Ayurveda- The Indian traditional system of health care believes in a holistic approach to health care and hair care is one of the vital parts of it. Ayurveda believes that just external application and precautions are not sufficient to keep it full of life, strength, luster, sheen, color, vitality and healthy life long. This issue is discussed in almost every classical text in detail which shows that our Rishis (sages) were also aware of the importance of this field. Ayurvedic Ahara-Vihar (Diet and Lifestyle) concept are two major factors that influence whole body and the health of the hair as well. Irregular dietary habits, Poor diet, Illness and Deficiencies of any particular Vitamin and Mineral affects the quality of hair and problems like dandruff, thinning hair, early baldness, premature graying, spoil the hair quality. In an individual the condition of the hair is the reflection of the complete constitution of his physical state. If the person is not healthy then the bad health will reflect from the hair. Ayurvedic classical literatures thrust upon overall regulation for hair care.
Basic Guidelines one should follow for wellbeing of hair are
- (I). Massage scalp regularly: Topical application of medicated hair oil improves nourishment to the scalp which helps to keep your hair long, lustrous, strong, shining and thick. The warm oil head and scalp massage, especially when done with oil infused with Keshya (hair-friendly) herbs, nourishes the hair and scalp, alleviates dry scalp, enhances circulation. Coconut oil or Sesame oil, infused with herbs like Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Bhringaraj (Eclipta alba) or Japa (Hibiscus), helps maintain the color and luster of hair. Ayurvedic herbal hair oils contain a blend of hair-friendly herbs. If you can massage two or three times a week preferably in morning (1-2 hours before bath) for nourishment. Apply Narikela (coconut) oil or Sarshapi(mustard) oil (depending upon availability and suitability) at least three times in a week. Use of Classical Ayurvedic Medicated Oils like: Bhringraja oil, Neelibhringadi oil, Mahabhringraja oil and Brahmi-Amla oil helps to control complaints related to the scalp and hair.
- (II). Regular cleansing of scalp and hair: Always keep your hair and scalp clean to avoid clogged hair follicles and itching of scalp. Cleanse with a gentle herbal shampoo or baby soap or soft home made herbal based shampoo. Over or excessive shampooing, especially with a harsh shampoo can lead to dry out the scalp and damage hair. Use lukewarm or fresh water to wash your hair, and follow with a natural conditioner. Let the hair dry naturally rather than blow-drying it. Trim hair regularly to take care of split ends and natural wear and tear. Regularly cleaning and brushing the hair is very important. When the hairs are brushed, oil-producing glands in the scalp get stimulated. This natural oil makes the hair glossy and healthy. To give extra shine to the hair, after washing rinse the hair with some lemon juice mixed in a cup of warm water.
- (III). Regulate dietary habits: Irregular or unhealthy eating habits affect over all performance of all of our systems. Healthy eating is just as important for effective digestion and absorption as the healthy diet itself. Food should be fresh and whole and prepared lovingly. Ayurveda advocates that every one should have food in properly ventilated, calm, quiet corner and should not do any other job at the time of having food like watching your favorite television show or talking and discussing any business issue. Eat with your attention on the food, in a calm and serene frame of mind, and one should chew food properly before swallowing. For a good digestion a healthy person should not drink too much water during meals, few sips of water in between bites is fine, otherwise proper watering time is half an hour after food. One should drink luke warm water if oily, spicy and non vegetarian food is consumed. Dinner should always be light. All of such restrictions are important if you wish to keep your body free of Ama (toxins). Toxins build up in the body obstructs nutrients from reaching the cells and tissues of the body. The food articles and bad habits which one should get rid off are discussed also. They are as follows: Excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, meats and smoking should be avoided. Eating too much fried, oily, greasy, spicy, sour and acidic foods is always harmful. Chemical or synthetic medicines should be avoided. Low blood circulation, anemia, general weakness after disease, stress, anxiety and mental tension should be treated by improving dietary habits and routine. Diseases like typhoid fever, jaundice and hormonal imbalance cause excessive falling of hair and aggravate the incidence of dandruff.
For more information read - Eat Right for Healthy Life
Especially after the age of forty, it is important to undergo periodic internal cleansing to flush away Ama (toxins). Triphala (mixture of equal quantity of fruits of Amalaki - Emblica officinalis, Vibhitaka - Terminalia belerica and Harad - Terminalia chebula) is a very popular, gentle, non- habit forming cleanser that can be taken frequently to regulate the digestive system.
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