair fall. You can visit Traya if these ingredients do not address the root of the issue when it comes to your hair fall.
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Dr. Jaspreet Sarna, M.D
Dr. Sarna is an MD (Skin & VD) with a decade-long experience in treating hair loss and working on hair regrowth. She believes stress management is the key to good health.