HAIR HEALTH HANDOUT FOR WOMEN

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Alakananda Ma

http://www.alandiashram.org


Your hair and your health

Your hair concern may indicate issues with your general health. For example, changes in thyroid function can lead to hair loss, or digestive issues may lead to poor nutrition of your hair roots. To best care for your hair, it is important to follow your practitioner's advice regarding herbs and lifestyle changes as well as pursuing any referrals your practitioner may suggest.

 

Diet and your hair

Because your hair is nourished and grows from its roots, your diet is an important key to hair health. To support the beauty of your hair, avoid junk foods such as white sugar, refined flour, trans fats, fast food and bagged snacks. Healthy, lustrous hair requires a diet rich in whole grains vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds as well as those legumes and dairy products that are suitable for your constitution. Proper digestion is aided by using spices such as turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and fennel and by drinking spice teas made from cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. To have healthy hair looking its best, it is also important to eat enough. Crash diets or restricted food intake may cause your hair to thin. Your practitioner will guide you as to the specific nutritional guidelines for your body type.

 

Herbs and your hair

Your hair will be helped not only by external applications but also by herbs taken orally to support your hair roots. Both Healthy Hair and Triphala contain herbs which, according to the Ayurvedic texts, help support the colour and thickness of your hair.

 

Hair Damage

Every woman wants beautiful hair, yet often we harm our hair in our efforts to beautify it. Women with curly black afro-type hair want straight, light colored hair while women with straight hair want curls or waves. Ayurveda suggests that we enjoy who we are. If you are vata, enjoy your frizz, smooth your hair with oil or try some interesting hair ornaments. If you are pitta, make the most of your straight, fine hair. If you are kapha, you may have a blessing of thick, long hair. Excess waving, bleaching and dying may harm your hair.

Kamisuki (Combing the hair), A colour woodbloc...

Image via Wikipedia

Take care with braids, ponytails and cornrows. While these are beautiful and traditional in many cultures, it is important that your hair is not pulled too tightly. Keep braids or cornrows as loose as possible and alternate these styles with a looser, flowing look.   Your bicycle helmet, if too tight, could also be damaging your hair.

Excess shampooing, combing and brushing may be counterproductive and damaging your hair. It is better not to wash your hair daily as the natural oils produced by your scalp nourish your hair. So unless you are being exposed to pollution that collects in your hair, twice a week is a good shampooing routine. Be very gentle with wet hair. Blow dryers, curling irons, rough towels as well as brushing or combing while wet may damage your hair shafts. It is best to pat wet hair gently and wrap it in an absorbent towel. After it begins to dry, comb it out gently with a wide toothed comb.

 

 

Hair Care

Oiling your hair: According to the Ayurvedic tcxts, "One who moistens the head with oily substances daily does not suffer from headache, hair loss or greying of the hair." In traditional  India, a woman was not considered properly dressed unless her hair was smoothed with coconut oil. Of course, today, showing up at work with oil in your hair might not be perceived as good grooming. However, try to oil your hair at least once a week, using coconut oil in summer and sesame oil in winter. For best results, you can massage your scalp with Bhringaraj oil in winter and Brahmi coconut oil in summer.

 

Herbal hair rinses

Hair rinse for black/brunette: 2 tsp Amlaki

                                                    1 tsp hibiscus

                                                     1 tsp rose

Place in screw top glass jar and add 2 cups water. Shake vigorously with the lid on and leave overnight. In the morning, use as a hair rinse to improve sheen and body. (Vata--warm it before pouring over your head!)

Hair rinse for blondes: (According to our experiments, Hibiscus won't color your hair red or pink. But to be on the safe side...)2 tsp Amlaki

                                                    1 tsp licorice

                                                     1 tsp rose

Place in screw top glass jar and add 2 cups water. Shake vigorously with the lid on and leave overnight. In the morning, use as a hair rinse to improve sheen and body. (Vata--warm it before pouring over your head!)

 

Dandruff

Diet: Take great care to avoid white sugar and junk foods

Hair oil: Massage head with neem oil

Dandruff rinse: 2 tsp Triphala

                           1 tsp neem powder

Place in screw top glass jar and add 2 cups water. Shake vigorously with the lid on and leave overnight. In the morning, use as a hair rinse to improve sheen and body. (Vata--warm it before pouring over your head!)

 

 

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This page contains a single entry by Alakananda Ma published on March 5, 2012 1:46 PM.

Hair Loss: Ayurvedic Approaches was the previous entry in this blog.

HAIR HEALTH HANDOUT FOR MEN is the next entry in this blog.

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